A HANDFUL of local eateries have impressed diners enough to gain the honour of a place in this year’s Good Food Guide.
Eight venues from the New Forest and Christchurch have been included in the 2020 annual update of the 68-year-old book, written from customers’ feedback and inspection visits around the country.
Restaurants consider it an accolade merely to gain an entry in the famous guide, which is published by Waitrose and also gives a score out of 10 for each one.
The highest scores locally were 4 which went to the Dining Room at the Chewton Glen in New Milton, Verveine in Milford, The Elderflower in Lymington, and The Terrace at the Montagu Arms hotel in Beaulieu.
The news was a boost for the Montagu Arms which on Monday night failed to regain the Michelin star it lost in 2017 when the latest awards were announced in London.
A Good Food Guide 3 was given to Netley Marsh’s Spot in the Woods, which in 2018 was transformed into a café and B&B from the wine-themed Hotel TerraVina by the late wine expert Gerard Basset.
La Perle in Milford was given a 2, and The Pig in Brockenhurst gained a “local gem” rating rather than a numbered score, indicating it as one of the “best neighbourhood eateries in the country”.
In Christchurch the only eatery to be included was The Jetty at Mudeford which was awarded a 1.
Each came in for particular praise with the five-star Chewton Glen described as “grandiose but managed with welcoming ease”.
Verveine, a fish restaurant based at the back of a fishmonger’s, “punches way above its weight” with an “ambition to mix with the modern British gang”.
Owner David Wykes tweeted: “Awesome to make the good food guide again this year, congratulations to the team for their hard work and if anyone needs me I’ll be searching for ‘the modern British gang’.”
At The Elderflower, chef Andrew Du Bourg was credited with “creative instincts”. The Terrace’s new head chef Matthew Whitfield, who took charge early this year, was praised for his “evident panache”.
Spot in the Woods was “delightful”, and Sam Hughes’ La Perle served up local seafood and seasonal produce with “gusto”.
The Pig, the original which has since added five more round the country, delivered “good eating” with its aim of sourcing ingredients from with 25 miles. The Jetty was noted for its “magical water’s edge views”.
To find out more go to www.thegoodfoodguide.co.uk.