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Former Three Tuns chef Colin Nash opens fine dining restaurant at The Retreat New Forest at Hinton

WELL-known New Forest chef Colin Nash has launched his own restaurant at The Retreat New Forest in Hinton.

Colin was until a few weeks ago running The Lamb Inn pub at Winkton, which he and partner Juliet Parsons took over earlier in the year.

The Colin Nash Restaurant at The Retreat in Hinton
The Colin Nash Restaurant at The Retreat in Hinton

The couple was forced to leave the site when the brewery that owned the building sold the lease.

He has now launched the Colin Nash Restaurant in Offbeet’s former venue at The Retreat, and has big plans for the venue including cookery schools.

“I was given just six weeks to leave The Lamb,” explained Colin, who ran the kitchen at The Three Tuns pub in Bransgore for 16 years. “It was gutting because I was just starting to get established.

“I left a couple of months ago and then this place came up – I had a look around it and loved it. It’s such a great space and lends itself to finer dining, which I want to offer.”

The menu, Colin says, will be seasonal, and as with The Lamb he will be sourcing as much local food and drink as he can, including vegetables from Colin’s own allotment and the nearby Sopley farm, game from the Meyrick Estate which the site sits on, and fish caught from Mudeford boats.

Tasty dishes served at the Colin Nash Restaurant
Tasty dishes served at the Colin Nash Restaurant

Hinton-based Drop the Anchor Brewery will be supplying two of its most popular beers, Tucktonia and Black Dog, and the restaurant will use Dickies Dribble cider, Wyrd Spirits and Conker Spirit.

In an effort to cater to those visiting The Retreat’s wellness centre or staying at the hotel, the menu will also feature healthier and keto-friendly options, as well as vegan dishes.

These include miso and sesame aubergine and ‘milles feuille’ – layers of vegan parmesan, Retreat vegetables, chickpea faggots and wild rocket dressing.

Other dishes include line caught sea bass with sunflower seed pesto and curly kale, Meyrick Estate venison steak with creamed potato and pickled red cabbage, and Rockbourne rainbow trout with rock samphire and a shellfish bisque.

To demonstrate food provenance, the menu lists Mudeford boat numbers below its local fish dishes.

The restaurant also offers an extensive range of cocktails, with all the classics as well as the Forest Retreat mix of gin, greandine, blue caraco, and pine and lemon.

Diners wanting alcohol-free options will have five tempting mocktails to choose from.

“I’m going along the lines of fine dining because that’s what I like to do, but it will be reasonably priced,” said Colin, who is a regular at Christchurch and Highcliffe food festivals. “The feedback since opening a few days ago has been amazing and everyone has loved the food and the setting.”

Going forward, Colin has plans for game and fish nights, and wants to use the adjoining cookery school to launch workshops in the near future. He also wants to create outside dining on the terrace area outside the restaurant.

Colin, who started his career at the iconic Langan’s Brasserie in Mayfair, London, also runs cookery classes at local schools.

The restaurant opens daily, but is closed on Sunday evenings and Monday mornings.

“We open for Sunday lunch, offering two courses for £25,” he said. “We do two meat options, a Mudeford fish and a vegetarian dish.”

For more information or to book a table, visit https://www.theretreatnewforest.co.uk/colin-nash-restaurant

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