The New Forest is a foodie’s dream, packed with award-winning restaurants, gastropubs, and a plethora of local food producers. Visitors can discover the whole host of local produce available at eateries, farm shops and farmer’s markets across the region – check out our guides to the best New Forest pubs and where to shop for more details.
Look out for the New Forest Marque when looking for some tasty treats to take home – you’ll find this distinctive blue badge on more than 100 locally made or sourced products, including not only food and drink but also handmade gifts, wooden crafts, plants and more. Those which bear the New Forest Marque have been officially accredited by the New Forest National Park Authority as having been grown, reared, caught, brewed, produced or processed in the New Forest.
We’ve picked just a few of our favourite food and drink products grown and made in the New Forest that we highly recommend trying during your stay. Each of these also bears the New Forest Marque so you can be guaranteed authenticity and quality.
Lyburn Farmhouse Cheesemakers are the New Forest’s premium cheesemakers, producing seven different cheeses on their farm using their own pasteurised cow’s milk. These include the Winchester, a cheese with a flavour halfway between cheddar and gouda, as well as oak-smoked and garlic and nettle varieties.
Their cheese can be purchased at a number of cheesemongers, farm shops and even Waitrose deli counters across the country, as well as at their own farm shop, found in the north of the New Forest near Landford - see the full list of stockists here.
Using meat sourced from small holdings and free-range farms within the Hampshire border, A Pinch of Salt make a variety of charcuterie products, including pancetta, salami, chorizo and bresaola. They specialise in using smaller pedigree pig breeds in their products, as well as beef sourced from the local Pennington Farm and New Forest wild boar.
Many of their charcuterie products can be ordered online, or bought in person at the T Bartlett & Son butchers in New Milton. If you’re attending a local food festival during your visit, you may also see their wood-fired oven doing the rounds, cooking up delicious pizzas topped with their cured meats.
Dancing Cows produce alcoholic drinks for all tastes, including a variety of beers, ales and spirits. Especially well-renowned is their Lymington Gin, the winner of Drinks Product of the Year at the Hampshire Life Food & Drink Awards 2016. They also produce damson gin, rum, and rye, while the Lighthouse golden ale and Pony amber ale are also popular.
If you’re looking to pick up a few bottles, you can purchase their beers and spirits directly from their distillery and brewhouse, which is based in Lymington. Many of their products can also be purchased from their online store, and are also stocked at several local wine specialists. You’ll also find Dancing Cows appearing at local markets and food festivals across the year, including the Lymington Seafood Festival and the Isle of Wight’s Cowes Week.
BakeHouse24 is an artisan bakery in Ringwood, using traditional sourdough methods and locally sourced, organic ingredients to produce delicious breads. They are passionate about their craft, and even run full-day classes for the budding baker, where you can learn the art of sourdough. Not only do they produce bread but also a variety of handmade cakes and pastries to enjoy!
Head to the bakehouse on Lynes Lane in Ringwood to sample the baked goods for yourself, while there are also a few farm shops in and around the New Forest which stock their products.
If you’re looking for a sweet souvenir to take home, a visit to Fordingbridge Fudge may be the answer. These confectioners use locally produced milk and Guernsey butter to create their traditional stove top fudge. You’ll find their melt-in-the-mouth fudge in a variety of different flavours, from traditional flavours such as vanilla, chocolate and butterscotch to the more unusual, such as lime, passion fruit and even liquorice.
All of their sweet treats can be bought online, as well as from a range of local stockists throughout Hampshire. They also appear at several of Hampshire’s farmers’ markets, where you are welcome to try some free samples of their delicious flavours.
The New Forest Scotch Egg Co specialise in gourmet scotch eggs, handmade on their farm near Ringwood. Making the most of the local produce available, including free range eggs and locally sourced meat, they produce Scotch eggs in a variety of flavours. Besides the classic pork flavour, they also make spicy chorizo, New Forest venison and even vegetarian falafel and gluten-free varieties. Whichever you choose, you’ll be in for a delicious snack!
The handmade Scotch eggs can be purchased at a number of fairs and shows across the country, including the New Forest Show, Poole’s Taste of the South Festival, and the Romsey Show.
The sunnier climes of the Mediterranean may first come to mind when you think of vineyards, but there’s also one in our very own New Forest producing award-winning wines. As well as two single barrel red varieties, Marlings also produce both still and sparkling white and rosé varieties. Their 2013 Sparkling White was even the recipient of a Bronze Medal at the 2017 UK Wine Awards.
Being a micro-winery, their wines can only be purchased at a few local retailers: Priory Wines near Lymington, New Forest Wines in Ringwood, Stewarts Garden Centre near Christchurch, and The Forage Deli in Lyndhurst.
Cultivating and growing a variety of exotic and wild mushrooms on their private estate, New Forest Wild & Exotic Mushrooms offer a whole host of mushroom varieties which are often hard to come by. Fresh and dried varieties are available, with more unusual kinds for sale including chicken of the woods and black trumpets. They also specialise in wild garlic as well as luxurious truffle products, including truffle oil, salt and honey.
Their mushrooms and other foraged foods can be found at several local markets, while the Stewarts Garden Centre near Christchurch is also an established stockist.
Using fruits, vegetables, and herbs freshly picked from the garden, Parkside Produce specialise in jams, chutneys, marmalades, jellies, curds and cordials, all handmade in small batches from a cottage kitchen. From classic summer berry conserves to hot and fruity Moroccan chutneys, you’re sure to find your perfect accompaniment from the more than 120 varieties available.
Products can be bought directly from the cottage in Rockbourne, from a select number of local stockists, or at the Sandy Balls Farmers Market in Godshill, held on the third Sunday of the month.
Established in 2006, the Beaulieu Chocolate Studio makes more than 30 varieties of filled chocolates, as well as chocolate bars and chocolate-based gifts. Filled chocolates available include popular flavours such as chocolate fudge and caramel, while there are also more exotic choices available including forest fruit truffles. Their novelty chocolates, made into fun shapes, also make great gifts – choose from cars, ponies, guitars and more.
If you’re interested on getting your hands on some of their chocolates, head to their store on Beaulieu High Street, which is half shop and half chocolate factory, so you can even watch the chocolatiers at work. Many of their products can also be bought from their website.
Ready for a foodie adventure? Take a look at our range of New Forest accommodation to find the perfect place to start your New Forest culinary journey from.