Sunday, 19 July 2015

The Mad Hatter's Tea Rooms, Lyndhurst



New Forest villages aren't short of a tea room or two, and Lyndhurst is no exception. Among the traditional tea rooms and ice cream parlours, there's even a Costa Coffee for those city dwellers who have had a little too much countryside and need a tall skinny mocha to see them right.

Being one for a gimmick, I was drawn to the Mad Hatter's Tea Rooms the first time we drove through Lyndhurst (beware the one-way system). When we returned for a proper browse, I convinced The Boy to at least have a look at the menu before we chose somewhere to refuel and have a late lunch.

Satisfied by the choices on offer, we went in. The interior is traditional, although some might describe it as dingy, with low ceilings and dark wooden beams. A cabinet of Alice in Wonderland themed merchandise for sale takes up one wall.

 We were fortunate in that the outdoor terrace was all but empty and took a seat among the flowers. Although compact, with only five tables, the garden was a lovely place, bursting with colourful blooms, with no noise from the traffic.

The menu had plenty of choice, and although I'm normally a sucker for a cake or afternoon tea, our morning of activities left me requiring more substantial fuelling. Options ranged from omelettes to fish and chips to lasagne, but I went for good old-fashioned sausage, chips and beans, while The Boy had a jacket potato.

Perfect for refuelling after a morning of exploring
Visiting at 3pm on a Thursday afternoon, we hit a quiet period, and our food was brought out fairly quickly, and we kicked back and enjoyed our surroundings while we waited for it to cool down.

No doubt on a busy summer's day, the wait would be longer and the terrace heaving, but the place is well worth a visit if you find yourself peckish in Lyndhurst.

Mad Hatter's Tea Rooms, 10 High Street, Lyndhurst, S043 7BD

Wondering what all the Alice in Wonderland fuss is in Lyndhurst? Alice Liddell, the girl whom Lewis Carroll based Alice in Wonderland on, is buried nearby.


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