By International Wellness & Fitness Expert Sara Picken-Brown
Easy going luxury and plenty of honest home-grown heart is the best way to describe this unique and truly fabulous B&B. From the moment we arrived we felt welcomed and valued.
These really were the key qualities that permeated our time in the new Forest at Daisybank. From the handmade bespoke soaps to the sweet treat on arrival, the soft-as-a-cloud bed to the variety of breakfast options caring to ANY dietary need.
Just one night really was not enough, but with promises to return for more, here are just a few of my noteworthy reasons that you should put Daisybank e on the very top of your Must-see-&-Do list this summer.
One of the first things that struck me about Daisybank was just how relaxed, down to earth and thoroughly welcoming Daisybank owners were. This is no franchise chain B&B, it is family owned and run. With a keen eye for detail and hospitable comfort, they have taken special care to ensure your every need is met to feel quite at home. As it turns out you feel so at home that for many of their guests that return Daisybank has become a home away from home when taking some R&R.
We arrived late on Friday night and were met at the train station by our hosts. Our room was, like all the rooms at Daisybank, cosy, spacious, with a luxurious bed that honestly felt like a cloud to sleep on. The bathrooms were spotless (being a stickler for clean bathrooms, this pleased me considerably). Large modern wet rooms, that were expertly configured to retain historical details in keeping with the Victorian style of the 1901 built cottage.
Heart warming details were everywhere, from the Daisy cupcake on arrival to the vintage style radio playing very funky chill track tunes.
Originally the family home, for over 25years. The ground level of the house was converted into a luxury bespoke bed & breakfast 7 years ago. The understanding and care given to the dietary needs of every guest is one of the big aspects of Daisybank that sets them apart form other high end options. As a former professional athlete and a fitness professional keenly aware of clean, whole food nutrition, I was surprised and delighted that so much attention was given to this aspect of guest catering and service. Questions that only someone with a great understanding of difficult dietary needs would ask. As anyone with restrictive diets can attest, this can often get embarrassing at worst and cringe worthy at best. Not at Daisybank, they catered easily and respectfully to all.
Which got me wondering; Where has this careful attention to health come from? Turns out that the answer to this question was not a straight forward one, but integral to the reason for Daisybanks holistic focus and success. The New Forest region and Brockenhurst in particular is so much part of the Daisybank experience one cannot mention one without the other.
Daisybank has worked hard to source and use locally grown products, produce and art. The region has a diverse creative arts scene with many festivals and events running throughout summer [curious arts festival]. Our gluten free and paleo breakfast options were all grown and sourced from the local area and even our handmade lavender soaps and body wash was made in the New Forest. Spending time with Cheryl our hostess, as she drove her little Fiat around the area explaining all about Daisybank, I was struck with how passionate she is about where she lives and how important Daisybank is, not only to the family, but also to their clientele.
At age 14 their daughter contracted lime disease, something that took nearly 7 years to properly diagnose. It was through this experience much of the awareness around food and holistic health care was born and thankfully Daisybank has become a nurturing destination just 1.5hr from London where one can escape to regenerate with great food, serene spaces, yoga, meditation, tree bathing with great coffee and conversation over the kitchen table.
Close to Brockenhurst village (a 10 min casual walk away), the fantastic quality of the famous Daisybank breakfast, the stunning surrounds of the New Forest, perfect for cyclists, runners, walkers and tree-huggers (yes apparently plenty of those pass through) and the odd triathlete taking a weekend off, if running a casual 10km on a sat morning is considered taking time off.
The diversity of the area really struck me as something incredible. There is something for everyone, every taste and every desire. Do you like nature and need to escape the city bustle with some ‘tree-time’? Then head to Brockenhurst. The forest has such an ethereal quality I kept expecting a fairy to pop out from behind a tree stump. Forest bathing not your thing? Maybe you’re an old salty deep down, so try sailing or paddle boarding near Lymington, just 4miles down the road. There is a super pub to stop off for a great pub lunch too.
Maybe hanging with the glam-squad is more your idea of a good weekender. Making sure you get your instagram worthy pics at top notch locations, head to ‘The Pig Hotel’ for dinner or cocktails on the lawn at sunset.
This wont be a hidden gem much longer so book while they still have some spaces and don’t mind the ponies and donkeys that roam the streets, they get right of way and have done so by law for over 100 years. Just another reason why this has to be one of the quirkiest and coolest places to explore near London.
International Fitness Expert Sara Picken-Brown and GB Triathlon aspirant, James Tebbs, were hosted by Daisybank, a boutique B&B in the New Forest village of Brockenhurst. The characterful 1901 Arts and Crafts house has seven stylish en-suite bedrooms. Luxury touches include marble bathrooms, super-sized beds, Roberts radios and specially-commissioned paintings and artwork adorning the walls. An overnight stay costs from £110 per room (two sharing), including full New Forest breakfast.
Contact Daisybank (01590 622 086; www.bedandbreakfast-newforest.co.uk
For information on Wellness Programs and Nutrition Planners & Counselling with @figure_genie www.valetudoretreats.com . For information on Advanced and Beginner Triathlon Programs & Endurance Event Preparation @jamestebbs www.valetudoretreats.com