Story + Magic, Eat + Drink

For more information on enjoying yourself in the area please follow these links to our main website and blog. 

Many of our guests come to the New Forest to celebrate. And whilst it’s easy to arrange special things to do when you live locally, its usually pretty tricky to do it from afar. So we’ve built a menu of fun, stylish and slightly batty things to do that’ll make your friends jealous and give you lovely memories to reminice over.

We’ve partnered up with some great people; Mrs Maker who will bring all for creative play sessions for kids, professional story-tellers who will regale young and old with local smuggling and magical forest folklore tales. Also on the menu are astronomers, magicians and songstresses and best of all Hollie who is working with us to develop a wild spa menu – for spa treatments in bluebell forests…

We like to suggest people combine their entertainment with good food, either their own or we have some great caterers we can suggest. In particular we work with Christian from The Granary Kitchen in Lymington to provide everything from beach brunches, fine dining to fully eccentric high teas for children and grannies.

Please ask for prices beyond the guideline provided and I’m sure we can tailor most of it for any other marvellous ideas you might have.

Perfect things for mixed family groups getting together to celebrate! 

Mad Hatters High Tea Party. 

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We have a good selection of large  and small props and fancy dress kit to make your smile like a Cheshire Cat…
Christian will provide a top notch high tea of your choice; cucumber sandwiches (of course), and trays and tiers of yummy cakes, cream teas and pastries to fill your afternoon up. If the weather isn’t conducive to outdoor fun then we can also do this inside.
Prices from £15 per person, min £150.

Extras – see below for information.
Butler Service – full top hat and tails service – £120
Mad hatter – Mr Hagstone, professional story-teller – £200
Magician – specialist in close up work – £200

If You Go Down To the Woods Today…  Super Special Wild Picnics

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Depending on the time of year and weather, we can send you off to lots of very private and very special locations on the local farms and estates. In April & May the Bluebells are out, carpets of flowers and fragrance. In the summer months there are secret beaches we can point you toward, some accessed only by boat or canoe.

Suggested menu Scotch egg, Duck and ham pie, Focaccia bread, charcuterie selection, locally made cheddar-style cheese, Picalilli, chutney, chicken liver pate, tuscan bean dip, crudities followed by individual strawberries and cream tart.

Prices from £20 per person for 6.
Please add another £250 if you’d like an African safari-style table and candelight dinner set for you, with butler service.

Extras to make your friends jealous. Story and song by the beach and in the secret forest….

Story teller

Mike O’Leary is a professional story-teller. He has told stories for children and adults throughout Britain and Ireland; at fetes and fairs, festivals, schools, hospitals, prisons, museums, shopping centres, restaurants, iron age villages, woodland glades, and once up to his neck in the sea!

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 For children…

Mike can come to any of our rental properties or work his magic on location – the beach, the forest etc which is more authentic and fun too. He’ll work to your guidelines on story content or fit in around a themed idea, see Alice in Wonderland High Tea ideas above.
He specialises in stories from the New forest for kids of all ages. They can be ghostly stories for older kids, or something more appropriate for the younger ones; dragons or smugglers, mermaids or apple trees, fairies or knights, or the naughty boy and the donkey that poos money!

To make the stories more realistic for kids, we suggest building a small fire in our campstove (portable stove and wood is provided free) as a focal point, story-themed snack and a few theatrical props (we’ll give you ideas to buy or make, beforehand).

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The ‘order of play’ for integrating story-telling into an event is endless. He can appear as a uninvited party guest; as a waiter, Double-glazing salesperson, or as himself, a wandering storyteller with a twinkle in his eye!

We suggest guests get creative about the location of their story-telling. We’ll help! We can arrange for water-taxi transport to secret and private beaches, for champagne and canapes by campfire. Or perhaps you’d rather a guided night-time walk to secret forest supper? Mike O’Leary will work with us to create  spell binding and appropriate stories for your guests.

Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 22.36.34Smugglers and forest folklore tales are his speciality.

We suggest that he joins you for an hour or two of your celebration. Typically this would be from after the main meal, through dessert and coffee. 

Mike has recently published a book, ‘Hampshire and Isle of Wight Folk Tales’ (History Press). The book review reads; “It skilfully combines urban legends heard, as often as not, “from the bloke with the high-viz jacket” encountered somewhere in the sprawling Southampton-Portsmouth hinterland, with the kind of archaic rural lore more readily associated with these counties. The author’s familiarity with his locale, conversational idiom and satirical wit (sparing no-one, storytellers included) make the collection a piquant mid-winter read.”


Mr Prince (real name) is a specialist at close-work, sleight of hand and magic! Consider asking him to join for a high tea for some real Alice in Wonderland eccentricity.

Mrs Maker

There is a maScreen Shot 2015-02-07 at 23.22.24rvellous ‘DIY craft and make’ show on CBeebies called Mr Maker. Well, we have our own New Forest version. Briony is 19, CRB checked and supercalafragalistically good with kids. She can spend the odd afternoon or every morning or afternoon doing fun activities. Take the kids and Mrs Maker to the beach or stay at home and watch them create . On the beach you can build trains out of sand and pebbles, build a chimney and then light up a fire in the boiler for some authentic smoke, tracking wild animals, bush-art, face-painting. Or even just ask Briony to facilitate wild games of football or 40/40.


The best place for this is on the beach. There is minimal light pollution on Tanners Lane Beach because the nearest towns are Lymington (small) and Southampton is a good distance away.The beach is almost always totally deserted at night and very beautiful on clear nights. You can listen to the ducks come in for the night and boats clink at distant night-time moorings.

David is a good astonomer with excellent kit. He can pop by for dessert and draw your attention upwards.

Spectacular Spectacular Dinner parties

Your party ….. is limited only by your imagination. Our list of fabulous eccentric people will liven up any table and we suggest that you pick n mix from the list above.

Set dressing is sometimes enough to add to fine food for a wonderful night. We can provide tables, chairs and kit for a candle-lit dinner. Sadly we can’t promise the weather so bear with us on that…..!

Campfires – fab on the beach and fab in the forest. Weather dependent but worth trying for.

Fine dining prices depend on size of the groups;
6-8 people | £65 per peron
9-12 people | £60 per person
13-20 people | £50 per person

Menu example for fine dining inside;

Prosecco poached scallops
Leeks and spinach finished with a thermadore glaze
Hay Baked hampshire lamb rump, pea puree
Glazed carrot, asparagus and broadbeans
Potato terrine, girolles and lamb jus
Kirsche panacotta, choclate biscuit
glazed cherries cherry syrup

If the weather is looking ropey, or it’ not a good time of year for eating outside, then we suggest groups enjoy Champagne and Canapes at Tanners Lane beach. This is a great low cost way of enjoying smart food, the beach and Forest and being extravagant without being extravagant.

Canapes start from £9.50 per person for a choice of 5 savoury and 2 sweet dishes.
If you’re on the beach we suggest you take our lovely cast iron stove down with you for a focal point and to