4 easy ideas for memorable 60th, 70th, 80th birthdays.
Busy? And got to organise an impressive celebration, that has clearly taken a lot of thought and effort. Well, we can do the last two for you.
Here are our tried and tested top guide for busy organisers, (or Here's our guide to the best ideas we've come across whilst avoiding a nervous breakdown and getting a break yourself):
Idea 1. Take a boat taxi to a smart lunch.... Go for a lunch at The Master Builders Hotel. Great if you're staying at Beaulieu Brickworks and Gins Barn - both have deep water jettys onto the river.
The boat taxi can pick up up from either jetty - since this is one of the only private rivers in England, this is quite a privilege and it's a 20 minute journey along this prettiest of English rivers to the tiny village of Bucklers Hard. The taxi will take you 15-20 minutes and is dependent on the tides and weather. It wanders in and around the curves of the river and you'll have the best view of some of the countries chicest houses and yachts.
In the 18th century it was a shipbuilding village including those built for Nelson's Navy. Now there are wide grassy spaces framed by pretty brick cottages, the maritime museum at the top of the hill and the river, filled with boats at the bottom. The hotel itself is smart and tips it's hat to the admiralty throughout. Views are boaty and food is well considered, local where possible and good value - you'll get 10% off by booking with us too.
When there do walk about and read up on the ship building. A trip to the museum is good value and will explain much of the history of the New Forest area.
Approx' £25 - £50 for food. Boat taxi is £20 per trip. The taxi runs most of the year but it is weather dependent and they don't like to commit to a specific time - their purpose is to serve the yachts on the river, so you will need to fit in around them.
Idea 2. For those staying at Pitts Deep... Locally-caught lobster and bonfire night with a storyteller to wow you with local folk tales.
Pitts Deep is such a special place it's heaven with nothing going on, but it's easy to ramp it up for a celebration with a few well chosen extras that can be tweaked depending on the weather.
My favourite is to get a chef in and have local lobster on the beach, followed up after dark by a seaside bonfire under the giant pine trees. For cream on the cake ask Mike, our storyteller, to join you for the evening. If it rains you can do all of this inside and have stories around the wood burner.
Mike O Leary is a well respected story-teller who's a superb wordsmith. He's performed in children's hospitals and literary festivals across Europe and he's great fun too.
Approx' £20 - £50 per head for food and Mike is £150 for 2 hours including travel.
Don't forget we have an offer for guests with FarmersChoice for local and fresh food delivered to your cottage.
Idea 3. Book into The Pig Hotel and Restaurant in Brockenhurst for a spoily lunch.
The Pig is multi-award winning and just as lovely as everyone says it is. We love it there and go often. You will need to book early.
The best bit is that they're great with kids and the walled gardens are fantastic for impromptu games of catch and hide, as well as being flat, gravelled and quiet for gentle walks for less mobile adults or toddling children.
We often suggest that people who can walk through the forest to get there take the day and set off, whilst the less mobile or less willing drive over and meet the hikers. There are some good short walks near The Pig anyway and you can park in their car park and walk from there. (Ditto Limewood to be honest).
For those coming from Lymington, you can even catch the train to Brockenhurst and walk to the Hotel from the train station. It's just down the road which can be a little busy, so it's not ideal for families with small kids. It's worth the trip tho' and once you're there you won't be disappointed.
Approx £10 per head for coffee and cake and from £10 - £70 per head for meals. £15 - £20 for breakfast.
The Pig Hotel Brockenhurst.
Idea 5. If you're staying at any of our houses.... then do a posh picnic, champagne and nibbles on the beach.
There are various quiet beaches around our houses and we'll talk you through the best one for your purposes.
Some have fantastic climbing trees, others have wooden groynes on them perfect for balancing games for grandchildren, others have mud for tracking animals that live on the beach and yet more have sand castling sand or get cut off by the tide for 'total escape' days.
Tanners Lane is our favourite and nearest Eat me Drink me Cottage and Ploughmans Cottage. You can also park there. Or near The Old Post Office, there are lovely beaches toward the west that get sandier with Avon beach being particularly lovely.
We love to get a takeaway curry or fish and chips and head down to our local beach. It's fun to take champagne is tin mugs and walk the quiet coast and explore gnarly trees and play pooh-sticks on the footpath bridge. Dogs can go off the lead here through the year and the birdlife is always busy here too.
Grey Sparrow in Lymington do fabulous picnic boxes. There is a superb chocolaterie in Beaulieu. Solent Cellar will deliver champagne to your house. All give our clients a discount.
(Don't forget that FarmersChoice will do local, fresh and seasonal food delivered to your cottage).