6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Hampshire Life today click here

A forest Oasis - Restaurant review on Little Mere in North Gorley

17:52 02 July 2010

A forest Oasis - Restaurant review on Little Mere in North Gorley

A forest Oasis - Restaurant review on Little Mere in North Gorley

Little Mere in North Gorley may look quaint and traditional from the outside, but its interior and menu promise fine dining delights

As we neared the Little Mere Restaurant in the picturesque New Forest village of North Gorley, the sun was slowly sinking, casting picturesque shadows across the village green. By the side of the road, ponies, cows and even a couple of donkeys lazily munched on the grass oblivious to their human observers.
This was certainly to be an evening to remember. Upon our arrival, we were greeted with a pleasant smile and we sipped our drinks in the conservatory while perusing the menu (which changes every five or six weeks or so).
The choice was varied, approximately six starters, mains and desserts, but eventually we decided upon seared scallops and cream of leek and pea soup to follow our canaps, along with which I chose to try the homemade bread delicious.
For those who have not visited Little Mere previously, the restaurant is just part of a wider set up (tearooms, restaurant and bed and breakfast).
This offers a unique way to cater for all visitors to the New Forest and is obviously very popular. Opened in December 2004 Little Mere is clearly a local favourite and I can see why. Head chef Simon Reed has created a wonderful selection of dishes that are as pleasing to the eye as they are to taste.


Plenty of passion
I chose the fillets of Poole Bay plaice, deep fried in Japanese breadcrumbs and served with smoked chilli jam, while my wife was full of admiration for her pan seared gilt head bream dish with sauted crayfish tails. Again, the presentation of both matched the taste, with flavours swapping places on the palate with every mouthful. All the vegetables were also cooked to perfection, something that a number of restaurants now tend to overlook.
There is clearly a passion for food that comes from the kitchen and the attention to detail of each dish, and the subtle blending of flavours really was a stand out feature of the entire meal. Other main dishes on offer included breast of organic fed chicken; tomato, spinach and goats cheese galette; tournedos of British fillet steak with chasseur sauce or braised Hampshire lamb hot pot.
With the restaurant now starting to fill, the attentive staff helped to create an atmosphere akin to dining with friends. This we both felt was helped by the intimate feel of the restaurant, where clearly those around us were regular diners at Little Mere, perhaps North Gorleys best-kept secret!


Delectable dessert
Having rested for a short while, it was time to look again at the dessert menu and the choice was no less difficult. Eventually my wifes love of strawberry mousse tian with clotted cream won the day and I couldnt resist the thought of a white chocolate and raspberry ganache tart with savoury raspberries. I have to say that it was simply the most delicious dessert that I have tasted in years, though I could so easily have opted for the mango and passionfruit cheesecake........another weakness!
Manager Nikki Robson can rightly be very proud of Little Mere, which many will have passed without realising the standards of excellence that she and her team have created within. The website suggests that advance bookings are made due to the number of covers available and given the local interest too, I can understand why.
By the time we left after coffees, the animals we had chanced upon on our arrival had all long since retired for the night, but like them well be back to this little oasis in the New Forest.
In truth, I had never heard of North Gorley before, despite being a Hampshire resident for many years, but whether you are looking to finish off a perfect day in the forest or you simply appreciate wonderful food then a visit is a must.


Book your table
Little Mere Restaurant
Ringwood Road
North Gorley
SP6 2PB
Tel. 01425 657628
www.littlemere.com

0 comments

More from Food & Drink

Thu, 17:05

All you can eat rodizio dining is like nothing you’ve had before!

Read more
Tue, 10:46

Whether you’re looking for fine dining, pub food, a romantic meal for 2 or a taste of something from further afield, eating out in Hampshire really has something for everyone. Here’s our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Friday, February 17, 2017

Treat yourself to lunch and tea with a visit to one of these fantastic Hampshire tea rooms.

Read more
Friday, February 3, 2017

The Terrace Restaurant is one of the finest restaurants in the New Forest...

Read more
Monday, January 30, 2017

Winchester Cocktail Week is back to whet the whistle, with quizzes, masterclasses and some fabulous concoctions

Read more
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

As the temperatures plummet and winter nights darken the mood, Winchester Cocktail Week offers an ideal distraction. Now in its second year, the event offers classes, workshops and a chance to try some of the fantastic creations on offer

Read more
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Get a kick out of the New Year with delicious blow-torched mackerel with apple and wasabi remoulade

Read more
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Hampshire excels as a wine growing region, yet finding the right recipe for success can be a tricky business. Viv Micklefield heads to the Meon Valley’s Wickham Vineyard where it’s time to raise a glass to its future

Read more
Thursday, January 12, 2017

Save up to 40% on a stunning tasting menu at this award-winning restaurant.

Read more
Thursday, December 15, 2016

Christmas lunch is the most eagerly anticipated meal of the year and whether you’re catering for the whole family or it’s a more intimate affair

Read more
Friday, December 9, 2016

This gin-cured venison carpaccio with pickled mushrooms is sure to get the party started

Read more
Monday, November 28, 2016

Hampshire has a food scene which is more vibrant than many others across the UK. This category celebrates the individual who has made the most impact on the food community – someone who goes the extra mile to promote Hampshire to a wider audience and is passionate about local produce throughout.

Read more
Monday, November 28, 2016

The Hampshire Life Food & Drink Awards returned for the eleventh year with a fantastic ceremony taking place at The Elvetham Hotel in Hartley Wintney on Wednesday 23 November. Here we announce the winners

Read more
Thursday, November 24, 2016

This award is designed to praise a local food and drink industry related business for their excellent awareness of their customers’ needs.

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad
Hampshire Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Hampshire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Property Search

Search For a Car In Your Area