Nestled between the New Forest and the spectacular Dorset coast, lies The Lord Bute – a stunning hotel and restaurant that is steeped in history and oozes remarkable charm and character.

It sits in the original grounds of Highcliffe Castle. Once home to Lord Bute, the Prime Minister of England from 1762 to 1763, the venue is equally grand inside. Now a boutique hotel, parts of the building used to be the original 18th century entrance lodges to Highcliffe Castle but have been transformed into 13 modern, luxury guest bedrooms, including four suites (two boasting their own private gardens).

English charm, luxury detail and local provenance are at the heart of everything the team do at this luxury hotel and restaurant. 

Simon Box and Gary Payne are heading into their 14th year of ownership; since taking over the reins they have tastefully brought The Lord Bute right up to date whilst maintaining and respecting its original heritage.

Today, it is an impressive looking building offering 5* luxury guest accommodation rated by the AA. In fact, a collection of accolades pay homage to their achievements and 2015 is the twelve consecutive year in which they have been highly recommended by the AA and awarded their second AA Rosette. 

In recent years The Lord Bute has scooped a number of awards including; best restaurant in Christchurch, best weekday lunch and best customer service. They also won the 2013 award for Best Sunday Lunch in the Best of the Best Awards. The hotel itself has been awarded with a Highly Commended AA Award which puts them in the top eight per cent of rated hotels.

The Lord Bute is also licensed for marriage ceremonies and civil partnerships with a rage of wedding packages available to select for your special day. For the last 20 years they have been creating fairytale weddings, with a dedicated wedding coordinator on hand to help arrange everything – it is so popular in fact, that bookings for 2016 have already doubled from 2015. 

The Lord Bute will be hosting a Wedding Showcase late January, 2016, enabling visitors to tour the venue and peruse the wedding options. To make your day truly intimate they offer affordable and exclusive use of the whole hotel allowing you and your guests private use of their stunning conservatory, restaurant and rooms for the duration of your celebration.

So, what else makes this local gem stand out?
Step inside and you are greeted with a welcoming, friendly ambience – make your way into one of their 13 beautifully appointed bedrooms or suites and you will surround yourself in luxurious comfort. Stylishly designed, each room is fully equipped with everything you would expect to ensure a blissful night’s sleep. There are also separate suites available for families, weddings and conference meetings.

The decor throughout is fresh and modern - classically styled with silver chandeliers dangling from the ceilings, ornate mirrors adorning the walls and paintings that suggest a real regal air befitting the era.

The air conditioned lounge area is ideal for pre-diner drinks whilst the conservatory styled orangery, with archways opening into the restaurant, provides a relaxing atmosphere in which to enjoy a quiet break or study the sumptuous menu.

The restaurant is a plush room where diners can relax and enjoy mellow sounds of the pianist, saxophonist or jazz musicians which turn a meal into something of an occasion on special show nights.

Cooking up award winning food in the kitchen comes easily to head chef Kevin Brown and he relishes the opportunity to create menus for guests, diners and wedding parties – their dedication to producing fine fare has earned them a Michelin Recommendation and they hold two AA Rosettes for culinary excellence. 

They are proud to offer a brand new a la carte menu and wine list, with seasonal specialities and local ingredients utilised wherever possible.  

Head chef Kevin Brown and the whole kitchen, restaurant and hotel team work attentively to maintain high standards of food and impeccable service for which they have built a reputation for in the local community. It’s no surprise then that people return time and time again for its silver service, live music nights, relaxing atmosphere and quality fare. 

This Christmas, The Lord Bute hosts a selection of special party nights throughout December with a range of festive packages available to book in advance. 
Three-course dinner and Jazz nights are held every Wednesday throughout December on 2, 9, 16 and 23. Don’t miss their special Show Nights with The Scarlet Swing Singers on December 11 and 15.

Or don your black tie for a dinner-dance celebration on New Year’s Eve. Reservations for all events are essential to secure your table. Special Jazz nights and cabaret shows are also run throughout the year, their scrumptious four-course Sunday luncheon is simply a must.

Being situated just a five minute drive from the sandy beaches, two miles from the centre of Christchurch, eight miles from Bournemouth and teetering on the edge of the beautiful New Forest, The Lord Bute is a unique venue that boasts charm and character aplenty and is somewhere really rather special, we think. 

•    The Lord Bute Hotel and Restaurant, 181-185 Lymington Road, Highcliffe BH23 4JS. For bookings, event updates and dining packages, call 01425 278884, or visit www.lordbute.co.uk