Forest Holidays, Blackwood, cabin review
Read Izzy Brimeau’s review of Forest Holidays cabin stay in Blackwood Forest, Hampshire.
By digital producer Izzy Brimeau
Tell us about Forest Holidays, Blackwood
Forest Holidays can be found at many locations across the UK, and so I decided to take some friends along to the Blackwood Forest site in Hampshire (a short journey from my home in central London) to see what all the fuss was about. What waited in store for us was a weekend of feasting, star-gazing and prosecco in an outdoor hot tub.
A quaint wood cabin was our home for the weekend, of which there are plenty of options to choose from, all nestled among towering trees and greenery. The idyllic location offers a brilliant escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
How do you get there?
Trains run direct from London Waterloo to Micheldever Station. On Monday and Friday, Forest Holidays offer a complimentary shuttle from the station. The site is also accessible via the M25, M40, M3.
What’s in the area?
The Bombay Sapphire Distillery is a 15 minute drive away or, in 20 minutes, you can get to the beautiful cathedral city of Winchester. The Hawk Conservancy Trust and Highclere Castle (home to Downtown Abbey) are within a 30 minute drive.
For those looking for an adrenalin-filled activity you can find Go Ape 30 miles away and you’ll receive 10% off as a Forest Holidays guest. Longer drives will take you to Portsmouth (40 miles) or Blenheim Palace (just over an hour).
If you don’t feel like venturing too far from your cabin, there are walking tracks, archery and bikes available for hire on-site in Blackwood Forest.
What’s there to eat?
When it comes to eating, the options are endless. Blackwood Forest has it’s own café offering breakfast, lunch and great coffee. If you don’t have time to head to the supermarket, or are feeling like a lazy night in then one of the food and beverage packs are brilliant. There’s a barbecue meat pack, a breakfast pack complete with fresh croissants, coffee and spreads or themed dinner packs such as curry night or pizza night. The packs can be added on to your booking before arrival and delivered straight to your cabin.
On our first night, we indulged and treated ourselves to an in-cabin chef experience. Not long after we had settled in, there was a knock on the door – it was Yvonne Hamlett, our personal chef for the night who had arrived to work her magic in the kitchen.
We chose our menu and relaxed outside with a few glasses of wine while she prepped away. Dinner started with a smoked duck breast salad.
Next up, we were presented with a cocoa-rubbed fillet of beef with a mouth-watering stilton jus and naked mash (made only with olive oil). The beef was cooked to perfection (medium-rare) and the mash was dreamy despite its lack of butter, milk or cream.
For dessert, we indulged in a salted caramel sticky toffee pudding with vanilla pod crème Anglaise. If you can’t indulge at the weekend, when can you? It really was a delicious end to the meal.
Much to our disbelief and delight, the dishes and mess in the kitchen quickly disappeared and we were left to enjoy the rest of the evening in our hot tub outside. The real challenge was not sinking to the bottom after all that food…
The second night, we fired up the barbecue and cooked up the entire contents of our pre-ordered meat pack. We gorged on burgers, sausages and chicken drumsticks…enjoyed alongside a couple of ciders, of course.
What’s in the cabin?
In the golden oak cabin you’ll find three bedrooms (two twin rooms and a master bedroom with an ensuite), a main bathroom, a large lounge area, kitchen with dining table and an outside patio with a table, barbecue and hot tub. I recommend sitting in the spa with jets massaging your back while staring up at the stars and drinking a glass of prosecco – it doesn’t get much better than that.
The bedrooms are simple, comfortable and have all the basic amenities. The master bedroom is just a slight step above in terms of space and has plush bathrobes and slippers. Bliss.
The kitchens are fully equipped, though you need to provide your own oil, tea, coffee, salt pepper and basic essentials.
Entertainment packages are available providing you with more TV channels than you could ever need, as well as movies and wifi. Our cabin also had a scrabble set which we put to good use and thankfully didn’t end any friendships.
What about the bathroom?
Complimentary Anyah eco spa treatment toiletries are provided and there are different coloured towels (grey and white) – one for showering and one for the spa.
What’s the damage?
Packages vary in price depending on the length of stay, party size and cabin. The cost of three nights in the golden oak cabin (sleeps six) in Blackwood Forest was £1,175.
Anything else to add?
It was the perfect weekend away – the only downfall being that it wasn’t long enough. I would visit again for a romantic getaway, holiday with friends or even a big family get-together.
For more information on Forest Holidays, and the various locations and packages, please visit www.forestholidays.co.uk.