ESCAPE LONDON – Beautiful countryside, a friendly welcome and special touches at La Fosse in Cranbourne, Dorset
The drive to Cranbourne from London is about 2 hours, half of which is through pretty country lanes, sadly by the time I left it was dark so I did not get to see them. Driving through the winding country lanes at night made me realise what a city girl I am, as it took me a while to remember how to turn my full beam lights on and off. On arrival I could not help but notice all of the amazing bright stars in the sky, they were stunning and quite a breathtaking sight. This is not to say I have never seen stars, but in the big city lights of London they are often masked, so seeing them was a real treat along with smelling the refreshing country air. La Fosse is situated in the quaint village of Cranbourne and the outside of the B&B is decorated with pretty window boxes, which only enhances it’s beauty and a lovely village pub stands opposite.
Right from the moment you walk in, you feel welcome, the lounge area has a relaxed homely look and the inside ensures you feel as much in the countryside as you do standing outside under the beautiful stars. Our room was lovely, very spacious, with a huge double bed which was adorned with cream cushions and a duck down duvet. The bed is probably one of the most comfortable that I have discovered on my travels and thankfully make it hard to stay awake when laying on it. The room had a cute two seater sofa, as well as a lovely range of Dorset teas and fresh filter coffee. The adjoining bathroom was modern, with mosaic tiles, fluffy white towels and a lovely heated floor! It is a shame that there were no wash clothes provided and the water pressure was a little too low for a long shower, but the heated floor and blissful bed certainly made up for that.
The bed is probably one of the most comfortable that I have discovered on my travels and thankfully make it hard to stay awake when laying on it.
After an amazing sleep, we looked out of the window to see the pretty window boxes in the light of day and hear birds cooing. Cute country houses and the church clock could be seen clearly from our window. We headed down for breakfast and the welcome feeling was concreted by the owner Emmanuelle who greeted us with a huge smile. The B&B offers a lovely selection of hot food as well as cereals, fruit and more. I opted for the scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and I am glad I did, it was absolutely delicious and suitably paired with local piping hot coffee. What really makes La Fosse special is not just the amazing beds, heated bathroom floor and friendly service, it is that they go above and beyond to make your time at La Fosse memorable. Emmanuelle helped us choose the right option for us to enjoy our weekend in the country, there are local hikes, bicycle rides and just a 15 minute drive down the road the New Forest. We popped upstairs to put on our walking shoes and before leaving were delighted to be given a very thoughtful packed lunch including an icepack, fruit, nuts, sandwiches and water in a back pack to take on our hike. This really made our day, it is such a sweet and well thought out gesture which enabled us to hike as long as we liked without having to stop to find a pub for lunch.
What really makes La Fosse special is not just the amazing beds, heated bathroom floor and friendly service, it is because they go above and beyond to make your time at La Fosse memorable.
The New Forest is everything we wanted and more, we were lucky enough to see cute baby donkeys, cows, horses running free in the forest and some little ducks. As an animal lover it was a pleasure to see these beautiful beasts as nature intended, roaming free, not caged or in a small field with limited space. There are so many places to hike and the air is such a pleasure to fill your lungs with. We chose to walk across a field and into the forest, all of the views were stunning and the very few locals we came across were very friendly. We walked a good few miles and by deciding not to take the main paths, we managed to walk into a bog or two, but it was all in the fun of enjoying country life for the weekend.
When we got back, the bed was calling me, so I lay down and drifted off into a welcome nap. On waking happy and rested, we noticed each room was named after a cheese, very apt for a place known for it’s amazing selection of cheese. The food at La Fosse is all very fresh, so it is not surprising to find out that almost all of it comes from local suppliers, who they list on the back of their menus and even the coffee is local. Emmanuelle was sweet enough to offer a fish which had been caught fresh that day by their game keeper and was not yet on the menu. However, I decided instead to opt for the Baked black garlic marinated goats cheese and Crab apple butter, and the Smoked haddock and hake chowder, samphire and pan hagerty. The meal began with some tasty home baked sour dough bread, with local butter and perfectly crisp Marlborough Sauvignon wine. The baked goats cheese was cooked delightfully and melted in my mouth, while the haddock and hake were a tasty mix of creamy sauce and perfectly cooked fish. It is clear that the chef Mark knows what he is doing and was kind enough to come out to describe the award winning cheeseboard they are famous for. Emmanuelle brought over a cider brandy that had been perfectly paired with the cheese. All of the cheese is locally sourced and is absolutely outstanding, so it is not wonder they have been highly recommended by the Best British Cheese Awards and featured in the Good Food Guide.
The food at La Fosse is all very fresh, so it is not surprising to find out that almost all of it comes from local suppliers, who they list on the back of their menus and even the coffee is local.
After a hearty meal, we headed up the stairs with smiling faces and full bellies for a second very welcome good nights sleep. The next morning as we said our goodbyes and thanked Emmanuelle for her amazing hospitality, we were greeted with yet another special surprise. A lovely little basket of local foods to take home, including rindless cured bacon from the Stone Family Farm, Choccake chocolates, home made La Fosse bread, local coffee and Cranbourne cheese, a beautiful parting gift which only enhanced the wonderful weekend we had spent at La Fosse in Dorset.
If you are looking for the perfect British countryside getaway where you can enjoy the fresh country air, beautiful views, hearty local food, a thoughtful homely welcome and lovely nature, then La Fosse is the perfect choice! La Fosse is far from your average B&B and can be enjoyed by couples, friends and families alike. .
London House, The Square, Cranborne, Dorset BH21 5PR
Heart London Magazine 5 * Rating
Value for money 5
Cat, Heart London Magazine