I’m always on the lookout for cute countryside pubs, especially dog-friendly ones, and I’ve found a beauty, The Filly Inn, a mile south of Brockenhurst in Hampshire in the heart of the New Forest with its wonderful landscape and ponies.
The Filly Inn has just recently reopened after an extensive renovation and it has been beautifully done, with open fireplaces, cosy corners with soft velvet and leather seating, walnut timber panelling, cute floral upholstery in the dining room, and a stunning garden with festoon lighting, parasols and wildflowers.
As it was lovely with a chance of rain, it is the UK after all, we sat outside but under the shelter, which was a great shout as the wind was still a little chilly, but they even think about that as most of the sits have blankets draped over them. I think it is those tiny and cosy details that makes this place so special.
I love this picturesque corner of the UK, but it is hard to find a great pub, especially in the summer when it is busy, and while The Filly Inn is already very popular it has a very large garden terrace with several cute spots, such as sitting around the olive tree, under the stretch tent, or sheltered under the pergola. The one thing I have to stress – you will need to book.
Inside the newly renovated The Filly Inn in the New Forest
Inside is pretty spectacular. There is a large dining room, I adore the walnut panelling, floral chairs and exposed beams, as well as a bar and snug area around an open fire, and a cosy lounge with lovely large velvet and leather seating areas, perfect for friends to catch up and another fireplace.
This place is filled with character and perfectly marries the traditional feel of a charming 16th-century country inn with modern, comfortable touches. Also, have I said it enough, inside is also all dog friendly!!!
The Filly Inn Menu
When it comes to the food, I was also very impressed. The menu is mixed with heart home-cooked pub food and bistro dishes and small plates for nibbles, as well as offering locally sourced seafood specials and a delicious selection of desserts if you still have room.
Basically, it is a great menu with something for everyone, including meat lovers and vegetarians, plus a number of vegan options that looked yummy.
As we ate at lunchtime, we didn’t have starters, going straight to mains. We went for the pulled beef and bacon burger with smoked cheddar, served with onion rings and fries, the pesto crusted Scottish salmon filet with a warm Niçoise salad and the garlic chicken schnitzel served with a green salad and fries. All delicious, and be prepared for super generous portions.
For dessert, we tried the apple and blackberry flapjack crumble and custard and the sticky toffee pudding and vanilla ice cream, both of which were outstanding. It was hard to choose though as the other options were chocolate posset and raspberries and strawberry Eton mess.
Other standout picks from the menu, basically, what I want to try when I next visit, was the baked camembert, it looked like an incredible sharing plate and the vegan Thai-style street food curry for mains. While my husband liked the look of the Southern fried chicken for starters and the steak and ale pie for mains.
There were a lot of pub classics as well such as fish and chips and sausage and mash, and if you visit on a Sunday be prepared for a great roast dinner, choose from beef, lamb, pork or a veggie option, all served with roast potatoes, buttered seasonal vegetables and gravy.
Great food and somewhere to stay in the New Forest
As well as being a lovely pub to grab a bite to eat with friends to refuel after a long walk in the New Forest, it also has seven newly refurbished en-suite bedrooms, all of which are also dog friendly. I also love that you can even take your dog down to breakfast with you, which I think more hotels should do.
Overall, I love this picturesque pub. Great food and location, easy to find, literally on the main road, lots of parking, incredible service, all the staff were lovely, and such a fabulous atmosphere. We sat outside and you forget you’re close to the main road, it has a tranquil feel to it, I think that is because of the comfortable seating, lights and planting around the tables. It also has a cute wildflower meadow next to the car park.
All I would say is, book now, as The Filly Inn is going to be a hot spot for New Forest tourists and locals.