If you’re looking to indulge in the heart of the New Forest then look no further than Cambium. Utilising the region’s best produce, including ingredients from the restaurant’s kitchen garden, head chef Alistair Craig’s dishes are elegantly presented with exquisite flavours.

Daubing deliciously sweet-roasted red pepper purée onto thick slices of crusty homemade bread was just the start of our gastronomic journey at Cambium. Taking a seat at the intimate side-by-side banquette seating, we enjoyed a chilled glass of sauvignon from the list, which celebrates British wine as well as both Old and New World specials. While soaking up the comfortable atmosphere, we admired interior designers Sue and Bonnie Stowell’s serene palette of mossy greens and gold alongside a canvas of hand-painted trees on white walls, gold oak-leaf partitions and bird prints.

This light and bright restaurant is the perfect backdrop for Alistair’s fresh approach to cooking. Our starters were a classic example of the scope of his style. My plate of delicate pheasant egg with leek, brown shrimp and seaweed mayo boasted clean, distinct flavours. My partner’s smoked terrine was the opposite – confident and robust, with spicy chunks of chorizo, chargrilled sweetcorn and punchy spring onion.

The surprises kept coming. My partner’s lamb arrived beautifully blushing and stole the limelight. My brill had a light, crispy skin spiced with cumin and chilli, and was paired with a cool yoghurt dip, cucumber pappardelle and the lightest bhajis I’ve ever tasted.

The best was saved until last. My orange parfait, milk chocolate mousse and ginger cake was warming, spicy, rich and decadent. My partner’s slab of chocolate cremeux with caramel crisps and ice cream was equally indulgent. Our lovely waitress, Anna, has worked at Careys Manor Hotel for over 47 years and she had a plethora of knowledge.

Cambium is a refreshing choice for foodies looking for something magical. Visit for fantastic flavours, flawless service and relaxing surrounds. Our only mistake was not booking a room so we could roll into bed afterwards.

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