Nothing terrible, just a rather dated feel to the decor, service and overall ethos. It simply felt as if the staff needed a little updating of their professional skills. No-one offered to help with luggage on arrival or departure (we managed OK, but if we'd been less fit, maybe not). The lady taking our breakfast orders seemed to favour "interrogation" as her service style and kept hovering like a prison warder overseeing the inmates, making it difficult to relax and enjoy the otherwise very good breakfast. I don't think any of this behaviour was deliberate - just a lack of awareness of how to have a professional presence.
Supper was a puzzlingly mixed bag - ranging from excellent in some places to rather poor in others.A fabulous tuna starter cooked with flair and imagination; really whetted my appetite for a then rather average chicken course with (inexplicably) two styles of potato, while my husband's very nice trout was accompanied by rather awful greasily fried and over-salted samphire. We declined pudding but tasted a tiramisu rejected by another table, which was made up almost entirely of cream. Apparently the chef was fairly new and was perhaps grappling with an old menu designed by another chef while trying to establish his own style. He did show real promise in some dishes so I hope he gets the chance to expand his own repertoire and bring some fresh new ideas to the menu (while taking care to learn the classics!) We were also a bit phased when asked to pre-order our food at the time of booking our table, and also to find that our time slot was deemed "full" with only two covers. This led to a very empty restaurant with little buzz or atmosphere. If only serving 8 covers per evening, why not stagger them to overlap more and bring some life and energy in the room, while allowing us time to sit and choose from the menu with a glass of wine in hand.
Reasonable sized "superior" room with comfortable seating area and access to garden, plus whirlpool bath. Robes provided in bathroom,plus a fan, and a fridge with fresh milk and water supplied. Very good breakfast. Overall I think the owners really want all their customers to be happy and try their best to please, even if sometimes this makes some of the staff over-anxious and easily flustered.
The position is excellent for forays all over the New Forest - even on foot, and is ideal for families with young children who can book an apartment, also dog-owners who are warmly welcomed, and older couples wanting a traditional style hotel with a familiar and homely atmosphere.