Lymington, a beautiful seaside town located at the heart of the New Forest, known for its weekly Saturday markets, Sea Water Swimming Baths and optimal location, is also the home of some lovely cafés, one being the hidden gem of 'The Larder'.

I'm a fan of a café. I think it's the perfect location for any occasion - family outings, friend gatherings, solo studying. I also really love independent cafés - they offer much more personality than the basic chain locations, and the goods provided may be more expensive, but you can taste the love in them, making it worth every penny. I've toured most of the cafés in Lymington over the years, and 'The Larder' is certainly my favourite.  Tucked down a quaint side street, the petite cosy café lies. Decked with outside seating, with a canopy, blankets and heaters - perfect for these slightly nippy months, and a rustic, homely interior, the location offers that warming, homely feel we all look for in a good café. Open for breakfast and lunch, the restaurant caters to the needs of most, serving 'tartines', sharing platters, tapas, stews, deli specials and of course, the essential to any café - cake. They also bend to fit the needs of kids too, altering the menu to satisfy their tastebuds. My general view is that the location provides well-priced, feel-good food - quite often, when eating out, you tend to leave with an uncomfortable, heavy stomach, but not here; I left, hunger-satisfied and a light stomach. 

I was greeted by several smiling faces, one I think the manager - he, unlike most public service workers these days, was sunny and chatty, making the effort to make each customer feel comfortable and important. I was there with my mum, and we were having a conversation about blueberries, as you do, and he brought her out a small pot of them, and asked what she thought - free of charge. Services like that really aren't something you come across every day, and made our visit memorable and special. 

As for the food, I ordered one of the 'tartines' - I had never heard of the dish before, and I don't know anywhere else that provides them. In theory, it's toasted sourdough with salad, oil and balsamic glaze. I ordered 'The Pesto'; the sourdough topped with a mouth-watering, rich pesto, chicken, bacon, mozzarella and basil infused oil. The dish was light, and exactly what one needs for lunch. The bacon was perfectly cooked, and the chicken moist - I'd have ideally liked more, but I think I'm just greedy!  I'm always a fan of a balsamic glaze, and the salad was fresh too (which is sadly rare, as there have been so many times I've been on the receiving end of floppy lettuce and sad looking tomatoes, way past their prime). The smoothie I had, the 'Energising', containing mango, banana, chia seeds, orange and coconut milk, was a pleasant surprise. I could taste every ingredient, again a rarity, which was lovely. 

The only grievance I have is that they ran out of a few items, so my mum and sister had to alter what they wanted. However, we did make the order towards closing time and it was very busy, and money doesn't grow on trees - there can't be an endless supply - so it's not a massive 'bug bear'. 

Anyways, if you're ever in Lymington, I'd heavily recommend popping into 'The Larder' for a quick bite.