The Haven Restaurant Lymington - a fabulous lunch
Top Lymington river and sea view accompanied by delicious dining and first rate service.
A first class lunch served in style to our table in a divine setting looking out over the Lymington River and across the Solent to the Isle of Wight, what more could one ask for on a beautiful summer’s day?
We had the choice of the ‘Terrace Menu’, sitting out in the sunshine (or in the shade) on the stylish terrace, a sandwich menu or a more substantial set of options in the restaurant itself – in our case at a beautifully laid table with prime view, in amongst the restaurant atmosphere, yet perfect for quiet and private conversation too.
The gorgeous summer weather helped, but the warmth of our welcome by manager Helen Wood and the whole of her happy team could be imagined at any time of year.
A delicious lunch at The Haven Restaurant
The Haven’s menu prides itself on being seasonal with a significant nod towards the sea it so majestically overlooks. The menu changes regularly - that said, scallops, mussels, whitebait, Keralean fish curry, dressed crab, fish and chips are all so popular there would be an uprising if ever removed from the menu.
The seafood is, nonetheless, balanced well for those who would prefer not to eat fish. Ribeye steak and the famous Haven burger mingle with a zingy cajun chicken with fennel, orange and lentil salad. Whilst vegetarians have delectable options such as beetroot, ricotta and pistachio salad and a refreshing pea, asparagus and mint risotto.
After much deliberation, we chose the Scallops with Pea Purée, Chorizo and Pea Fricassee and the Crispy Fried Whitebait with Tartare Sauce.
The scallops were divine, delicately cooked and presented on a vibrant bed of pea purée, the perfect match for flavour and texture, and dressed with pea shoots. The dish was “out of this world…”, not too filling and an ideal summer entrée.
The generous portion of whitebait was served with a punchy, homemade tartare sauce. Flavoursome and delicate, the whitebait were delicately coated and perfectly crisp.
We chose Dressed Crab served with Fries, Salad and Lemon Mayonnaise and Haven Moules with White Wine and Cream Sauce, served with crusty bread. The recommendation was to have a starter-sized Moules with side of fries rather than the ‘man-sized’ main course size… and this proved to be well-founded advice! The starter portion is incredibly generous – and on seeing the main size delivered to another table, it was definitely for larger appetites!
Neither required a side dish, however we had to sample the popular Crushed Peas with Bacon, having heard so many good things about it! Incredibly flavoursome and vibrant – the perfect match for much of the menu and totally recommended.
The Dressed Crab was fresh, summery and delicious, served on baby leaves and cucumber ribbons, perfectly accompanied by the light lemon mayonnaise. The fries were crispy and delightfully served in a pot on the side.
The Haven’s dessert menu is simple but perfect. The choice of New Forest ice creams and sorbets, cheeseboard featuring Isle of Wight cheeses, banana cheesecake, rich chocolate mousse, sticky toffee pudding and Affrogato – something for everyone.
We chose the Sticky Toffee Pudding and Affrogato. The Sticky Toffee Pudding balanced perfectly a light, moist, ‘melt-in-the-mouth’ sponge with a sweet and gooey toffee sauce.
The Affrogato was incredible: served magnificently on a platter, it was unsurprising to learn that once spotted passing a table, more orders usually follow. A cocktail glass held the vanilla icecream, onto which I tentatively poured the Amaretti and a dash of coffee. The result: divine! I don’t drink coffee, but this was the most incredible thing I have tasted in years and I will certainly be returning for another very soon.
Lunch was a wonderful experience, unquestionably good food in picturesque surroundings and with excellent service. The only sadness was when we had to leave...
The Haven is one of those places where you feel on holiday – no matter the time of day or what the elements are doing outside.
Whether you stop by for breakfast or mid-morning coffee (ideal to combine with a walk along the sea wall - well behaved dogs and children always welcome!), sundowners on the terrace (with live music on a Sunday) or enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner, you’ll receive a warm, happy welcome.
Open every day from 8am until late, The Haven is perfect for every time of day and every occasion.
The Breakfast Menu includes a generously sized full English Haven Breakfast and Vegetaran Breakfast, as well as our personal favourites, Crushed and Spiced Avocado and Free Range Poached Eggs on Toasted Bloomer, Eggs Benedict and simple Toast and Tiptree Jam.
The Sandwich Menu includes the Haven’s Famous ‘Fish Finger’ Sandwich, a true family favourite in this household! All sandwiches are substantial and served with fries and a salad.
Reassuringly, the Haven’s Children’s Menu echoes the main menu rather than providing the usual drearly ‘brown food’ choices and includes Smoked Salmon, Hummus with Flat Bread, Moules Mariniere, Fish Fingers with Fries and Crushed Peas and Bacon and more… certainly enough to keep Mum happy as well as the kids!
The Terrace Menu has been carefully designed for enjoyment outside and includes menu favourites such as Poole Bay Oysters, Whitebait, a Salmon Platter to share, Moules Marinere and the Haven Burger.
11 July 2018