I was very kindly invited to stay at The Master Builder’s in return for a review. However, as always, all opinions are entirely my own.
The New Forest is incredible. I’ve been there with my parents a few times and it’s one of those places I always speak so highly of. Mike had never been so it made total sense to whisk him away there for a weekend as it’s not too far to drive to.
Popping the postcode into Google Maps, I gave Mike the instructions to head onto the M25, then pull off to the M3 and then to follow my instructions from there. Along the way, Mike guessed we were going to Bournemouth, Southampton, Portsmouth and then from reading road signs, he guessed Eastleigh and Totton.
It wasn’t until we were minutes away from pulling onto the famous Beaulieu Road that he realised where we were heading. With stunning shades of Auburn trees lining the road with flashes of black, brown and white that Mike was excited to find out were horses, donkeys and cows that roam freely.
After pointing out every horse and cow we saw along the way, we soon pulled into the car park of The Master Builder’s in Buckler’s Hard, an area dripping with maritime history.
In the early 18th Century, Buckler’s Hard was a shipbuilding hub. Henry Adams, a master shipbuilder, grew Buckler’s Hard to national prominence and won plenty of Royal Navy contracts, amongst those Royal Navel contracts were the HMS Euryalus, HMS Swiftsure, and HMS Agamemnon, which fought at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
During the Second World War, Buckler’s Hard was home to a motor torpedo base and, further downstream, sections of the Mulberry harbours were constructed in preparation for the D-Day landings. Such an incredible part of wartime history.
But today, Buckler’s Hard is almost a normal village! Many of the people who live in the area are now employed through the tourism industry as it’s a very popular tourist destination. They are also doing a lot to keep the area in tip-top condition so they can share their history for years to come.
The hotel itself, if you’ve not guessed from the name, was Henry Adam’s, the Master Builders, home. I love learning about the history of where we stay as it makes it so much more enjoyable with us being such a pair of history nerds. We had a lovely tour of the public spaces before being left to our own devices.
We, of course, used the rare sunshine to open up the blinds and take some photos in the wonderful amount of natural light that was flooding in through the window. Our room was nautical themed which was so on brand for me, which I had a good giggle about when we were handed our keys. I’d actually spied the room on the website and had hoped we’d end up with it, so that was great.
The bed was so comfortable, there was plenty of hanging room for our clothes for dinner and the following day and the bathroom had a very lush rainfall style shower with the biggest showerhead I’ve seen and need when we move! I’m a little fed up of staying in wonderfully quirky hotel rooms or Airbnb’s that don’t have any hanging space for your clothes. It might seem like a petty point to bring up but I don’t want to waste time on my weekend away ironing as my bag has creased my clothes! But that wasn’t an issue at Master Builder’s.
After we had done with our photoshoot in the room we took another wander around the hotel to take in all the wonderful spaces that would be soon be filled with guests as they were beginning to check in.
It felt quite surreal to see the restaurant we would be dining in that evening totally empty. It did have quite an outdoorsy feel to it desptie being indoors. The green of the walls, the festoon lights and the array of plants around the room paired with the natural light pouring in from the huge windows did give such a welcoming feeling.
The lounge, of an evening, has the log fire lit and makes for a perfect place for drinking a glass or two of wine before or after dinner. During the day there were many guests reading newspapers, drinking tea and playing Scrabble.
The size of the fireplace is pretty much what I want when we move; a girl can dream, right? I’d love a house as big as Master Builder’s.
We spent our afternoon lunching on homemade sandwiches and pots of tea at The Captain’s Cabin Tea Rooms in Buckler’s Hard, wanding around the Maritime Museum learning about the Buckler’s Hard story and visiting the Shipwright’s Cottage, St Mary’s Chapel and the 18th Century Launchways. It was such a lovely day and we felt so immersed in all of the history of the area.
In the evening we dined in the restaurant in Master Builder’s and had breakfast there too, but you’ll have to pop back later this week to see how that went!