December 12 2009
Visiting Lime Wood, the rather fabulous new luxury hotel in the heart of the New Forest, I rather expected to find a few wild and wonderful ingredients on the menu: chefs are very fond these days of foraging, hunting and rustling up their own salamis and smoked salmon, and the woodland setting lends itself to such things.
Director of cuisine Alex Aitken (pictured), however, takes things a stage further. He is also a beef farmer, rearing a small herd of Dexter cattle nearby. The good news for diners is that his excellent beef features on the menu at the hotel: the Dexter T-bone with sauce béarnaise, for instance, at £25, or the top round, cured in the Lime Wood smokehouse to make bresaola (£8, as part of the “smokehouse platter”). As far as the food chain is concerned, Alex Aitken seems to have mastered every link of it.