14th August 2023


One of the pleasures of life, particularly in summer, is dining with a waterside view. In the New Forest and along Christchurch Bay, we are spoiled with a choice of restaurants and pubs beside rivers or on the coast. Here are just a few of Team Spencers’ favourites.

The Noisy Lobster at Avon Beach is a must-visit. This busy, buzzy, family-friendly hang-out is perfectly positioned on the beach among pastel-coloured beach huts. Coastal vibes don’t come better than this! Seafood aficionados will be happy as they serve Mudeford lobster, local crab and fish fresh from the day boats.

The Cliff House at Barton on Sea is a popular restaurant with rooms perched on the clifftop and enjoying breathtaking views across to the Isle of Wight. A good selection of menus is accompanied by an excellent drinks choice, including cocktails such as Cliff Top Garden and Cliff House Sunset which can be sipped in the gardens. It has a seaside sister bar and restaurant at Milford on Sea: The Light House. Located right on the seafront, The Light House has breezy views of Hurst Spit, serves tasty meals throughout the day from breakfast through to supper, and has a laid-back, coastal casual approach, including live music on the terrace every Friday evening throughout summer.

In Lymington, The Haven Wine Bar & Bistro, tucked away in Lymington Yacht Haven, has a nautical vibe and a dining terrace among the yacht masts with ’wrap-around’ views over the Solent. Menus are strong on seafood, from crab to bass.

Away from the coast, The Old Mill, Silver Road, is a riverside pub with rooms. The pub and its waterside gardens have recently been refreshed and now offer a delightfully soothing spot to wind down and relax over breakfast, lunch, dinner or even afternoon tea.