Right now the Muddy lunchboxes are a virtuous smorgasbord of homemade soups, lentils and salads. However, it is possible to be on a new year healthy eating trip and still eat out (honest!). Here are our favourite local spots for lard-free dining while we’re still feeling virtuous. If we’ve missed anywhere good near you, do pop a mention in the comment box below. Ready to tuck in?
The food offering of Lime Wood’s famous Herb House Spa, Raw & Cured is the place to go for fresh, local produce, smoked and cured meat and fish made in-situ and a good dose of perfection with your healthy lunch. Certain to “fix” any naughty cravings you may have, you now also have total justification for a spa day.
If you’re dabbling with Veganuary, or have already made the switch to a plant-based lifestyle, then one place you must visit is Offbeet Food. This eatery has two spots in Hampshire, one in the fabulous Chesapeake Mill (perfect for some browsing afterwards) and Sunnyfields Farm in the New Forest. Its entire menu is completely vegan and ethically sourced and what’s even better is there is absolutely no compromise on taste, quality or excitement in its dishes. Even the most dedicated meat-eater will enjoy their meal from this place.
The Cow, Tapnell Farm, Isle of Wight
A keto-dieters dream! Many people are becoming increasingly aware of finding out exactly where their food comes from and The Cow Co at Tapnell Farm
is one of the best when it comes from the farm to fork movement. While it’s no longer a dairy, the farm is committed to preserving the countryside and its system through sustainable farming. With that in mind, its very own restaurant serves up amazing dishes, including beef reared on the Island.
If you want some comforting food that doesn’t come with a thick wedge of regret, then head to The Natural Apothecary in Petersfield for their menu packed with healthy dishes. Granola smoothie bowls, protein-rich salads and a range of cakes that are vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it?
Forget Buddha Bowls, Greedo has Jabba
Bowls. These tasty dishes are packed with fantastically fresh ingredients from local producers and get the perfect balance between a bit of naughty while still being nice to your body. As well as the Insta-fabulous salads, they also do some cracking burgers and vegan fare for all preferences.
Thai food is bursting with fresh ingredients and metabolism-boosting chilli flavours, and one of the best in Hampshire has got to be Zen Garden. One of the brilliant restaurants at New Forest’s Careys Manor, it’s also linked to the hotel’s award-winning SenSpa. Choose to sit inside the Thai-inspired interior or out in the private garden for a relaxing (and sin-free) meal.
Mini-chain Pho popped up last year in Gunwharf’s newly monikered, Spinnaker Dining Quarter, and it’s one of those places you feel positively angelic upon entering. Super fresh ingredients, vegan options and plenty of vegetables to counteract any naughtiness – you’ll also be able to enjoy a bracing walk afterwards (granted it’ll be around the shops smashing the credit card, but one vice at a time, hey!)
This gorgeous little country inn is nestled in the beautiful New Forest and has organic credentials at its heart. If you want food that is made with local produce, that’s in season, then this is the place for you. Sink into its cosy interior and enjoy Gastropub grub that is free from any additives and empty calories.
This little coffee shop has a brilliant view of Winchester’s famous cathedral and has a menu packed with hyperlocal fare and flavours. With a rotating menu, you can choose from dishes such as tahini battered courgette, gooey homemade Scotch Eggs – perfect for protein packing – and much more. Idyllically located for people watching as well.
Also in Winchester, this eatery really ramps up the healthy side of things with their super colourful Bircher Pots and Avo Toast. Here you can chow down on some of the freshest of fare, beautifully presented with a total smugness that you’re being super healthy. It’s also the ideal place to grab a bite if you’re a veggie, vegan or have any dietary requirements – everybody is catered for without having to forego anything tastewise.
You don’t need to head to the bigger towns and cities of Hampshire to find healthy and veggie fare. House Twenty8 is a family-run coffee shop tucked away in the countryside (it’s about 6 miles from Basingstoke) and slings it’s very own cold-pressed juices, refined-sugar-free items, plus gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan options. If you’re looking for something to boost your immunity, detox that poor liver or just want to drink something that isn’t rammed with sugar, they’ll be happy to help.
Sushi and sashimi is always a winner whether you’re counting points, skipping carbs or just looking for fresh, healthy cuisine. Yamazaki has been delighting Basingstoke dieters and Asian-food fans for a while with its bright, colourful and varied menu. If fish isn’t your thing, then they also have a range of healthy soups, salads and noodle dishes PLUS, if you’re feeling a bit lazy after all that new jogging malarkey, they also do delivery. Virtuous and convenient – score!