London Economic New Forest Escape at a Mediterranean pace

The white pony sitting in the middle of the road had the right idea. Unhurried, unflustered, refusing to move for any of the honking cars that were quickly backing up behind him. Though why should he? This little corner of the New Forest belongs to him, and things move at a decidedly different pace around here.

So, we carefully inched around our supine new friend and turned up the long driveway to Burley Manor, where we firmly intended to follow his example and do as little as possible for the next 24 hours.

The early signs suggested we were in the right place. Inside this impressive old manor house, the atmosphere was stately and serene with guests secluding themselves in stylish, high-backed chairs to take tea, chatter discretely or immerse themselves in a paperback…