The Montagu Arms’ head chef and Roux Scholar, Matthew Tomkinson, has shared one of his exciting recipes from his new kitchen.

A £300,000 re-build of The New Forest’s Montagu Arms’ kitchen was completed at the end of last year, with the restaurant remaining open throughout.

Designed by Matthew himself, the new kitchen has propelled the hotel’s cooking facilities into the 21st century.

Matt says: “The changes we have made to the kitchen will have such a positive impact on everything we do, for a long time to come.

“It was important to eradicate the elements that involved wasting time, allowing us to invest more time in creativity and developing our dishes. The easier the daily chores are means we will have more time to invest in improving our food.” He says.

The Montagu Arms launched a brand new a la carte menu; a new Signature Tasting Menu (which includes a selection of dishes that The Terrace has become rightly famous for) and for more adventurous foodies, a Surprise Tasting Menu using the best of the day’s seasonal produce.

Located in one of England’s beautiful national parks, quality local produce is abundant and these new recipes reflect this enviable setting. He says: “The New Forest is my larder and what a larder it is!”.

In addition, the large kitchen garden on the grounds – with its own dedicated gardener – provides organic fruit, vegetables and eggs, which are showcased together with Hampshire and Dorset’s best local produce in his imaginative, seasonal menus.

Here is one of Matthew’s new recipes - Chilled New Forest Strawberry Consommé with Lemon Verbena Sorbet and Almond Tuile to whet your appetite.

For more information, see

Matthew Tomkinson’s Chilled New Forest Strawberry Consommé with Lemon Verbena Sorbet and Almond Tuile (Serves 4)

Chilled Fruit Soup

  • 1 large punnet New Forest strawberries (hulled and halved if large)
  • 250ml Sauternes wine
  • 80ml Cabernet Sauvignon wine
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 30 fresh mint leaves
  • 20 fresh basil leaves

1. Bring the wines, sugar and vanilla to the boil and add the herbs to the hot liquid, infuse for 10 minutes, pass and then pour over the strawberries.

2. Allow fruits to macerate in it until very cold.

Lemon Verbena Sorbet 

  • 600g semi skimmed milk
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 50g glucose
  • 200g double cream
  • 600g Greek-style natural yoghurt
  • 100g picked lemon verbena leaves

1. Bring everything to the boil except the yoghurt and leave to infuse for 2 hours.

2. Pass through a fine sieve making sure to press hard.

3. Add the yoghurt and place into an ice cream machine to churn.

Almond Tuile

  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 125g ground almonds (sifted)
  • 20g plain flour

1. Place the butter and the sugar into a food processor and cream together.

2. When smooth add the eggs one by one.

3. Add the flour and then the almonds, mix well but don’t overwork.

4. Place in a plastic container in the fridge and rest for 24 hours.

5. Spread thinly on a non-stick mat and cook @ 150c for 7 mins until golden.

6. Remove and mould into a curved shape while still warm, as per the photograph. Cool.

7. When cold place in an airtight container.

To Serve Divide the strawberries equally between 4 chilled serving bowls, add a generous scoop of the sorbet and top with an almond tuile or two.

Pour the consommé around and serve immediately.