New Forest Marque members gathered at the cosy London Tavern pub for our last networking evening of 2022.

The London Tavern has been a part of the Poulner community since the 1860s and was recently shortlisted in this year’s Great British Pub Awards. The pub is just a couple of minutes off the A31 and is run by landlord Phil Hoyle, who took over in 2018 having himself been a regular for many years.

Phil and his team hosted around 30 Marque members and treated us to impressive sharing platters of meat from fellow Marque member Shappen Stores. Burley based Shappen Stores offers the finest meat, deli and drinks the New Forest has to offer.

We enjoyed delicious New Forest venison and New Forest Pannage Park Ham, accompanied by fresh focaccia and marinated olives. If the wonderful platters weren’t enough, we tucked in to a side of pigs in blankets as a welcome nod to the festive season.

The evening also included a talk from Mark Williams, owner of New Forest Spirits. Mark spoke to us about the value of partnerships and the sense of community within the New Forest Marque.

We were delighted to then have a tasting session, trying Wyrd Dry Gin, a handcrafted, smooth small-batch gin made with New Forest Spring Water as well as Wyrd Rhubarb Gin, a tangy, fruity gin infused with rhubarb from Dan Tanners Sopley Farm.

What a wonderful evening of truly local treats and good company!

The New Forest Marque is a local food and produce scheme set up to champion businesses who pride themselves on producing and providing food, drinks and craft with clearly defined New Forest provenance.

Whether you’re a commoner, a primary producer, a processer or you offer local produce to your customers, you can apply to join the New Forest Marque.

Learn more about joining our network of New Forest businesses.