A HAMPSHIRE pub has gone from strength to strength since it reopened earlier this year following a lengthy closure.

The Rockingham Arms has been praised by New Forest Marque for its commitment to using local produce and is determined to become the most sustainable pub in the county.

Now the West Wellow watering hole has produced a range of mouth-watering hampers that enable customers to take away a taste of the Forest.

They include bread baked on the premises, plus a wide range of other food produced in the area, including ham, pork pies and sausage rolls.

Customers are encouraged to save room for dessert as the hampers also contain freshly baked scones with local jams and cream, plus Beaulieu chocolates.

The pub’s two general managers, Mark and Penny Thornhill, want the packs to be as environmentally friendly as possible and are using recyclable cutlery and sustainable packaging.

One of the best places to enjoy the hampers is the pub’s garden, which backs on to the Forest.

Mr Thornhill said: “Since moving into the Rockingham Arms we’ve had a fantastic opportunity to work with one-and-a-half acres of land that we are graced with.

“There is something very peaceful about our backyard that we wanted to share with our guests, so we adopted the family picnic approach.

“So far we’ve had a fantastic summer, perfect for al fresco dining, and hope that the good weather continues so that guests can come down, sample our hampers and enjoy a taste of Hampshire.”

Head chef Brian Ahearn is a trained butcher, making sausages, baking bread and smoking meats.

His menu celebrates local fare and is complemented by a range of house ales, brewed at Upham Brewery featuring the popular Punter, Stakes and Tipster plus seasonal specials.