Despite the name, no metal working is currently done here. It is a restaurant of some repute.
It is in the Greens, the fringe area around the Old Village with scattered cottages. The Old Village is a bit up the hill from the New Town, which is growing properous being next to the New Forest Road. There was once only a packed earth path to the Forge. There is talk about making it more.
The Forge started out as a real forge. The Blacksmith of the time was a bit of a dreamer, but he was married to the best cook in the region. Using the heat from the forge, he was able to make special ovens and air roasters for her. Between her skills and her equipment, she was the cook for every festival and party in the Village (this was pre-the new road). Everyone would crowd their patios and when it got cold, they would stuff themselves uncomfortably into the house. Tired of expanding his home, he built “heat fountains” into the patios. The flow of warm air made it pleasant on the patios at night (and kept the snow off). Son in laws (he had four daughters) expanded the patios, adding firepits and hearths to them, while others added to the house. One of the grandchildren became a brewer, and they added a real tap room. Somewhere along the way, they gave up on forging metal and just became a public house or restaurant. That was almost two generations ago. The Forge is still the location of every public (and semi-public, and private) celebration in Old Village and New Town.
The Forge in the Forest is a sprawling building these days, settled amongst the green old trees. It is “T” shaped with a small sideways “U” attached to the right arm. Despite the sprawl, the two story building appears unremarkable- exposed timbers, shale roofs, white plasters. The family (and few employees) live on the upper level, with the lower level being an indoor dining hall, a tap room, the kitchen (and its amazing ovens and air roasters), and the forge (the bellows system and coal burning system is there. Now a clockwork system pumps it most of the time, having to be rewound every hour or two.). The public rooms are all decorated with old forge tools and the last few lucky horseshoes made by the original blacksmith. It is surrounded by patios (with the heat fountains). These patios are mostly enclosed (some with walls, others with shrubbery and planters). Each patio will have one to three small hearths depending on its size.
The menu is varied. There is a variety of roasted meats (deer, cow, chicken, and some fish) -which can be roasted on a very large or very small scale, braised meats, vegetables, other additional recipes picked up from travellers, beer, wine, and some of the best breads and baked goods (made from The Blacksmith’s wife’s original recipes) you have ever tasted.
//Inspired by a real restaurant of the same name in Carmel Ca.///