The Pig Hotels are known for fusing luxury with homely charm. There are several to choose from across the UK; one in Bath, one in Combe and a few more dotted around the countryside – including the recently opened Pig at Harlyn Bay – a glorious retreat for cliff walks and beach strolls.
The Pig in the New Forest is the original. A beautiful hideaway, surrounded by lush countryside and situated less than a couple of hours from London.
The Pig in the New Forest
Our room is called Pig Lodge 1. One of the larger ones on offer, it’s spacious, with a kitchen, living room and private garden. There are wonderful forest views and decor is cosy and charming; warm without being cluttered. There’s a fireplace all made up and ready to go, just waiting for a match to be lit. In the kitchen we find fresh bread and complimentary Belu water. In the bathroom, there’s a fabulous powerful rain shower to smash frazzled thoughts to smithereens, and they’re taking Covid seriously, but not so that it becomes unpleasant. The hand sanitiser provided is some of the best I’ve smelt to date.
The food and drink
It really is all about the food and drink here. Really, you could come here just for a meal and leave utterly satisfied – and stuffed.
For dinner, we begin with a glass of bubbles along with a selection of ‘Piggy bits’ – aka, nibbles, aka, saddleback crackling and sausage rolls – heaven. We enjoy this in the stunning bar, complete with taxidermies of pigs on the walls.
We move into the dining room, which is actually a fabulous greenhouse with lots of indoor plants and eclectic crockery. We order – perusing the menu via a QR code in these strange times – scallops with smoked salmon to start, followed by steak, triple cooked chips and tobacco onions, which are something of a signature dish here.
All the food is wonderfully fresh – much is grown on site in the Kitchen Garden, and the menu has a commitment to only serve food grown within 25 miles. The Pig even has its own Smokehouse, fruit cages, greenhouse and chickens. Provenance and supporting local suppliers is really at the foreground here. Even the bread, served with olive oil and salt, is such a cut above your average pre-dinner loaf. The Malbec we pair it with is equally delicious.
Come morning and the breakfast is as we expected: epic, with fresh baked goods, juices and fruits from the breakfast table. If you’re really hungry, try ‘The Full Pig Out’ option. For just £15, you can indulge in a cooked breakfast along with juice, tea/coffee, toast and pastries and anything else from the Breakfast Table. Menu highlights include Avocado on Hoxton Sourdough Crushed with Lemon & Chilli, Topped with a Poached Egg.
What to do
To burn at least some of this off, there are lovely walking routes starting from the hotel. We do a 4k walk in around 45 minutes, spotting wild horses everywhere. You could also borrow a bike and venture further afield – there is deer watching not far away.
Who should come?
Everyone. Come for a romantic weekend, come with kids – there are babysitters available – come with friends – just come to The Pig, and come hungry.
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