Contributor/ Amalie Craig
Best Known For
A restaurant with rooms in the heart of the New Forest. It’s all about the walled kitchen garden where the hotel grows and rears it’s own produce. All other ingredients the Chef sources from within a 25 mile radius.
The Good Stuff
Established by Robin Hutson of Hotel du Vin, The Pig is a Georgian game keeper’s lodge where every detail has been considered. The room only rates make it a mid-price country house hotel experience. Guests can opt to have an £8, £10 or £15 breakfast option. The mini bars offer locally sourced snacks, little cartons of fresh milk and baby Nespresso machines as well as kettles.
Like staying in a laid back country house where you can put your feet up. A porcine theme runs throughout – on the menu, in design touches and the signs on the loos – Sows & Boars. There are Hunter wellies lined up in the hall, chickens and pigs scratching about behind the kitchen garden, a library, a drawing room to snooze in, sets of boules & croquet and a big swing in the garden. Most of the guests are probably on a weekend escape from London, mainly early thirties to late forties, couples and some with children and/or dogs. The staff are friendly, if somewhat stretched at times. In the evenings non hotel guests come for dinner, either at the hotel restaurant or the wood-fired pizza oven in a courtyard.
Inside the hotel – 9/10
There are just 26 rooms, either in the main house or the Stableyard. Whilst busy during our stay, there is plenty of room inside and in the grounds, so guests can have their own space. It is designed in a country, shabby chic style so is comfortable and cosy with some contemporary twists. The rooms are decorated in muted colours and are a good size with big windows and gorgeous country views (we were in a Comfy room). The walk-in rain showers are superb and the bed was extremely comfortable. The bar has battered leather chairs and is very chilled, particularly after a Foragers Fizz cocktail. The restaurant is in an old conservatory with plant pots, colourful floor tiles and mismatched glassware, making it airy and bright for breakfast and lunch but low lit by candles for dinner. There is also a terrace outside. The food is beautifully, but rustically presented and is delicious.
Outside the hotel – 8/10
In the grounds are tennis courts and The Potting Shed Spa. The Pig is set in the heart of the New Forest so guests can opt to walk in the forest and meet the wild ponies, cows, pigs and donkeys that roam about. Go further afield to explore Brockenhurst or Lymington, the Beaulieu Motor Museum, the beach at Lepe or Hurst Castle, on a spit outside Milford on Sea, facing the Isle of Wight. (Ferries to the Isle of Wight go from Lymington to Yarmouth). The only downside is traffic jams through Lyndhurst and the amount of caravans.
Image courtesy of The Pig