It’s been a long wait, but the day finally came when I could go to THE PIG for myself to see what all the fuss is about.
Guess what? It completely and utterly lives up to the hype, it’s not just PR waffle, it really is a refreshing take on the stuffy image that comes with the association of a “country house hotel”. It shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same breath as places like Chewton Glen, but boy does it have that ‘je ne sais quoi’ that it’s big and beautiful sister Lime Wood has.
We parked up and wondered down the path to the front entrance (closely guarded by stone dogs) and decided where best to start than in the bar with champagne and piggy bits. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of sampling their piggy bits/nibbles we tucked into crispy pork crackling with apple sauce, Brock eggs (mini scotch eggs but even yummier) and some local cured meats. When the last glass of champagne was poured we got up and went for a snoop around the grounds.
If, like me, you love gardens, kitchen gardens to be precise, then you will be in heaven here. As soon as you open the gate to their kitchen garden you know you’ve found a food lovers dream. It’s full of fresh fruit and vegetables that looks like its worked on constantly all year round. We even spotted a little webcam so you can follow what the gardeners get up to during the day!
We met their resident guests, a number of Tamworth and Kune Kune pigs as well as chickens, sheep and quail (note that’s where our delicious Brock egg came from). Then we wondered around the immaculate Alitex greenhouse, full to the brim with chillies and other edible delights.
We trotted back to the main house and met one of the quirky dressed (converse & jeans) waitresses who showed us to our table and this is when the foodie in me really came alive!
The 25 mile menu is genius, basically anything that doesn’t come from their grounds tries to come from within 25miles and it tastes even better for it.
The three of us could’ve ummmed and ahhhhed all evening but seeing how packed the restaurant was we thought we should crack on.
- Crispy Pork Belly salad
- Hampshire pork filled ravioli with smoke house chorizo
- Crispy courgettes, buttered fresh greens and crispy Tabasco onions
- Chocolate Mint mousse
This is definitely the way forward when it comes to escaping to the country to indulge….there was no way we were able to trot back, but we did go wee wee wee all the way home!
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