Monday, 6 October 2014

THE PIG HOTEL
























For my birthday this week we went to stay at The Pig hotel in Hampshire.  There are four Pig hotels to choose from, but I wanted to visit this one because it's in the New Forest and ahem PONIES.  The Pig call themselves, "A restaurant with rooms", which sort of downplays quite how appealing those rooms are.  Ours had it's own terrace, a separate dressing room you could swing a pig in, and a bathroom with a roll top bath AND walk in shower. To me, that is the very definition of opulence.  Oh and the bed was so soft it was like sleeping on a sturdy marshmallow.

The rest of the hotel is decorated pretty much how my future house will look - in my wildest dreams.  I love how artfully cluttered it is - beautiful mismatched jugs side by side, stuffed birds in glass cases sat on top of dark wood bookshelves, paintings of flowers left on a sideboard.  It feels like you're staying in the country house of your very rich and quite eccentric great aunt, who has spent a lifetime collecting unusual and on--of-a kind crockery and books and now drops them onto random tables as she wanders off to show you something else she's just remembered she got from a little market somewhere.  Outside the gardens are expansive, and dotted with pigs, chickens and PONIES along with greenhouses where the gardeners dig up vegetables and flowers for the kitchen.

Speaking of the kitchen, the food was astonishingly good.  No.  Seriously.  It was I-Can't-Believe-They-Don't-Have-A-Michelin-Star-Although-Actually-I'm-Sort-Of-Glad-Beause-That-Means-There's-Less-Competition-For-A-Table good.  The chefs alter the menu depending on what their forager has foraged that day (I love the word forage), and are very proud of their local menu - nothing they serve has travelled further than 25 miles.  The staff are as passionate about the food as the cooks, reeling off info about how the dishes are prepared, telling you their preferences, and informing you just how far the contents of your bowl have travelled.  We.  Ate.  Everything.  I even had crackling and scotch eggs from their Piggy Bits section of the menu, two foods I would have sworn I'd never eat.  (They were delicious, I'm a convert).  They do so much in-house, even smoking their salt -I need to learn to do that - and it's all served to you in their beautiful conservatory restaurant with a tiled floor I drooled over.

Basically, if you can't tell yet, I really liked it.  I felt like a pig in, well, you know.

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