So, if there is a place you need to visit this Autumn, it’s THE PIG.
You may or may not know much about these beautifully curated ‘Restaurants with Rooms’ dotted around the south of England, but a quick introduction… They really are restaurants with rooms, and by this I mean of course you’ll be sleeping beneath a white fluffy duvet and bathing in a tub the size of Britain, but the food honestly is just so insane.
THE PIG was somewhere I’d been longing to go to for a while, with epic reviews from every corner; I knew it was one that needed to be ticked off.
I was fortunate enough to visit The PIG (at Brockenhurst) earlier in the year and upon arrival was greeted with coffee and taken straight on a tour of the garden by Head Gardener, Jack. Never in my life have I been more interested by the sowing and growing of herbs, possibly the beautiful setting, who knows… (Jack was pretty great). And after learning about the way the garden is managed and kept it was straight to the dining room for a feast of ‘Piggy things’. With a menu that changes daily (and sometimes more than once!) depending on what’s ready to eat, you know that you’re in for a treat with the freshest food. From the deliciously rich hake with mussels to the tobacco onions (sound bizarre… taste incredible!) to the crispy pig’s ears, pork belly or whole dressed crab… I can assure you, you won’t be going hungry.
I think one of the most amazing things about The PIG, is that if something isn’t reared or grown on the premise then it’s sourced within a 25 mile radius – this for me is huge. Since becoming a health coach, my awareness of where food is from has greatened massively! Whether it’s feeling ok about eating a Pain au Chocolat on a cobbled street in France because I know that it’s been made properly with the best French ingredients, or eating a bowl of pasta made by an Italian who knows his stuff – I really get so much more out of my food when I know it’s been carefully made with love and where the produce has come from. And despite feeling as though I’d eaten a weeks-worth of food in one sitting, I came away feeling as though I’d been nourished with some of the best food I’ve eaten this year.
Such an enchanting experience and one I couldn’t recommend more. Oh, and also for all the Londoner’s out there – it is only an hour on the train. Easy peasy.