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A restaurant in the New Forest – The Pig review, part #2

This post is part #2 of my review of The Pig Hotel, a hotel with restaurant in the New Forest (precisely in Brockenhurst, Hampshire). If you want to know more about their amazing grounds, walled garden, foraging tours and meet Olly, the resident gardener, head to Part 1. Today’s post covers The Pig restaurant menu and the way the food grown on the premises is prepared by head chef James Golding. Predictable I know, but guess what? It’s very good…read on to discover how humble carrots beat pork belly!  

The Pig Hotel 5 interiors Designed by Judy Hutson

The interiors are designed by Judy Hutson

After a very pleasant hour in the garden, it’s time for lunch, served in a picturesque conservatory covered in ivy and furnished with coloured tiles, mismatched crockery and every other possible shabby chic staple you could think of- minus the pretentiousness.

What I really liked about the place and the atmosphere is that it’s literally “picture perfect”, but not so much that you feel like you’ve stepped straight into an Ideal Homes catalogue. It’s clearly been designed, but not overly so – and the same applies to the service. Staff are knowledgeable and polished as you’d expect, but also genuinely passionate about what they’re doing here, bursting with enthusiasm as they explained the “25-mile menu” – yes, everything and literally everything comes from a 25 mile radius if it’s not made on the premises. Having just seen 1.a meat smoker 2.seasonal vegetables 3.happy, free range animals, I was expecting nothing short than some above average fare, and I was not disappointed.

the pig restaurant review

Without getting to scientific about food miles and sustainable menus, I am sure you are all familiar with how much difference the freshness of fruits and vegs makes to the taste – not to even mention the way they’re grown and the amount of manipulation involved in the process. When a forkful of green almost eclipses the main event – tasty lamb, delicious fresh eggs and of course, pork- it’s because they’re really something else. Well, simple sides like buttered steamed sprouts, Chantenay carrots and green salad tasted like nothing else I have had in months- not even from the poshest London grocer.

the pig restaurant food starters

Nibbles: wonderful scotch egg with fresh quail eggs, pork cracklings and pork belly…for pig lovers

As you can see from the pics, the kitchen at The Pig is not just resting on the laurels of this gorgeous produce, but it’s actually working hard at making thing look as great as they taste, with edible flowers, vegetable crisps and pickles adding colour and texture to the dishes.

The pig restaurant vegetables

Blame it on the cocktails – original recipes from homemade herb-infused spirits – and the hefty portions, but I was experiencing some serious post-prandial slump by the time the clock ticked on our lovely country escapade. Time flew, literally, and coming back to London at rush hour, eyeing commuters bite into limp sandwiches and “freshly defrosted” pastry rolls actually made me depressed instead of excited.
I must book myself there for a couple days next time to try every single thing on the menu – even with a night stay, everything at The Pig is very reasonably priced compared to London, or to other more famous countryside gastropubs (££££ in Bray anyone?).

the pig food
Also, if I can ever save some space by not eating my weight in pork cracklings, the idea of The Pig afternoon tea (and a scone or two) next to those fireplaces looks very alluring. Cocktails and flatbreads from the brick oven in the garden doesn’t sound bad either. The plan is to lobby one of my engaged friends to get married here- plot is on…

Well now you know – if you ever get stranded out of your London bubble but still want great food AND stylish surroundings, look no further than The Pig for a restaurant in the New Forest.

Hats off to you, British countryside – you can be lovely. Peace is made, in the name of pig. I’ll see you again very soon!

 

The Pig on Urbanspoon

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3 Comments

  1. envy!!! one day I will be a freelancer and able to attend these events as well! ;) so happy you were able to go and had such a great time! x

    • It really is amazing and hope you go soon. Start lobbying the husband… ;)

  2. Thanks for the link Wilkes! Btw name is Serena ;)

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  1. REVIEW: @The_Pig_Hotel… the “Restaurant with rooms” in the New Forest (72 Pics) | @wilkes888 - London based Food & Drink-o-phile - […] Source: Into the F World (Federica Mariani) Hotel review: The Pig, New Forest, Brockenhurst – part #1 A restaurant …

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