Travel & Life Digest

The Pig, Brockenhurst, New Forest

Arriving at The Pig on a warm spring afternoon is probably one of the nicest things, after you've spent your day battling the wind on the nearby beach or chasing wild horses around the New Forest! Welcome to this little paradise of tranquillity and culinary pleasure. Turning into what seems like a forest path brings you to this boutique hotel, with a working garden and a fabulous restaurant. Not the "fancy plates, tiny portions" kind of restaurant, though! The star on the menu is pork off course, but every other ingredient is also grown within the grounds of The Pig, or sourced locally.

Simple starters: scotch egg and fried crackling, done beautifully. Once you break into the Scotch egg, there are three perfect circles of bright orange yolk, surrounded by flakes of pink well salted, well cooked pork and a golden crust! The crackling is just every foodie’s paradise, although it might get too much for you towards the end and you will find yourself downing your drink in an instant to ease the strong flavour. You'll still feel like a kid in a candy shop though; crackling is always so precious and you have to fight for it at home, while here you have a whole portion to yourself!

Having a pre-dinner drink in the sitting room feels like you are visiting a friend’s house back in the fifties, when even dinner used to be served elegantly, yet effortlessly; love the wooden bar, heavily curved, covered in bottles and silver olde-world ice buckets, adds a grand note in the otherwise easygoing room. It helps that the staff is friendly and happy to have a chat rather than rush you. Finally the cocktails! Actually, they are more like refreshing, fragrant potions in all sorts of glasses, jars and tumblers topped with fresh flowers! I don’t know about you, but I love this mix and match of vintage glassware, it brings back memories of your grandma’s kitchen rather than a restaurant. Even the dining room resembles a greenhouse, with mismatched chairs, rustic tables, plants and flowers everywhere.

After dinner just sit on the big wooden swing under the oak tree and watch the sun set through the treetops of the New Forest. Nice and simple!

PS: Guess what? There is a new piggy in town! Head over to Dorset to see for your self, till then have a look at The Pig on the Beach!                            

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