It was a last minute decision to indulge… and after having dreamt many times over on the The Pig Hotel website, going through to the end of the booking system process only to finally realise, no- Sarah you have a house to pay for, you cannot simply book weekends away to the New Forest on a whim! I was just thrilled when they announced they were opening a hotel near Bristol. At least i can try the food on a (kind of) regular basis now.
The Pig Hotel- near Bath, is completely shabby chic in style, from the inside out. It’s a true delight to just visit this hotel site of which they converted former Hunstrete House into. Still as gorgeous as ever and keeping in all those character features. It’s luxurious but not pretentious and as soon as you walk in the staff make you feel ever so welcome but then again, if anyone offers whether i would like a gin and tonic in a gorgeous orangery, when am i really ever going to dislike that?
The kitchen garden is stunning and so is the produce it harvests. Meters of salad and herbs all in a row had me envious that my garden is nowhere near as big or as neatly maintained but it was certainly something to aspire to.
A truly inspirational garden to get lost in, that any keen vegetable gardener should definitely visit to simply admire the glory and maybe even have a chat with the gardener who was happily saying hello and moseying about.
So a last minute morning decision to dine out is always a risky one for Coeliacs and the gluten intolerant, we phoned them up in advance instead of booking via the website which you can if you want to. They said they were happy to cater for me and that gluten free bread was available. I felt positive.
The waiter sat us to our seat and immediately he addressed us to find out which person was gluten intolerant then proceeded to firstly, offer me some gluten free bread, secondly to effortlessly quickly run through the entire menu detailing which things were not gluten free and which things could be adapted and finally if we’d like anything alcoholic to drink. I sat back in the sunshine with my ‘Pig’s Tail’ cocktail (Chase Vodka, The Pig’s fruit syrup, fresh lemon juice, cranberry, ginger syrup and cloudy apple juice) and started to wonder whether this is what heaven actually is like…
I ordered some of their infamous pork crackling with homemade Hunstrete apple sauce to nibble on to start and Rob had the chargrilled asparagus and garden radishes with home cured pancetta and fried duck egg. Both as delicious as they sound, the crackling wasn’t chewy or hard to eat and the asparagus dish really delivered on it’s freshness.
For a main i had the cosmic mash (potato and beetroot mash) with the oven roasted rump of english lamb with braised spring cabbage. Very well seasoned, the lamb was perfectly cooked and the cabbage could have been a star of the dish itself. The portion size was huge and thus justified the cost.
We ended our meal by sitting outside once again to enjoy some of their seasonal ice creams and sorbets, we had Marmalade ice cream and Lemon Verbena, Citrus Sorbets. I live for experimental not-ya-typical sweet food and this was the perfect way to end the meal for us.
I feel like i should say something negative in this review but i really cannot fault it, the price may be expensive for some but when you’ve had one of the best meals and service in months, it was very easy to pay that bill at the end.
I can only hope that the other hotels in Southhampton, Brockenhurst and Studland offer the same gluten free service and experience so that people outside of these Somerset ways can also try their gluten free delights.
For more information about The Pig Hotel- Near Bath, do have a gander over on their website.
The Pig Hotel is now on the Gluten Free Bristol List in the new ‘A Bit Further Out’ section.