Grazia Escapes To… The Pig, Brockenhurst

The Pig

by Rebecca Cope |
Updated on

The first and original of Robin and Judy Hutson’s Pig hotels, The Pig in Brockenhurst is where the hotelier couple refined their aesthetic, perfecting their offering of shabby-chic, rustic décor paired with home-grown, locally-sourced food. Really a restaurant with rooms, the hotel’s kitchen garden is its centre-piece, with the impeccably fresh menu testimony to the vast wealth of ingredients being grown here. A cursory wander through the garden reveals multiple variations of pantry-favourites, from herbs to vegetables, with chickens and pigs also reared on-site providing the eggs and pork. Located on the New Forest’s doorstep, the country house property feels like a real escape from the city, with plenty of al fresco seating areas to enjoy. Staff are notably friendly and accommodating, with plenty on hand to assist with any requests, whether it’s a glass of wine on the lawn or recommendations of what to do in nearby Beaulieu. Food and drink are the raison d’etre of the hotel, so it’s no surprise that most of it is dedicated to that: there is a sprawling, conservatory restaurant overlooking the gardens, as well as a large bar and al fresco dining area for daytime meals and drinks, plus two snug sitting rooms if the weather is being uncooperative. In season, you can go mushroom foraging, but if that’s not your bag, you can always book a massage in one of the two spa huts in the kitchen garden.

The Room

In terms of décor, all of The Pig hotels have a very recognisable, signature aesthetic. We stayed in the newly-added Forest Hut, but the main hotel’s rooms are split into ‘snug’ ‘cosy’ or ‘spacious’ according to how much room you need. Our room featured a wooden terrace with white French-style patio furniture, and was set in the gardens towards the front of the hotel. Inside, we were delighted to find a vintage-style radio, country-themed coffee table tomes (Tales From The Woods, anyone?), an ornate rustic rug and blanket, tiled floors and brick walls, plus pantry items, like popcorn and chilli crackers (and a bottle of English Sparkling Wine, immediately drunk on the patio). The bathroom was equally as impressive, with a grand roll-top bathtub and old-fashioned pull-chain toilet, not to mention Bramley toiletries and fluffy grey robes and slippers. Special mention must go to the bed, which was unreasonably comfortable; indeed, it was near impossible to tear ourselves out of it for breakfast, making it down only at 9.55am with 5 minutes to spare until the end of service.

Eating and Drinking

The Pig restaurant
©The Pig restaurant

Everything at The Pig is centred around the food, making it a gastronome’s dream and the ultimate feather in its cap. The conservatory room evokes a lush garden centre eatery, with potted plants strewn everywhere and vines growing up columns and pillars, while herbs make an earthy centre-piece to every table. There's floral crockery, multi-coloured tumblers, mini-lanterns and mismatched cushions, as well as half-melted candles and recycled menus as napkin holders. But enough about the decor: we're here for the food. With such a heavy reliance on fresh, local ingredients, it's unsurprising that the menu changes almost daily, depending on what's in season. Indeed, there's such a focus on this that it is called the '25-mile menu' as most dishes are sourced from within that radius, while one section is dubbed 'mostly picked this morning'. When we visited, there was hake from the South Coast, Isle of Wight tomatoes and burrata, wild nettle polenta, wild mushrooms and garlic on toast, Sopley Farm asparagus and Hampshire lamb rump, to give you an idea of the breadth of dishes available from within such a small distance. With ingredients this fresh and lovingly sourced, it shouldn't come as a shock that everything tasted incredible - like food in high definition. Portion-sizes err on the side of 'just-right', while presentation is similar to swanky London eateries - probably thanks to the prettiness of the components of most dishes. Shout out to the 'Piggy Bits' - especially Mr Bartlett's honey and mustard chipolatas - which were the perfect accompaniment to sundowners on the terrace.

Book It

Visit to book a room.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us