Since one of my favourite places – The Pig in Brockenhurst – has recently been voted the Best Hotel in the UK by Conde Nast Traveller, I thought it was about time that it got a proper mention on this site.
Given that this restaurant is in Hampshire, it is technically a tiny bit too ‘East’ but The Pig in Brockenhurst is part of a wider Pig family with restaurants on Studland Beach, in Southampton and just outside of Bath (with one due to open in East Devon in 2016) so wherever you are based in Dorset, you are within only a short drive of one of these beautiful places.
I have visited this particular Pig restaurant a handful of times in the past 12 months (for both meals with my husband to celebrate and meals with a larger group) and I have very much enjoyed it each time.
The Pig in Brockenhurst is set in the middle of the New Forest and the restaurant makes the most of the surrounding beauty with the restaurant being set inside a huge conservatory. Brightly coloured tiles adorn the floor, cheeky pig heads hang on the walls and carefully styled ‘mismatched’ furniture and tableware create a wonderful bespoke interior.
Each Pig restaurant put together their menus based on the ingredients they can gather from a 25-mile radius (or grow/rear themselves). If you have a spare moment before or after your meal you can explore their kitchen garden (pictured) where they grow some of their vegetables.
There is a fully stocked bar complete with a cocktail list and a well rounded wine list (including some rather tasty English wines). If what you are looking for isn’t on the menu then the staff are very happy to rustle it up for you and I can recommend the apple and mint cocktail if you would prefer a slightly more adventurous non-alcoholic drink.
The food itself is simply always a delight. From buttery risottos to juicy, tender pieces of meat, burgers made from local beef to salads packed full of items from their garden. There are items to suit most palates and main courses start from about £15. With my penchant for dessert, I am always intrigued by their selection as they experiment with unusual flavour combinations to produce quite unique desserts. Menus are put together each day based on what ingredients are in season or available but you can see a sample menu here.
With the bonus of plenty of friendly and helpful staff, delicious coffee and beautiful lounges to relax in after your meal (open fires with comfortable sofas or quiet seats outside to enjoy the views), I would recommend allowing some extra time at the end of your meal to make the most of the trip into the New Forest.
This restaurant is very popular and booking ahead is essential to secure a table. Away from the hustle and bustle of a town centre, The Pig is a great place to escape to and enjoy some time with some of your favourite people and if you want to really make the most of it, there are 29 guest bedrooms onsite too (prices start from £149 per night for a good-sized double room).
All the Pig restaurants adhere to the same local food philosophy that us Dorset Foodies very much love and are decorated with a similar style so wherever you are based in Dorset, if you are looking for somewhere special to spend an evening then I highly recommend one of these Pig restaurants.
The Pig Restaurant and Hotel – Brockenhurt
t: 01590 622354
NB. The photo of the hotel and the delicious looking pie are courtesy of The Pig Hotel.
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