One rather rainy day back in December, we set off from Bournemouth in the direction of Sandbanks and the chain ferry that heads across the (rather short) bit of sea towards Studland. Our destination? The Pig On The Beach.
For those who may think that seems rather a long way to go to see Babe on some sand, if you’re on the south coast then you really should check out The Pig chain of hotels and resturants. They’re pretty good!
Also, they do actually have pigs. On the Beach. Anyway.
The hotel itself emerged out of the sleet and rain and we flung ourselves into the warmth and towards the mulled wine that was available in the bar at lightning speed, before heading upstairs to check out our accomodation for the night.
Ours was a ‘Comfy Luxe Room’…. As well as a gorgeous four poster bed, a monsoon walk in shower and a huuuge freestanding bath tub it also had a beautiful view across the Old Harrys Rocks.
We soon headed back down to the bar to meet the others and sample the variety of cocktails on offer. After an hour or so of catching up, warming up and, well, drinking I can definitely vouch for the skill (and patience) of the barman who was incredibly attentive and knowledgeable. I think in the end we just ended up telling him various fruit and alcohol combinations and he kept the concoctions flowing!
As we were heading down before Christmas I kind of expected the standard Christmas menu but they didn’t insist on that, allowing us to order from the regular menu. They describe the menu as ‘uncomplicated and simple British garden food, true to the micro seasons and influenced by the coast, with the emphasis squarely on fresh, clean flavours‘ with most items sourced locally or home grown. (Click HERE for a sample menu).
Here’s where I demonstrate I’m clearly not a ‘food blogger’ – I was fairly tipsy by that stage and obviously forgot to write down what I was eating. Or take any more pictures. But, the above photo was my starter. And it was delicious.
The service was excellent, formal but relaxed and the staff were clearly knowledable about every aspect of the menu. We headed back to the bar afterwards for more cocktails (believe it or not there were a couple we hadn’t sampled earlier) then headed up to bed.
After a great nights sleep we made our way down for one of, I have to say, the best breakfasts I have ever had in a UK hotel. I’m not usually a breakfast person but I figured that if you’re at The Pig then the chances are the sausages and bacon will be above average and they didn’t disappoint. Also, randomly, really really good yogurt, fruit and muesli.
I was trying to figure out a way we could possibly extend our stay but sadly after one night it was off back to the chain ferry and a days work.
If you are looking for a getaway in the area, I completely recommend The Pig On The Beach. Obviously we visited in the depths of winter but in the summer the views and surrounding beach are just stunning and the hotel itself is luxurious without being pretentious with an excellent restaurant providing an original and innovative menu.