When a girlfriend of mine heard that we were going to Chewton Glen for the weekend, she immediately suggested that we try The Pig for lunch on our way back to London. The restaurant and country house is located in the New Forest, and is about an hour and half outside of London so it was the perfect pit-stop.
As we parked and walked up to the gorgeous house I already started to wish we were were staying for the entire afternoon. We were welcomed and seated on a super cosy sofa in front of an old- fashioned fireplace. We were then brought some “Piggy Bits” or starters, including the most amazing Scotch eggs I’ve ever eaten- or allowed myself to eat anyways. Everything on The Pig’s menu comes from within a 25 mile radius of the restaurant and is created by Chef James Golding (who used to be at The Ivy). The concept is simple British Garden food, and the menu changes on a daily basis (sometimes even hourly) based on what’s in season in the surrounding forest and nearby coast. If it’s not grown in their own kitchen garden it comes from a garden very nearby. There’s even a section on the menu labeled “Literally just picked this morning.” (There’s even a local beer and wine list! Who knew they had great red vino in the New Forest?!)
The lounges are dark and warm with their crackling fireplaces, and the restaurant is bright and airy, as if you are sitting in the garden’s own greenhouse. The whole thing is is shabby chic in the perfect way. The food is served on mismatched china and the staff are very friendly and just as excited about you being there as you are.
Back to the food… for lunch I had the Roasted Hampshire Artichoke and Cured Ham Salad with Quail Egg, Dorset Olives, and Green House Chili. It was absolutely incredibly delicious. HELLO!!!!! It makes SUCH a difference when the things that you eat are fresh and local! My Husband had the home Smoked Salmon with Pickled Cucumber and Cider Dressing. “Not such a manly dish”, I hear you say… well that’s because he was a man on a mission… a cheese mission.
After our mains we were brought Pig’s Local Artisan Cheeseboard with five different cheeses. This included a selection of the best cheeses from Hampshire and Dorset and came with Homemade Chutney and Biscuits. It was the absolute perfect way to end our country weekend. Although at the end of the meal I was so full I didn’t want to face the drive home.
“Next time you should stay!” said our waiter. The Pig actually has 26 bedrooms, and some of them even have bunk beds for families with children. I went to the reception to ask if we could come back in a few weeks, and bring the kids. “We’re booked until end of July I’m afraid” was the answer. Apparently everyone has the same idea! This is a must-go-to destination for lunch and a really special dining experience. If you can, skip the drive and stay the night. After all, I’m sure the breakfast is just as delicious. Note, there’s a two-night minimum over the weekends so pack your Hunters and stay a while.
Beaulieu Road, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, SO42 7QL
(There are also a handful of other Pig restaurants and hotels, and I am on a mission to eventually try them all).
All photos were taken by yours truly, so if you’d like to use them, please ask for permission first- thanks!