Feature

‘25 mile menu of magic’ – The Pig part three

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Quirky and indulgent..

Welcome to the final feature on The Pig, taking a look at the main event, an experience of the 25 mile menu evening service.

A dining experience at the Pig can only start with a trip to the bar or one of the comfortable lounges, to sample local ciders, a cocktail or perhaps a gin and tonic from the stunning selection of gins from far and wide.  Moving into the dining room, which is almost green house themed, plants growing naturally and mix and match furniture – our starter choices kicked off in style.  A smashing rich terrine with mustard pickle, and home smoked salmon served simply.  Really simple, fresh ingredients being used in absolutely the right way.

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Fresh, rich, rustic..

Main course took comfort food to the next level, pork escalope with crispy chorizo and greens, and a lovely piece of soft and sweet hake with crispy clams.  The staff guided us wonderfully through the menu and helped select a superb Italian white wine which was perfect with all our food selections for the evening.

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Comfort food on another level..

Custard donuts with a white chocolate dipping sauce is the featured picture on this week’s blog entry.  Need I really say more about that combination?  Wonderfully light donuts though and certainly not as heavy as it sounds.  And how about rhubarb cheesecake and sorbet, a rhubarb lover’s dream!

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Attention rhubarb lovers..

Finishing with an espresso martini each, a brilliant evening of food at the Pig certainly didn’t disappoint.  A wonderful stay with a proper garden to plate experience.  Highly recommended for an indulgent but relaxed, cosy and rustic break.

 

‘25 mile menu of magic’ – The Pig part two

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Foraging through the walled gardens..

Welcome back to my May feature on The Pig.  This week, we venture outside the hotel to take a look around at how garden arrives at plate with some foraging, before a sneak peak at some Piggy Nibbles.

The gardens at The Pig have an extensive selection of veg and herbs, driving the on site foragers to hop through ingredients as the seasons change and the menu organically evolves.  Some rainbow chard ready to pick, some starting to sprout, you get a real sense of menu planning taking place in and around what is available on site.  As you walk around you can picture dishes on the restaurant menu building bit by bit.  Spotting rhubarb and seeing it appear among the evening desserts is really quite something.

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Rainbow chard, elephant garlic, chives, the gardens continue to grow at the Pig!

Back into the kitchen for a feature of the 25 mile menu – piggy nibbles.  Homemade pork scratchings are often on offer, alongside these beauties below.  ‘Brock Eggs’, a stunning take on a scotch egg, runny yolk included of course.  Homemade sausage rolls are a rare treat in our house, so it was lovely to sample The Pig’s effort – comfort food is clearly taken to the next level.

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The Pig’s fabulous ‘piggy nibbles’

Next week’s final part three will jump back into the dining experience for a full take on the 25 mile menu.

‘25 mile menu of magic’ – The Pig part one

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Lean, clean but absolute indulgence..

A Birthday treat this month, meaning a treat for readers too, with a three part blog on my recent stay at the New Forest gem, ‘The Pig’.  The success of the original Pig in the forest has paved the way for an expanding brand across the South of England, with Southampton, Bath, Devon and Studland following.  The concept of a restaurant with rooms is fantastic, but all the more appropriate when The Pig has the luxury of bringing garden to plate from the superbly stocked walled gardens full of fresh produce, allowing the menu to write itself almost hourly.

The gateway to the New Forest, Brockenhurst railway station is less than a mile down the road, placing the Pig conveniently regardless of your transport.  There is plenty of parking on site among the stunning grounds.  More on the grounds later this month!  The 30 bedroom country house is warm, welcoming and served excellently by staff circulating regularly.  There is a shabby-chic feel to the lounges but it suits the place very well.  The restaurant itself feels like a step into the greenhouse which adds to the charm of a garden to plate experience.

It seems appropriate to start with breakfast for part one.  A cracking selection of a ‘full pig-out’.  Pork sausage packing that perfect meaty punch, crispy streaky bacon with a sweet and smoky edge, leaner than lean back bacon, two free range eggs with sunset yellow yolks, black and white pudding to die for, field mushroom and the sweetest slow roasted tomato you can imagine.

I cannot describe how lean and clean these fresh ingredients are despite their obvious indulgence.

The continental offerings for breakfast are more than generous, with various fruits, cereals, muesli, cured meats, local cheeses and freshly baked sourdough.  Washed down with your choice of fruit juices and your favourite cup of coffee or tea, there is no better way to start your day ready for exploring the New Forest.  And seeing as The Pig have a ready made 7 mile walking route waiting at reception for you, there is every reason to treat yourself to your choice from a stunning breakfast menu.

Next week’s part two takes us out into the gardens, with an additional focus on some ‘piggy nibbles.’  Not to be missed.

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