That Sunday feeling: the feeling of being totally relaxed, having nowhere to go and nothing pressing that needs done. That sense of calm. I thought it was a feeling reserved purely for Sundays, but it turns out, that you also find the same feeling at The Pig Hotel (part of Mr & Mrs Smith Hotels), specifically at The Pig on the Beach, as I discovered when Angie and I visited for a weekend last month.
Angie and I have been lucky enough to have some amazing experiences together, like brunch on board the Belmond British Pullman, but we were excited to tick off a Weekends From London adventure that we had both long wanted to visit. The Pig is a collection of five country escapes in England, though there are plans for more which I’m very excited about, which could also be said to be restaurants with rooms. Angie described The Pig as cosy luxury, which I completely agree with.
We’ve been saying we’ll do a weekend for a long time, but for various reasons it had never quite worked out. But over Christmas, I noticed that there was one weekend in the first part of 2018 where there was just one room available at The Pig on The Beach… A short WhatsApp conversation with Angie later and we’d booked to stay in the Bothy at The Pig on The Beach!
A little more about our gorgeous room… Well, it’s more like a tiny little thatch cottage all of its own. The Bothy is set away from the main hotel building, along a winding little bath and through a gate. It’s actually right beside the kitchen garden, where many of the delicious vegetables served in the restaurant are grown, meaning you have a beautiful countryside view when you throw open the windows in the morning.
The room itself is round, with a gorgeous, large bed in the middle, a bathroom at the back, and a little TV cabinet and mini bar in front of the bed. I loved that even the fabric of the cushion covers had been chosen to fit in with the cosy, countryside feel.
The room itself isn’t huge, but the pitched ceiling gives a wonderful sense of space – though if you’re booking this room make sure you’re with a close friend as there are no doors to the bathroom; it’s a little open plan!
Speaking of the bathroom… There’s a gorgeous tub, with Bramely products as well as a double shower, if you’re on a romantic weekend away.
Though I think the best part of the bath is that it’s right in front of the fire, which the lovely staff kindly set for you each night.
I have a very soft spot for Robert’s radios, and I was very excited to see one in our beautiful Bothy!
I think the Bothy has to be one of my favourite rooms in England! Lime Wood, the sister hotel of The Pig Hotels, has long been on my Weekends From London list, but after a stay at The Pig on The Beach, it’s even higher up my list of hotels to visit!
It’s not just The Bothy, and it’s bigger sister The Lookout, that are lovely buildings, the main house of The Pig on The Beach is just as special. With 21 rooms in the main house, there’s just enough rooms for you to try and get a booking, but with that super cosy feel.
The bar feels very much like a cosy English pub, with a roaring fire, cosy sofas and a lovely wine list!
If the bar is a little busy and you’re staying, you can retreat to the residents’s snug, a little area for guests to relax, enjoy a drink and play board games. A word of warning to you all, Angie is a bit of a queen at both Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit!
Or, if you prefer, you can sit in the reception/living room area with it’s open fire, cosy seats and view out to the sea. I loved all of the fabrics, and was overall so impressed with the work of interior designer Judy Hutson, the wife of Robin Hutson, the creator of The Pig group and Lime Wood.
For weekends away, and for picking hotels, it’s the little things that really stand out. I loved that The Pig had water stations around the communal areas for when you had come in from a walk, and had umbrellas and Hunter wellys for you to borrow for when the British weather inevitably turned against you. It’s almost like they had thought of absolutely everything, and catered just for you.
If you’re looking for a slightly different weekend away, I absolutely love the idea of Harry’s Hut and The Pig Hut. You have one hut which is your bedroom, complete with a double bed and log burner to keep you cosy at night, and the other being your bathroom, with a free standing bath.
But the rooms, and the lovely sea-side location of Studland is only part of the reason to visit The Pig on The Beach. The restaurant is absolutely a highlight of this cosy little hotel, and every meal from breakfast through to dinner comes with an array of wonderful options.
For me, weekend breakfasts usually consist of soft boiled eggs, and I was very happy to see I could boil my own eggs, and toast some sourdough to make soldiers! The cute little Smeg toasters added to the chic yet cosy vibe of the hotel.
Coffee, toast, cold meats and smoked salmon were out breakfasts of choice, served with a backdrop of incredible sea views and the most gorgeous floor tiles!
For breakfast, you can either order a la carte, or enjoy the breakfast table, with its cereals, cold meats and beautiful presentation. Simple, to the point, and ideal. I don’t like big breakfast buffets, and this was absolutely perfect.
The restaurant is really the conservatory of this old manor house, and in addition to the cute tiles, I loved the mis-matched crockery and tea cups hanging from the dresser.
Over our weekend it’s safe to say we sampled most of the menu! The menu is based around the 25 mile concept – meaning that the only food on the menu has been sourced from within 25 miles of the hotel.
We toasted our holiday many times… But at lunch, with English sparkling wine to continue our very British weekend. The menu is based on classic British dishes, but I love that each hotel has a different menu which reflects its 25 mile surroundings. Unsurprisingly, being right on the coast, The Pig on The Beach has a lot of wonderful fish dishes, as well as the meaty dishes you would expect from the name of this hotel.
Over the weekend, we enjoyed the cured meats…
The incredible (trust me when I say really, really incredible) fish fingers… Which we might have enjoyed on at least a few occasions…
Trout tartare… Steak, spaghetti with clams and mussels, and more… Everything was fresh, well flavoured and utterly delicious… Oh, and I couldn’t possibly forget the chocolate grenache…
During the day, the hotel is quite a sleep place, making it perfect for a relaxing weekend of eternal Sundays. We had a lovely walk down to the beach and around the grounds…. Exploring all there was to see. I loved the private roundhouses, or private dining rooms in the grounds, which would be ideal for an intimate dinner with friends.
On Saturday afternoon we headed to the spa for some treatments: a facial for Angie, and a massage for me. It was the perfect way to de-stress. Not to mention that it might just be the cutest spa I’ve ever been to! It’s by no means a big spa, as it’s only two treatment rooms…
But just look at the spa – it’s two gorgeous shepherd’s huts! We both agreed that it would have been even more incredible if they had had hot tubs to enjoy the view out over the sea, much like they had at The Scarlet, but treatments in the huts certainly make for a lovely spa experience.
Two nights is the perfect amount of time for a stay at The Pig on The Beach; enough time to enjoy all of the coastal walk, delicious food and beautiful surroundings before heading back to the city.
It’s safe to say I left with a serious piggy addiction and loads of lovely memories of a weekend away with one of my closest friends!
The Pig on the Beach