It’s really, really hard to beat the location. In fact, I challenge you to find a better one, that’s how enamoured I am with it. Located on Studland Bay, The Pig on the Beach has views of Old Harry’s Rocks and the Isle of White, and basically all the best bits of the Dorset coast.
If for some insane reason the beach isn’t for you, then no bother at all, the hotel is a stone’s throw from the historic village of Corfe Castle (make sure you try the cream tea, fudge and ice cream) and about a 45 minute drive away from Bournemouth.
I’m a bit addicted to the Pig hotels, having visited the one in Brockenhurst, and near Bath (there are also some in Devon and now Kent). Each one has its own style and the Pig on the Beach is by far my favourite, in no small part thanks to the aforementioned view.
That aside though, it’s got a distinct fairytale vibe about it. The hotel used to be home to the aristocratic Bankes family of Kingston Lacy, who were a little eccentric to say the least. This is mirrored in the hotel’s turrets, gargoyles and medieval style carved woodwork in some of the main rooms.
Then there is the stunning conservatory-cum-dining room, with all its potted plants and stained glass windows which have more than a little touch of Practical Magic about them (if you don’t get the reference we can’t be friends).
But the hotel is first and foremost a cosy escape, so you can expect to find the woven carpets, deep armchairs, fireplaces and antique knick knacks the Pig is known for.
There is a room to suit all tastes. If you want to be away from it all, then you’ll love the cosy Huts, which are tucked away at the bottom of the garden. We stayed in the generous room though, and what a delight it was. Located in the main house, it features a super-king size bed and living area, and a larger-than-a-London flat bathroom complete with a monsoon shower and antique style free standing bath, with a sea view.
This definitely not a case of style over substance here, the food is just as amazing as the decor is. First off, the hotel is as sustainable as it can be. The menus are written around what is available in its walled kitchen garden, and the rest is delivered from local suppliers. That means they change all the time, though examples of tasty dishes include Swanage lobster with thrice cooked chips, silver mullet with charred sprouting broccoli and pork loin steak with corn and leeks.
The hotel’s signature appetiser is always on the menu though: the Piggy Bits platter, with Hock Eggs & Colman’s Dressing, B. Curtis’ Chipolatas & Homemade Ketchup and Smoked Vodka BBQ Pork Belly. Tasty.
As for breakfast, it’s hands down the best I’ve ever had. You can order from the cooked menu, but I personally love the buffet, where you can boil your own freshly laid eggs, and feast on homemade granola and fruit compotes, as well as pastries and cake.
The need to know
Rooms start from £135 per night for a cheap & cheerful room. Book here.