Well GT had a thoroughly delightful afternoon at The Pig On The Beach this week.
We arrived at The Pig via Poole and took the ferry across to The Isle of Purbeck. Purbeck is not strictly an island rather a peninsular but the four minute journey across the sea added to the magic of arriving at this turreted fairytale dwelling smuggled between a warren of country lanes, hills, beach and sea.
The building is a magnificent example of Victorian hideaway with turrets popping out of the gothic country house. The new owners have painted it yellow and sympathetically added extensions that are hardly noticeable from the original building. The fresh sea air blows gently around the property and there are magnificent views from both the restaurant and rooms that look out onto Studland Bay.
Inside the look is typical of the other three Pigs (New Forest, Southampton and Bath) from the Lime Wood group whose “focus is on authenticity and informality of design, food and service” and they have it nailed here with an almost film-set perfection of texture, colour and restrained opulence that never reaches trop. We want to move in immediately and live happily ever after.
The food is either grown in their Kitchen Garden (informal tours available) or sourced within around 25 miles of the kitchen. For lunch we sarted with the freshest oysters we’d ever tasted (really), some tasty ham hock Scotch eggs and a delicate ceviche of bass scattered with delicate flowers and herbs from the Kitchen Garden. For main we couldn’t resist lobster and chips x2.
The whole lobster was slightly blackened on one side from the chargrill and inside barely cooked giving an almost raw edge to the thick meat however thanks to the freshness it was unusual and delicious. The lobster was by far the most expensive main on the menu at £42 per portion. We wince now as it’s a little too much considering the current trade price, food miles, prep and cooking required but that’s what happens when you are at The Pig as you are whisked off into a fairytale where cost is an irrelevant factor in this tiny piece of priceless perfection.
Book for a few nights away. There are tonnes of local activities such as this, this, this, this and this, oh and this and this. Prices start around £120 per night.
Oyster dish at The Pig On The Beach
Typical cost of lunch at The Pig On The Beach:
£100 per person for us including SC. Ordering sensibly would halve this.
Food & Drink:
9 out of 10 – glorious menu but loses a point for the pricey lobster. They popped a cork on a fresh bottle of Bollinger at our request (£15/glass), perfectly matched a glass of Mâcon Villages (£11.50/large glass) to our meal and we WILL return for the Smoky Dirty Martini (damn you car).
The Pig makes people happy thanks to it’s magical charm. Just remember to book.
7 out of 10 – relaxed and quite attentive, some staff shone, others didn’t.
Tip: Don’t wear a pink shirt or you’ll be whistled over to clear plates and take orders.
9 out of 10 – they lose a point for the similar lunch and dinner menus that could limit guest enjoyment.
Summary in seven:
Charming whimsical hideaway celebrating local food
The Pig On The Beach
Tel:+44 (0) 1929 450288
Can you recommend anywhere else? GT are always looking for new places to visit.
Image Credit on exterior photo: Joseph Williamson
with special thanks to ©Ski Club Great Britain http://skiclub.co.uk