Harden's survey result
The original and some say “the best” of the six country-house hotels in the ‘Pig’ litter put together by Robin Hutson, the founder of Hotel du Vin. The “laid-back atmosphere” and “shabby-chic look” have won over a legion of fans, who say it’s “good for a date-night and a stay-over” as well as “great for kids, who can run around outside between courses while you chat”. The dining room – a “glorious orangerie looking out over the gardens” – reflects the sustainable, home-grown ethos of the kitchen, although the cooking divides opinion: some reporters have enjoyed “fantastic food”; others describe an “interesting but very limited menu that won’t appeal to everyone’s tastes” and is “overpriced for the quality”.
The New Forest original of Hotel du Vin founder Robin Hutson’s ‘Pig’ litter (there are now five, with three more opening in 2019), this country-house hotel with a shabby-chic vibe has tapped into a booming market for “quality without the fuss”. Menus are built around “good local ingredients” – some from the kitchen garden, most from within 25 miles – while the “relaxed” atmosphere means both hotel and dining room are “great for families”, with “plenty to encourage children to eat well”. Overall, though, while it’s “a delightful setting with a lovely ambience” and unimpeachable local ethos, “it’s not matched by the results when it comes to the food”: “the ingredients looks great in the garden but don’t shine on the plate (mind you the foraged items were worse)! It just lacked flavour”.
“Tucked away in the middle of the New Forest” – the first of the ‘Pig’ chain (created by Hotel du Vin founder, Robin Hutson) has “a glorious location”, and its artfully “shabby chic” interior carefully “combines formal and casual English country house styles” with “helpful service” to create “a relaxed yet special atmosphere” (“fun, but sometimes spoilt by the London luvvie set and a number of ill-behaved children”). “Local ingredients (many sourced from the garden)” is part of the ethos, and helps win praise for its “fresh and well-presented” cooking, although quite a few reporters feel the food is “generally serviceable, but not exactly as distinctive as it hyped to be”.
The Hotel du Vin founder’s five-year-old country house – the first ‘Pig’ – is a “very good place to go for that special occasion”. The mismatched decor creates an “engaging atmosphere” in which to enjoy some “interesting” cooking (mostly meat – and with “everything locally sourced a bonus”).
|Wine per bottle||£20.00|
Beaulieu Road, Brockenhurst, SO42 7QL
|Number of Diners:|
|Monday||12 pm‑3 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm|
|Tuesday||12 pm‑3 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm|
|Wednesday||12 pm‑3 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm‑3 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm|
|Friday||12 pm‑3 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm‑4 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm|
|Sunday||12 pm‑4 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm|