March 28, 2012
What the critics say
The Sunday Telegraph, January 8
The Pig is informal but special: that high-brow/low-brow sweet spot . .. I had onion and garlic soup (£5). One thinks of "organic" as the key word between tasty veg and the stuff that tastes of nothing, but I find that, whenever I can taste the full personality of a vegetable, it's because someone's grown it in their garden. It's a vexed fulfilment - a deliciousness that you can't buy, only grow. Although of course you can buy it, if you visit a restaurant with its own allotment. I was glad of this order, because there were sexier starters, but this I'll remember far longer than I would a nice bit of fish.
The Independent, November 26
Offered "some piggy bits while you're waiting", Angie and I [received] a plate of crackling with apple sauce and a wood platter with skewers of sausage. The crackling was delicious and the sausages pitched me back to childhood, when sausages tasted completely different, nubbed and beefy. My Beaulieu pheasant with yellow leg mushrooms was a triumph. The pheasant breast was perfectly cooked, pink, tightly textured and heftily flavoured, the skin perfectly seasoned. Baby chestnuts and sliced sprouts rocked along like a hot rhythm section.
The Sunday Times, February 26
For pudding, we shared a layered chocolate orange mousse cake and a gin-and-tonic jelly with lime-soused cucumber: I have a feeling they were plated by someone rather junior in the kitchen. They tasted better than they looked, though I wish the cake hadn't come with a physalis perched on the side. These little orange fruit, with their paper-lantern cases, are the all-purpose lazy dessert garnish. But that's a small niggle. The Pig is a charming place.
What the customers say
I have never felt more relaxed.
Kerry R. on tripadvisor.co.uk
What the owner says
I'm quite irritated about that physalis. It's the sort of thing I absolutely hate: garnish for garnish's sake. I've just been asking the chef about it: someone had taken it into their own hands. The idea of The Pig was a country house hotel with a little bit of attitude. The kitchen garden is a big part of what we do; now we're keeping pigs and chickens too.
Compiled by Emma Bartley