June 22, 2015
The next addition to the litter is now confirmed! THE PIG–at Combe will open next April 2016 nestled in the Otter Valley near Honiton, Devon. Formerly Combe House Hotel, the honey-coloured Elizabethan hideaway is in 3,500 acres of Devonshire countryside just 8 miles from the coast and 15 miles from the cathedral city of Exeter.
Subject to planning approvals, our intention is to increase the number of bedrooms to around 33 by converting the stable yard and other buildings and spaces. Rooms and suites will of course come with the usual PIG panache thanks to Judy Hutson. The loft of the main house will be transformed into spacious rafter bedrooms and the stable block likewise retaining much of the original features. Combe boasts a wealth of period features which will remain amongst which is the original Georgian kitchen with the old range still working together with much original artwork and treasures in situ. These elements will help to create that natural piggy-style which everyone loves, and in addition to the main house there is a 600-year old thatched Devon longhouse which will be piggified for those wanting to escape even further.
As with our other PIGs, the kitchen garden and restaurant will be the beating heart of the new addition, growing and supplying most of the produce for the kitchen team. From garden to plate, what cannot be grown in THE PIG’s kitchen garden will be sourced within a 25-mile radius. Thanks to THE PIG-at Combe’s location being 8 miles from the coast the menu will consist of fresh fish as well as the very best Devonshire cheese and locally reared meat from butchers around the market town of Honiton.
Since 1998 Combe House Hotel has been operated by Ken and Ruth Hunt on a lease from the 3500 acre Combe Estate. During this period the hotel has been the recipient of numerous awards. Ken and Ruth plan to return to Sydney, Australia, in the Autumn, to spend more time with their family and to begin new ventures. 'Of course we are very sad to leave Combe, particularly having made so many good friends with guests, suppliers and staff over the years. We are proud of what we have achieved and are now thrilled to be handing over to Robin Hutson and the Home Grown Hotels team. They are great operators and have the vision to take Combe onto the next phase. We have always admired their unique style of hotels and feel sure Combe House will be in very safe hands.’
CEO of Home Grown Hotels Robin Hutson said 'we're really over the moon to acquire Combe, its a fantastic property in a beautiful setting just a mile west of Honiton in the heart of the stunning Otter Valley, and also close to Exeter and the south west coast. It will sit well within the footprint of our other five locations. Ken and Ruth have done a terrific job with hotel and restaurant to date and now it’s our turn to have a go! So far our other hotels have had a great first half of this year, demand has been very high for the existing properties and our guests want more Pigs, in more locations so we are thrilled to be adding a very special place in such a wonderful location - we know our clientele will love The Pig-at Combe.’
The Hunts will continue to operate the hotel through this summer season before a substantial refurbishment begins in the Autumn - 'with a fair wind we hope to open in early summer 2016' says Hutson.