As soon as you navigate the long approach to THE PIG at Combe you get a sense of the grandeur. We arrived on a crisp winters day through the fog that was reminiscent of a Sir Arther Conan Doyle novel. The house appeared out of the fog as we got closer and I could feel my excitement building. My sister Estella had written a piece for The Arbuturian in the summer and had loved the place so I had high hopes.
On arrival through the main entrance I was immediately welcomed with the warmth from the roaring fire and the beauty of the winters light cutting through the vintage and mismatched glasswear in complimenting colours. The wood panelled walls adding to the ambiance and creating a sense of comfort.
A brief warm by the fire and then I was off on a tour of the kitchen gardens with gardener Alex. After working for THE PIG in Brockenhurst and Limewood, Alex had a wealth of knowledge he was keen to impart. We toured the greenhouses, polytunnels and beds tasting as we went and talking about how he and the chefs regularly meet and chat about what works and what doesn’t in the beautifully presented kitchen garden. What can’t be grown here is sourced locally within a 25 mile radius. This influences the menu with seasonality being key.
From the garden and the chill in the air I was happy to be back by the roaring fire to peruse the 25 mile menu and have an aperitif with some piggy nibbles. A bottle of local wine chosen, opened and enjoyed alongside quails egg and ham hock scotch eggs with a Colemans mustard dressing, fishy bites and a beautiful cauliflower purée with the crispest carrots imaginable.Quicke’s and Sharpham plus homemade piggy fours with coffee finished off an outstanding lunch.
I can honestly say that THE PIG at Combe is perfection. I can’t wait to return.www.thepighotel.com/at-combe/
01404 540 400