It’s an understatement to say the couple are onto a good thing with the Pig franchise, but it’s also true. Whichever branch you book, the Pig offers something different to other country hotels: here, luxury is hidden beneath shabby chic decor and guests are expected to dress down in order to fit in with the hotel’s relatively informal vibe.
The Pig hotels are as much about the food as they are the accommodation and additional on-site facilities. But not only are meals exquisite and as decadent as you want them to be, the focus is on ethical and sustainable eating. Whichever branch of the Pig you wine and dine at, the group’s commitment to home-grown and local produce means much of what you’ll eat has been grown on site; and what hasn’t, has been sourced within a 25-mile radius. Each hotel’s menu is a collaboration between the property’s gardener, forager and chef, and what they create depends entirely on which ingredients are in season.
The latest Pig property is a 29-bedroom, Queen Anne manor house outside the historic village of Bridge, three miles south of Canterbury. The house is riddled with period features, from large fireplaces to secret stairways and cosy crannies. The building’s history is tied up in the 70s rock-n-roll movement, too, with Led Zeppelin among the bands who have played gigs there in the past.
All bedrooms have been finished in the Pig’s signature unpolished style, but vary in character depending on which part of the property you stay in. The main house has seven rooms boasting views across the water meadows beyond. There’s a further 12 light and spacious rooms in the Coach House, two family-friendly lodges and the Barn, a two-storey romantic hideaway. Those wooed by the hotel’s commitment to sustainability, meanwhile, might want to reserve a pad in the Kentish Hop Pickers’ Huts. These double bedrooms, each with their own fitted bathroom attached, sit on stilts alongside the river and are made out of reclaimed materials.
Food is just as important here as it is at other Pig properties. While the look and feel of the restaurant – housed on site in a new Coach House – is similar to that found in other Pig dining rooms, what sets it apart from its sister restaurants is the open kitchen, which allows diners to get a closer look at the action. Drink-wise, Kent is known for its ancient orchards, history of hop growing and recently planted vineyards, meaning guests can pair their meal with award-winning wines or first-class ciders and beers, all of which have been produced locally.
The Pig’s Potting Shed spas are another signature trait of the properties. At Bridge Place, it’s no different, and guests can switch off and revitalise with a range of treatments in said Potting Shed or in tucked away Shepherds’ Huts.
Things aren’t slowing down for the Hutsons now their latest Pig hotel is up and running. The couple and their team have a further two properties currently being renovated – one in Padstow, Cornwall, the other in Arundel, West Sussex – which are expected to open in 2020. But for now, and indeed the rest of 2019, it’s all about The Pig at Bridge Place.
|What||The Pig at Bridge Place, Canterbury|
|Where||The Pig at Bridge Place , Bourne Park Road, Bridge , Canterbury , CT4 5LF | MAP|
|Website||Click here to book|