Renowned for its exceptional food and country hideaways, The Pig has established itself as the ultimate luxury hotel brand, epitomising quintessential British countryside living. The first Pig hotel opened in Brockenhurst in the New Forest in 2011 and the group has since expanded its portfolio with eight sites, including hotels in Dorset, Hampshire, Devon, Bath, Cornwall, Sussex and Canterbury in Kent, which we trotted along to for the night for a sleepover. Complete with the magical heritage décor of an English country manor, from staircases that transport you to another century, to the cosy sofas and armchairs that are perfect for reclining in while indulging in sweet afternoon treats by the open fire, the Pig at Bridge Place is truly spellbinding. The sumptuous property offers visitors somewhere unique to unwind in while enjoying the finest food and wine in the most picturesque of settings. Set in acres of the rural Kent landscape, all of its 29 bedrooms offer a splendid view of the estate.
From the moment you pull into the drive, there is something quite remarkable about this 17th century red-brick manor house. The attention to detail here is second to none, with signature Pig touches throughout the property, like the Hunter wellies ready and waiting at the entrance for those who fancy a brisk walk, along with local walking route maps, and the on-site mini allotment (named the Kitchen Garden) where lush greenery which adds to the escapist feel of a luxury retreat.
The bedrooms are spread across the Main House, Coach House, several roomy Lodges, the Barn and the rustic Hop Pickers’ Huts, which come complete with log burning fires and offer the ultimate in comfort. Expect a rock ‘n’ roll romantic vibe with plush velvet furnishings, wood panelling, exposed red brickwork, supersized beds, bespoke Pig-branded toiletries by British beauty brand Bramley and a roll top bathtub – because a hotel stay in the country is never quite the same without a relaxing bath, champagne in hand, is it? You’ll also enjoy fresh mint tea upon arrival without the forgettable take-it-or-leave-it biscuit, the Pig provides only the finest Scottish Tunnock’s Caramel Wafers to munch on.
If an afternoon soak in the tub has given you a hankering for more pampering, then book a hot stone body massage at the Pig’s Potting Shed and let the serious R&R begin.
Though the Pig’s relaxation credentials are mighty, what really draws visitors to the Pig at Bridge Place (and all its sister locations) is the restaurant. Carefully curated menus from Group Chef Director James Golding utilise the best local ingredients (including vegetables grown on-site) and ensure produce comes from within a 25-mile radius. Offering exquisite cuisine, in an open theatre-style kitchen so you can watch all the cooking and impeccable plating action while enjoying an array of dishes such as zero-mile mushrooms on toast with fermented garlic butter, Rye Bay crab and lobster cocktail, chargrilled Tamworth pork loin with garden greens, and finally, pure heaven on a plate… Myatt’s Farm rhubarb tart topped with crystalised rhubarb.
The bar is perfect for a pre- or post-dinner aperitif, with lots of cosy spots here to settle down and enjoy a drink or two, and plenty of opportunities for an Insta snap, from the glasses propped up at the window creating a remarkable piece of art to the spectacular ceiling. Unsure what to imbibe? We highly recommend the spicy Greenhouse Margarita as the perfect nightcap.
Though hotel breakfasts can often be a disappointing affair, the Pig at Bridge Place is in a whole new league when it comes to the starting your day the right way. Notice charming antique crockery on the buffet, honey produced on-site, hen’s eggs from the Pig’s own barns, stewed fruit, healthy granola bites and not-so-healthy granola, fresh juices, a variety of cheese and milks, the works. We would even go as far to say that the cinnamon buns here are far better than a popular London bakery. If you have room after sampling the delights of the buffet, or prefer to start the day with a warming plate of grub, select a dish from the à la carte breakfast menu. We opted for the Full English (with such amazing produce on hand, it would be rude not to) and the smashed peas on sourdough topped with a poached egg – in short, breakfast heaven.
For a foodie getaway that celebrates top-notch locally sourced ingredients, where you feel like you are part of an exclusive club amid tranquil surroundings that will have you reconnecting with nature, then look no further than this red-bricked hideaway in the garden of England.
The Pig at Bridge Place, Bourne Park Rd, Bridge, Canterbury CT4 5BH