After first visiting The Pig near Bath for my 21st birthday in September, myself and my Mum decided it would be our goal to visit them all. Our stay was luxurious, surrounded by beautiful countryside, and spoilt for choice with amazing food and great wine- the company was rather good too.
As we now live in the South of England, there are a few branches of The Pig in the surrounding areas, and soon to be more as they are expanding in three more counties: Kent, West Sussex and Cornwall in 2018/19.
As I said, on our first visit I was amazed by the service, the buildings, the setting and the amazing dining experience- our second visit delivered the exact same.
In a small village in Devon, The Pig at Combe is surrounded by beautiful green hills, large trees, and of course all of the fresh produce grown in the gardens. The long driveway leads up to a huge country manor with large chimneys, and of course, the pig statues guarding the front entrance.
The large building was filled with huge ornamental features. Amazing chandeliers hung from the high, carved ceilings; stuffed animals perched on mantel pieces and large butterflies were beautifully displayed in frames around the wooden walls. Each table was different, with the antique wood giving the old building an authentic feel.
We were taken to our table straight away by a lovely member of staff- in fact, all the staff were helpful and friendly, and provided just the right amount of attentiveness throughout our meal. The room was light and the large windows allowed the gardens to be viewed from the warm comfy dinning room.
We started off with tap water and freshly baked bread, and shortly after followed my espresso martini, and Mum’s non-alcoholic gin with watermelon and cucumber tonic. I am not sure how I feel about non-alcoholic gin, but she said it was refreshing.
All the food that came out looked great and smelled great, so choosing what we wanted took careful consideration. They had a selection of small plates to start, piggy bits, fishy bits and veggie bits. From the options we picked ham hock scotch eggs, sardines and sourdough and crispy kale.
The scotch eggs were perfect, with the yolk still runny and warm. The kale was salty and delicious, and the sardines were very fishy. Alongside our bread basket there was smoked salt, made in their smoker in the garden, and herby oil, infused in-house too- all the flavours perfectly complimented each other.
As it was a Sunday we both had our sight set on a hearty roast. When I saw that the roast of the day was beef, I said to myself, straight away, ‘that’s what I am going to order‘. All of the ingredients are sustainably and locally sourced, and I know being so close to the sea its a shame not to choose fish, but the Yorkshire puddings had already caught my eye.
In the end, we both chose beef roasts.
The pink beef was served with a large, but slightly dense yorkie, Brussel sprouts, red cabbage, parsnips and green cabbage. It wasn’t drowned in gravy which meant we could add more ourselves to make it just right. Mum’s came with roast potatoes too, but, slightly greedily, I opted to swap mine for an extra yorkie- I didn’t even manage to finish it!
The horseradish came in a small side dish, and was the perfect amount for the two of us, I always find it a bit annoying when you have to ask for more. It was really spicy and flavoursome, however some mouthfuls really made my eyes water.
The slices of beef were lean and pink and the knife sliced through everything with ease. After our light-bite starters I did manage to clear most of my plate, however I hadn’t left any room for dessert.
To accompany our meals we each had a glass of wine, Mum’s was a full-bodied red, and mine a crisp light white- I haven’t quite got into red wine yet.
The dessert menu was also full of choices. From thick, sticky sponge puddings, to light G&T jellies and a wide range of local cheeses, it was another tough decision to make. Like I said, my wine and beef had filled me up perfectly, there wasn’t even room in my dessert stomach. Mum had strategically left some beef, which we finished off in a sandwich later in the evening, so she could taste one of the inviting puddings.
It was a choice between the chocolate mousse and the iced walnut terrine… the terrine was triumphant.
On an ornate glass plate, the iced walnut pudding was beautifully presented, and it tasted great. I know I said I didn’t have any space for dessert, but I had to give it a try. The crunchy nuts balanced the smooth creamy texture of the terrine, it was a perfect, light dessert after a rich meal.
After our meal we had one last wander around the house, exploring the rooms downstairs, and headed off into the garden. At this time of year there aren’t many types of veg or herbs growing, and sadly we didn’t see any pigs. Despite the bitter chill in the wind, the blue sky shone through, and it really was an idyllic end to a lovely afternoon.
I cannot wait to try the next one…