• Kate Able

The Pig... NOT... The Fish

Each site boast it’s own identity, centered around a restaurant with rooms and kitchen garden to celebrate the seasons that come and go, each with it’s own delights

For some years now many of you will have seen the name "The Pig" banded about restaurant/hotel circles or on TV being used as a backdrop for the finest local produce in fantastic surroundings, from the New Forest to West Sussex and Bath and Dorset, they have a spread their trotters reasonably wide.


Each site boast it’s own identity, centered around a restaurant with rooms and kitchen garden to celebrate the seasons that come and go, each with its own delights for a chef to create wonderful food from. The restaurant itself is situated outside of Bath City. Location is near the small village of Hunstrete which lies near the River Chew that meanders its way along the valley dotted with farms and pastures and other quaint hamlets, it’s the perfect spot for this kind of food loving retreat.


Tables were small but enough room IF you don't pile a load of needless tut all over it, always annoys me!

HIT ME ...

I pass this place often enough but just never seemed to find the time to pay it a visit.

But one day my other SD called and said ..."The Pig!...lets go" and I needed little persuasion.

It was a mid-week rumble and we didn’t think it would be too busy but the name and rep draw people in and so even our visit had a good number of patrons in the restaurant.

The house and gardens are magnificent, tailored lawns giving rise to raised beds and of course a huge area of veg and other culinary delights.


Having wandered through patios and and down various winding path ways we were greeted and shown to our table in the busy conservatory area. Tables were small but enough room IF you don't pile a load of needless tut all over it, always annoys me! room for plates and glasses please, not half melted candles, potted plants, salt & pepper grinders and rather posh butter dishes. I mean they are nice things in themselves but they just get in my way and worse the waiting staffs way... get rid, not needed!


The restaurant itself is of a style, quaint rustic charm, old reliced furniture, big flag stones, an air of old country house I guess, with smatterings of green vegetation here and there and a miss match of cutlery. It’s kinda cool I guess. I feel like I am on the edge of the potting shed... that’s a good description.


"Two pints of lager shandy please" I repeated "Sorry Sir, I don't think I know what that is"


FEED ME ...

We sat and absorbed the surroundings a while before a polite if very young waiter came to our table and gave us menus and asked if we would like a drink. Minutes previous to this our neighbours had ordered a bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape, so we felt a little sheepish or is that piggish ordering "two pints of lager shandy please”... "Excuse me sir?" came the reply,

"Two pints of lager shandy please" I repeated "Sorry Sir, I don't think I know what that is"

Some what taken a back, in a freindly way, I accepted his reply and put it down to his age ... “It’s a pint glass with half a pint of lager beer in it and the rest is just lemonade" "Yes Sir, thank you." He wrote it down in detail and one can only assume shuttled off to a distant bar to request this extraordinary cocktail. We waited with baited breath and of course weren't that surprised to be treated with a can of some local lager and a gin glass with a dash of lemonade in it! Bizarre?? I'd say so. I politely requested a second glass and asked "Do you have pint glasses here? I mean... it is a hotel right?" "No Sir, I don't think so"


The menu is good reading, great play made of the local produce and maps of where things are sourced, it’s called "The 25 mile menu" and it’s nice and in keeping with that identity I mentioned earlier. Piggies being a main play and also that kitchen garden, but other dishes that incorporate fish and even pasta. It’s a wide spectrum with good choice that I am sure changes regularly depending on the time of year and what is offered by suppliers.

Problem is, we have now been sat waiting not only for the drinks but for anyone to return to take the order, but eventually someone comes and we plumb for a selection of starters

Chipolatas in honey and mustard dressing, fish cakes and a pulled pork croquette or some such. These didn’t take long to arrive although I’d point out that my immediate response was that it all looked a little thrown on a plate having been nuked in the fryer... but if we sprinkle some petals over it nobody will notice and we can still charge 9 quid for each one. Yes you are reading right, my gut feeling was beginning to be proven right... style over substance!


For mains we decided to go for a pork dish, let’s face it if they can’t serve pig up, we are in trouble. I decided to try fish, let’s see how they handle lemon sole, expensive fish these days requires treating with kid gloves and real attention to it while cooking.


Desert is divided into three areas, Pudding, Light Pudding and the cheese board, and they are £8.50 a pop! So better be really good...

Service wise I guess it was one of those ...."it is taking ages" moments, only for it to arrive as you're thinking it. It certainly wasn't a sharp delivery, not least they couldn't fit anything on the table because we now had two beer cans, 4 gin glasses, x2 water glasses, salt and pepper grinders, a potted plant, a silver butter dish, two bottles of flavoured olive oil, a bottle of water, and a basket with bread in it taking up the whole table... that’s prior to sides of veg and random knives and forks being delivered. It was just all a bit clunky... including the food, my sole looked like a cat had had a go at one end of it, lemon sole with no real whack of lemon (or soul), or butter, it was bland. In fairness the pork was very good, it was a really odd shade of pink but it was very well cooked and distinct in flavour. Sides of fresh veg where delicious, well seasoned and all the butter that should have been with my fish was on the carrots. None the less a testament to the kitchen garden no doubt, just not sure I’d dump wilted spinach on top of a lemon sole.

Desert is divided into three areas, pudding, light pudding and the cheese board, and they are £8.50 a pop! So better be really good. To be honest we've been at our table for a long time but do feel we should try something from the puddings, even if to share, so we go for the chocolate mouse and ice cream.

Now I dunno about anyone else but I am intrigued just by the idea of those two textures on the same plate, a mousse with ice cream? Chocolate and mint, yup I get that and cane cut semillon, for texture yes I get that, but all on the same plate?

It was neatly presented and another catering of edible petals gave a shot of colour.

The mousse was good, deep chocolate and the semillon had a nice bite. The ice cream… hmm homemade for sure but made using fresh mint from a garden… I dunno there is something about that flavour that is just weird, as an ice cream alone it‘s ok but for me it’s just too floral for chocolate, it needs the peppermint whack, menthol in fact, and the two textures along side each other just did not work. Only our opinion but there you go.


this place is not cheap we paid 140 quid for our food and drink that’s a big chunk of change for food, on that basis alone the service has to be spot on... it wasn't

OUT OF HERE...


Look it’s never easy giving reviews of places that have so much promise or hype around them, but the fact is the cost of this place is not cheap we paid 140 quid for our food and drink thats a big chunk of change for food, on that basis alone the service has to be spot on, it wasn't, the food has to be bang on point and sorry it simply was not, and we weren't alone with that view, we saw deserts get sent back and heard comments made about the food that weren't exactly glowing, we also watched the table next us have sides served with their starters only to send them back to the kitchen? Bizarre. Pint glasses? What’s a shandy? We felt like we were eating in an old peoples home at points. It feels like that, it doesn't feel like a top notch restaurant, able to brag about it’s kitchen garden at all, or able to exploit all those incredible ingredients it claims to have at its fingertips.


Simple fact: The Pig are charging way too much money for this level of food, it simply is not good enough and we felt hard done by because of it so the scores reflect that feeling.


SCORE, A POOR - 3.75


  • Food score 3/10

  • Service Score 3/10

  • Comms Score 3/10

  • Vibe 3/10

  • Disability Access 5/10

  • Bog 5/10

  • Sticky Table 6/10 - clean but cluttered

  • Value for Money 2/10

  • What is cost £140.00

  • What it’s worth - No

  • Would we go back ? Not to Bath, no.

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