“Laid-back country-house hotel nestled in the Mendip Hills just outside Bath, with quirky rooms, a deer park and fabulous organic food”
It’s very hard to find fault: the interiors are simple yet attractive, the grounds are perfectly kept, and the old potting sheds have been converted into treatment rooms to help you relax. But best of all is the food. Located in a stunning Victorian greenhouse, the restaurant offers a tantalising array of daily changing dishes concocted by head chef Kamil Oseka, along with his forager and kitchen gardener. There’s a real emphasis on locally produced organic food: most of the greens are grown on site, a chicken and quail coop provides the eggs and there are (of course) a couple of real-life resident piggies in the grounds.
- Spacious rooms, some with roll-top tubs and all with drenching monsoon showers; we particularly liked the 2 romantic min-cottages, with their wood-burning stoves
- Fresh and flavoursome food, all grown on site, foraged nearby or sourced within a 25-mile radius - expect the likes of home-smoked salmon with Somerset cider, or home-grown rhubarb with vanilla sorbet
- Very tranquil, with lovely walks in the deer park and Mendips, yet you can easily zip into Bath or Bristol
- Attentive, friendly and extremely knowledgeable staff
- We loved the chunky solid-wood floors throughout, and the eclectic mix of gardening tools, antiques and reclaimed items furnishing the interiors
- The 2 Snug Rooms are exactly that, but they’re fine for a night or two
- Breakfast isn’t included in the rates, but it’s well worth the money
- Rooms can get a little hot in summer, but fans are available on request
- Mobile-phone reception is ropey and the WiFi doesn’t yet reach all the rooms, but that’s a blessing in disguise if you want to unwind
- It's deservedly popular: you’ll need to book rooms and tables well in advance, and there's a 2-night minimum stay over Fridays and Saturdays
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Restaurant and bar (open daily)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Tennis Court
- Croquet lawn and billiards
- Wellies and maps to borrow
The 29 rooms are split between the main building and the Coach House (you might hear some restaurant noise in the former, but other than that there's little difference), plus 2 secluded hideaways (set in individual stone buildings) in the kitchen garden. All feature the same eclectic mix - antique desks and chairs, chunky wooden floors made from reclaimed French railway carriages, botanical prints on the walls, and comfy beds topped with luxurious linens. Bathrooms have monsoon showers and Bramley products, and you also get Nespresso machines, retro Roberts radios and minibars (here called 'larders') packed with goodies (from fudge to Orchard Pig cider and Champagne).
Even the smallest Snug Rooms are just about big enough to swing a pig, but if you’re staying for more than a night or 2 it’s worth upgrading to a slightly larger Comfy Room (the only rooms which can be set up as twins; some also interconnect). If you want a bath, you’ll have to splash out on one of the Comfy Luxe Rooms, which have freestanding roll-top tubs in the bedroom or bathroom. We stayed in one of these and loved the four-poster bed, the sink-into sofa, the fern-frond motif dotting the walls, and the tastefully tiled ensuite in black, brown and grey. Big Comfy Luxe Rooms are similar but have even more space.
For those wanting maximum privacy, The Apple Store and The Hide are a great choice. Spread over 2 floors, they have a cosy bedroom (with wood-burner) on the ground floor, and a bathroom with a shower and roll-top tub above. They also have terraces with a couple of chairs. The former has views of the garden, while the latter looks out over the deer park.
- Coffee tea making
- Cots Available
- Dvd player
- Extra beds
- Satellite tv
The restaurant is in a renovated Victorian greenhouse, or you can also dine out on the terrace when the weather allows. We loved the décor - mismatched tables adorned with pots of fresh herbs and flowers, bone-handled cutlery, wooden crates and old garden paraphernalia dotting the walls and floor - but it’s the food that really steals the show. The menu changes daily and is dictated by whatever the kitchen gardener and forager unearth each morning. There's always plenty of fresh vegetables, herbs and fruit, and what can’t be grown on site is sourced only from producers within a 25-mile radius.
Predictably, pork features strongly, but by no means overwhelmingly. We had a selection of ‘Piggy Bits’ to accompany our pre-dinner G&Ts (the honey and chilli pork-belly pieces were particularly divine), before moving on to delicate home-smoked salmon in a Somerset cider dressing and a fresh garden-mint and spring-vegetable soup. For mains we devoured a huge chargrilled 35-day-aged sirloin of ruby red beef with hand-cut chips and béarnaise sauce, and an oven-roasted rump of English lamb with charred leek and braised cabbage. With little space left for dessert, we opted for a light selection of 3 sorbets - strawberry, blackberry and yoghurt. It was all washed down with a crisp Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from the extensive wine list.
For lunches and lighter snacks you can order pizza or flatbread fresh from the wood-fired oven, and the bar is open throughout the day for drinks.
Breakfast isn’t included in the rates but is well worth the additional cost. There are 3 options - an expansive buffet with all sorts of pastries, cereals and juices (you can even boil a freshly laid egg), a full list of cooked dishes, and a selection of lighter à la carte choices. All are delicious, so don’t worry if you can’t face the Full English: you’re still in for a treat.
- Children meals
- Coffee tea making
- Organic produce
- Head into Bath to visit the Roman Baths, shop in the many boutiques, and soak up the Georgian splendour of the Royal Crescent, the Circus and Pulteney Bridge. The city is also home to excellent museums, including the Museum of Costume (beneath the Assembly Rooms) and the Holborne Art Museum
- After you’ve finished sightseeing, spend a few hours floating around the naturally heated rooftop pool at the Thermae Bath Spa
- Drive to nearby Bristol to stroll along the revamped Harbourside, exercise your credit card in the independent shops of Park Street and Clifton Village, marvel at Brunel’s iconic Suspension Bridge and SS Great Britain
- Spectacular Cheddar Gorge is within striking distance, as are historic Glastonbury, Wells and the animals of Longleat Safari Park
- Back at The Pig, wander around the grounds, explore the kitchen garden, and watch fallow deer graze in the park
- Public footpaths meander out from the property into the Mendip Hills: borrow a pair of Hunter wellies and a map from reception
- Pamper yourself with a massage or treatment in one of the 2 converted potting sheds, have a game of billiards, croquet or tennis (all available on site), or find a comfy armchair by the fire and try one of their fab cocktails
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Museums / galleries
- Shopping / markets
- Well being
Children of all ages are welcome, and they’ll love romping around the grounds and meeting the resident pigs, deer and chickens. There’s plenty to amuse kids nearby too, including child-friendly museums in Bath and Bristol.
Family friendly accommodation:
Most Comfy Luxe and Big Comfy Luxe Rooms can accommodate an extra bed or baby cot, and some Comfy Rooms interconnect.
Staff can provide details of a local babysitting agency.
- Baby cots
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The 'Piglet' kids' menu features the likes of sausage and mash, free-range chicken and chips and apple jelly and ice cream, all made from the same locally sourced goodies as the main menu.
Kids Activities on site:
- Pigs, chickens and deer to meet
Kids Activities nearby:
- Bath’s Roman Baths (20-minute drive)
- Brunel’s SS Great Britain and boat trips along Bristol’s Harbourside (25-minute drive)
- Bristol Zoo (25-minute drive)
- Caves at Wookey Hole and Cheddar Gorge (30-minute drive)
- Longleat Safari Park (50-minute drive)
- Airport: 25-minute drive (Bristol)
- Hospital: 20-minute drive (Bath)
- Shop: 5-minute drive