If you read my recent post on the Roman Baths and the Thermae Spa, you’ll know that we recently treated ourselves to a child free few nights away in Bath. We had a fabulous time away and a huge part of the success of our stay was our choice of hotel – The Pig Near Bath.
The Pig Near Bath is an old Grade II listed country house in Pensford, a small village about 20 minutes drive out of Bath. The Pig pride itself on ‘a touch of luxury combined with a homely charm’ – the decor is very much ‘stately home shabby chic’ – distressed wood floors, roaring fireplaces, comfy armchairs, and a few deer heads mounted on the walls. It’s comfortable and rustic rather than out and out luxurious, but still with that sniff of luxury, and it puts you at ease instantly.
We checked in on Sunday afternoon and were greeted and shown to our room. We booked a ‘Comfy Room’ – the Pig’s most basic offering, but the room was huge and gorgeously decked out. The bonus of the more expensive rooms is a bath, but the Comfy Room is equipped with a monsoon shower which is lovely to use, and I certainly didn’t miss a bath. Each room has a larder, stocked with yummy goodies and a Nespresso machine.
As soon as we were checked in, we headed out into the hotel grounds for a little explore. The hotel has a very outdoorsy feel, and have a long line of Hunters in various sizes lined up along the entrance for guests to borrow, so there’s no need to bring your own wellies. The hotel restaurant have a strong emphasis on growing their own produce, and this is clear from the hotel’s kitchen gardens. We mooched amongst glasshouses stocked with seedlings, through the vegetable and herb gardens, and out to the pig styes and chicken runs. The hotel is also set in the grounds of a deer park, and on any quick walk around the grounds you’re bound to encounter the deer. We were greeted by them in the morning, just a little way across from our room – you really do feel like you’re in the middle of the countryside!
Eating and Drinking
One of the reasons that I’d been so keen to book The Pig Near Bath, was their restaurant, which had been highly recommended. It has a focus on simple British food, and they have a commitment to the ’25 mile menu’ – meaning that any ingredient that cannot be grown on site must be sourced locally. The restaurant itself is in the glass conservatory, with tables surrounded by terracotta pots and plants. It’s all very rustic and romantic.
We ate in the restaurant on both nights of our stay, and on both occasions were hugely impressed. The flavours are crisp and clean – I had a fabulous pea and goats cheese risotto that was set off perfectly with crisp radishes and sweet carrot slices. A really succulent smoked salmon was enhanced with pickled cucumber. Each dish was simple, but had that little something to make it really sing. The only downside I can think of is that the menu wasn’t overly extensive, but there were more than enough choices for the two of us to choose different dishes each night.
The breakfast was also fabulous. I love a hotel breakfast – it’s one of my favourite things about staying in a hotel – and this one didn’t disappoint. Ours wasn’t included in our room rate, but at £10 for continental buffet (including croissants and the most fabulous homemade jam ever), and an extra £5 for a hot breakfast as well, it seemed good value to me. After my amazing smoked salmon the night before I had smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, and then next morning I went for it and got The ‘Pig Out’ – a full english, including black and white pudding – amazing!
Also worth a mention are the cocktails; I sampled the classic margarita, and one of the Pig’s special concoctions – neither disappointed!
What to Do
The Pig Near Bath is well positioned for sight-seeing in the Cotswolds. We explored Bath on our main free day, taking in the Roman Baths, and the Thermae Bath Spa, as well as the Royal Crescent. It’s worth stating that The Pig Near Bath is not actually all that near to Bath – it’s about a 20 minute drive. That said, the remote feel is an intrinsic part of the place’s charm, and not something I’m sure you could achieve closer to ‘civilisation’. We had no problems parking in Bath, despite some dire warnings from family members! If the spa and treatments are your thing, it’s worth mentioning that The Pig have an onsite treatment room, The Potting Shed, which offer a huge range of treatments.
The shopping in Bath is also top notch (although being with my husband, I didn’t choose to do much shopping). If you’re an avid shopper, it’s worth noting that the Mulberry Factory shop is close by in Shepton Mallet – worth a jaunt if you’re a handbag person (sadly no visit for me this time).
We also headed out the previous day to Chew Valley Lake – a huge reservoir not a million miles away from the hotel. We had a fish and chip lunch at the hugely popular Salt & Malt fish and chip restaurant overlooking the lake, and then went for a slow amble around (and then back again – the actual lake is enormous, I think it would take hours to walk the whole way around!)
Our room cost us an average rate of £184 per night, not including breakfast, and was booked through Mr and Mrs Smith.
The Pig Near Bath, Huntstrete House, Pensford, near Bath, Somerset BS39 4NS, England
Telephone: 01761 490490