The Pig at Combe
No matter how positive you are, moving house is pretty rubbish. So after two and a half days we ditched it, pulled the cobwebs out of our hair and dragged ourselves to the new Pig Hotel. As regulars of the award winning 'original' in the next village to us in Brockenhurst we were keen to see what the latest sister set up would hold in store.
The last time we visited the old Combe House Hotel when I was pregnant with my (now 4 year old) daughter. It was lovely then; in a faded, elegant, quiet and slightly over-done way. But now its fairly zinging along.
The main event, apart from some pretty serious rustic chic interior decoration, for which the group has become known for, is their transformation of the garden area which is frankly extraordinary. Their garden team deserve more credit that they are given. Usually it’s interiors stylists that get the credit, but it shouldn’t be. Why hasn’t Monty Don been down there to interview them yet?!
I skulked about behind the new poly tunnels, bulging at the seams with tomatoes and found the original potting shed – which was to my delight – reinstated as a proper potting shed, with clay pots, seedings all lined up in delicious-looking compost and an immaculate cobbled floor. It was all there and functioning with the design-guru aplomb that the garden founder would have been proud of.
The old stables have been shimmied into a new version of “Devon-glam”. You’ll find them past the treatment rooms, the 8 types of mint plants, the raspberry cages and under a giant arch. The cobbles still exist. The brickwork has been sharpened up. There are wrought iron chairs outside. But the nicest thing. It was quiet. Not just hotel quiet (that sort of weird – ooh is someone watching thing) but bird-listening quiet. And a sun trap. And with views to the equine toe-pointers in the Arab horse stud next door.
Of course the food is good there. Of course the staff are good looking and smiley. Of course the gin bar is a cracker. Of course you can ride up on your horse and park it up for a ride-through lunch.
We are going to book in for a week long holiday ASAP. And we live 20 minutes away.