This year has been all about the UK staycations and exploring places closer to home without the hassle of boarding a plane.
The Dorset coast was the chosen one for our summer jaunt. With it’s rolling downs, sweeping cliff walks, sparkling seas, long stretches of beach and hidden coves it’s a superb place to explore. Especially as it’s also home to the Jurassic Coast, 95 miles of breathtaking coastline stretching from Exmouth in East Devon to Old Harry Rocks in Studland Bay in Dorset. And that’s exactly where you’ll find The Pig on the Beach.
Dorset Hotels By The Sea
Part the Pig group of seven hotels with more on the way (oink!). It has all the rustic charm and comfy luxury vibes of its siblings. The Restaurant with Rooms sits in the idyllic village of Studland. The area was a favourite of children’s author Enid Blyton with may of the Famous Five adventures set around the rugged coves and picturesque sleepy villages.
Luxury hotels in Dorset
The charming 16th-century manor house was once the holiday home of the aristocratic Bankes family. Now revived, extended and painted yellow, a labyrinth of corridors lead to a spread of unique rooms. They have 23 in total including mini houses and shepherd’s huts on the grounds.
It stands proudly on the bay but not quite ON the beach which is only a five minute walk away. The views overlooking the striking chalk stacks of Old Harry Rocks and the Isle of Wight in the distance are simply stunning. A truly delightful place to stay. Let me show you why…
Rooms at The Pig on The Beach
The higgledy piggledy hotel means the rooms follow suit. All are individual, quirky and enchanting with original features. They share the country house feel with vintage style fabrics, marble sinks, reclaimed floorboards, the Pig’s Signature Roberts radio, the most tempting minibar and super-comfy beds.
Cute reading corners with fun material such as modern Famous Five books and fruits in your room are lovely little touches. And let’s not forget the glorious views of the bay from the bed – icing on the cake.
Extra beds for under 12s can be added to larger rooms and be sure to ask well in advance as there are only two pairs of interconnecting rooms. We failed on the latter and ended up with two separate rooms opposite each others. The kids as you can imagine were overjoyed at the prospect of their own private den for a few days where no parents were allowed (apparently). A stash of U-Rated DVDs are available to borrow too. A lifesaver on a rainy day, as we discovered.
Food and Drink
A trademark of all the Pig properties is the food. Either grown on site or as the menu name suggests from no more than 25 miles away. The Conservatory restaurant offers a daily-changing menu of creative and beautifully presented local food.
Think Dorset fish, house-smoked meats, fresh seafood and the most delicious tasting vegetables. Special mention to the tenderstem broccoli, which we pigged out on every night! Kids have healthy options on the Piglet’s Menu or choose anything from the adults menu in half portions.
The dining room boasts a gorgeous Victorian greenhouse feel, expect mismatched furniture, stained glass windows, vintage cutlery, potted herbs and hand labelled condiments. The restaurant gets extremely busy with non resident diners too, so same-day bookings are not available. Make sure you reserve a table when booking.
Breakfast will see you back at the restaurant. There’s a great spread for what is classed as the Breakfast Table. A buffet including granola, homemade muesli, fruit compotes, granola bars and more. The kids loved the DIY sourdough toast and boil-your-own-eggs station. Or you can order from a separate cooked menu. Breakfast is charged as an extra. I’ll be honest – I’m not a fan of high priced hotels not including the most important meal of the day in the rate.
Make time for the wood fired oven and outdoor bar which serves delicious smoky flatbread with a mix of toppings. It makes for the perfect al fresco afternoon relaxing with a glass of rose on the loungers looking out to sea.
The Kitchen Garden
Walking through the small arched doorway into the culinary garden is a bit like entering the secret garden of vegetables. A veritably pleasing technicolour blanket of fruit, veg, herbs and edible flowers. Brilliant for exploration and learning for the kids and finding out what may end up their plates later.
After all the eating, you’re bound to get thirsty. Head to the rather cosy wood panelled bar. Decorated with warm fabrics and plumped up sofas you’ll get lost in – It’s like your local pub slash what you wish your living room would look like. Boasting a fabulous wine list, seasonal cocktails and artisan snacks – tomato popcorn tickle your tastebuds?
A favourite of ours was the snug, a homey living room where the kids would often retreat. Board games kept them busy whilst mummy and daddy enjoyed a tipple on the comfy sofas with a roaring fire.
When ME time calls head to the two shepherds huts AKA treatment rooms in the meadows. Bamford and Oskia products are used for super relaxing facials and massages.
Before you know it all your stresses will have melted away. They’re in demand so ensure you book before your arrival.
Within the beautiful grounds there are also some characterful entertainment spaces. The Roundhouse is a cosy thatched house used for private dining, seating 8-12 guests on a sociable round table. Diners are served a bespoke, sumptuous, family style menu inspired by the kitchen garden.
The gorgeous summer house can also be hired for small gatherings, but whilst we were staying it was open as another area to chillout. Obviously I took full advantage of the quiet space after a bit of posing of course. The interiors are so on point!
There are so many outdoor activities and walks to enjoy for all age ranges. Complimentary Hunter boots, brollies and a choice of two walking maps are available for guests.
We walked down to Old Harry Rocks along small gravel pathways, discovered spectacular views of the bay walking through overgrown bushes, meandered through green fields before reaching one of the South Coast’s famous landmarks. Well deserved snacks were enjoyed as we admired the impressive white cliffs and sparkling clear blue and green waters beneath.
A charming luxury hotel where all the airs and graces are left at the door. It’s so laid back, you’re completely relaxed from the moment you walk over the threshold. This casual chic retreat certainly worked it’s piggy magic. Now all I’m thinking is which one is next…
Pig on the Beach | Manor Road | Studland | Dorset | BH19 3AU | Website
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