The Pig, located on the outskirts of Brockenhurst in Hampshire, will launch on 24 July following a seven-month, £3m renovation, on the premises formerly known as the Whitley Ridge Hotel.
Operated under the Home Grown Hotels brand, a subsidiary of the Lime Wood Group of which Hutson is chairman, The Pig will be headed by former Hotel du Vin Brighton general manager Lora Strizic.
The 26-bedroom hotel places emphasis on ‘immediacy from garden to plate’, and features an onsite garden (tended by former pharmacologist turned kitchen gardener Mike Kleyn) from which much of the restaurant’s food will be sourced.
The rest of the food served at The Pig will be located from a 15-mile radius by forager Garry Eveleigh, and cooked by head chef James Golding, previously of Le Caprice and J Sheekey.
Hutson said: “This is a hotel that’s more of a restaurant with rooms where everything we do is dictated by the kitchen garden and the food.”
Hutson has drawn influences for The Pig from the food of Skye Gyngell from Petersham Nurseries in Richmond and Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in California. Along with his wife Judy, the famed designer of Hotel du Vin, Hutson has designed the rooms at The Pig with eclectic furnishings and muted colours to give a warm, comfortable feel.
Six exterior bedrooms occupy the hotel’s converted stables, each of which has original features and its own private courtyard.
Gap in the market
Having identified a gap in the market, he added that if The Pig proved popular, Home Grown Hotels would look to expand the concept throughout the south.
“People are drawing the conclusion that this is the country version of Hotel du Vin and while it’s not something I’ve endorsed, it is similar in the way that we have identified a gap in the market. There are a lot of hotels around the top end that do things well, but in the middle market there’s very little of much interest,” he said.
“I started Hotel du Vin in 1994 with Gerard Basset and at that time identified that there wasn’t much going on in towns and cities in the provinces. The gap we’ve identified with The Pig is similar in the sense there are quite a number of hotels like this up and down the country that are often quite lovely buildings with little flair in their operation.”
Backed by chemical entrepreneur Jim Ratcliffe and co-operated by hotel marketing specialist David Elton, Home Grown Hotels hopes to expand at a rate of one property per year.
Lime Wood Group also operates Lime Wood Hotel in Lyndhurst, Hampshire, as well as La Porchetta Hotel and chalets in Courcheval, France.