What: The sixth restaurant with rooms in The Pig collection, The Pig at Bridge Place is a 17th century manor house just outside the village of Bridge in the Nailbourne valley, three miles south of Canterbury, which was previously home to ridge Place Country Club. The new opening is one of a number slated for the group, with The Pig at Harlyn Bay due to open in Spring 2020 and The Pig on the South Downs in the summer the same year.
Who: Home Grown Hotels CEO Robin Hutson is the brains behind The Pig brand and, as always, has overseen closely the latest opening in the group, even lending a hand with some last minute painting.
The food: The Pig continues the group’s commitment to sourcing locally with many ingredients grown in its kitchen garden and what cannot be grown sourced within a 25-mile radius. In this case local suppliers include The Wonky Parsnip, Kentish Pip, The Cheesemakers of Canterbury, Shepherd Neame and Bardsley Farms. Dishes include its iconic piggy bits (crackling and apple sauce; honey roasted chipolatas; hock eggs and Colman’s dressing) with starters such as home-smoked salmon; pulled beef rib; and potato and lovage soup; and mains of fillet of hake; Himalayan salt-aged sirloin of beef; and pan-fried venison.
The vibe: While the hotel group prides itself on having a ‘no cookie-cutter roll-out’ policy, there is a familiarity to its latest opening, which has a luxury country farmhouse feel. The restaurant has an open kitchen and sits in the Coach House, a new building attached to the manor house that also has 12 bedrooms. There are further bedrooms in seven Hop Pickers’ Huts dotted around the estate, in the manor house itself and in The Barn, which sits next to the restaurant’s kitchen garden.
And another thing: The building’s ornate Jacobean interior hides a more modern and rock ‘n’ roll secret, with the house having played host to gig from Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd in the 1970s.