ROOM AT THE INN

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

English wine, and a large four-poster bed so com­fort­able it sat­is­fies even my princess-and-pea ten­den­cies.

Sep­a­rate from the main house there are three ad­di­tional suites — one made of ad­join­ing shep­herd huts, and two adorable thatched dove­cotes. In keep­ing with the not-a-ho­tel prin­ci­ple, there is no spa, but mas­sages and fa­cials are of­fered in two rustic treat­ment cab­ins.

The restau­rant is in the pretty con­ser­va­tory, dot­ted with can­dles and pots of herbs. Af­ter the first mouth­ful it’s clear why The Pig bills it­self as restau­rant first and rooms sec­ond, as the food is ab­so­lutely de­li­cious.

The menu is dic­tated by what­ever is at its best in the veg­etable gar­den and what­ever the full-time for­ager has found on his hunts. Quail and hen eggs are from The Pig’s own birds; the pork is its own, of course; and it has a smoke­house for salmon and ham. We feast on scal­lops with ham hock and wild gar­lic; grilled ar­ti­chokes with crispy buck­wheat; the most deca­dent, pink, gi­gan­tic rib of beef with bear­naise sauce. And, trag­i­cally we are too full for pud­ding. Luck­ily it takes only a few steps to stag­ger to our lovely bed.

AZB Knight was a guest of The Pig on the Beach.

CHECK­LIST

The Pig on the Beach, Manor House, Manor Road, Stud­land, Dorset BH19 3AU, Eng­land; +44 1929 450288, thep­igho­tel.com/on-the-beach.

TAR­IFF

From £119 ($225) a room a night; check web­site for off-peak spe­cials.

GET­TING THERE

A 200km (three-hour) drive from Lon­don. The clos­est train sta­tion is Ware­ham, a 20-minute drive away.

CHECK­ING IN

A cheer­fully mixed bag of cou­ples of all ages, ex­tended fam­i­lies, groups of friends. Only a scat­ter­ing of small chil­dren.

WHEEL­CHAIR AC­CESS

All the public ar­eas on the ground floor, in­clud­ing the restau­rant and bar, are wheel­chair ac­ces­si­ble, and there are two fully ac­ces­si­ble gue­strooms.

BED­TIME READ­ING

Gue­strooms are stocked with retro man­u­als on pig rear­ing and chicken keep­ing, but for a more grip­ping read set­tle in with one of lo­cal lad Thomas Hardy’s Wes­sex nov­els.

STEP­PING OUT

Miles of beaches and clifftops to ex­plore, in­clud­ing a great half-hour walk to Old Harry Rocks. Spec­tac­u­lar ru­ins of Corfe Cas­tle, built by Wil­liam the Con­queror, are 10km away.

BRICKBATS

The shower door opens in­wards — an awk­ward de­sign and a pet hate.

BOU­QUETS

The ho­tel has beach huts for hire, so you can en­sconce your­self in 1950s splen­dour on the sand.

The Pig on the Beach manor house, above, and com­fort­able lounge, be­low

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