1 September 2018

The Peppered Pig and The Pig Inn In-Depth Review

The exterior of The Pig Inn
I recently went to visit my family in Yorkshire to catch up and say goodbye before I set off for university in Spain. While we there, we stayed at The Pig Inn at the Peppered Pig at Turnbridge. I thought I might share my review of the place here on my blog in case anyone was interested!
We were in the Huntingdon Room (Room 7).

The beds were very comfortable.
When we arrived, we were greeted and checked in by a very friendly and polite man. It was a very warm welcome and an efficient check in, and we were shown to our rooms as well instead of just being sent on our merry way. My mum and I stayed in the Huntingdon room, which is the accessible room downstairs, and my aunt was in the Yorkshire White room upstairs.
We loved that they stuck to the branding of pigs throughout the restaurant and hotel; there were lots of statues and ornaments of pigs, as well as paintings of farm animals which were done by local artists. The rooms were all named after breeds of pigs, and of course the menu featured plenty of pork, bacon, and ham, which I'm sure is delightful for a meat eater!
Little piggies everywhere!
My mum and I shared a twin room which we liked a lot. The beds were wonderfully comfortable and clean; with fluffy pillows, soft matresses, and nice thick duvets. The bedding felt luxurious, which we appreciated a lot, as we've stayed in places before that have seemed to scrimp on that, and it can make such a difference to your sleep! One thing we did notice about the beds was that the brakes hadn't been put on after moving them apart from being a double into a twin, and we couldn't work out how to put them on ourselves. We did sometimes feel a bit precarious when clambering onto the bed!
Big french doors leading onto a private patio
The room was incredibly light and airy, due to the large windows we had to one side, with doors that led out onto a little patio area. When we arrived, it was offered to have furniture put on that patio, but we decided not to because we wouldn't be around a lot of the time as of course we'd be visiting family, however that option was offered should you want it, which was lovely.
I loved the decor!
We did feel that a couple of things were missing from the main bedroom. The only mirror was in the bathroom over the sink, and while it was very large and clean, we did think that a full length mirror in the bedroom would be nice, or a mirror over the desk area so you could sit there to do your makeup. We also saw that there was only one bin, which again was in the bathroom, and there actually wasn't a bin bag in it which struck us as rather odd. Both those things obviously wouldn't have killed us, but we did think that a bin and mirror in the room as well as the bathroom would have been beneficial!
Our bathroom
An outdoor seating area
They provided toiletries in the bathroom that smelled heavenly, and we really enjoyed the body lotion in particular - a good choice from the management at The Pig Inn! The bathroom itself was very clean and modern, with a rainforest shower as well as a handheld one which was a nice addition. As I mentioned further up, the room we were in was the accessible one, so the shower was a modern walk-in one.
We stayed there for two nights, and did notice that the room wasn't serviced while we were out after the first night. Of course the room hadn't gotten filthy overnight, but we did think that it would have been nice just to pop in to replenish the milk, tea bags, coffee sachets and things like that while we were out. Our towels also hadn't been replaced, which was a shame, as they were still slightly damp to dry ourselves with after a shower on the second night. Obviously the room didn't need vacuuming and we didn't need the bedding changed after just one night, although we did think that replenishing the things I mentioned would have been appreciated.
This is a seating area upstairs
Outside of the bedrooms, there were several lovely communal sitting areas. The decor of The Pig Inn and The Peppered Pig is straight out of Pinterest - it's done in a quirky yet tasteful mismatched style, and was right up my alley. I really enjoyed looking at all the different coffee tables and sofas and chairs and choosing a favourite! These sitting areas were really pleasant places to relax with a cup of tea or a hot chocolate at the end of the night.
I adored these patchwork chairs!
It was really sunny while we were there, and we found several nice areas to sit outside as well. There was a covered patio which I loved, and there was also an open air dining area, a couple of outdoor sofas and benches, and a fire pit which I know would be lovely during the autumn and winter! Overall, there were lots of relaxing spaces to sit with a cuppa and a book, so if that is your thing, you'd really enjoy yourself here.
In the morning, we really enjoyed breakfast. There weren't very many vegetarian options, but you could easily request for the meat not to be included and the serving staff and chefs were happy to oblige. On the first day, I had Eggs Benedict without the ham, and I thought the poached eggs were cooked to perfection! The toast was made with fresh crusty bread, and I really enjoyed it. It was my first time trying the sauce that comes with Eggs Bendict, and I wasn't overly thrilled with it, but I think that's due to my taste rather than it being prepared badly. My aunt had avocado and poached egg on toast, and my mum had pancakes. All of our meals were perfectly cooked and really generous portions.
The coffees came with these little pig shortbreads!
On the second day, I had the pancakes. They are supposed to come with bacon but of course I asked for them without, so they came with just the jug of maple syrup. The pancakes were delicious and again cooked to perfection. I did feel that they'd have been nice with a banana, which unfortunately wasn't in the fruit bowl on offer. I think that they could either put a couple of bananas in the fruit bowl, or offer the pancakes on the menu with bacon or with banana. It just would have been a nice extra on them! My aunt had scrambled egg and smoked salmon on toast, and my mum had just scrambled egg on toast. They looked absolutely delicious, and we all ate every bite of our breakfasts!
Mmmmm... Pancakes...
Off to one side, they offered cold breakfast; a few little boxes of cereals, a fruit salad, a fruit bowl with oranges and apples, and jugs of juice and milk (not in the same jug, I think I worded that strangely). I did think they could extend this range of cold offerings. They could possibly do some cold meats and cheeses, as well as some pastries and muffins and things. Of course I know that these would cost the hotel more, so I understand why they weren't there, although if the cost could be worked out I think they'd be an excellent addition that would elevate the breakfast to the next level.
Overall, we really enjoyed our stay at The Pig Inn and I personally would recommend it!

In the evening, we ate at The Peppered Pig restaurant.
The beautiful dining room
On the first night, we had a family meal at the restaurant, so in total there were 13 of us around the table. I felt that the waiting staff dealt with this very well, as I would be stressed out by such a large party, but they dealt with us in a friendly and polite way. All of our requests were met (having a meal without the meat, having a starter as a main, having a snack as a starter, etc.) and they didn't make us feel like we were making unnecessary requests or making things harder for them. I felt that they all had a good work ethic and treated us very well. All of our meals were correct as well, despite our changes to the menu.
Pimm's and Lemonade
That night, I shared a portion of Brie Fritters with my mum as a starter. They were listed on the menu as a snack, but the staff were very accomodating and let us have it as a starter with no problem. These were served with a cranberry sauce, and were absolutely lovely! They were perfectly crisp on the outside, melted all the way through on the inside, and the sauce added a lovely fruity flavour to the mild taste of the cheese. I really enjoyed this as a starter and would recommend it.
Following that, I had the Halloumi and Roasted Veg. This is officially a starter, but you are able to turn it into a 'Little Meal' so I decided to do that because I adore halloumi cheese. The menu didn't specify what the vegetables were, so I pictured courgettes, peppers, tomatoes, and onions, because those are what I roast with halloumi at home. However, it was actually served with diced beetroot and courgette, and probably some other vegetables that were stained red with the beetroot so I couldn't tell what they are. I don't actually like beetroot much at all, so I was a bit concerned, but I could actually hardly taste it so it didn't bother me at all. The halloumi was delicious, and I had a side of triple cooked chips as well which were fantastic. Both of those things were full of flavour and cooked beautifully.
Brie Fritters
For pudding, I decided to have the Chocolate Fondant, which is like a chocolate souffle that melts in the middle. It's served with vanilla ice cream and a couple of strawberries. This was my favourite thing that I ate that evening - it was absolutely incredible. The chocolate was rich and gooey, and the ice cream was the perfect partner. I'd really really recommend this if you love chocolate - it's genuinely the perfect pudding for us chocoholics!
Chocolate Fondant
My family who had been there before said that they were disappointed with the speed of the service, because previously it was served really efficiently. However, I think that the long wait in between courses was due to the fact that there were so many of us, and some of us had starters and some didn't so I imagine the timings were tricky to work out. The serving sizes were also very generous, so I honestly appreciated the gap in between courses to allow my food to settle. It's perhaps worth pointing out though that we sat down at quarter past seven and finished our meal at about ten o clock which should give you some idea of just how long our meal lasted.
The function room
On the second night, only three of us dined in the restaurant, and the service was insanely fast then, which is why I would say that being a larger party affected it. Almost as soon as an empty plate was taken away, our next course arrived. It was so impressive that even our server remarked that the food was coming out of the kitchen nice and efficiently!
That night, I had the Brie Fritters to start again, and again I enjoyed them a lot. Instead of sharing, I had the three fritters to myself, and I think that's an excellent size for a starter if you enjoy having one. There's not so much food that you're already full up by the time your main arrives, but they aren't stingy in the slightest.
A barstool made from a milk churner!
As a vegetarian,  I was disappointed by the choice. You could size up the halloumi and veg if you chose to, and there also french onion soup as a starter that sounded nice. Other than that, there were two veggie mains: a beetroot burger (I mentioned further up that I don't like beetroot), and a ragout made with pearl barley that my mum had the night before. I tried a bit of that when my mum had it and while it was tasty. I did feel that I wouldn't have enjoyed a whole portion to myself personally. Because I wasn't really tempted by any of the veggie options, I decided to have what I call a 'Pescatarian Moment' and chose to have fish and chips.
Seating carved from natural wood
The batter on the fish was perfectly crisp, but there wasn't all that much flavour to it. It was served with the same style of chips that I had the night before and again, I really enjoyed those. The fish itself was honestly really bland, and my aunt had the Cod Supreme that night and said the same thing. We added squirts of lemon to our fish, as well as salt and pepper, and it was still really not that flavoursome. My fish was served with a really nice herby sauce though, and I enjoyed that on the fish, but without that it would have been really disappointing.
Fish and chips
I will say that I worked in a chippy for six months, and may have been slightly spoiled when it comes to fish and chips, since the place I worked was gooooooood. Shout out to Neptune's Fish and Chips in Lancaster. I think that the chefs could definitely go for a bit more seasoning while cooking the fish, and maybe incorporate some herbs into the batter for a fancier twist on battered fish that adds a bit more flavour. It might be nice to maybe try a smoked fillet of fish as well, since that's not the sort of think you get in a chippy and would be really tasty in my opinion. However, that sauce and the chips really deserve praise!
Ameretto and Mandarin
As far as meaty options go, they're very generous. There is chicken and pork on the main menu, as well as a large choice of steaks on the grill menu. If you eat meat, you'll be spoiled for choice here, so I wouldn't criticise the menu in that regard. For a vegetarian though, the menu is definitely lacking. My mum pointed out that it would be really nice to serve a salad as a main, since all the vegetables they served were really fresh and we thought a salad would be no difference. They could have the option to add chicken, smoked salmon, or cheese for an extra price, and maybe come up with a recipe for their own Peppered Pig salad dressing that they could potentially sell in the deli they have on site. I also thought that a pasta dish would not go amiss. Even just a simple macaroni cheese or pesto pasta adds another vegetarian option, and can be made more special than it sounds with some fresh produce and little twists on those traditional dishes. All that said, the staff were very accomodating at altering menu items so the meat could be taken off, and I really can't knock the choice if you're a meat eater. The clue is in the name as well - of course the Peppered Pig has plenty of options for those of you who love pork, bacon, ham, and sausages.
That night for pudding, I again had the Chocolate Fondant, because I just couldn't keep away from it! It was delicious once again. My mum ordered the Creme Brulee and I tried a bit of that, and I can say that that was fantastic as well. It was rich and creamy, and the sugared top was perfectly crisp and sweet. The three of us agreed that the desserts are the crowning glory of the restaurant, so if you're a pudding lover, it's definitely worth checking out.
I feel it's worth mentioning that the drinks menu was extensive and we were really impressed. They have a large selection of wines, as well as a large selection of gin as well. I tried a lavendar gin and a pink gin, but there were many more available to try, so if you're a fan of gin and/or wine, you'll be pleased with the selection. They also offered drinks in mason jars that my mum and tried on the second night. My mum had Pimm's and lemonade, which was absolutely lovely, and I had Ameretto and Mandarin which I loved. It was absolutely delicious and I'd really recommend trying it if it sounds like something you would like.
So that's all the thoughts I had on The Peppered Pig and The Pig Inn. I hope you have found this a helpful read, and I'm sorry if I rattled on a bit - I had a lot of detailed opinions, I guess! Thank you for reading as far as this if you have, be sure to follow me using the social media links in my sidebar for more posts similar to this one!

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