Since first launching The Pig in the New Forest, Robin Hutson has gone on to create one of Britain’s best-loved boutique hotel brands – a winning combination of smart shabby chic interiors, great food and ‘generously spirited service’. With the opening this summer of his fifth PIG-at Combe, Devon, he tells us about the concept behind the brand, the importance of putting British garden food on the menu, and why he couldn’t possibly pick a favourite
You’re opening THE PIG-at Combe in the summer. What was the attraction of this Devon location?
We have put together a collection of fabulous buildings for our pigs and would only add an exceptional building in an exceptional location. THE PIG-at Combe ticks both of these boxes.
Did you always want to be a hotelier?
It was a lucky accident. I ended up in the hotel business thanks to my mother suggesting it after I failed most of my O levels at school. But I soon realised that it suited me perfectly.
What inspired you to launch The Pig and how did you come up with the name?
When I first saw the kitchen garden at The Pig, I started thinking about making that the centre of a new style of relaxed country house hotel. As the concept developed, I realised I needed a name that was not like traditional hotels and had a friendly agricultural connotation.
What is the ethos behind the brand?
We grow what food we can and if not, we source from within 25 miles. We offer an unstuffy, friendly and generously spirited service. We are serious about what we do, but we do not take ourselves too seriously! Seasonality and British garden food is critical, that’s the whole point of what we do.
Your food is famously delicious and your piggy platter is legendary – do you have a favourite dish on the menu?
The dishes change quickly according to seasons and garden availability, so not really. But I love our ‘Brock Eggs’, which are mini scotch eggs made from our own quails eggs and I love our ‘Fresh Garden Mint Mousse’ as a dessert.
Smart shabby chic English style is your trademark – who do you work with to create your interiors?
My wife and I spend our life doing it.
What can people expect at The Pig that they won’t get anywhere else?
A massage in a potting shed.
Do you have a typical guest?
Confident, relaxed urbanites looking for a relaxing stay without the pomp often associated with hotels.
Do you have a favourite in your portfolio?
That’s like asking do I have a favourite child!!
What about the future – any more little piggies in the pipeline?
I hope so, but as I said before, only if we find exceptional buildings in great locations.
And finally, can we ask you what is your everyday luxury?
Aesop shower gel.
The post How Robin Hutson created a slice of heaven at The Pig appeared first on Beyond Bespoke.