Turning into the long pea graveled lane, the soft and steady crunching of the polished stone underneath the tires of the taxi announces the arrival in the countryside of England, specifically on this particular journey, Canterbury in Kent.
With the hopes of visiting the countryside with each visit to England, and knowing last September, I would be traveling in the spring of 2022 to England, I began a leisurely exploration of accommodation for only one or two nights in a welcoming inn that was situated near an RHS or National Trust garden I wanted to explore (of which there are oodles, so the options were plentiful thereby making the accommodation search vast).
Letting go and not feeling to be in a rush as the world was still quite slow to travel, it happened later in September when I was reading through the weekly Weekend edition of The Financial Times, a review of The Pig in South Downs was shared, and it captivated my desire for country luxury and traditional décor paired with delicious local fare.
Discovering that there are eight Pigs located around the English countryside, I selected The Pig at Bridge Place as it was a 30 minute drive from Sissinghurst Castle Garden (take a full video and photo tour of our visit of the garden here). Located on the outskirts of Canterbury in Kent, the train ride from London was only 57 minutes on a high-speed train, and after two days in the city, we were in the southeast countryside of England, and staying in luxurious and cozy accommodations.
Upon making reservations months prior, (you will need to pay in full to hold your reservation, but it is absolutely worth it- most hotels in larger cities only ask for your payment information to hold, but do not charge your card), i chose two different types of rooms – one for myself and one for my mother, The Pig kindly put our rooms on the same floor – the fourth-ish (or top as the first floor is split). Each had their own bathroom, and each a beautiful four-poster bed with windows overlooking the grounds.
Arriving early as we wanted to bop out to Sissinghurst for the day, we dropped off our luggage, and secured a cab to take us to the gardens where we stayed and explored for the entire afternoon (I will be posting a detailed photo and video tour of Sissinghurst Castle Gardens later this week – you can watch the video tour now in May’s A Cuppa Moments w/Shannon chat if you are a TOP Tier Member). I had originally secured a rental car, but as it was Easter Monday we would be picking it up, no rental car companies were open, and since we were only staying one night in the country, I elected to pay for the taxi to take us to the garden and then back to The Pig which actually cost less than paying for a rental car for the same amount of time (about £80-90 each way).
When we did return after our visit to the gardens, our luggage had been taken to our rooms, and upon settling in the radio had been turned to a classical music station, the tea kettle complete with teas and coffee were available to be made and savored and the room beckoned its guest to slow down and just savor.
I immediately opened the windows to let the birdsong in, and as the water was heating up, I toured my room and all of the details.
I have many photos to show you, but first take the video tour as an introduction to The Pig at Bridge Place in Canterbury.
I have compiled many of my photos and all the videos (be sure to turn the sound on as you listen as you will be able to enjoy the birdsong as well in real time that I experienced it) in this near eight-minute video below. A short ad will run before it begins, but once it does, I do hope you enjoy and discover the vast calm, beauty and welcome of The Pig at Bridge Place. (If you have an ad-blocker, you will need to disable it, then restart your browser in order to watch the video below.)
About The Pigs
The history of The Pigs begins in 2011 with a determination to live and eat and escape to the country with sustainability in mind. Each Pig utilizes its own garden on the grounds of the renovated building thoughtfully and creatively decorated by Judy Hutson, wife of co-founder Robin. Each kitchen and restaurant to which both guests and the public are invited only use produce that they can grow themselves in the kitchen garden or sourced from within 25-miles.
Each Pig puts the kitchen garden at the heart of its accommodation, so in taking a couple of walks through the garden, it was wonderful to see what the garden was growing this time of year. By celebrating the seasons, guests also come to realize what they too may want to explore in their kitchens should they live in the neighborhood or surrounding area, as well, it reminds all guests that flavorful food depends upon seasonality and appreciation of the evanescence of its availability.
We enjoyed a wonderful dinner, I ordering sole and my mother a fish stew that she absolutely loved. The service and encouragement to stay and enjoy, with no rushing out the door was greatly appreciated and after two hours of dining, we were both melting. The dessert punctuated a delicious and satisfying meal.
Breakfast was continental, but not just any continental. I wish I would have brought my phone to capture pictures of the two long tables of artisan breads, fruits, oats, pastries, freshly soft or hard boiled eggs, milks of all varietals. My appetite was more than satiated upon selecting items to begin a full day of both returning to London and enjoying the theatre and a lovely late lunch that was planned in the city before we returned home the following day.
The Pig at Bridge Place
A four-story Queen Anne manor house with 29 rooms is located just outside the historic village of Bridge, three miles south of Canterbury. It took us all of 10 minutes from the Canterbury-West train station in our cab to arrive. Upon arriving, it was Easter Monday, so the grounds were bustling with guests concluding their long weekend stay; however, when evening arrived, the grounds were quiet, and Tuesday morning as well. However, the Monday evening, the Coach House (the main restaurant) was full with guests savoring their seasonal fare.
One detail we didn’t have time to take advantage of was the spa offerings at what is quaintly named The Potting Shed. Scheduling massages, facials and many other relaxing treatment, the sheds are adjacent to the primary building next to the garden and the shed where they grow their own mushrooms. Most certainly, a stay at The Pig is one that will be rejuvenating, nourishing and restful.
Now, let’s talk about the décor. To say I felt at home understates my glee and comfort upon stepping into The Pig at Bridge Place. So much of my beloved decorating aesthetic derives from the English cottage decor and the regality, yet beckoning comfort of the English countryside. From upholstered furniture, hardwood floors adorned with rugs and seagrass, to high ceilings, art and whimsy, and plush bedding and sitting areas. Of course, being prepared for any moment the rain my come – wellies and brollies at the ready, as well as the proximity and engagement of the garden is necessary, and The Pig did not miss a beat. Judy Hutson, the co-owner and interior designer behind each of The Pigs mixes and matches expertly – welcoming antiques and pairing alongside seemingly disparate objects that magically work. She gave a worth-reading interview with House & Garden UK (as well check out this accompanying article from H & G that shares 10 Decorating Ideas from The Pig and How to Recreate Them) a couple of years ago explaining how she approaching décor, and she also goes into great detail in The Pig’s first book (seen below) which I had the chance to peruse while staying there. The Pig just released their second book, both of which include recipes and details of the ethos that guides their approach.
Now let’s explore more images captured during my stay at The Pig:
Below are all of the images captured beginning with my room which is one of their larger rooms named Comfy Rooms.
Sitting Rooms (five in total) located on the main entrance floor
A row of wellies in all sorts of sizes welcomes guests as they walk through the front wooden door.
~Explore all of The Pigs now on their website
~Explore The Pig at Bridge Place
Bourne Park Rd, Bridge, Canterbury , CT4 5BH, UK
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