Travel - The Pig On the Beach {and Ben's Birthday}

August 31, 2017

My husband hates stuff. So I know better than to buy him anything tangible for his birthday which was last week, instead the key to his heart is either a} a nice break away or b} food. So I combined both and booked to take him to The Pig Hotel, one of our favourites in the UK. They're known for being a restaurant with rooms and we love the kitchen garden to plate philosophy. We've stayed at this Pig, on the beach, before for our first wedding anniversary {blog post on that here} so I thought I'd surprise him by taking him back and treating him to a massage and dinner. After a tough couple of weeks with Ben having to visit hospital a number of times and have some operations to remove minor skin cancer/sun damage it was the perfect tonic and suddenly everything seemed ok again.

We left early last Monday after it had poured with rain all night. Where had summer disappeared to?! We loaded the car with everything from beach umbrellas {ever the optimist} to wellies and rain coats! Luckily by the time we got to Dorset the sun had come out. 

We always drive there via the Sandbanks ferry, partly because then you get to drive through Sandbanks {and stop at the cute little deli above for a mid morning cake stop} but also because then it brings you right onto the best beach in Studland. 

I always think that Studland feels as though you could be in Australia. That long road with bush land either side, sandy beaches, eucalyptus trees, boardwalks, dunes and boats. It just doesn't feel like England!

To park you'll want a National Trust membership as it saves a fortune.

{Dress Zara. Basket Lisa Valentine Home}

We started at Shell Bay in Studland for an hour on the beach before we headed for the hotel. 

Vitamin Sea. It was so hot! 

Arriving at The Pig, it was hard to believe that it had been two years already since we were last here?! We headed for their gardens and ordered flatbreads for lunch and sat overlooking the sea.

I love everything about this place, the decor, the rustic garden vibe, the wellies to borrow.

I hadn't intended to book us such a grand room {the Lookout hut} but as it was August and The Pig books pretty much months in advance, it was either this or a Shepherd's Hut which I think would have left Ben's legs hanging out the tiny bed! But it was a real treat staying in such a cool little round house with views out to sea.

It's not everyday that your room has a staircase up to the beautiful bathroom on the top floor and two log burners! It would be super cosy in the winter. We loved looking out onto the kitchen gardens and out across to the beach, I just wish we could have stayed for longer.

This ceiling!

I feel instantly relaxed whenever we stay at The Pig, this little piggy especially with the sea and countryside all mixed in. We even took a bath in the middle of the afternoon, such a luxury.

There are loungers in the garden where you can take a stack of magazines and order drinks or frozen yogurt or little bags of treats!

Ben spent an hour having a massage in one of the Pig Hut's whilst I caught up with some reading. 
H e a v e n.

We looked around the kitchen garden, getting some ideas and inspiration for our allotment and new greenhouse.

Before we took a walk through Studland village {cutest place ever} and down to the beach.

It was low tide which meant we could walk down to Middle Beach and walk around the rocks to come back up the other side to the hotel. It was so gloomy over the sea yet so hot and humid. I love this part of the world so much, the beaches and boats make you just feel like you're instantly on holiday.

Dinner at The Pig is always such a treat, we've stayed at 4 of the hotels now and always had such incredible food.

We started with cocktails in the garden, the sun peered through the clouds at just the right time.

And then got treated to more drinks as we went inside for dinner {thank you to the Pig team who realised it was my Husband's Birthday!}

We've been dreaming of that crab and courgette started ever since we left.

Then we shared Hake with chorizo, cavalo nero and crispy courgette flowers with the most incredible lamb. We couldn't decide, there were so many delicious sounding mains but these two were seriously goood.

That sunlight!

We had dessert before going out to catch the sunset.

We decided it was such a gorgeous evening that we should drive 5 minutes up the road to Shell Bay to watch the sun go down. 

Again, it just felt like we were in Australia or somewhere. One of those magical evenings we won't forget in a while.

After it had set behind all the boats bobbing around, the sky turned pink behind us as we crossed to the beach on the other side.

So insanely beautiful. I want to beam myself back there!

People were having BBQs and it was such a balmy evening. 

Cold sand against your feet always feels so nice.

After the clearest evening we woke up to our room surrounded by sea mist the next morning!

But luckily we had breakfast to distract us amongst all the greenhouse plants.

I always look forward to breakfast at The Pig, a table of my favourite things - particularly the poached pears, amazing homemade granola and compotes.

The eggs were the best I've had for such a long while too. I wish my parents would keep chickens again.

So good that we went back for more! Followed by croissants.

Sandals online here.

Greenhouse goals.

Full from breakfast we took a walk along the coast path to Old Harry's Rocks.

It was a grey day but the sea still so pretty and clear!

And then our time was up already and we headed back home after such a restorative couple of days.

I make a huge deal of Birthday's in our house and family. So we stocked up on cake and cookies {I felt like a bad wife buying Costco cake instead of having time to make something!} and I strung up the bunting. 

We had family and friends over for cake in the sunshine on Friday and over the weekend. 

And ordered Five Guys for lunch {my husband's ultimate fav} with my Brother on Friday. I mean, burgers, cookies and cake on your birthday - why not!

Allll the cake.

Then a Birthday dinner at our fav restaurant before the hot bank holiday weekend {photos from that coming soon}.

You can see past visits of our stays at The Pig Hotel online here {in Bath}, here {in Devon} and here {at the Pig on the Beach

R <3 xx 

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