Majestic yet relaxed and stylish but not stilted, The Pig at Combe, Devon, housed in a gorgeous honey-hued Elizabethan manor, is the latest addition to The Pig Hotel litter. I’ve visited a few Pigs, but this one, hidden in the Otter Valley near Honiton, is definitely my favourite. Dan Gavriilidis is a whizz in the kitchen, drawing on ingredients that are either plucked fresh from The Pig’s kitchen garden or from producers within 25 miles of the hotel. I adore the unstuffy bare-wood-floored dining room (pictured), with its elegantly mismatched mix of antiques, stag antler chandeliers and plants. Dishes – flavoursome yet simple – seem sensibly priced. Do try the local Red Ruby beef, from Piper’s Farm, which I ate both as tartare and as slow-cooked featherblade. If you want something even more laid back, grab a wood-fired flatbread/pizza in the old garden folly (pictured) – and walk it off with a tour of the red-brick-walled veg patch (pictured).
Incidentally, I photographed The Pig while attending the excellent two-day Food Photography course at nearby Otter Farm, taught by founder Mark Diacono and visiting pro photographer Patricia Niven. Do look up Otter’s courses which I can highly recommend.
Read more about The Pig at Combe in my feature on the food of East Devon in the latest issue of Olive magazine, just out.