Devon, United Kingdom

The Pig at Combe

Rates per night from$177.18

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP141.67), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Honey-hued holiday home

Setting

Edge of Exeter

The Pig at Combe joins esteemed siblings in the New Forest, Southampton, Studland and Bath, and we think the others are going to love their latest family member. Walled kitchen gardens, a foraging philosophy and a regularly changing menu are at the heart of the restaurant, with rolling, horse-studded hills, university towns and the coast at Lyme Bay all on the horizon. The decor is cleverly mismatched, beds are super-size and sublimely comfortable, and inviting velvet armchairs are just waiting to be sunk into. Gardeners will love gaining tips from the grounds, including how many types of mint it’s possible to grow in one patch (answer: 12).

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A bottle of Pig Hut wine in your room on arrival

Facilities

Photos The Pig at Combe  facilities

Need to know

Rooms

27, including four suites.

Check–Out

11am. Earliest check-in, 3pm, but flexible, subject to availability.

Rates

Double rooms from $177.18 (£142), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates do not include breakfast (£11 for Continental; £17.50 for cooked).). Two-night minimum stay at weekends and bank holidays.

Also

The Pig takes its food and drink offering seriously and even the minibars aren’t safe: instead, they’re mini larders, stocked with all the homemade and local treats they could squeeze in, including some English sparkling wine, Otter Bitter beer from the brewery down the road, Devonshire fudge and Willie’s Cacao.

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout, bikes to borrow, wellies. In rooms: TV, DVD player, Nespresso machine and Bramley bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Even the aptly named Cheap & Cheerful rooms come with a king-size bed and the same artfully mismatched decor for which the group is famous for, but for something unique, it has to be one of the suites: we love the Horsebox for its original stalls separating the bed from the freestanding bath; and the Hayloft for its giant shower head, vaulted ceiling and wooden beams. For the best views over the valley, book Room 1 in the main house. The best-bathroom prize goes to the Laundry, which has circular copper bath tub big enough for two.

Spa

There are two Potting Shed treatment rooms in the kitchen garden, where guests can book Bamford massages, facials and other holistic treatments seven days a week.

Packing tips

You can leave your muddy wellies at home as the hotel has some you can borrow – but don’t forget the flat caps, Barbour jackets and riding crops if you fancy going equestrian, inspired by all the Arabian horses.

Also

There are two ground-floor Comfy Rooms that are suitable for wheelchair users and much of the communal areas are navigable for wheelchairs as well. A two night minimum stay is required at weekends.

Children

All ages welcome; travel cots can be added to rooms and babysitting must be requested at least two days in advance and costs £10 an hour (minimum four hours per booking).

Best for

Babies and up.

Recommended rooms

The Family Suite, which has two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Meals

Children are welcome in the restaurant, where there’s a dedicated menu, baby-changing facilities and highchairs.

 

Babysitting

Babysitting must be requested at least two days in advance and costs £10 an hour (minimum four hours per booking).

No need to pack

Travel cots, baby bed linen, highchairs, DVDs, puzzles and books can be borrowed on request.

Food and Drink

Photos The Pig at Combe  food and drink

Top Table

If there’s a group of you, book out the original Georgian kitchen with its working stove, handily now a private dining room. Otherwise, request the table by the double-height windows to get your fill of rolling Devonshire hills.

Dress Code

With their pink shirts, jeans and Converse, the staff are nailing smart casual – do your best to match them.

Hotel restaurant

The rooms do a lot to vie for your attention, but like with most of the other Pigs, it’s the restaurant that’s at the heart, with the same 25-mile-radius philosophy and menus based on whatever could be caught or picked that morning. Luckily, the sea is only eight miles away, so keep an eye out for the Lyme Bay catch of the day, as well as local cheeses and meat from Honiton’s best butchers. The Folly, in the former orangery, serves flatbreads cooked in a wood-fired oven.

Hotel bar

The kitchen garden is fair game for the barmen as well as the chefs; expect the cocktails in the Great Hall Bar – which has all the period features, paintings and panelling to live up to its name – to come with all sorts of horticultural flourishes (fennel-seed vodka, lemon and elderflower juice, or one of the 12 varieties of mint being grown on-site). The Pig Hut wines are also worth a try, made in partnership with a French vintner who really knows his stuff.

Last orders

Breakfast is served between 7am and 10am; lunch is noon to 2.15pm; dinner is between 6.30pm and 9.30pm. Food is served in the bar from noon until 9pm; drinks are available until 11pm.

Location

Photos The Pig at Combe  location
Address
The Pig at Combe
The Pig – at Combe, Gittisham,
Honiton
EX14 3AD
United Kingdom

Planes

Exeter airport is a 20-minute drive away. The airport is served by Skybus routes from across the UK, including the Isles of Scilly, Manchester and Jersey, as well as flights from European destinations with Flybe.

Trains

The closest station is Honiton, three miles away. Great Western runs services to this station from London Paddington and Waterloo via Exeter St David’s.

Automobiles

The hotel is 11 miles away from Exeter; the drive should take 20 minutes. There’s free parking when you arrive.

Worth getting out of bed for

The Otter Valley awaits: head to Seaton Wetlands for all the marshes, reeds, wildlife and trails you fancy along the River Axe. The Grade 1-listed, 18th-century Bicton Park Botanical Gardens are also nearby and equally spectacular. Antique lovers will find a haven in Honiton, which has a whole museum (the Allhallows Museum of Lace and Antiquities) paying homage to the collectible art form.

Local restaurants

Half an hour away by car in hilly, sea-washed Lyme Regis is a Hix Oyster & Fish House, serving all the sublime seafood you’d expect but with an especially advantageous setting. Try scallops with Monmouthshire chorizo and samphire, whole dressed crab and mackerel with gremolata, all caught locally. At the Axminster outpost of the River Cottage, feast on more fresh seafood, or go for either the carnivorous (veal burgers, rabbit ragu) or vegetarian options (seared Somerset halloumi, harissa-spiced feta flatbreads) – neither disappoint.

Local cafés

In Honiton, marvel at the miniature madeleines and other expertly baked goods on offer at Toast on the High Street.

Reviews

Photos The Pig at Combe  reviews
Angela Buttolph

Anonymous review

By Angela Buttolph, Fashion editor

The morning breaks bright and clear and we stroll across the gently sloping lawns, explore the fragrant herb garden (12 varieties of mint!) and carefully tended walled nursery patch next to the kitchens (think: Mr McGregor’s garden meets Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons) before elbowing children off the swing seat to settle down and gaze up into the sun dappled branches of the giant cedar tree overhead. A friendly ‘good morning’ from a passing gardener leads to an impromptu tour of the original Georgian kitchen, all copper pots and range stove, available to hire for pretty special private parties. The staff clearly love to work here and can’t wait to show it off, there’s a puppy-like enthusiasm about the place that is instantly infectious.

The coast, eight miles away, beckons. Because we’re townies, and despite the dire weather forecast, we didn’t even think to bring wellies, but never mind, there are some forty pairs of Hunters under the stairs for anyone to borrow. (Note to the Pig: I searched in vain for the staircase with assorted Manolo Blahniks underneath for wearing to dinner…)

We walk along the rain lashed cobb of Lyme Regis, pretending to be in the French Lieutenant’s Wife (excellent, overblown Meryl Streep romantic weepy, set here). Before sharing fish pie and fresh-off-the-boat lobster and chips at Hix Oyster and Fish, the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the cobb and harbour. We take a stroll to walk it all off along the long winding the coastal path.

Back at the hotel before dinner, I dive under Bramley geranium bubbles in the roll top bath – gazing through the diamond-leaded glass at views of tumbling green hills scattered with grazing horses and their foals (from an Arab stud farm next door).

And now for our most important mission: namely, to discover, how much of a pig can one be at the Pig? The menu is a ‘25 mile’ menu – all ingredients come from within 25 miles, and a large proportion from the Pig’s own kitchen garden. The wine list is extensive and more ‘worldwide’ than the Eurovision song contest.

The soda bread is life-changing (enough to convert even this carb-phobic fashionista), with plenty of freshly-churned butter. To start; a dreamy stuffed courgette flower, crisp and creamy, fulfills all my Masterchef fantasies. I order lamb that falls off the bone and Mr Smith orders the infamous tomahawk chop, a joint that indeed resembles a small axe, and was perfectly cooked, with fresh-from-the-garden vegetables. Desserts are heavenly and sophisticated: for me, a raspberry mint sorbet with a dark chocolate tart and Mr Smith has a Middle Eastern pistachio mascarpone with strawberry and basil.

We wake to the last morning of our stay, still full from the night before, but feeling it would be rude to ignore the groaning tables set out for the generous buffet breakfast. There is a poach-your-own eggs station with pretty pale blue eggs from the Pig’s own hens, fresh yoghurts, pastries, garden fruits and homemade granola. Mr Smith, meanwhile, bravely endures a sumptuous, and appropriately named, Piggy breakfast, featuring not just sausages and bacon, but black and white pudding. He claims it’s one of the best he’d ever had.

We say farewell with one of the Pig’s recommended walks through the woods around the house – drinking in the greenery and seeing those magnificent horses up close.

I can’t believe our stay was only for two nights, it felt like a much longer break from the real world. The staff are incredibly lovely; genuinely friendly, and nothing is too much trouble. They clearly love working there, which in turn, makes you love being there.

The Pig at Combe is a truly magical place, and we didn’t want to leave. Relaxed and romantic, homely and luxurious – how do they do that?

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Pig at Combe ’s Guestbook below.

We loved

We loved everything about The Pig. They say they are a restaurant with rooms, the food was certainly excellent, but the room we had was extremely comfortable. Upon departure, a guided tour of two other rooms in readiness for a return visit was a nice touch.

Rating

Stayed on 15 Oct 2018

We loved

Beautiful and secluded period setting. Lovely welcome from the staff. The room was very clean with quality complimentary toiletries. Great coffee machine in the room .Good selection at breakfast. Interesting restaurant menu with quality food and presentation. Again the breakfast and restaurant staff were attentive and delightful. Wonderful kitchen garden and grounds to walk around.

Rating

Stayed on 8 Oct 2018

We loved

The beautiful walks in the local area, the delicious food, the excellent service, the gorgeous interiors...

Don’t expect

Nightlife!

Rating

Stayed on 19 Apr 2018

We loved

The wonderful food and warm service. Settling into one of the cosy drawing rooms for a drink before dinner. Taking a long walk in the surrounding countryside. A very relaxing two nights away! The staff even offered to clean our muddy boots when we got back!

Don’t expect

Formal service.

Rating

Stayed on 23 Feb 2018

We loved

The staff were really friendly and attentive without being overbearing. Our room and bathroom were huge and beautifully decorated. The food was also superb, all locally sourced within a 25 mile radius. Would highly recommend the Holt in Honiton (small town nearby) for an alternative eating and drinking location.

Don’t expect

Don't expect to want to leave the hotel once you're there! It's so nice!

Rating

Stayed on 20 Feb 2018

We loved

The team, very attentive and high energy in a relaxed way! Great attention to detail in the room fittings; luxurious. And the locally grown and sourced food was unusual and delicous. Lyme-Regius for spectacular views and the Cob.

Don’t expect

Off-road mountain bikes.

Rating

Stayed on 4 Feb 2018

We loved

The room, the attentive but not over-effusive staff and the number of inter-generational parties staying – grand-parents down to (well-behaved) kids as well as a predominance of couples.

Don’t expect

Wild partying.

Rating

Stayed on 2 Feb 2018

We loved

The rooms, the food. Beer beach is lovely, as is Lyme Regis.

Rating

Stayed on 27 Oct 2017

We loved

Flatbreads at the Folly, the extensive wine lists, the views across the grounds at sunset, the delicious 25 mile menu for dinner, and above all, the exceptional customer service. We had a wonderful time and cannot wait to book our next trip.

Rating

Stayed on 20 Jun 2017

We loved

The amazing family stable rooms, the fab breakfasts, the incredible customer service, the great location – surrounded by beautiful walks and close to the beach, the really friendly staff, cool bar, stunning cakes mid-afternoon, the flatbreads in The Folly at lunchtime, lazy afternoons in front of the open fires, the gorgeous food...we loved everything!

Don’t expect

Lively nights...

Rating

Stayed on 17 Mar 2017

We loved

The hotel and it's decor and buzzy atmosphere. Visit Beer, beautiful little fishing village.

Don’t expect

Formality.

Rating

Stayed on 18 Jan 2017

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