Today marks 1 year as ‘Mr & Mrs Valentine’. We got married on Monday 8th September 2014 at Parley Manor in Christchurch, for a full blogpost on our special day see here.
“The first year of marriage is always the hardest” – has marriage changed anything for us? Not at all. I’m not too sure if the saying is current seeing as most people live together before marriage nowadays meaning you are perfectly aware of how irritating the other person is (think snoring, not emptying the bin, leaving beard hair in the sink….the list could go on & on & on believe me), OR do people have the expectation that these annoying habits suddenly fade away the second those vows are said & being husband & wife changes everything?
In our first year we pretty much went through all of the most stressful things that could possibly happen in life; getting married, death of a loved one, being made redundant, finding out we are having baby no2, moving house & then having a newborn baby (sleepless nights are enough to drive anyone insane!). If we can survive all that, we can survive anything i’m sure.
When it came to our fast approaching anniversary, we wanted to do something special considering we haven’t had a proper night away from the littles as ‘husband & wife’ in a long time, even before we were even married. I’ve wanted to go to The Pig restaurant for a long time as the food is supposed to be out of the world, but then I heard about the rooms….and oh my gosh, they certainly didn’t disappoint.
We decided to book a stay for Monday 7th September at The Pig in the Forest, which is about 30 minutes from us, so we’d wake up on our anniversary there. We went for a ‘comfy luxe’ room which was £199 not including dinner or breakfast.
Upon arrival, we were shown around the main house then taken to our room which was slightly away from the house near the kitchen gardens.
The room was absolutely breathtaking. I instantly fell in love & have no decided I NEED a roll top bath in my life. It was literally everything i’d ever want in a room; monsoon walk in shower, roll top bath, four poster bed, Roberts radio, stable door, chickens outside the window…the list could go on. We were also left a little note & some cakes to say congratulations from The Pig team which was a lovely gesture.
After unpacking we decided to go for a wander around & explore the grounds including seeing where all of the produce is grown. The Pig is a unique concept in that all food is made using locally grown ingredients & you can tell that it’s great quality, fresh and definitely delicious.
We went to the bar & ordered a drink then went into the courtyard seeing as it was a lovely evening & picked out a board game from a selection in the library (we went for scrabble but didn’t end up finishing!). I went for a berry cocktail & Joe had a double Jamesons.
We then went back to the room & cracked open a bottle of champagne we received on our wedding day that we’d saved, then had a long soak in the bath before getting ready for dinner at 7.30pm.
Dinner was served in the beautiful restaurant. I am absolutely in love with the floor tiles & general style of this ‘greenhouse’ room. To start we had the BBQ pork ribs & lemon thyme sausage rolls with tomato sauce. I then went for The Pigs ‘extraordinary’ bath chap & Joe had the 10oz Oakley farm rump cooked on charcoal. I barely ate any of mine as I was SO full. With a bottle of wine & service charge this came to £80.
After an amazing (full!!) nights sleep in our super king four poster bed, we woke up & did our cards/presents. Considering we are doing ‘No Spend September’ see here, we did free/cheap presents for each other. Joe got me a bouquet of beautiful roses, a card plus IOU vouchers that he made, printed & laminated (including a full house clean, laundry for a week, chick flick & cuddle night, breakfast in bed etc). I made him a picture using a frame we already had, good old google maps & my stamp set. Pretty impressive!
We then headed off for breakfast & that certainly didn’t disappoint either. The breakfast table is covered in locally sourced produce including homemade healthy granola, fruit from the kitchen garden, eggs from the hens (behind our room!) & pastries. We then could order something from the cooked menu so I went for a bacon sandwich on sourdough bread & Joe went for the full ‘pig out’.
At 11am we checked out & waved goodbye to the most incredible experience. After speaking to Joe’s mum who so kindly looked after our little people (who had been little angels thankfully), we decided to not rush back & wondered in to nearby Lymington which is about a 15 minute drive from the Brockenhurst Pig hotel.