We are living in an age where organic eating is becoming increasingly more popular in Britain. Local farmers markets and organic food cafes are the 'in thing' meaning consumers can enjoy a more personable and educational experience, knowing where their food has come from and that local farmers are supported in the process.
According to The Guardian, Agriculture has also once again become a desirable educational choice for school leavers, with more and more young people in recent years wanting to learn how to farm their own produce. As consumers we are more likely to trust organic produce and support for local farming is growing. Why now? Well for a start, we are more health conscious than we were ten years - the popularity of the 'juicing' craze can tell you that- , but also we are becoming more educated about our food; taking more effort to learn about the manufacturing processes and wanting to know exactly where our food is coming from. Some of us (Me) like to imagine an organic farming utopia; a world where the majority of our food is fresh and locally sourced, not imported to supermarket corporations. Imagine eating at a restaurant whose entire menu is sourced within a small radius, building partnerships with local farmers opposed to warming up a plate of food from a delivery marked 'generic pub grub'.
Imagine a restaurant rooted in self-sufficiency...
I recently visited The Pig near Bath; a meticulously curated restaurant with rooms which boasts a '25 Mile Menu'. They grow their own herbs and vegetables, farm and butcher most of their own meats and even grow hops for their home-brewed beer. The herbs, fruits and vegetables are even used in the cocktails, designed and created by The Pig's skilled mixologists.
With its already famously unique sister hotels in The New Forest, Southampton and Studland Bay, Dorset. The Pig near Bath replicates their typical shabby-chic, relaxed countryside style. Located in a country house in rural Somerset, you can sit outside and enjoy the quintessential Mendip views and dine in the Greenhouse Restaurant. The private dining rooms are decked out to look like country style rooms. The restaurant resembles a garden greenhouse masquerading as a dining room. You are surrounded by herbs and fruit in carefully positioned terracotta pots growing all around you, giving the space an authentic ambiance. There's a unique sentimental feeling about the idea of the greenhouse.
The staff are incredibly knowledgeable about the menu and the produce, they can tell you exactly where it has been sourced from and talk in detail about the cooking process; my rump steak came from a farm nine miles away and tasted remarkably fresh, whilst my partner's - smoked on the premises- fish, served with local Wigmore cheese was beautifully rich tasting . It's the little details that make the food preparation overwhelmingly unique - the edible flowers with my rabbit starter for example. The seasonal ice cream made with handpicked strawberries.
The Pig has a professional yet chilled countryside feel, catered by a team of friendly food experts/ horticulturalists. If you enjoy great food and are excited by the idea of eating local produce, then The Pig represents everything that should be celebrated about good home-grown British food.
You don't have to go for a full meal either. You could grab a drink in the beautiful gardens and try the delicious 'Piggy bits' starters and snacks menu; the quails eggs laid on site and the pork crackling with homemade apple sauce are perfect nibbles to have with a rose petal spritz - a creative alternative to the Aperol Spritz.
Locality and learning more about what we eat is essential to supporting our farming industry. What's fascinating that right now it has become culturally 'cool' and 'hipster' to buy fresh, local produce and The Pig captures this model in abundance.
The Pig is just one of a new wave of organic restaurants flying the flag for a more simplistic food community that supports its local producers.
For those who share this vision and all you foodies out there, you simply MUST visit anyone of The Pig restaurants.