This time last year, we arrived at the newly opened Pig on the Beach in Studland and agreed it was the closest place to foodie heaven we’d ever been in Dorset.

Ever since we’ve had a hankering to visit its older sibling in the New Forest – the original Pig in Brockenhurst which has won national acclaim.

But if you were expecting all pigs to the same, then you may be surprised to discover that these two (we’ve yet to visit the rest of the family in Bath or Southampton) are both individual in their own way.

There are many similarities of course. Both hotel restaurants have the trademark conservatory style dining rooms, shabby chic décor, large, immaculate kitchen gardens with an emphasis on home-grown produce for the table and an entrance hall stocked with wellies and brollies.

But this country Pig is grander than its quirky, coastal counterpart. Situated off the beaten track, it was once owned by the Queen Mother’s family and used as a hunting lodge.

We had one of the hideaway rooms behind the main house, which used to a stable block. Set on two floors, it had its own wood-burning stove, a large, comfy four-poster bed and all the essential home comforts.

From the windows downstairs we could see pigs and chickens roaming around in the back fields.

Upstairs we found an enormous bathroom complete with free-standing bath and a vast monsoon shower.

After an afternoon stroll around the wild flower meadow orchard, greenhouse, smoke house, fruit cages and sheltered courtyard with its wood fired pizza oven, we headed through to the cosy bar for pre-dinner drinks and a selection of Piggy Bits.

Prices start at around £3.75 and include the best crackling you’ll ever taste, saddleback cracking which practically melts in the mouth served with crab apple sauce, some succulent pork sausages and quails eggs in a crumb coating with a mustard and honey dressing.

We were then shown to our table in the large Victorian-style conservatory restaurant with its colourful floor tiles and eclectic mix of tables, chairs and cutlery. Even though it was a Tuesday evening, the place was fully-booked.

The approach to food has the same emphasis on home produced, foraged or sourced food, which ensures a Hampshire flavour to the meal.

Anything that can’t be grown on the premises is sourced within a 25 mile radius and the menu changes depending on what the forager finds.

Although it is high end price wise, it is not eye wateringly expensive. The menu is divided into starters and small plates at around £8/£16, Literally Picked This Morning, Forest & Solent, Garden Sides £3.75 and Puddings at £7.

For starters we I had Cured Pennington Beef & New Forest Blue Salad £8 with wild rocket. The saltiness of the blue cheese was perfectly complimented with the smokiness of chargrilled asparagus.

For mains my husband decided to try what is described as the “extraordinary” Bath Chap £15.50 which has become The Pig’s signature dish.

But it’s not for the faint-hearted. Half a pig’s head complete with teeth, is served on a board with apple sauce and herb roasted potatoes and enough crackling to make a base ball glove.

Meanwhile I was making short work of my Roasted Lymington Plaice £15 served with the skin on in a Hollandaise sauce and buttered new potatoes. The delicate lemon buttery sauce was cleverly counter-balanced by the earthy flavour and crunch of finely sliced radish.

After a lovely breakfast the following day, it was time to head off to the forest for a walk before we fhad to tear ourselves away.

The Pig prides itself on uncomplicated and simple British garden food, true to the micro seasons, with a focus on fresh, clean flavours complete with five star service. Not to be missed.