Hotel review

UK Hotel Review: Pig In The Wall Hotel in the heart of medieval Southampton is full of charm

Nestled within Southampton’s medieval walls – and in the shadow of giant cruise liners on the city’s docks – Pig In The Wall Hotel offers a welcoming retreat in the heart of a bustling city less than a half-mile New Forest time.

The smallest of the group’s eight hotels has just 12 rooms, a deli for light snacks and a charming lounge that wouldn’t be out of place in any country hotel several times its size.

The appeal of this hideaway lies in its simplicity, the quality of the service and the quirky touches of its shabby chic rooms.

The Pig in the Wall, pictured above, is nestled within the medieval walls of Southampton

Country house atmosphere: The Pig In The Wall Hotel is the smallest of the group's eight hotels.  Pictured is the cozy living room

Country house atmosphere: The Pig In The Wall Hotel is the smallest of the group’s eight hotels. Pictured is the cozy living room

These are available in three sizes: comfortable (built into the eave), comfortable and roomy. Ours was medium in size with rustic, old-fashioned comforts that we looked forward to returning to after exploring the city.

Individual touches included Roberts radio, bakelite telephone, and well-stocked minibar, plus a generous walk-in shower stocked with goat’s milk soap.

Among our other guests were those staying the night before a trip to the Isle of Wight, and far beyond – on these cruise ships.

Individual touches in rooms include bakelite telephones and well-stocked minibars

Individual touches in rooms include bakelite telephones and well-stocked minibars

“There’s a comfortable quirkiness to The Pig In The Wall,” says Adrian. Pictured is the bathroom in one of the guest bedrooms

The 'shabby chic' rooms are priced at £170.  Adrian approves of the old-fashioned comfort of his room and appreciates the

The ‘shabby chic’ rooms are priced at £170. Adrian approves of the old-fashioned comfort of his room and he appreciates the “generous walk-in shower”

A short walk along the city walls on the West Esplanade will take you to the Westquay shopping complex, which has an extensive cinema and restaurants.

The massive Showcase Cinema building towers over the historic district like a giant ship, and this modern-day landmark wouldn’t seem out of place in Shanghai.

Further afield is Southampton’s SeaCity Museum with a permanent Titanic exhibition, a must-see for any visitor to the city.

The Pig in the Wall sits in the shadow of giant cruise liners on the city's docks, pictured above

The Pig in the Wall sits in the shadow of giant cruise liners on the city’s docks, pictured above

The hotel is a short walk from the Westquay shopping complex and the Showcase cinema.  Adrian says the cinema “overlooks the historic district like a giant ship”

The hotel is a short walk from the Westquay shopping complex and the Showcase cinema. Adrian says the cinema “overlooks the historic district like a giant ship”

The SeaCity Museum in Southampton, pictured, with its permanent Titanic exhibition, is

Southampton’s SeaCity Museum, pictured, with its permanent Titanic exhibition, is ‘a must-see’ for any visitor to the city

You'll find statues of Rodin and Antony Gormley inside the Southampton Art Gallery and Library, pictured

You’ll find statues of Rodin and Antony Gormley inside the Southampton Art Gallery and Library, pictured

It brilliantly illustrates how connected the town was to the doomed liner and tells the moving stories of some of those Southampton crew who were caught up in the disaster in April 1912.

More than three quarters of the crew – 715 men and women – joined the ship from homes across the city. Only 175 returned.

Just around the corner from the museum is an Art Deco building that houses the Southampton Art Gallery and Library. It is a limited exhibition but you will find statues of Rodin and Antony Gormley inside.

The hotel lounge is a mix of vintage wooden tables and comfy low sofas with coffee tables, Adrian reveals

The hotel lounge is a mix of vintage wooden tables and comfy low sofas with coffee tables, Adrian reveals

At breakfast, guests are charged £10 on top of the room rate for the continental version with a selection of cereals, yoghurt, ham, cheese, eggs and pastries.

At breakfast, guests are charged £10 on top of the room rate for the continental version with a selection of cereals, yoghurt, ham, cheese, eggs and pastries.

Southampton, which last year was on the long list of its bid to become the UK’s City of Culture in 2025, is also home to the Mayflower Theatre, the largest on the south coast.

Back at Le Cochon, it’s time to put your nose in the trough. All meals are taken in the living room — on a mix of vintage wooden tables and comfy low sofas with coffee tables — as there’s no separate restaurant.

At dinner, starters, from £8, include pork pies and thyme sausage rolls or a quiche of the day. Smoked pork belly (yes, there’s a theme!) with roasted squash and parsley vinaigrette is £15, as is a delicious cottage pie and kale. The service has a family atmosphere and the friendly staff, known as piglets, are knowledgeable about what is being served.

At breakfast, guests are charged £10pp on top of the room rate for the continental version with a selection of cereals, yoghurt, ham, cheese, eggs and pastries – or £14 for Piggy Pan cooked breakfast.

There’s a cozy quirk about The Pig In The Wall, and this little piglet certainly went home feeling satisfied.

TRAVEL INFORMATION

The Pig in the Wall, Southampton. Rooms are priced at £170 (thepighotel.com).


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