I’d made all the necessary preparations before heading out to have lunch at the Pig & Whistle in Littlehempston, near Totnes. That morning, I’d been for an extra-long dog walk (making sure we climbed loads of hills), done the school run, avoided breakfast and gazed at the menu online. My intensive pre-lunch regime meant that I was absolutely starving by the time I arrived at this traditional Devon pub – which was just as well.
The Pig & Whistle is one of those increasingly rare places that gives you a proper good feed. I’ve often been out to eat and come away ever-so-slightly still hungry. One of my pet hates is when they scrimp on the spuds, surely the cheapest part of the dish. Not here. My slow-roasted pork belly with sausage meat and apricot stuffing was served with a very generous helping of cheddar mash. The pork belly is chef Phil Hurrell’s signature dish and comes with loads of cider gravy, uber crispy crackling, caramelised apple and some healthy, seasonal greens.
Despite wolfing down a delicious starter of Brixham scallops, I still managed to polish off my mains. The pork was meltingly tender and the apricot stuffing was its perfect partner, just adding a hint of sweetness. This lunch was a strict ‘no talking’ eating session due to the urgency of the situation, but I did break the rules once to ask my husband if I could try some of his steak and Jail Ale pie and thick-cut gourmet chips, all in the name of thorough research. Again, top marks for gravy and the large piece of shortcrust pastry lid I sampled was lovely, buttery and light. The perfect end to a lunch and a step too far if you were thinking about pudding. The desserts sounded lovely and I would have chosen the lemon posset but I really couldn’t have eaten another thing.
Now, you don’t have to be as greedy as I was. The Pig & Whistle caters to the needs of customers very well, with gluten-free options, smaller portions, vegetarian and vegan choices, plus there’s a Little Piglet’s menu for kids aged under 12. You could easily bring the extended family here and everyone’s eating habits would be happily accommodated.
We left feeling full and happy – my main dietary requirements.