At first glimpse, The Pig On The Beach, which was once the seaside home of the local, aristocratic Bankes family, looms on the horizon like a giant, golden sandcastle.
Now a beautiful, 23 bedroom hotel over looking Studland Bay in Dorset, this trip had been on my wish list for quite some time.
On entering, the delicious scent of burning woodsmoke greeted us in reception and we immediately felt at home.
It was grey and foggy but through the lounge windows we could see a sprawling green lawn which lead down to the sea.
After a coffee by the fire we headed off to explore the grounds.
The fog was so thick down on the beach that you could barely tell where the sea ended and the sky began.
Back at the hotel we checked into our room and had a few hours nap time before dinner.
Nothing beats being tucked up snug while the rain outside thrashes the windows, I just love that sound.
Following a delightful dinner you can retire to one of the various cosy lounges with multiple fireplaces.
We weaved between them all, sipping cocktails until the realisation hit us that everyone else had gone to bed and we were the last ones standing
(or sofa slouching to be more accurate)
The interiors are really well put together, an eclectic collection of rustic and antique, plush velvet sofas, low lit shades, house plants in crackled pots, magic carpets over creaky old wooden floorboards and pretty coloured tiles.
Next morning we came down for breakfast, logs already smouldering in the fireplace
Food is served in the greenhouse style restaurant with produce freshly supplied from the kitchen garden or for what cannot be grown here - sourced within a 25 mile local radius.
With a few hours left to spare and the sun putting in an appearance we decided to go for a wander
Past a deserted, out of season South Beach, lined with boarded up beach huts
And down to Old Harry's Rocks
It's about a 25 minute stroll each way so the perfect distance to walk off breakfast!
I loved this whimsical view of the hotel and one of the thatched dovecotes that stands in the grounds, like something make believe from the pages of a children's story book.
Staying at The Pig on the beach was a joy, the perfect combination of country and coast.
There are a selection of rooms to choose from to suit all budgets and you can even stay in one of the dovecote cottages or shepherds huts for extra novelty.
Bramley natural bath and body products are supplied in all of the bathrooms and massage and facials can be provided from the 2 converted shepherds huts situated in the peace and tranquility of the hotel grounds.
Taking the train from Waterloo to Bournemouth was effortless, the 2 hours flashed by in the blink of an eye.
On arrival at Bournemouth you can carry on by cab, or if you time it just right you can catch the no 50 Breezer bus from stop A directly opposite the train station exit.
This hourly services winds it's way through town, down to Sandbanks, boards the chain ferry across the water and conveniently drops you at the end of the lane which leads directly to The Pig!
THE PIG ON THE BEACH, Manor House, Manor Road, Studland, Swanage, Dorset. BH19 3AU