Piglets Boutique B&B
Housed in an ingeniously renovated piggery with a large and airy brand new timber clad extension that forms part of Chrissie and Max Parker's Essex home, Piglets Boutique B&B is the result of a lot of travel, research and nights in hotels and B&Bs. Years of travelling around and an enthusiasm for eating out gave Max and Chrissie the idea to create the ultimate luxury B&B, and that's exactly what they've done, in what is an unusual – and unusually comfortable – Essex home-from-home.
The B&B has 4 guest rooms (with more on the way), all beautifully kitted out with an impeccable eye for detail and a level of comfort that would put quite a few five-star hotels to shame. Rooms are contemporary in style and have super-king-size beds, air-conditioning, flatscreen TVs, Netflix, fast wifi, DAB radio with bluetooth, tea-and coffee-making facilities that include Lavazza espresso machines and fresh milk, plus en-suite bathrooms with power showers, bathrobes and Ferragamo toiletries (no less!). There are lots of little extras like an ironing board and iron, high-speed hairdryer and they even have hot water bottles to keep you cosy on cold winter nights; the ground floor ones have private entrances while one of the the first floor rooms has a private balcony and the other overlooks the Mediterranean patio area. Probably the most unique feature of the property, however, is its large natural swimming pond, which some of the rooms overlook and whose decked surrounds are a perfect place for a spot of summer sunbathing.
Chrissie and Max also place a real emphasis on food and drink, making sure that breakfast is a big part of the experience, with an excellent Full English but also lots more besides, including great great locally sourced sausages, bacon and ham, plus smoked salmon, eggs all styles, veggie and vegan options and freshly made fruit salads or pancakes. They also offer various sharing platters for lunch or dinner and will put together a picnic if you're going out walking or cycling. Or you can just stay home and make the most of their well-stocked 'honour bar', with its gin library, cocktails and ample choice of beer, wine, soft drinks, snacks and treats (including excellent local ice cream). There's a comfy guest lounge and separate TV room, while outside you can enjoy a barbecue in the garden or a pizza fresh from the patio pizza oven.
Location-wise, it couldn't be better – a hop, skip and a jump from London, and just a short drive from Cambridge, yet rural enough to feel like a real escape. Their adults-only policy makes it a unique place for grown-ups to relax and unwind, whether it's in the swimming pond or just by making the most of the multiple walks you can do from the doorstep. There will soon be a small gym and a games room, and the delights of Essex's most underrated town, Saffron Walden, are five minutes' away. The B&B is also a good base for Cambridge, which is just a 20-minute drive. All in all it would be hard not to feel relaxed after a few days in the company of Max and Chrissie, who between them have created an indulgent and easily accessible place for short breaks from London and around. Max is always happy to show you around his on-site (and world-leading) luxury games business, and you could also use it as a relaxing stopover before an early flight from nearby London Stansted – much nicer than staying at one of the airport's chain hotels!
Offers & Deals
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RoomsFour double rooms with en-suite bathrooms – two on the ground floor, two on the first floor.
PriceDouble rooms from £140 a night.
Opening TimesOpen all year.
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