Blackwater farm

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Great New Forest Pork

If there’s one ingredient that the New Forest is celebrated for, it’s pork – and all the wonderful things you can make with it. Sausage, bacon, charcuterie, chops, fillets and ribs are staples of the local food scene. When’s the best time to eat it, and who are the best suppliers? Let’s explore the best of the area.

The Best Time of Year for Pork

New Forest pork is always delicious – but the very best time to enjoy local pork is late autumn through to winter. During the autumn pannage, free roaming pigs can be seen all over the forest (around September to November). During pannage, commoners take their pigs out to graze on the fallen acorns that other grazing animals can’t eat. This helps to keep the horses, donkeys and cows healthy – but it also makes for some very delicious pork!

After pannage, the New Forest is brimming with fat, happy pigs – the tastiest kind of pig there is. When slaughtered, they retain the sumptuous flavour gained from a rich, varied diet – and the unctuous layer of fat makes for irresistible crackling, sausage and bacon.

Great Local Producers

There are far too many masters of pork to mention in one post – but we do have a few favourites. We always aim to source our pork locally, especially during the abundant seasons. Pork farming in the New Forest is a year-round affair, though, so there’s always good availability – and whether we’re in the market or buying direct from a supplier, we’re continuously impressed by the produce on our doorstep.

When it comes to New Forest pork, Blackwater Farm is a wonderful, ethical supplier – and it’s only a short drive down the road from us. Blackwater Farm fits in with our “farm to plate” values, but most importantly, their pork tastes absolutely sublime.

Why? Because the pigs are happy, well-fed and free to roam. The farm’s mission is to ensure that these pigs have a good quality of life. The pigs themselves are of rare breeds, prized for their exquisite flavour: the Berkshire and Gloucester Old Spot varieties, to be specific.

We love the pork we source from Blackwater Farm. Why not try it for yourself?

The Bell Inn

We’re proud to be one of the best places to eat in the New Forest. Discover the award-winning dining experience curated by Head Chef Mark Young, including beautiful local pork.

Book your table now: call 023 8081 2214 or make a reservation online.