The Blue Pig

18 Sep

A good few years ago, one of the world’s loveliest gentlemen (made more excellent by the fact he works in cheese) explained to me the concept of the third place. Outside of work and your own home, it prescribes that everyone should have a “somewhere” they can go and just be. Pub, café, restaurant, wherever, its that other space where you can completely forget yourself and just sink into your surroundings, completely comfortable and at peace. A gorgeous concept, methinks, and one which has had me searching for years.

In Manchester, it’s not easy to find your third place. There are so many foodie dwellings, many of them excellent establishments, tempting me with delicious eats, flattering lighting and walls of wines and spirits, with new eateries popping up every day. In the name of keeping the blog interesting, it is my duty (cough) to test drive new places, so I rarely frequent the same gaffe twice. Now sure, variety is the spice of life and all that, but all this newness makes finding a hiding hole from the world bloody difficult.

In the space of just four short weeks however, I’ve have managed to visit  The Blue Pig twice, once in the name of trying it out, and second because I couldn’t keep away. A miraculous feat, given that it’s only been open since early August, and strong testament to what a little gem this place is. The latest venture from the people at Odd, The Blue Pig is a sophisticated and fun diversion from its usual fare, based on a Parisian salon, with the continental food and drink to match, (plus a few local treats to keep it real).

The Blue Pig, an all day affair

Having noticed the place weeks in advance of opening, hard to ignore with the hanging blue pig swaying in the breeze, from the outside, it looks cavernous and moody. All dark lights and big booths, I couldn’t imagine how it could be filled or whip up the atmosphere needed to make the place come alive, but I was wrong. It has been packed out every time I have been, with a perfect mix of NQ characters, from young professionals to hardened hipsters, creative types and the odd tourist wandering in from Market Street.

The Blue Pig, of moody lighting

The Blue Pig, where pigs hang out (sorry)

The gently buzzing atmosphere and happy eating and drinking provides an authentic salon feel, and though it’s a haven for people watching, you just melt into the background, perfectly cocooned with your companions despite the size of the place. The food helps too. Both times, my friends and I choose to build our own deli board from the enticingly lit cheese and meat counter, though you can also choose from the 333 menu, three courses of three options each for just £20, seemingly ace value for money.  

The Blue Pig, deli counter

The Bue Pig, 333 Menu

Mortadellabresaola and braised chorizo in a paprika laden oil, (perfect for dunking bread), brought the continent, with a Kidderton Ash goats cheese, a local favourite from Raven’s Oak Dairy in Cheshire, a creamy fresh Somerset brie and a gently tangy Shropshire blue, we had one pretty special sharing board, the best way I can think of to bring people together for a good catch up. Accompanied by an intense but incredible lamb’s liver pate and chutneys and hummus to finish off, we were in heaven.

The Blue Pig, deli board

The only bollocks is the size of the portions. Between myself, Danielle and Bev, my lovely companions on my second visit, we had cleaned the board within twenty minutes, and though the prices of the individual items don’t seem too steep, coming in between £2 and £4, it quickly adds up when trying to make a feast. Regardless of the girth of the meal, there’s just too much good stuff to be put off going, including the waitresses, full of personality and some seriously good banter, without ever being over familiar, who happily recommended matching drinks or new nibbles to try.  

I can’t wait to go again, especially to try the 333 menu, and if I’m ever around during the day, get my smackers around a bowl of breakfast churros, which sadly shut up shop at 4pm. The thought of going and getting lost for an afternoon, hiding in one of the booths with a  bottle of wine and hunk of bread and cheese fills me joy, so much so, I think I just might have found my third place. Where’s yours?


One Response to “The Blue Pig”

  1. helen September 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    Lovely write up again Lauzbobs. Everywhere you go and review makes me want to go too – JOB DONE! x

    Favourite bit is the ‘The only bollocks is the size of the portions.’ HAHA. That seems to be what most people are saying though.

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