Saturday, 10 March 2012

The English Pig, Aldersgate Street, EC1A

Last year when I went to visit the Museum of London I walked past this board:

It was advertising a restaurant near to the Barbican and I thought that it looked quite fun. Just because of the name. I won't make that mistake again.

A year and a half ago when we got engaged, our friends took us to dinner as a congratulatory treat, so when they got engaged this Christmas it seemed the polite thing to do to return the favour. So what better occasion than to go to The English Pig, I thought, than for a betrothal supper. The restaurant had a fairly decent website and good reviews, what could possibly go wrong? I'll tell you. First of all, we got very lost finding it despite Aldersgate Street being approximately 8 minutes walk away from Liverpool Street Station. Considering the Wig and I are very familiar with the area and he had been given the title of 'Head of Maps' for the evening, this was a most heinous crime. Armed with a printed out map and a SatNav thing on his phone as back up, we still got lost. He will never be 'Head of Maps' again.

Then when we actually found the place, my heart sank. It looked a bit like a Wetherspoon's from the outside and you could clearly see that it was empty inside aside from one table of 4. Mortificado. Whoever designed the website was clearly very smart at choosing only the most favorable photos to post up. The other thing that was upsetting was that I had really been looking forward to going out to dinner as we haven't done so for ages. So the only thing to do was to drink. Alcohol. And I am ashamed to admit that I had my first (small) glass of wine since last August. It was delicious. Sorry bump.

The sad thing for The English Pig, is that the food was actually very nice and the waiter was really friendly. I had a beetroot salad starter, its signature dish for a main (21 hour slow roasted Pork Belly on mustard mash and savoy cabbage), dark chocolate tart and vanilla ice cream for dessert and we all shared a cheese platter. It just had zero atmosphere and a curious feeling that it didn't know what it was. Is it  a pub or is it a restaurant? I'm buggered if I know. I think the online reviews for the place must be from people that work in the city and go there for lunch and not for evening sittings. Its great to have good food and attentive staff but you do need the atmosphere too, otherwise you might as well have your tea at home.

Anyway, this picture on the wall above our table sums things up pretty nicely:

Today, however, has been a whole other kettle of fish. Today has been brilliant so far. First of all, I didn't go to the Pregnancy Yoga class. I've been thinking about the whole yoga thing for the last week and I'm not entirely sure what is being achieved by attending the class. There doesn't seem to be much structure to the lessons, with people dropping in and out and the teacher not always being the same person.  It seems like a good idea in theory but maybe this one isn't the best one to go to. So, I decided I would do 2 hours of gardening instead. That seemed like a fair swap to me and also meant the only blow off's I had the potential to encounter would be my own.

Secondly, after our morning hot drink and paper read at Chase + Sorensen, we spied yet another new business opening less than 1 minutes waddle from the flat. I don't want to say too much until its properly opened and I can (hopefully) get some nice pictures of it, but, to me, this is the most exciting development in the vicinity since the  Hackney Picture House  opened a few months ago. The Wig and I were looking through the windows of this new place place and got invited in by the people that run it who spilled the beans on what it's going to be. I was so happy I actually burst into tears. I don't know what is wrong with me at the moment, I keep crying over the most odd things. It's so brilliant that after living here for the last 5 years and feeling somewhat trapped by having to sort the freehold out before I could move, it's all now happening right on the doorstep. It feels like a lovely reward for the 2 years my life has been on hold. Anyway, all I will say is, if you are local, watch this space and I shall be back to report on the juicy new place as soon as I can.

Then thirdly, these got delivered to me:

They were sent from the Agency that were working on the job this week that got pulled at the last minute. They were a Thank you for my help. How nice is that? Very nice I think, and a lovely treat for a Saturday afternoon.  It actually ttranspired that I wont be completely destitute after all as the day after this job went away, I got confirmed on another one so it all worked ok in the end. To coin a phrase things usually work out ok in the end, and if it's not ok, its not the end.

Happy weekends everyone!

1 comment:

  1. What a shame about that restaurant... I wouldn't feel guilty about one glass of wine either, you know they tell mothers to have one glass of prosecco a day in Italy (according to my Italian friend!)... It sounds like lots of nice things happened to make up for the disappointing meal anyway! :)