The Blind Pig is Jason Atherton’s cocktail bar in Soho. Read our insider’s guide to what to expect.
There’s a lot of hype about The Blind Pig – browse through any feature on the best drinking spots in Soho and there it is, front and centre. But what’s it really like?
Enter the unmarked door next to Jason Atherton’s Social Eating House and climb the stairs to find yourself in the world of The Blind Pig.
Blind Pig Bar: First Impressions
Back in the day, Soho’s clandestine doors used to hide sex shops and massage parlours – a very different tale to the upmarket area that we see today. The furtive dens have been replaced with speakeasies, but that slightly illicit feeling – accentuated by flashes of neon, remains.
That’s how it feels as I climb the stairs to The Blind Pig anyway. I’ve duly found the entrance (hint: it’s the one with the pig door knocker in case you haven’t worked it out). The dark stairs, the lurid orange light – there’s a definite throwback to a time when the area was decidedly less salubrious than it is now.
The Blind Pig is the brainchild of Jason Atherton – one of the well-deserved darlings of London’s culinary scene. No surprise that the bar displays the same playful attitude of Atherton’s restaurants.
Moving from a restaurant to a bar feels like a natural progression for a chef so focused (some might say obsessed) with the social aspect of eating. There’s something special about the ritual of huddling over a good cocktail to have a gossip, or a spot of mild flirtation, depending on your company.
The beautiful menu provides plenty of fodder for discussion. Forget bog-standard classics. The Blind Pig’s menu s adventurous to say the least – tease out the meaning behind the ingredients and the gorgeous illustrations with your drinking companions before settling on your drink of choice.
Cocktails at The Blind Pig
The concept for The Blind Pig bar is clear, but unfortunately the execution is not. The issue? The cocktails simply don’t fulfil the beguiling promise that they have on the page.
Take the Hunny Pot for example. It sounds great – Bacardi Oro, mead, cider brandy, honey,orange blossom and honeycomb, all served in a cute terracotta pot that Winnie the Pooh himself wouldn’t be able to keep his hands off of.
What turns up looks the part – it’s even temptingly finished off with a cheeky Percy-style pig. Shame to say that it doesn’t deliver. The first sip is pleasant enough, if a little on the sweet side, but whatever flavour exists is quickly diluted by the inexplicable mountain of ice with which the cocktail is seved.
The anticipation of the drink dwindles to a watery reality in a matter of moments – and even that watery reality is brief enough as the terracotta pot is deceivingly small.
Still. One underwhelming cocktail does not a disappointing bar make. Next up was the Chocolate River Punch – promising for its lack of ice, but similarly bland. On the positive side, it was like drinking a mini milk (which are pretty tasty and not at all unpleasant) but when I want a mini-milk, I tend to go to the corner shop and not to a rather expensive bar.
It could have been so different. The atmosphere, service and location at The Blind Pig all bode well – but it’s hard to say good things about a cocktail bar that, well, doesn’t do particularly good cocktails.
The verdict? Skip it in favour of dinner next door.
Practical Information for Visiting The Blind Pig
Address: 58 Poland Street, Soho, London, W1F 7NR