I became familiar with the ‘Social’ restaurants about a year ago, after a super luxe lunch at Pollen Street Social. So when Social Eating House opened it’s doors in Soho last year, with a hot-tipped speakeasy upstairs, I got excited.
The name The Blind Pig originates from the American term used in the United States in the nineteenth century to describe lower-class establishments that sold alcoholic beverages illegally – prohibition era speakeasies, that would charge customers to see an attraction (such as a handicapped animal…!) and then serve a “complementary” alcoholic beverage, thus circumventing the law. I can vouch for the fact that Social’s Soho version is far from lower-class, however.
Once you’ve located the place (upstairs from the Social Eating House restaurant, or via the door beneath the Opticians sign), you’ll find it incredibly dark… I’m not sure there was any electric light?! Just lots of candles and illumination from the street lamps outside the huge warehouse-y windows. Luxuriously vintage, with lots of mirrors, an intricate ceiling, reclaimed wooden chairs and a copper-topped bar.
All the drinks are made with technical precision and served in innovative fashions, often with a snack on the side. They’re unforgettable, which is not overly suprising, since bar manager Gareth Evans was recently named World Class UK bartender of the year. Twists on classic cocktails produce new greats – my personal favourites:
Cereal Killer (£9.50) – rum, Galliano, chocolate and coco pops milk, in a glass milk carton with a candy stripe straw
Silver Screen (£8.50) – Popcorn infused bourbon, cherry bespoke-a-cola, 3D bitters, “snacks”
Kindergarten Cup (£9) – Skittles-washed Ketel One, Aperol, ‘Wham Bar’ syrup
[As always] Dates! The Blind Pig is impressive, beautiful and stylish.
Don’t miss out…
Since my visit I’ve learned that the basement of this establishment houses a hidden “Employees Only” dining space with a wraparound bar that seats eight and overlooks the kitchen. Entry is by exclusive hire only, and yields a six-course tasting menu including champagne (for a mere £110 per person…).
A review of Pollen Street Social – a very different experience in a light, bright and breezy interior-designed space in Mayfair.
I also need to get down to Little Social, Pollen’s little sister, situated right opposite.