The Pig and Tail, Dayus Square, the Jewellery Quarter
The gentrification of the Jewellery Quarter is visible on almost every street corner and every new day. Giant cranes hang over the horizon, , out of scale with the three story red brick industrial buildings beneath; factory walls gaze at you with blank windows behind which an army of men labour to convert them to luxury flats; dank basements house unexpected booking-only high end cocktail bars; and everywhere new restaurants, pop-ups, cafes and bars appear to cater to the army of new hipster residents attracted by the history with its new sheen of luxurious living.
The problems of gentrification for local businesses are well-known, but one side effect is that there is enough local demand for someone somewhere to think it is worth the time and money to refurbish and reopen this beautiful pub, which has sat empty and derelict for years. Sister venue to the Pickled Piglet on Gas Street, the Pig and Tail recently opened in a pub which has been derelict for a while. It must have been a major redevelopment effort, for the building as it stood was a proper ruin: the difference today is impressive. The pale green facade welcomes you into a long thin bar area, decorated in bold wallpapers, mustard colours, unusual tiling, and art work inspired by local sites by local residents. The windows which run waist to ceiling down one side are even more spectacular, beautiful stained glass in their own right, and flooding the interior space with light.
It looks gorgeous.
It was empty when we arrived for brunch on a Tuesday at 11am (brunch is served daily 11-3pm). Due to the long and narrow nature of the bar, it is mostly seats for two, with a few seats for 4. The atmosphere is very grown up: I’m not sure I’ve ever seen children here. Couples will definitely have a great time.
We took our seats and browsed the menu. It is a brief array of choices, and no full English is on offer here. Instead, you are offered carefully crafted dishes, a menu pored over by the chef (at least according to their busy Instagram feed) and definitely more ‘true brunch’ than breakfast.
We both ordered raspberry lemonade, as it was the middle of one of the hottest days of the summer. Serves with a fresh raspberry in each glass it was cooling and refreshing, even if the labels on the bottles seemed to have been down on the same template as that terrible Echo Falls wine.
When it came to the food, I ordered ‘hot smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on a toasted bagel’.It comes stuffed with filling, as you would expect. At first I thought it tasted a bit underseasoned, but by the end of the meal I decided I loved it so much the seasoning must therefore have been perfect. It was light and fluffy and warm.
My partner-in-brunch’s option was ‘crab and salmon patties, dill mayo and pickles on a bun’. It looked heavenly, and the tasted the same. A good faux burger light option for lunch brunch.
After all the delicious food and attentive service, the toilets were a bit of a disappointment. They are perfectly clean, and the blue and white tiling on the floors is delightful and I want it in my own house, but the little problems were there by the handful. No toilet paper in the available toilet I used. No hooks on the back of the door so you have to put your bag or coat on the floor. The hand dryer is one of those ridiculously weak ones were you end up not bothering and just wiping your hands on your clothes. This is made worse by the rumour there is a Dyson in the mens. Last time I visited, there was no soap either.
Price: mid range: £7 for the salmon bagel or the crab patties. Bacon and egg sandwiches available for only £3.50
Atmosphere and design: gorgeously modern, with beautiful colours and unusual wallpapers to complement the original stained glass windows,
Food: a short brunch menu of 6 options, more lunch than breakfast (a burger is one of the options)
Toilets: clean and nicely decorated, but no loo roll, no door hooks, useless hand driers. Very disappointing
Enjoyment: a really great new addition to the JQ pubs, and a great place to brunch, especially for adult couples