Saturday
Oct292011

Hog Blog #1

Saturday October 1st was a sad day for all of us. The last service after 17 years at The Engineer couldn't have been more fitting. Seeing the pub at its best on a glorious autumn evening, the garden full to bursting with friends, ex-staff and regulars all coming together as a motley crew of loyal fans who have all played their part in making The Engineer a very special place indeed for so many, was truly tear-jerking. 

However we're a boisterous lot and we were determined to celebrate the pub's life rather than morn its passing. At 1am there were Frank Sinatra songs being sung in the garden, and as I snuck out of the door at 3am I think some regulars were dancing on the bar and a waiter was preparing for a striptease. Although what happened after I left will stay between those who were determined to make this an unforgettable send off as we put the pub to bed. Handing it back to our landlords who will now attempt to replicate what Abi, Tam and their staff have created over the years.

But every cloud has a silver lining. And no sooner had we closed the door on Primrose Hill, it seemed we were opening the doors of The Hampshire Hog. Our new West London venture, that we had hoped would be our second outpost, had been in the pipeline since October last year and long before the fate of The Engineer was sealed. We'd all been living and breathing The Hog since finally getting our hands on it on August 23rd - my birthday if anyone is interested - and I think I speak for everyone when I say that excitement was mounting as we saw it take shape.

Fast forward through 4 of the most hectic weeks of our lives; through endless chaos, problems, equipment failure, sleep depravation, espresso fuelled late nights, sleeping at our desks, more problems, missed deadlines, soft-opening mayhem, the highs of our opening party, the lows of the grill-shelf in the kitchen collapsing, the basement flooding and it's starting to feel like we've got ourselves a pub! And a Pantry of course. 

The piglets and I are all knackered. Properly knackered. Exhaustion has set in for many of us but the resilience of the team has been staggering and we couldn't have done it without them. And neither could have we done it without the support of our loyal Engineer fans who have joined our new neighbours in W6 to get the place buzzing and feeling alive. To all who have come in, Thank you for trying us out. We hope you like it. For those who have yet to trot along, please do so in the near future and don't hesitate to get in touch and tell us what you think. Tweet us @TheHampshireHog or at our social media junkie @HampshirePiglet, who has also got communicating in 160 characters down to a Tee. We're on a little social networking site too so find us there or pick up the phone and drop us a line.

Right! I'm off for a pint of our wonderful Hoggy beer; specially brewed at The Caledonian Brewery and labelled for us. The last thing I want to do is give a little shout-out to our wonderful suppliers who came along and gee'd up our team during the training, so that they can tell you all about the wonderful stuff that gets delivered through our doors. Jess at Secrett's Farm, Henrietta at The Rare Tea Company, Dan and co. at Caravan on Exmouth Market, Carlo from Les Caves de Pyrene wine, Alistair from Thorman Hunt wines and many many more.

Please do say hi when you come in. We're a friendly bunch and we like nothing more than getting to know our regulars so don't be shy.

Over and out! Ed

Saturday
Oct222011

The Hope Foundation. Our charity partner.

We started supporting HOPE at The Engineer 2 years ago and last October I made a trip to Kolkata to see how the money raised was being spent. We will continue to support the wonderful work of HOPE at The Hog and would love all of our guests to get behind us.

This is a short film I made on my trip. For further information please visit www.thehopefoundation.org.uk

Sunday
Oct162011

Tea-V

Henrietta Lovell of the Rare Tea Company spends a morning promoting loose-leaf tea to one of our builders as she continues on her mission to 'De-bag Britain'. 

 

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