I am incredibly lucky that I get invited to some of the most exciting places to launch in Manchester. You would think, when I go with friends or family, I’d go to lots of different places on a regular basis. The truth is I tend to end up in the same places. I’m not really sure why and I’m not really sure what it is that draws me to these places over anywhere else. Perhaps it is habit? Or that I know exactly what to expect for the type of day/night I want to have. I’m going to do a post about these little gems but wanted to share a new place that has cemented a place in this list. Welcome to The Pen And Pencil
Inspired by the steakhouse of the same name from the series Mad Men you will find 1950’s New York style in abundance with the most impressive collage of magazine print in the toilets, yes I mentioned the toilets. They are too good not to, oh and ladies? You may just spot Tom Hardy in the first cubicle. I foresee a queue forming.
There are two seating areas with the main bar area as you enter the venue and then a smaller area at the back which is perfect for freelancers who want a quiet spot to work during the day with a decent cup of coffee. You can also look at this incredible piece of artwork by Akse and, whilst I’m talking about him, you should also check out this amazing film my cousin Charlie did which is a glimpse into his private life and why he does what he does. It’s amazing and I’m not just bias.
I popped in for an early brunch which started with cappuccino and smoothies.
The cappuccino was fantastic with a strong coffee kick that so many are missing at the moment, I want more than frothed milk! They use a blend of Brazilian, Indian and Central American beans to get the aromatic flavour just right and boy does it work. The smoothies are full on health in a glass. The Watermelon and Pear (left hand side) was fresh and fruity whilst the Kale, Mint and Apple (right hand side) was refreshing, slightly tart and more earthy. Both were delicious and made me feel positively virtuous. That was until the Bloody Marys…
Isn’t that a thing of beauty? This one was made with gin instead of vodka and topped with a dash of Merlot for a slightly different flavour. This is helped by the house gin being Portobello Road, a particular favourite of mine.
Onto the food and I chose Steak and Eggs with my friend opting for the BLT.
The 4oz rump steak is grilled either mediium or well done and served under two runny fried eggs, hollandaise and a hash brown. Opting for the medium steak it was beautifully soft and the hollandaise lightly tart, as it should be. The hash brown had a good crunchy coating which made it ideal for dipping into the runny yolk of the eggs. A lovely mid morning meal that saw me right through to tea time.
The BLT, which replaces the lettuce with lobster, is served on bloomer bread with generous helpings of baconnaise to keep the whole thing together. It would have benefited from slightly more filling or a thinner slice of bread but the lobster was a lovely touch and the fries nicely seasoned.
There’s some other classics on the menu that I will be back to try in the very near future, the corned beef hash looked amazing as did the huevos rancheros with crispy bacon on the side.
So why has The Pen and Pencil been added to me ‘frequent visit’ list? For a daytime meeting venue it is light, bright and airy with a good cocktail menu that also caters for those not drinking with smoothies, tea and coffee. The brunch menu is good with food served from 10am every day and it is a stone’s throw from Piccadilly making it ideal for jumping back on the train home. What more could you need?
I was invited to dine as a guest and wasn’t asked to pay for my food or drink.