The Ginger Pig

This week marks the start of a news series as we delve into the deep and enchanting world of London’s culinary scene and bring you the very finest picks from this varied cavalcade of excellent.


A few years ago, very few people had heard of the Ginger Pig but now having them appear on your table, menu or supplier list is a sign of true excellence. Straddling the line between chef’s favourite and household name, this truly exceptional butcher is starting to come into the mainstream. With 6 stores now open around the capital, their influence continues to grow at a steady rate and they seem to gain followers with every pasty baked and every sumptuous rib eye sold.


So what are they all about, what makes the Ginger Pig just a little better than all their competitors? The truth is surprisingly simple, and offers a valuable lesson to anyone hoping to build their own following: quality trumps all. Great care is taken to ensure that the breeds of animal that they sell offer the highest standard of flavour possible. The beef is particularly excellent: well hung and perfectly marbled, it shows the vast superiority of this butcher over their cheaper rivals and the high end supermarkets. Every joint is delicious, and its this consistent excellence that has made them the supplier of choice for the amazing Hawksmoor steak houses, as well as a large number of other top London restaurants.


This attention to detail really sets the Ginger Pig apart from its rivals. When you buy one of their joints, you know that the animals on offer have all been carefully chosen for their taste and texture by some serious meatlovers. Provenance matters when it comes to meat: it’s why we adore English lamb and why anything containing the sumptuous meat of the Iberian pig commands a high price. Talking to Nicola Swift, the creative food director of Ginger Pig Ltd, it quickly becomes clear that this is a butcher that places the quality of their meat at the very top of the agenda. When we asked her about the company’s core values, and about the importance of provenance, she replied: it’s very simple; an animal that is treated well in the field will taste better on the plate.”


“Our background is farming, and we now farm over more land than we ever have before. Due to the volume of beef we require we work with a number of other brilliant cattle producers,thought we still rear as much of our own pork, beef and lamb as we possibly can, and this grounding in agriculture – we also grow some of our own food for the animals, as well as vegetables and fruit for the preserves – gives us a really thorough understanding of what we sell. We also the only British butcher with buying rights at Rungis Market in France, where we travel each week to select a wonderful array of French poultry and high-welfare, free range Limousin veal. The application for a Rungis buying card took us over six months, 10 years of accounting records and a letter from the British Government – it was certainly a tricky easy privilege to obtain!”


This quality does come with a cost though, which is, well, the cost. It’s just an inevitable fact: when you want the best, you will have to pay for it. Oddly enough, it actually rather adds to the overall experience of it. Taking the tube to Baker Street, making the customary trek through the backstreets of Marylebone and turning the corner, getting that first waft of baking meats and pastry, it all forms a ritual that’s strangely enchanting. As you walk away, clutching your prized cuts as they nestle beside each other in the paper wrapping, there is a sense of occasion to it all. The staff’s attentiveness, the sight of the dozens of T-bones hanging in the chill room and that delicious scent all add to it. Relish it, make going there something special, save its produce for birthdays, engagements, parties, weddings, romantic meals for two, catching up with old friends and for those days when you just need something to put a smile on your face.


Have you had any experience with the Ginger Pig, and do you agree that it really is one of London’s hidden gems? Let us know below.

January 23, 2018


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