Location: The Pen & Pencil, Hilton Street, Manchester
If you're an avid follower of my Instagram (@sweetsevenfive) or of course this blog, you'll know that one of my favourite spots to hang in my beloved city of Manchester is, of course, the Northern Quarter. Last Saturday I was invited to go down to The Pen & Pencil, a bar that in their own words serve 'Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Cocktails' and 'Good Times', to try out their brunch menu. Situated on the corner of Hilton street, The Pen & Pencil sits in the vibrant Northern Quarter, making it the perfect spot to head to on a Saturday afternoon in the city.
Brunch and lunch are served every day 10am-5pm, and the brunch menu, although lighter than the lunch menu, still offers up generous portions and meals packed with flavour. From a healthy breakfast to a three-tier stack of pancakes, there's plenty to choose from with vegetarian, gluten free and dairy free options available. As I am an enthusiastic Avocado fan, I ordered the Avocado and Feta (v), which is sliced avocado, poached eggs and smoked feta perched on a garlic rubbed bloomer. It also comes with sweet chilli sauce which adds a yummy kick to the meal, and a bed of rocket leaves which accompanies the flavours perfectly.
My boyfriend ordered the American Pancakes with Berries which is both vegetarian and gluten-free. The stack of three pancakes is served with fresh berries and maple syrup, and as you can imagine when his food came out, I was pretty jelly. If you're not a veggie and you fancy something even more indulgent, you can get the American Pancakes with Syrup, which is served with homemade caramel syrup and swaps berries for bacon (oh my God).
Avocado and Feta (v) from the brunch menu
American Pancakes with Berries (v) (gf) from the brunch menu
This cool venue is surprisingly big, with a walkway leading you to a back room and loads of space to throw a party or to get in some space at the bar on a busy Saturday night. Pen & Pencil has a private room which holds 65 guests, or you can even hire out the whole venue which holds 200 guests #ballin'. For more information, head to the website here and click Private Hire. They also have loads of events on, including a quiz night on Tuesdays from 7.30pm and some sick late night Mancunian DJs get the party poppin' on Fridays and Saturdays - so be sure to get yourself down.
I'm charmed by The Pen and Pencil because of its little quirks; from its bold, magazine-wallpapered bathrooms as pictured above, to its perfect pairing of naked lightbulbs and bright flowers accompanied by a view of the city's signature street art. The vibe of the afternoon was calm and comfortable, with indie classics playing and the staff ready to serve you with a smile. So, if you're looking for an edgy lil' spot to chill in, or somewhere vibrant to hold a special event, The Pen & Pencil offers a spacious alternative to a generic function room and its menu presents way more than house wine and club sandwiches. Fresh and fun, The Pen and Pencil has nailed exactly what an inner city bar and eatery is all about.
The Pen & Pencil offered a complimentary brunch in return for an honest review. If you'd like to read more about my reviews please see my disclaimer.
Find out more about The Pen and Pencil