My knowledge of Chester’s speciality coffee scene has, until recently, largely been confined to the city centre, and, in the case of Moss Coffee, Brook Street, which leads between the centre and Chester Station. However, for the last 4½ years, (literally) on the other side of the tracks, Little Yellow Pig has been doing its thing in Hoole. Although part of Chester, Hoole has its own distinct look and feel, complete with a compact centre, packed with shops and restaurants, Little Yellow Pig fitting in perfectly.
From humble beginnings, Little Yellow Pig has grown into a large coffee shop and brunch venue, serving Lost Highway from Dark Arts Coffee on espresso, with plans for pour-over in the near future. Just as importantly, there’s food, with excellent breakfast and lunch menus, supplemented by a great selection of cakes, all cooked on site. There’s also fresh bread for sale every day. You can sit in the original part, where you’ll find a more traditional coffee shop setting, complete with counter and some tables, or next door, in the larger, lounge-like area which Little Yellow Pig annexed two years ago. There’s even a small outdoor seating area on Westminster Road.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Little Yellow Pig began life at the start of 2014, subletting a single-storey space from a vintage shop on the corner of Charles Street and Westminster Road in the heart of Hoole. Growing steadily from these humble origins, when the vintage shop closed in 2016, Little Yellow Pig was more than ready to take on the full lease, expanding into the adjacent space, the ground floor of the two-storey building to the left. From a Little Yellow Pig(let) it is now a rather large yellow pig!
As a result, Little Yellow Pig has three front doors, two of which are in use. The first is on the left-hand side of the low, single-storey building, while the second (which isn’t in use) comes in a matching façade on the blue-painted two-storey building to the left, home of the old vintage shop. Both of these are on Charles Street, with the third just around the corner on Westminster Road, set back slight from the pavement, where there’s a small outdoor seating area with a solitary table (in good weather).
Entering via Charles Street, you’ll find a traditional coffee-shop setting. Long and thin, there are two windows to your right, running the full length of this part of Little Yellow Pig, the counter occupying the back wall, espresso machine and grinders on the left-hand side, 90⁰ to the front. On a table to the right of the small counter are the cakes and soft drinks. To the right of the door is a small set of shelves where you can buy bread from the Wirral’s Born and Bread, beyond which is a five-person window-bar with high, wooden chairs. To the door’s left, a small set of retail shelves occupy the corner, holding an eclectic range of non-coffee stuff. Finally, between the counter and window, there’s a row of tables, a four-person one against the left-hand wall and two two-person tables, back-to-back, on the right.
Access to the second part of Little Yellow Pig is along a corridor at the back on the left. This leads past the toilets and stairs to the upstairs kitchen. This second area is much larger, with two four-person tables in the windows to the left, and a pair of armchairs by the fireplace on the right. A round, two-person table blocks off the door on the left, while on the right there’s a four-person round table and a two-person square one. Finally at the far end, a sofa on the left and a four-person table on the right flank the door to Westminster Road.
Little Yellow Pig serves breakfast/lunch until 2pm/3pm respectively. Annoyingly, I conspired to arrive at 2:30, so missed out on variations on the Full English and Eggs Benedict, plus avocado on toast. Instead I had an extremely tasty, well-cooked cheese, mushroom and spinach omelette with side-salad from a lunch menu which included sandwiches, panini, salads, soup and cheese on toast.
The coffee is always Dark Arts’ Lost Highway, a seasonal single-origin espresso. I had a flat white, which started out quite fruity, but evolved into more chocolatey notes towards the end, a really impressive trick. I also had an espresso, which was a little acidic for my tastes, but still very good.
I visited Little Yellow Pig twice, first in June, when the Lost Highway was a Nicaragua Los Pirineos, and again on Saturday, this time to get more photographs. While I didn’t linger, I had an espresso, this time a Guatemala Finca San Antonio. While I enjoyed it, I preferred the Nicaragua, although I suspect it would have been just as superb in milk.
December 2018: Little Yellow Pig was a runner-up for the 2018 Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award.
|31A CHARLES STREET • CHESTER • CH2 3AY|
|www.facebook.com/littleyellowpighoole||+44 (0) 1244 637220|
|Monday||09:00 – 17:00||Roaster||Dark Arts (espresso only)|
|Tuesday||09:00 – 17:00||Seating||Tables, Sofa, Window-Bar; Table (outside)|
|Wednesday||09:00 – 17:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Cake|
|Thursday||09:00 – 17:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||09:00 – 17:00||Cards||Amex, Mastercard, Visa|
|Saturday||09:00 – 16:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||10:00 – 14:00||Power||Limited|
|Chain||No||Visits||15th June, 29th September 2018|
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