While strolling downtown Hardy streets, I had a most amazing surprise! There is a totally English! café called Pig’n’Whistle that is so different from everything I have ever been in I was totally fascinated, from the food they serve to their décor and how they prepare and serve their cuisine, wow!!!!!
Phillip and Rebecca Ashcroft were married in England in 2004 and after sailing around the world for a few years, they left the high seas in 2010 and settled in Hardy, where Rebecca’s family have been for generations. They opened their unique café and serve English-Anglo-American cuisine. They are delighted to bring a taste of England to Hardy!
The name itself Pig’n’Whistle has a tale of its own! Long ago in “Merrie Olde’ England, during a time when many people were unable top read, the picture of a pig and whistle on a tavern sign designated a place to eat and drink. The name may have also been derived from “Piggen Wassail” meaning toast to good health, the word “pig” referring to a drinking vessel. “Whistle” is referred to in early Anglo-Saxon as the mouth or throat, hence the expressing “wet your whistle.” What an interesting name in itself! Today their name also represents the Arkansas Razorback and the trains you will hear passing by during your visit. A most fascinating dining experience you will enjoy!
The day we strolled in was a lovely day and full of happy folks eating and chatting merrily, with pristine and English décor to “sot” you back a bit, indeed! Of course I ordered the fish & chips, as pictured above. The fish itself was cod and white and flaky and melt in your mouth, no fishy taste, just a wonderful palatable white fish fried crisp. The English peas served are called “mushy peas” and are a tantalizing tasty side dish from the UK and popular in English pub fare that contains peas, a little butter, salt and pepper and a hand masher! Plain, simple and a very nice compliment to their hand-battered fish. Not being a world traveler, I was so fascinated with the total English experience from their décor to their awesome fish & chips served with fries and mushy peas, served on parchment or newspaper! A friend of mine just got home from an England visit and was not keen on the fish and chips he was served there, so I promised him I would drag him from Memphis to Hardy to enjoy a really English Fish’n’Chips experience.
The Pig’n’Whistle was awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence in 2014 and I am not surprised. I can’t really talk long enough to tell you all about this unique place with awesome and tasty food and service. Just go see them at 107 E. Main, Hardy, AR. They are open Thursday-Monday 11 am-8 pm and Sunday 11 am-6 pm. See you there! Ginger