British Pie Week: A Tour of London’s Best Pies March 9, 2017
Given the amount of pies I’ve eaten in my lifetime, I do consider myself a bit of a pie-fessional. As a chef at HelloFresh, I’m constantly playing around with different ingredients, tweaking new recipes and experimenting with different flavours. But I always find myself coming back to the same old British favourites. And by ‘British favourites’, I’m mainly talking about pies. Shepherd’s pie, cottage pie, fish pie, apple pie… When it comes to British favourites, there are few foods more comforting (or delicious) than a good pie. As a lover of all things buttery, I stand firmly in the “the more pastry the better” camp.
To celebrate the beginning of British Pie Week (which might be the best week in the culinary calendar), I decided to take a little trip around London to sample some of the best pies our city has to offer. Choosing where to go proved difficult enough – there is literally a pie shop for every occasion, and fillings for every taste bud (from chicken, mushroom and champagne to apple and cinnamon). After a painful (mostly hunger-induced) decision, I settled on these three:
F Cooke, 150 Hoxton St, London N1 6SH
As traditional pie and mash shops go, this one takes the biscuit. The owners of this Hoxton haunt refuse to serve gravy instead of liquor and still cover their floors with sawdust (back in the day customers used to spit their jellied eel bones onto the floor, making it easier to clean up….lovely!)
The Award Winning:
The Windmill Mayfair, 6-8 Mill St, Mayfair, London W1S 2AZ, http://www.windmillmayfair.co.uk/
The steak pie at this traditional English pub is a three time national award winner. And no wonder, with an established pie club and YouTube videos to its name, this is an establishment that takes pies very seriously. And we’re so glad it does, the pasty on these beauties is a thing of sheer pie-fection!
The Nordic Bakery, 14a Golden Square, Soho, London W1F 9JG, www.nordicbakery.com
Who knew the Scandinavians would give the Brits a run for our money when it came to pies. The classic ‘scandi minimalist’ setting of this cafe was even reflected in the mini savory karelian pies that decorated their counter-top. Delicate looking rye pastry filled with mashed potato and served with a mashed egg butter. Sounds weird, we know, but it was strangely delicious.
Now go forth and feast your pies- Happy British Pie Week!