British Pie Week runs from 5-11 March 2018 and we shall be eating loud, proud, full-flavoured pies courtesy of some of the best pastry makers in the capital. The Resident checks out London’s top spots for a good pie…
Lead image: The Pie Room at Holborn Dining Rooms
1 Sparrow x Calum Franklin, Lewisham
Terry Blake, Head Chef and Co-Founder of Sparrow in Lewisham, will welcome Holborn Dining Room’s Calum Franklin into the kitchen for an evening celebrating the humble British pie on Tuesday 6 March. The evening kick offs with an apple pie-esque rum and sherry cocktail, followed by a light, crisp pie with trotter, leek and coolea for starters. Pie maestro Calum Franklin will take charge of the main course, serving up a dry aged mutton, wild garlic and morel pie in a butter puff pastry, accompanied by a selection of Sparrow’s signature sides. Finally, Terry will whip up a black sesame, banana and passion fruit dessert encased in a biscuit crust. Vegetarians can enjoy a leek and wigmore pie with truffle oil, followed by Calum’s Jersey Royal, wild garlic and morel pie. Also, on 14 March, Sparrow will launch a new lunch menu with a rotating selection of pies including beef cheek and suet pie, chicken curry pie and spring leek and shitake pie. Sittings on Tuesday 6 March start at 6.30pm and 8.30pm. Tickets are £35pp including a welcome cocktail (50% of profits will go to Bloom Bakery, a local charity helping unemployed people into the hospitality industry).
2 Rennell Street, Lewisham SE13 7HD; sparrowlondon.co.uk. To book email firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Maggie Jones’s, Kensington
A good pie is a quintessentially British dish, so where better to enjoy one than quintessentially British restaurant, Maggie Jones’s, located off Kensington Church Street. Maggie Jones’s, open since 1964, has four classic pies on the menu, including Chicken & Artichoke Pie (Lord Snowdon’s favourite dish at Maggie Jones’s), Steak & Kidney Pie, Root Vegetable Pot Pie and the famously creamy Fish Pie, which has been on the menu since 1977. All pies are served with three sides of roasted vegetables, such as green beans, peas and potatoes. Maggie Jones’s opened in 1964 as Nan’s Kitchen, which was at the time Princess Margaret and Lord Snowden’s favourite restaurant. In the early 70s, the restaurant changed its name to Maggie Jones in honour of its most famous client, who used to book under the alias ‘Maggie Jones’. Cosy, rustic, informal and incurably romantic, the family-owned restaurant is tucked away in a little cul-de-sac between Kensington High Street and Kensington Church Street. Pies are priced £11.25-£18.50.
6 Old Court Place, Kensington Church Street; maggie-jones.co.uk
3 Pie Afternoon Tea at Bluebird, Chelsea
Bluebird’s Pie Afternoon Tea, created by Pastry Chef extraordinaire, Roger Pizey, is a must for pie lovers! The special British Pie Week afternoon tea, available from 9-11 March, includes both sweet and savoury pies. Enjoy the likes of a homemade pork pie, chicken and leek pea, and cheddar and red onion pie, before moving on to an apple turnover, lemon meringue pie and banoffee pie cupcake. It’s all served up on a traditional three tiered tea stand along with the traditional fruit and plain scones with clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam, plus a red velvet roll. A pot of tea or coffee is also included and you can opt to add a glass of sparkling wine or rosé champagne. Priced £21.50 (plus £8 for a glass of sparking wine or £15 for glass of rosé champagne).
350 King’s Road, Chelsea SW3 5UU; bluebird-restaurant.co.uk
4 Holborn Dining Rooms, Holborn
Calum Franklin strikes again! He’s such a pastry and pie fan that, in addition to his one-off collaboration with Sparrow, featured above, he has also created The Pie Room at Holborn Dining Room, dedicated to one of Britain’s most iconic dishes. With more than 200 pies made daily in Holborn Dining Room, The Pie Room showcases the dish Calum has become so famed for (check out his 63,000-strong Instagram following). An extension to the kitchen, you can watch the chefs at work as they craft offerings such as pork pies, impressive beef wellingtons, pate en croutes and complex pithiviers by hand every day. The detailed lattice work is egg-washed at least three times to create a deep burnish once cooked, taking up to two hours at a time.
252 High Holborn WC1V 7EN; holborndiningroom.com
5 The Jugged Hare, Barbican
The Jugged Hare, an award-winning gastropub in Barbican – which usually has a pie of the day on the menu – is fully on board for British Pie Week with a selection of pies available for the duration of this most wonderful week. Choose from Cumbrian veal tongue ‘n’ cheek pie with wild horseradish (£16), Devonshire kid goat shoulder pie with chervil root and whole grain mustard (£16), and Iron Age pork neck pie with wild garlic, parsley root and crispy ears a’top (£16). All are loaded with tender cuts of meats and rich gravy, and encased in a buttery, crisp puff pastry.
49 Chiswell Street EC1Y 4SA; thejuggedhare.com