Well-preserved pie and mash shops in Nostalgic London
1) F. Cooke
London’s original fast-food joints, pie and mash shops are as much a part of London history as red phone boxes and the royal family. But the restaurants, which have been around since the mid 19th century, are in decline. Only a handful of traditional spots remain, still serving cheap, cockney-style pastry pies with mashed potatoes and a green, parsley liquor. One of them is F. Cooke, run by a family who opened their first pie shop in the 1860s. Despite the recent closure of their 120-year-old Broadway Market branch, F. Cooke in Hoxton is still going strong, serving up meat pies (you can get vegan ones, too, these days) and hearty cups of rosy lee to tourists and loyal regulars.
2) Arments Pie and Mash
Arments have been in this spot on Westmoreland Road since 1979, but their history goes back as far as 1914. Still family-run and serving up old-school pies using the original recipe, the South London institution is the place to go for flaky pastry and creamy mash. Spot the blue plaque on the side of the building, which was installed to mark the muchloved shop’s 100th anniversary.
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3) M. Manze
The first of a small chain of pie and mash shops set up by Italian Michael Manze, M. Manze on Tower Bridge Road opened in 1902. The interior of the Grade II-listed shop is almost exactly as it would have been back then – check out the green, cream and pink floral tiling, marble-topped tables and terrazzo floor. At one point there were 14 M. Manze pie and mash shops in London, but times have changed. Now just three shops remain – but you can order Manze’s pie, mash and eels on Deliveroo, too.
4) The Jellied Eel
London’s appetite for pies and eel might be waning, but Manze’s has a plan. By day, this shop serves up traditional pie, mash and eel in an untouched 1929 setting (just look at the tiled walls, dark wooden booths and decorative tin-panelled ceiling). By night it’s a bar, where cocktails, croquetas and small plates are on the menu. The Jellied Eel, which is open after-hours on Fridays and Saturdays, makes use of the shop’s stunning Grade II-listed decor as well as a courtyard garden out the back.
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