The Handbook
The Handbook

Love Island might be a lifetime away, but the pie-ing is starting early. Not as another couple break up (RIP Adam and Zara), but rather the sort that you’ll want to pour gravy over. Welcome to actual pies and national pie week, running next week from Monday 4th March to Sunday 10th. It’s like Christmas for fatties (except that Christmas still, really, is Christmas for fatties). Britain’s cuisine may be unfairly besmirched internationally, but if there’s one area where we really lead the world then it’s got to be pies. Let’s get pie-ing.

Simpson's in the Strand

Simpson’s in the Strand, one of London’s grandest meateries, of course have a more-than-decent pie week recipe on the boil. Thanks to master cook Adrian Martin, Simpson’s guests can scoff down a Norfolk chicken, ham hock and morel mushroom pudding pie, which is served with mash and a green liquor sauce, for a real Londony feel. And keep the pie theme going with a dessert of pink rhubarb and ginger pie served, obviously, with custard. And if that wasn’t enough, it’s worth trying out a pie from their usual bill of fare, which includes a pie that the government have actually recommended, the ‘Lord Woolton’ pie. During the Second World War the pie, first created at the Savoy Hotel, was recommended to the British public by the Ministry of Food and named after Lord Woolton, the then minister of pies, er, food.

Where: 100 Strand, WC2R 0EW
Website: www.simpsonsinthestrand.co.uk

The Windmill

When it comes to pies, Mayfair pub The Windmill knows what it’s doing. They have won the British Pie Awards three times and each year serve up around 115 tonnes of pie and 5,500 litres of gravy – that’s the equivalent of 70 baths’ worth. Ew! They’ll be serving up classics likes of venison and wild mushroom, steak and kidney and chicken.

Where: 6-8 Mill Street, Mayfair, W1S 2AZ
Website: www.windmillmayfair.co.uk

Smith & Wollensky

Smith & Wollensky, have their all-American answer to British Pie Week with their limited edition pie that beats the Brits at their own business in the form of a steak and ale pie. Created with Samuel Adams ale and steak, the dish is best served with a side of whipped potatoes.

Where: The Adelphi, 1-11 John Adam Street, Covent Garden Riverside, London WC2N 6HT, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Charing Cross (0.1 miles)
Website: www.smithandwollensky.co.uk

The Bedford

What if I told you that you could get two pies, for the price of one pie? The pies on offer include steak and Timothy Taylor’s Landlord ale pie (even better when it’s washed down with a pint of the same (er, the ale, not a pint of pie, obvs). If you fancy something veggie, then pulled jackfruit and oyster mushroom is the pie for you, and naturally there’s a pie that’s also a pudding in the form of a vegan frangipane and plum with vanilla ice cream.

The Oystermen Seafood Bar & Kitchen

Oyster pie anyone? Yes, totally a thing thanks to The Oystermen Seafood Bar & Kitchen who are coming up with their own seafoody special for pie week. Served inside the actual shell, the beef and oyster ‘pie’ is certainly unique, topped with panic breadcrumbs the mini pie apparently goes down particularly well with a bottle of craft brew or, conversely, Champagne.

Where: 32 Henrietta Street, Soho, WC2E 8NA
Website: www.oystermen.co.uk

The Hind's Head

Let’s get out of London! The Hind’s Head, Heston Blumenthal’s posh pub in Bray, is embracing pie week with a 16th century pie from the famous chef. The restaurant always has a pie on the menu, which changes seasonally, but the real star is the Chewitt, on the bar snack menu. It’s a 16th Century pie, made from historic-sounding ingredients including duck, guinea fowl and pistachio, made in a hand raised pastry and served with walnut ketchup.

Where: High Street, Bray, SL6 2AB
Website: www.hindsheadbray.com