British Pie Week (7th-13th March) returns this week and as if we needed an excuse to get stuck into one of Britain’s best-loved dishes, we’re taking it. London is packed with restaurants and pubs serving up the flakey, homely dish, but we’ve done the hard work for you and rounded up the very best in the capital.
From the classics steak and ale to cheffy takes with wild combinations, check out our favourites here…
West Street institution The Ivy have been serving up up their signature Shepherd’s Pie for decades. Although the original restaurant, which now plays parent to a whole host of Brasseries, Gardens, Grills and more, may be quietly traditional, its shepherd’s pie is not, mixing a rebellious combination of lamb and beef. The outcome is a delightfully elegant looking pie that packs a deep, rich punch in flavour. Order the original or add Mayfield cheese for extra oomph.
1-5 West Street, London WC2H 9NQ
If there’s a scale for pies and Frey Bentos is at one end, this should be at the other. The Connaught Grill are celebrating Pie Week with their decadent chicken and foie gras pie. A piece of work in itself, it consists of layers of chicken breast and foie gras terrine, wrapped in savoy cabbage, wrapped again in puff pastry and topped with a pastry leaf motif.
Not a foie gras fan? The Mayfair hotel also has a ‘Pie of the Day’ menu featuring everything from kidney, oxtail and bone marrow to shepherd’s and seafood pie. Delicious.
The Connaught Grill, The Connaught, Carlos Place, London W1K 2AL
In the heart of Theatreland, you’ll find J.Sheekey, arguably London’s most famous fish and seafood restaurant. Their classic pie has been on the menu for an age and is full to bursting with meaty chunks of white fish and salmon, a mustardy cheese sauce and finished off with a golden mash and breadcrumbed crust. Heaven.
J.Sheekey, 28-32 St Martin’s Court, London WC2N 4AL
Holborn Dining Rooms take their pies very seriously. First up, there’s the dedicated pie section on the a la carte menu with everything from curried mutton pie to classic chicken, girolle and tarragon to potato, comté and caramelised onion.
Then there’s the Pie Room – a whole room dedicated to the things. The pie love is the work of Executive Head Chef and pastry expert, Calum Franklin, who’s created a treasure trove of beautifully handmade delicacies that can be bought to takeaway.
If that wasn’t enough pie action, there’s also the Pie Room Guest Series which brings in top chefs to create their own pastries to be sold in the Pie Room. Plus, Franklin and the guest chef in question often host intimate dinners for just 10 guests. A must-book if you’re a self-confessed pie lover.
Holborn Dining Rooms, No. 252 High Holborn, London, United Kingdom WC1V 7EN
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As one of Mayfair’s oldest pubs – it dates back to 1423(!) – and an unchanged pie recipe that’s been on the menu for over 30 years, The Guinea Grill is one for pie purists. Rich, melt-in-the-mouth steak and kidney is filled into generous pastry dishes and topped with a classic suet-crusted lid.
Worth checking out for their epic roasts, too.
The Guinea Grill, 30 Bruton Place, Mayfair, London
This central London boozer is famous for its pies – they even run a pie club giving pie aficionados special events, tastings and seasonal specials on the reg and for when you just can’t get enough of the pies at home, an online blog dedicated to all things pie.
Dedication to the cause hasn’t gone unnoticed – the pies are genuinely good. So good in fact that the team have won five British Pie Awards in just three years.
Choose from the likes of steak and mushroom with suet pastry, shepherd’s, trout, smoked haddock, crayfish with cheddar mash and many more.
The Windmill, 6-8 Mill Street, Mayfair, London W1S 2AZ
The Jugged Hare
This buzzy restaurant-come-pub that sits on the edge of the Barbican Centre specialises in all things game and celebrates the best of British meats. Think everything from Longhorn steaks to wild venison and boar scotch eggs. But it’s their Pie of the Day that we’d happily go back for time and time again.
Flavours have included everything from Iron Age Pork Neck Pie to Devonshire Kid Goat Shoulder and they are sure to be celebrating British Pie Week properly this year. Word of warning: this isn’t an eatery for the faint of heart. The portions are hefty and the menu seriously meat-heavy.
Word of warning: this isn't an eatery for the faint of heart. The portions are hefty and the menu seriously meat-heavy.
The Jugged Hare, 49 Chiswell Street, London EC1Y 4SA
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The Pig and Butcher in leafy Islington, as the name suggests, know how to nail a pie. There might only be one pie on the menu at any given time, but you can guarantee it’s going to be good. They’re currently serving up a Cotswold Bronze turkey, ham and leek pie with sprout tops – basically Christmas dinner in pastry – what’s not to love?
Plus, the interiors are insanely cute and cosy.
The Pig and Butcher, 80 Liverpool Road, Islington, London N1 0QD
Soho favourite, Quo Vadis have long been loved for their Pie of the Day. Ever changing with fillings including everything from duck to beef and chicken, the pies never disappoint, are full of rich flavour, amply hunks of meat and glistening stocks.
Beats soup and a crusty roll any day.
Quo Vadis, 26-29 Dean Street, London W1D 3LL
From upscale boozer to swanky Russian restaurant, Bob Bob Ricard might be best known for their ‘press for Champagne’ button and beef wellingtons, but they also do a cracking pie.
Choose from the chicken, mushroom and champagne pie (fancy) or the mariner’s fish pie (still fancy, just not as fancy).
Bob Bob Ricard, 1 Upper James St, Soho, London W1F 9DF
Claridge’s may have created the chicken pie to out do all chicken pies and it’s no wonder seeing as they’ve been making the things for almost as long as they’ve been open. They take the tradition very seriously too, serving them up at the table by removing the pastry lid first to reveal a warming mixture of succulent chicken, mushrooms, salty bacon and lashings of creamy suprême sauce. Plus, there’s a whole quail’s egg hidden inside each one.
All served on Claridge’s signature pale blue and white crockery, this is the definition of posh pies.
Claridge’s, Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HR
Not to be outshone by any other pie week partakers, Chop House at South Place Hotel are spoiling diners with a different pie each day throughout the week. They’re keeping tight lipped on what’s on the menu but from the pictures they look utterly delectable. All served with creamed mash, greens and by the looks of things, a hunk of rich bone marrow.
South Place Hotel, 3 South Place, London, EC2M2AF
Posh pies are what you might expect from one of London’s poshest pubs and with a menu overseen by Michel Roux Jr., the Wigmore is a lot more than just a boozer. The chicken, bacon and onion pie served with buttery mash is a must-try, as is just about everything on this comforting, British menu.
The Wigmore, 15 Langham Place, Regent Street, London W1B 3DE
Tuck into a triple threat of seriously good pies at Corrigan’s Mayfair. First up, the Huntson Farm pork and cider pie with piccalilli or the classic Irish Beef with a twist of snail and stout mustard. Or if you’re more of a sweet toothed kind of pie fan, finish off with the caramelised apple crumble pie served with nutmeg custard and cream. Can we try all three?
Corrigan’s, 28 UPPER GROSVENOR STREET, W1K 7EH
Our love for pies knows no limits and here to extend our pie love-affair for more than a week is Art Yard Bar & Kitchen. The special pie and mash menu will run for the whole of March and feature hearty lamb shank and beef short rib pies plus a veggie lentil or fish option.
And if you really haven’t all the pies yet, finish it off with their warm rhubarb and apple pie topped with lashings of custard.
Bankside Hotel, 2 Blackfriars Road, Upper Ground, London, SE1 9J
Serving up some of the finest fish and shellfish to Londoners for over 100 years its only right that J.Sheekey tops our list for nailing the British fish pie. Full to the brim with delicate cod, haddock and salmon chunks and topped with a buttery mash and crunchy breadcrumbs, this wholesome pie is our ultimate comfort dish.
J. Sheekey, 28-32 St Martin’s Court, London WC2N 4AL
British-classic connoisseurs The Game Bird at The Stafford London, are well acquainted with the humble pie. Feast on their Hope Farm Hogget Suet Pudding with roast cutlet, roots & tarragon.
The Stafford London, 16-18 St James’s Place, London SW1A 1NJ
Why choose one, when you can have three? City Lounge is here to give us our pie fix with their three exclusive pastry-delights.
Choose from The Lobster fish Stargazy pie served with salad and warm garlicky bread or the beef rib pie or classic veggie Cornish pasty served with hearty helpings of London Liquor sauce.
Crowne Plaza, 19 New Bridge Street, London, EC4V 6DB