My friend Oli is in London this week, so on Wednesday we met up at the King Charles I and went on a group outing to an award winning pie shop.
Piebury Corner came about in 2011, when Paul and Nicky started selling home made pies to Arsenal supporters (en route to the football ground) from their front garden. I remember bumping into Paul (with Oli) at the Owl at the Pussycat, back then and he was talking about opening a shop. The first full time Piebury Corner opened on Holloway Road (in what had once been an old fashioned pie and mash shop) in 2012. This proved to be so successful that they opened a second Piebury Corner (pictured above) in King’s Cross last summer (June 2017).
The decor is impressive too! The floor is black and white check and Paul has set cast iron coal hole covers into the tiles, which he copied (with moulds) from local streets. I love the tables too – hand covered with zinc – Paul is a joiner by trade.
Piebury Corner does an excellent, lunchtime, set menu for £8.50. There’s a choice of pie, plus potato/minty peas and gravy or scotch egg, salad/potatoes and spicy coleslaw. There were five of us, so we did get a bit carried away, with pies and side orders. The full Piebury Corner menu is here.
First to arrive were the scotch eggs, which we cut up and shared. Above is the excellent classic pork version
and my favourite, made with black pudding, had a fantastic crunch to the breadcrumb surround. Oddly, the scotch egg was created by Fortnum and Mason of Piccadilly in 1738 and not somebody in Scotland. Apparently these scotch eggs are made by the same supplier as those going to Buckingham Palace – Paul says, “If they’re good enough for the Queen they’re good enough for us, and you!”
We’d drunk a few ales at the pub beforehand, so I was pleased when Peter ordered a bottle of French Merlot – more room for pies! That didn’t stop Dave and Oli though, they were only too happy to try the craft beers.
Next up came the Scotch pie – unlike the scotch egg, these pies do come from Scotland and they are often sold at football matches.
The pie filling is generally mutton or lamb with black pepper and the pastry has a hot water crust. This pie had a lovely rich lamb flavour.
By this time our main courses started to arrive. Oli’s, above was a chicken, ham and leak with creamy mash, minty peas and red wine gravy. He was quite impressed with the pie and the lightness of the potato – no lumps!
The minty peas are almost a mushy pea, but they are not mashed and contain a little bit of mint for extra flavour.
I had a the steak and ale pie, again with minty peas and red wine gravy. All the pies were unctuous and quite delicious!
We were all sated by our pie and mash, but when the waitress suggested morello cherry pie and 5 spoons (Mr. Creosote be damned), we said, “Yes!” The pie was perfectly sweet and tart – Agent Cooper would be happy here.
Who ate all the pies? I think we did today!
Afterwards, we took a little walk down the the road and somehow ended up back at the King Charles I. I can’t for the life of me work out where the pies went, but by 9 O’Clock we were hungry enough to visit Roti King…