L. Manze's Pie and Mash Shop, Walthamstow, East London
On a grey day, feeling a bit under the weather, it was very therapeutic to sit in a steamed-up pie shop -- the wonderful L. Manze on the Walthamstow High Street.
The food is simple and satisfying... somewhat of a guilty pleasure, but a relatively wholesome one! I had a small minced beef pie (a nice light pastry), a big dollop of mash, and the plateful of mellow "liquor" (a parsley sauce traditionally made from the eel-stewing water). I only belatedly realized that the bottles of vinegar on the table were for mixing into the sauce!
The pleasant efficiency of the ladies serving, and the perfectly preserved 1929 interior (recently granted Grade II Listing), gave the hot plate of food an added savor. The space is bright with white and decorative green tile; the original booths are a warm, dark wood; and the mirrors above the tables amplify the cheerful vintage room. Though it's a bustling place, a sense of communal relaxation pervades -- it's the power of the creamy mash: the ultimate comfort food.