Take me home please
Lou Farrow's, 279 Southwark Park Road
Season 2011-2012

There were Pie Larks over Southwark on March 30th as the Club made its way to the famous formica feeding tables at Lou Farrow's on the Park Road. We were last in these parts some four years ago on a glorious April lunchtime in 2008. [Click here to go back in time].

The weather on this occasion was similarly splendid, if unseasonable for March. To greet us in the 'Pie "N" Mash' section of Lou Farrow's was a friendly and familiar face – young Temra, who was but a Parsley Saucerer's Apprentice on our previous visit.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Lou Farrow's setup, the right-hand counter of this shop operates Pie and Mash while the left side provides the usual suspects in the English breakfast-and-lunch lineup.

Edward Mosse and Tom Leader wasted no time.

I was greatly surprised by the arrival of my dear sister Maxine Forbes with her two glug-guzzlers, Royston and Marmaduke. It was the first day of the Easter holidays. Unfortunately the two young loafers had each scoffed a bag of marmite sandwiches less than an hour before, leaving no room for the culinary education here on offer.

[Far right:] Marmaduke Forbes, 7, downs the 7-Up; Ed Mosse agrin; Uncle St@'s chagrin.

Chris 'Shads' Charalambous maintained his unchallenged yellow jersey [t-shirt] position at the top of the table in a mood of confident relaxation, even pausing along the way to capture scenes of outstanding natural beauty [see below].

On the right is the view from above mine and Eddie's platters. The pies were served from a heated pail recessed into the counter and combined with a pastel-coloured liquor and watery-looking mash to present a daunting picture to the untrained eye. However, these are pies of real substance. Once through the robust pastry chassis, a flavoursome and meatily upholstered interior rewards one's labours, with a peppery tang providing a surprising aftertaste. This is the Lou Farrow Pie exactly as I remember it from before. It's good to know they are sticking to a tried and tested recipe which I fancy might go back to the days of the great Lou Farrow himself. If anyone has any history regarding the man, please drop me a line.

The local topography consisted of pie-and-mashscapes.

Here is the man off the Number 1 Omnibus. With an appetite for [pie] destruction undiminished by time, R. Lucas came, saw, ordered and conquered without loosening his winter crombie.

At the opposite end of the sartorial spectrum, Riley, Ace of Pies was in town, this time for a 'shopping trip' to Surrey Quays with the family. In truth it was a thinly veiled premise to get some points under his belt and stoke the rivalry with Farnham creatives Pead and Millard, a.k.a. 'WeDoThePies.com'.

A conversational interlude with Brian Catchpole and Jean O'Reilly.

Catchpole's rich baritone is a familiar favourite on the South Coast Sea Shanty Singing Circuit, but regular viewers may not be aware that the fellow's talent also extends to pen and ink. You see he's a dab hand at the noble art of calligraphy, so if you're a bailiff wanting an artfully executed eviction notice or a gambler in need of an endearing IOU note, Brian's your quillist.

For more details, do check Brian's internet page, where 'Commissions with a comic content are especially welcome, but not for a comic fee'.

The Lou Farrow dining room is wonderfully aspected for sunny afternoons, although the hothouse seat is not the place for fledgelings to find their Pie and Mash wings. These old lags are experienced campaigners, although even Rikk Lucas was found in need of emergency rehydration midway through lunch. Chris C. made do with a half pint of liquor. Served cold with ice cubes and a splash of chili vinigar, it's quite a quencher.

 

In the cooler recesses of the dining room, Linda Holligan and Sue Madigan added some gentle increments to their league standings whilst showing a similar disparity in their choice of togs for the afternoon.

Local history buff Sue got her mits on a book called 'Down the Blue' from the lads in the shop. No it was not smut, but a reference to the area's 'Blue Market' which is just a few yards up the road near the Blue Anchor pub, whence it derives its name. For more local history and pictures, have a gander at bermondseyboy.net.

The windowsitters were joined by gadabout Luke Roberts, whose diary was 'pleasantly blank' on the the 30th March. Fortunately for us the man wasn't; as you can see from the picture, he focused like an eagle and shovelled like a coalman on the footplate of the Flying Scotsman.

Spoonface.

'Chili Joe Vinegar', aka Royston Forbes esq.

The magnificent Lou Farrow's team: Nasir, Temra ['Em' for short] and Dervish, affectionately described as 'the landlord'. They welcomed us in and made us feel at home.

Although the Pie and Mash Club contributed to a lively atmosphere on this Friday afternoon, things can get quite hectic on a match day Saturday, for this shop is a staging post for Millwall fans on their way to the Den. It probably goes some way to explaining the good humour and unreserved hospitality to be found here.

Seasoned, not aged.
The view from one of the best bus stops in London.

After lunch we headed north along Drummond Road, site of the famous Peek, Frean Factory and the heart of Biscuit Town.

Once across the Jamaica Road our route continued north to the Thames Path, where we were but a pebble's skim from our chosen destination, the poop deck at the Angel, Bermondsey Wall East.

It was the perfect day to take in one of the best pint-in-hand views of the Thames to be had in London.

The good life. The Pie Life.

St@