Take me home please
Cooke's, 48 Goldhawk Road, W12
Season 2012-2013

An unassuming parade of Victorian shops in Shepherd's Bush has been under threat of demolition for some time, its shopholders fighting a valiant battle against the might of Hammersmith and Fulham Council and Orion Property Developers. Ins-pie-rd by this David-and-Go-pie-th tale, the Club went along to lend its support to one of those businesses, A. Cooke, trading at this address since 1899. Despite appearances at the serving hatch, we were made most welcome.

The menu board has a West London vibe, and distinctly West London prices. The steak and kidney pudding offers grave temptation for any points-seeking scoffer, but none gave in this day.

Edward, Chris, Mike and I opted for a stewed eel starter, seen in gland-gushingly glorious close up below, while Linda Holligan enthusiastically broke pastry for the first time this season.

These eels positively sung in their own rich juices, needing no accompaniment whatsoever – quite possibly the best I've ever tasted.

 

Mike G captured this beautiful shot of fresh pies in their natural habitat – shortly before they were ripped apart mince from crust and mercilessly devoured by the ravening lions of the Club.

Judith Deschamps popped up again for a platter of historical matter and a natter, bringing with her the latest issue of London Society Journal. Wherein which hallowed periodical is featured a light-hearted double-pager about Pie and Mash and the Club. [Read it here.]

But lo, what stranger ensconces into the non-movable plastic seating? Why it's the wonderfully monikered Roger Fullilove, aka Dodge Rogers, Crystal Palace cowboy, singer-songwriter, poet and self-publisher to boot. Dodge moseyed into the saloon to see what we're about, whilst seizing the opportunity to publicise his new tome, 'Pie 'n Mash 'n Liquor'. It's a collection of larger-than-London-life lyrics available £7.99 soft cover from internet publisher Lulu.

 

No wonder Westender Doug Benford kept his shades on. That pie-free lunchscape is enough to make anyone green around the gills.

Lucas pauses the cutlery with poise, whilst remaining immune to the fickle splashes of fate. This all thanks to lightweight outdoor clothing and trademark breast-pocket brolly.

Brian Catchpole made his return to the table – his first appearance this season after a spell down under. It was a transport of delight to see the septuagenarian sea-shanty singer sitting ship-shape in the shop.

But there were still more new faces. Graphic artist Ben Durston of Harmondsworth [far right] came for a spin with his good friend Ricky Burton [near right], all-round journeyman in any number of disciplines, and former denizen of the Loftus Road area. Both men started sensibly and went back for seconds, racking up hefty debut scores.

A surprise was in store for these ladies, as Brian Catchpole serenaded them with a briny rendition of 'Eel Meet Again'. It was apt, for Susan O'Hearn [left] had crossed the Atlantic from Canada to enjoy a family reunion with mum Jean Ponder and sister Sarah. Brian certainly gave them something to ponder before Susan goes back yonder . . .

The Ponder ladies were drawn into our conversational hub by the eye-catching apparel of the club's electric eel, Edward Mosse esq. It's available online for an eye-watering £17.99 at that notorious dispensary of humorous and rude tees, 'ShotDeadInTheHead'.

Eddie's cousin William Mosse made his debut in the fantasy foodbowl league. I feel he might have had a few more pies in him, but on this occasion he decided to give peas a chance; regrettably they're a non-scoring optional on match days.

Benedict Durston likewise proffered his opposable digits in the upwards direction, before being gently reminded to tend to the slick of juices in his bowl or risk a points deduction. His competitive streak piqued, the lad soon tidied up, amassing an impressive 23 points. Great promise.
Hot desserts followed; spotted dick was generally favoured, as modelled by Susan Madigan below.
The Club holds sway in the rear saloon . . .

Piehawks on the Goldhawk Road.

A. Cooke is a local gem, offering a delicious taste of traditional foodstuffs and the perfect antidote to the creeping precinctification of Shepherd's Bush. I urge you to try it.

Shepherd's Bush welcomes extra-terrestrials of all denominations.

Vampire ape gets a tongueful of Mosse.

Boys about the Bush.

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