Take me home please
Henry Owen, 23 Cheam Common Road
Season 2012-2013

A dank and dreary Friday in early March '13 saw a band of club representatives journey south west to the unlikely pie and mash destination of North Cheam. The chosen hostelry for the occasion was Henry Owens, just off the A24 out of Morden. Established in 2010, the shop has retained a 'recently opened' freshness to fixtures and fittings.

Our host on this occasion was the amiable chap on the far right, named Shaun. I thought Shaun had a touch of the outdoors about him – a hunch which proved correct as he divulged nuggets of his previous career in navy and police force.

Tardis-like, the Henry Owens premises are bigger than the exterior suggests. The lunchtime crowd was boosted by a deputation from Saltash [the building firm, not the place].
It was refreshing to see the energy of youth employed in such noble graft. Here are Paige, front of house, and Darren, pie chef, up since six in the morning, adding vivacity and vitality to our vittles.

Traditional fare.

I can report that everything here was in full comestible order, the pies so generously stuffed with mince that to have a third would have written off the dessert option.

For Douglas Benford of Brentford, the shop was of sufficient westerly longitude to fall within his pie-radius . . .

. . . bearing in mind that his fellow marble-topper Paul Gale had come all the way from St Ives. The tiles resounded to the dulcet baritone of Paul's, er, North London accent, especially as he discovered old haunts of Kentish Town and Camden in common with our genial host Shaun.

Silver and Gold contenders.

The Dorset Naga Chilli Vinegar was a thrilling accompaniment to both stewed eel and upturned pie alike.

That the shop was a mere bus ride from her New Malden homestead was too tempting for Linda Holligan to resist. A delicious lunch in our delightful company offered sustenance both spiritual and cerebral, in addition to a welcome respite from the kitchen sink.

Just gone for vinegar . . .

Dodge and Hazel dropped in.

Dodge rarely misses an opportunity to promote his paean to pies, 'Pie 'n Mash 'n Liquor', available £7.99 soft cover off t'internet.

Scenes from around the shop.

Vegetarians note: 'please allow approx 25 mins'. Many shops we visit offer a veggie option, but these puppies have to be cooked first.

No complex calculations required with this fully comprehensive tally board.

Doug donned his hi-vis apparel – complete with glow-in-the-dark backpack – strapped on his headgear and bade us as superhero farewell. It was a shame he couldn't stay for the custard course, which was almost as lurid.

Custard-covered cliffs.

This delicately spiced ginger sponge was no geological eating experience, but a light dessert worth saving room for.

Sweethearts.

It was something of a 'Connections Friday'.

Factoid #1: Hazel lives in neighbourhood of Mitcham Eastfields Station, in the same road as Linda's ex-husband and just round the corner from Maple Close, where my parents grew up.

Factoid #2: Superstar singer Adele used to live in Dodge's old house in West Norwood [not concurrently]. And 'Parisian Walkways' guitarist Gary Moore used to live in my bedroom [again, not at the same time].

 

This photo came up during lunch, a gathering of The Battersea Bunch at Henry Owens on 29th April 2012. These rabble rousers have an internet presence to rival the Pie and Mash Club's; check out the gallery of their riotous reunion here.

'Having a pie, mash & eel shop in North Cheam was a dream of two friends, Mick and Mark'. In fact, 'Henry Owens' is a composite of their respective sons' names, and Mick comes with something of a pie-degree; his family used to manage the Harringtons pie shop on Wandsworth Road.

And here's the team that went to Cheam and tasted the dream. But if you don't like that taste, bangers mash and gravy is also available.

For more on Henry Owen's, visit the shop's website or 'like it' on Facebook.

On the road to Worcester Park.

St@