Manzes – The Home of Pie 'n' Mash


Just a little diversion today to get our strength up tomorrow for what will be a lengthy production day starting at 5:30am with Roger Lloyd Pack (Owen, Vicar of Dibley and Tom, The Old Guys) followed at 3:00p with Penelope Keith (Margo, Good Neighbors and Audrey, To the Manor Born) and then, possibly, Karl Howman (Mulberry, Mulberry).

Today’s diversion mostly involved food as we sought out Manzes – “The Home of Pie ‘n’ Mash”. Established in 1902, Manzes is the oldest eel & pie shop still in business today. I know you are saying to yourself, “…how many can there be so it has to be the oldest”. Well, there were 14 alone with the name Manzes on the door at one time. This original location has persevered and, considering the shop next door was totally bombed out during World War II and Manzes had their front facade blown out, this distinction takes on a little added meaning.

Above the “kitchen” on the wall are photos of various celebrities who have had a pie and mash over the years (not sure if they had the eel or not). Being from Texas, I was particularly attracted to the photo of Roy Orbison that was given the proud place next to the award for the “best pie and mash shop of 1995” given to Manzes by the Pie and Mash Club, Great Britain (didn’t know there was such a club did you).

While there, we met Pierre, a freelance cameraman working on a Fox News piece on the dying breed of family run food establishments, like Manzes, who are still making a go of it today given the cuisine explosion in Britain the last several years. Since he had worked on several docs for PBS, he was very interested in what we were there shooting as we were very interested to hear about some other places he was going to shoot for his current assignment.

Sadly, I didn’t have the nerve to order the jellied eels and pie and stuck with pie and mash. I’ll save that for another day when I really need a huge diversion. Trying to cut back on eel anyway as much as I can. Diversion over. Back tomorrow with some bits from our interviews with Roger Lloyd Pack and Penelope Keith.