Evening Standard - ES Magazine


Lift your mood with the best festive pies in the capital, says Joanna Taylor


If you’re finding yourself slipping into an existentia­l crisis over the fact that it’s already December, well… same. But don’t panic, because like us, you can suppress those feelings with a burst of serotonin via the nation’s (probably) favourite festive treat: the mince pie, of which many bakeries, restaurant­s and cafés around the capital are serving sublime versions.

Traditiona­lists should look to Borough Market’s Bread Ahead, which serves deep, densely filled, highly sticky offerings that are best drizzled with lashings of hot custard. If you find yourself strolling by one of the city’s many, many Gail’s bakeries, step in and scoff one of the slightly more squat versions, topped with a crunchy lid baked with a sprinkling of demerara sugar. Though if you’re after a truly bite-size option, the petite yet jam-packed Konditor versions can be consumed in an ambitious mouthful, which is perfect if you’re hastily consuming Santa’s treats before bedtime.

If you’ve got an über-sweet tooth and fancy mixing things up, make haste to Blondies Kitchen, where you’ll find tangy mince meat filling encased in a vanilla cookie cup. While Flor Bakery has sadly closed, a lucky few will be able to get their hands on James Lowe’s distinctiv­e meaty take on the pastry, filled with beef mince from his Shoreditch-based restaurant Lyle’s (there are also ‘quincemeat’ versions on offer for the veggies among us.) And don’t worry, it’s absolutely fine to demolish a tray of your local supermarke­t’s finest. Hot tip: the Waitrose X Heston pear and fig numbers wrapped in three cheese pastry are a game changer.

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