Tired of London, Tired of Life - A website about things to do in London

31 March 2010

Try Manze's Pie and Mash

There are three Manze's Eel and Pie Houses in Greater London. The business has remained in the same family for over 100 years and still use the same recipes today for the pies and liquor as were used when the current owner's grandfather, Michele Manze, opened his first shop.

Manze arrived in Britain from the hillside village of Ravello in Southern Italy in 1878, at the age of 3. The Manze family settled in Bermondsey, first trading in ice and ice-cream, with Michele branching out into the pie, mash & eels trade in 1902, when he acquired his first shop from the legendary Cooke family, as it had been established in 1891 by Robert Cooke. This shop, at 87 Tower Bridge Road, Bermondsey, is open to this day, and as such it claims to be the oldest eel & pie shop in the world. It was joined by a second shop at 250 Southwark Park Road, Bermondsey in 1908 (now closed), and two further shops in Poplar, which were lost during World War Two. A fifth shop at 105 Peckham High Street was opened in 1927. A final shop is at 226 High Street, Sutton. Only the Tower Bridge Road, Peckham and Sutton shops are still open today.

It is a fantastic history, but your author finds the eclectic list of celebrity endorsements equally intriguing. Did you know that Janine and Sonia from 'Eastenders' were interviewed for 'Heat' in the Tower Bridge shop? That Roy Orbison, Jim Davidson, Danny Baker, and David Beckham are named by the owners as regulars? That Jono Coleman once hosted the Heart Radio breakfast show from in the shop? and that Rick Stein once filmed a 'Rick Stein Food Heroes' here..? Did you care..? Thought not.

For more, see http://www.manze.co.uk/

^Picture by Leeks^


  1. Interesting post. I used to get the bus past this place when I was a student living in Bermondsey. The queues outside it were always very long but for some reason, I never got around go visiting it. I suppose I ought to rectify that one day...

  2. What's the one in Islington about ? even mentioned in Wikipedia under "Chapel Market".

  3. Ooh, don't know. Presumably it's a branch of the same family or something, like all the various Cooke's Pie and Mash shops about. It isn't mentioned on their website.

  4. That's odd - the Walthamstow branch isn't there either and I've been going there since I was about 6!

  5. I did the one on Tower Bridge Road for the 1st time last year... also the 1st time that I've ever had Pie & Mash! The Mash was a bit of a shocker for me, but overall I liked it... will give it a try again sometime :)

  6. Manze's also do vegetarian pies, if anyone is that-way inclined.

  7. As an ex employee of the tower bridge Manze i would like to point out that all the named celebrity have at some point been in and eaten amoung us regular people. I worked there for 5 years downstairs in the ever so hot kitchen making pie after pie. Its was one of the most enjoyable jobs i have ever had the pleasure to do. The one in islingtons chapel market has nothing to do with the Manze family.

    i was down in the kitchen while Rick Stein was using my hobs to cook on which was a bit sureal for me as he is one of my biggest all times favourites he even commented on my eels after i have cooked them eek.

    I also dont get where people think that the liquor is made with eel juice thats just wrong.

  8. Actually the green liquor use to be made from the from the juice of stewed eels, and flavoured with parsley to make the sauce. But over the years it has been adapted with out any eel flavour added.