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Is there anything that represents Great Britain more than a good old-fashioned pie? Incredibly versatile and packed with flavour, the British pie can be both sweet and savoury, making it the perfect hearty meal or dessert.
There’s been some debate over what is actually classed as a pie, but most people can agree that a pie has to have a pastry top and base, be baked in the oven, and contain fruit, meat, or vegetables.
While pies are known for being traditionally British, the first pie was actually invented in ancient Rome, and later became a staple dish for Tudors in the 1500s. Back then, pastry was tough and inedible and was used purely as a container for the filling, while these days, pie pastry is rich, buttery and flaky, and perfectly edible.
From Cornish Pasties to Devon’s signature gourmet pies, each region in the South West comes with its own signature pies and traditions, sold by both chains and locally known independent business that are loved by many. Take a look at some of our top picks, perfect for celebrating British Pie Week (normally the first full week of March):
The Cornish Bakery – Portsmouth
The Cornish Bakery is a much-loved chain in the South West that cooks its award-winning pies daily in store using locally sourced ingredients. Those visiting Portsmouth can visit the bakery in Gunwharf Quays, or anyone across the UK can enjoy pasties delivered to your door with The Cornish Bakery’s ‘Pasties by Post’ service.
For a true taste of Cornwall, opt for the traditional Cornish pasty, which is filled with a delicious combination of beef, potatoes, swede and onions. Or for something a little different, take a look at the other pasties on offer, from pork, apple and Cornish cider to sweet potato and feta.
The nearest train station to The Cornish Bakery is Portsmouth Harbour, which is just eight minutes’ walk away.
Mulberry Manor – Lyme Regis
Popular with residents and tourists alike, this local gem in Lyme Regis is both a bakery and small café. The bakery’s signature pie is the steak and stilton, but you can also choose from a range of other delicious pie fillings, as well as cheese straws, scotch eggs and sausage rolls.
If you’re planning a visit here, make sure you arrive before lunch time, as the café’s delicious pastries are known to sell out quickly!
Based in Lyme Regis on the stunning Jurassic Coast, the nearest train station to Mulberry Manor is Axminster. From there, it’s a 34-minute bus journey on either the X51 or the X53 towards Weymouth. Get off at Anning road and walk for five minutes until you arrive at the bakery.
Plested Pies – Southampton
Based in Shirley, this well-established pie shop first opened its doors over 90 years ago and offers quick and easy take-out options. Choose from a mouth-watering selection of scrumptious homemade pies and pastries, from savoury pies like the classic steak, to sweet pies containing fruit.
Get here by catching the train to Southampton Central station, before walking for 27 minutes. You can also catch the numbers 2, 3, 17, or 18 bus, which take around 12-14 minutes.
Cornish Bakehouse – Weymouth
Everyone knows that Cornwall is the place to go for some top-quality pies, but as this bakery has a range of shops across the South West, you can still enjoy some delicious Cornish treats outside of Cornwall.
Cornish Bakehouse is well established, having opened its doors back in 1983, and since then it’s become a favourite in the South West. All of Cornish Bakehouse’s pies are made by hand using traditional techniques such as hand crimping, and are filled with quality ingredients. Those who want to do their bit for the environment will be happy to know that Cornish Bakehouse source all their ingredients from sustainable, local farms that are run by families.
If you’re visiting Weymouth and want to stop off at Cornish Bakehouse, catch the train to Weymouth station, and the bakery is just a 10-minute walk away.
Arments Pie & Mash – London
For a pie shop rich in history, visit Arments. This family-run bakery first began making their traditional London pie and mash back in 1914, and over 100 years later the very same recipes and techniques are still being used. In fact, both their pastry and liquor sauce recipes are top secret and have been passed down through the generations since the shop first opened its doors.
Enjoy a sit-down meal at the Arments Pie & Mash restaurant in Walworth, where you will be spoilt for choice with a selection of pies from meaty steak to veggie Quorn, all of which are covered in a crispy golden top crust and accompanied by creamy, freshly mashed potatoes.
You can get to Arments Pie & Mash by catching the train to London Waterloo. The restaurant is approximately 30 minutes’ walk away.
M. Manze – London
M. Manze have three award-winning pie shops in Peckham, Sutton and Tower Bridge. Every pie is cooked in a stone oven for a truly authentic flavour and is baked on the same day as it’s made for guaranteed freshness.
Keep your eyes peeled for famous faces, as the Tower Bridge shop in particular is known to be a bit of a celebrity hotspot. The likes of Rag ’n’ Bone Man, Rob Beckett and Rio Ferdinand have all enjoyed pie and mash here, so you never know who you might bump into!
To get to the Peckham High Street shop, catch the train to Clapham Junction. It’s then 21 minutes on the Overground.
The South West has so many delicious and established pie shops to take your pick from, and if you’re planning on taking a trip check out some of our other foodie recommendations such as best sandwich spots in London and British food gems of the South West. Discover our flexible range of ticket types to find the right one for your journey. Find cheap train tickets to your chosen pie shop by going off-peak, and those with a Railcard could save even more.