Season 2011-2012F.COOKE; 150 Hoxton Street, Hoxton
(4 pts)
(4 pts)
(3 pts)
(2 pts)
(1 pts)
NICK EVANS3121111859
TOM LEADER1603033636
PAUL GALE1142032929
EDWARD MOSSE2021011224
PAUL GRICE2021011223
DENISE ROUSE201.51011020
LUKE ROBERTS10320.512020
ANDY POTTER1022011515

It was nearly four years ago that Hoxton Street last benefited from the presence of the Pie and Mash Club. In that time the neighbourhood has gained its own London Overground Station, and is starting to enjoy the blessings of improved accessibility.

I met Ann Taylor, who is a regular customer at Cooke's. Ann has been coming here for 20 years and as befitting her loyalty and seniority, enjoys a slap-up meal at the reduced price of £1; corporate eateries should take note.

I enjoined my old colleague Luke 'Gilbert' Roberts to wear his special red beret for the occasion. Roberts, ex-Pierachute Regiment, was introducing his co-worker Sharon Kanolik to the comestible delights of Pie and Mash for the first time. That the shop recently received a visiting dignitary will, I'm sure, have put Sharon's mind at rest.

The Table of Youth was completed with my honorary bro Edward Electric Eel Mosse, who had brought along pal Michael Goldwater for a first taste of the ambrosial scoff.

On the other table we welcomed newcomer Paul Gale, once resident of Holloway, and now Cornwall. Would you adam 'n' eve it, Paul had arranged his work committments around the Club schedule. Paul and Tom Leader were reminiscing old North London haunts of the Cally Road and Camden Road respectively, including the much loved Williams Home Made Pie and Eel Shop on Holloway Road.

I was delighted to see clubbable Denise Rouse once more. I was equally delighted to remember her name this time.

There's only one person I know who sports a breast pocket brolly.

This close-up got me so excited that I splashed some liquor on my shutter button.

The tariff as of November 2011: Vegetarians can purchase a slice of satisfaction for the enigmatic fee of '154'. Also of note: 'Trays 20' and 'Lily'.

The words of a well-seasoned veteran:

'The pie is slightly peppery . . . but I like it.

It contains a runny gravy . . . but I like it.'

St@ does some paperwork while the lava-like filling of the fruit pie reaches an edible temperature.

Paul Grice, a man of modest portions and proportions, enjoyed the qualities of relative blandness and meatiness in his pies. As ever, the F Cooke mash is the culinary equivalent of spider silk floating on warm thermals, and the perfect accompaniment to a seriously robust pastry.

PG's 50th birthday falls on the weekend of the next pie trip, and to round things off nicely he's leaving his job, so he was in a demob-happy mood. We wish him well in his bold venture, whitherever it should take him.

[Far right] I can honestly say I have never seen a pie approached quite like this. Andy Potter does very little to disabuse me of my suspicion that he is arch ivory-tickler Elton John in civvies.

Arch letterbox-lifter Chris Charalambous has asserted his first-class stamp of authority on Pie and Mash League 11—12, whilst maintaining a super welterweight physique. Surely he's a contender for next year's Olympic Urban Triathlon Team. Suggested events: High-rise Post Round/Cycle Courier Point to Point Delivery/Night-time Canal Canoe Graffiti.

The biro'd inscription on this photo reads:

Cooke's Pie and Mash Shop

The Best in London

From the Mafia

Featuring Terry Murphy 'Hoxton'

Beware if your dessert features the Hoxton Grin.

Here is our affable host Joe Cooke. I could not resist engaging him in conversation about eels, for he is an authority on all aspects from conservation and respectful handling to death's final swift blow. Apart from the more conventional wholesale sources, Joe does a little business with mysterious vendors going by the name 'Phil the Eel' and 'Terry the Eel'.

The redoubtable Kim Cooke runs a tight ship — it doesn't matter which side of the counter you're on. The dining room resonated to her gentle prompt of 'Who ordered tea ? . . . Wake up!' and 'I'll have no standing on my seats'.

The Pie and Mash Club forms a glorious obstruction to the public thoroughfare once more. Luke Roberts is quite unable to contain his parachute-gathering reflex. That chap on the right is called Richard Evans; he rather half-heartedly had half a fruit pie. Tell you what, I'll add that half point to his tally if he joins us again for a proper meal.

Local colour.

Likely Lads