Take me home please
The Pie Shop [Kenroy's], Bexleyheath
Season 2013-2014

Twelve miles east-south-east of Charing Cross and officially in Outer London, Bexleyheath is one of the 35 designated major centres in Greater London.

A rain-splashed broadway beckoned these brave adventurers into the pulsating heart of this shopping precinct one November lunchtime. Some 15 minutes' walk from its parkwayesque station, they were in search of pastry-clad mince and fluffed spuds such as can only be dispensed from . . . The Pie Shop.

At the far end of a cavernous interior, we discovered a vast array of choices on the menu board, including some delicious but non-scoring alternatives. The 'eels burger' set my imagination racing, but sadly there were no eels on this particular day.

We were greeted warmly by the Pie Shop team.
I recognised Kerry [near right], who used to work at the Woolwich shop, and served us just a few weeks before they shut in spring 2011. Debbie [far right] was a staff member at Dartford – all these shops known to us as former branches of Kenroy's.

Life-giving pie-mordial scoop.

Tom the Pieman emerged from the infernal heat of the pie furnace to give a turn for the camera.

What's this new craze, headphones and mash? What happened to the gentle art of conversation?

A viridescent vista.

Mike G – he really does do that before every mouthful.

I was so hungry I had already sundered the pastry before remembering to turn it over.

Edward Mosse scrumming down.

Dodge and Hazel took a romantic booth opposite us. As you can see Dodge siezed the opportunity to promote the bumper edition of his tome 'Pie 'n Mash 'n Liquor'.

The lack of eels effected an extra portion for the old lags. It's worth noting that these were no schoolboy patties, but deep draft pies of considerable capacity.

Then there was afters: what lies beneath?

A smile of cosy appreciation spreads across Mike G's physog. It's time for custard-covered creature comforts and Mike is a jammy roly poly bear.

Stat ops for a double-digging dissection with two spoons – he is the praying mantis.

Edward Wasp.

Wildlife photographer Mike G captured the perfect gobshot: Chris Charalambous reveals his tonsils of terror 'like a tiger in the bush'.

Decorative flourishes lighten the ambience in this roomy pie parlour. The proportions and the 2-2-2 bench seating were identical to the old Kenroy's in Woolwich. If only airliners were this comfortable, or is that another pie-in-the-sky notion?

The Melody Makers.

Kerry takes a break.

The Three Mashketeers.

Just a short stroll from no.149 Broadway is no.179 Broadway. The Rose is an unaffected carpet pub, and it was unexpectedly full at this hour on a Friday afternoon. So were we.