Take me home please
L. Manze, High Street, Walthamstow
Season 2013-2014

Team GB Pie and Mash Squad was at large in E17 on the kind of marvellous spring day that makes daffodils want to yell. Walthamstow Market was in full swing as we headed down to number 76, the High Street.

At which address we encountered renowned punk-folker and self-pronounced plastic paddy Mr Anto Morra, looking positively mustard.

A glance at the menu board.
Hot eels and liquor is no longer poor man's food at £4.25. However, if your pocket is deep enough for eels, these specimens are well worth forking out for – some of the finest, chunkiest morsels I've seen in a while.

The gastro-nutters of the club like theirs in stewing juice only. I chose to anoint mine with a singular hot sauce.

Manze's of Walthamstow is a marvellous mansion of mash well worthy of its recent Grade II listing.

Here's a typical plate of main course.

Richard Lucas described his side order of eels as 'generous', casually racking up 20 points to stay in the top seven. It's a far cry from his championship days, but he still gives a masterclass in effortless demolition.

Charalambous clamps down, showing us just why he's the finest athlete of his generation.

Literary lunch with Tom Leader usually consists of pulp 'n' mash. My astute musical colleague Anto Morra quickly ascertained Tom's familial connection with Bill Leader, a much admired and influential figure in the British folk music revival of the 1960's. It's the kind of chance conversational turn you can only experience by being there.

Judith Deschamps tries a dab of the red stuff.

Denise Rouse commended the shop's easy-pouring vinegar spouts for fuss-free flavour enhancement. It's been a remarkable season of seasoning for the mild-mannered lady from Berko – she currently occupies a fuss-free fifth place in the league.

A cosy booth midships. It has to be said, these are some of the narrowest tables we've dined off. A quick glance back to the 2010 report reveals that they were formica tops back then as well, but I would hazard a guess that the original fit out included marble.

A look of sublime satisfaction spreads over Ian Burr's features . . . in his words this is 'the best and most beautiful place' he has ever been to. [I think he's referring to pie and mash shops, not 'ever'.]

Jaws – the horror.

Home-baked apple pie. It comes with or without the sugar.

I would have liked custard, but I saw a second opportunity for this singular hot sauce. That what I am brandishing is no ordinary hot stuff, but a special confection made with mangos from Thurrock in Essex. I should point out that the fruits are not grown in Thurrock, but it is here they meet an illustrious end in Momma Olley's kitchen. The sauce is splendid and although I found it too sweet for eels, it worked rather nicely with the apple pie, which in itself was pleasingly tart. Mamma Olley has a solid gold cookery pedigree, for she is the grand-daughter of the famous Mrs Olley who ran the eponymous pie shop in Canning Town.

For more on Momma Olley's home-made delights, visit her Fine Preserves Facebook page.

The Edster tried Momma Olley's on his apple pie . . . with unexpected results.

Judith Deschamps kept things simple.

Magnificence and opulence. It's like a mini Winter Palace.

Spent cartridges at 14.14.

Our lady-in-pie-command, behind her the original till.

About the shop.

It's simply the finest example of its kind; you must go.