Pie and Mash at Smith and Whistle, Mayfair
Report by Leanne Bracey
When a frost starts to settle and the thick winter coats come out, all we really want is a good, comforting pie. Ideally one like your nan makes with perfect pastry and a rich filling. But Grandma’s are always miles away, and I'm in Mayfair. Hearing about the latest offering at Smith and Whistle at the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane, I convince a friend she's equally in need of some stodge. And until 23rd December, pies in Mayfair are where it’s at.
Often finding myself in this area, I don't always want to spend a fortune on fine dining, nor am I happy with a quick meet-up at a pub in Victoria on the way home. I often head to Sheraton Grand London Park Lane as I love the decadent-feeling bar, the Italian restaurant alongside (which serves amazing ice cream in the Summer) and there’s also Smith and Whistle, which is their down-to- earth bar and restaurant something-in-between. The seasonal beer and pie pairing menu is a bit of a triumph and one you must get to right now.
Served in individual dishes, the steak pie was my pick, packed with well-cooked short-rib meat, rich dark gravy that you can spoon out and slather over the accompanying mash, which is flecked with bacon and caramelised onion. Topped off with one of the recommended beers (coincidentally a Curious IPA; Chapel Down being a brand close to my own heart), I was suitably comforted. My friend opted for the fish pie, which was crammed with mussels, salmon, smoked haddock and crayfish, topped with cauliflower cheese mash, and before I could come up for air, she was finished. "What? I've not eaten all day!", she said. "Can I have another one?!” The beers match each individual pie, which makes you want to order more than one.
I loved the sound of the stout pie with mutton and kidney, suitably called the Roaring Twenties, especially as it was all rolled up in a suet crust. My grandad would’ve dived right in. And veggies won’t be disheartened; root veg pie with stilton and parsley dumplings harks back to school dinners and that craving for comfort you have in the winter. Go full-out and save some space for a pudding – with two lovely sweet options on offer, the obvious thing would be to order both the classic apple and rhubarb, and my favourite, the fennel and plum crumble. Washed down with a Mai Tai or Negroni, I was rolling into Green Park.
Smith and Whistle attracts the after work male crowd, thanks to its masculine Art Deco style design. The football is on, which slightly makes me feel like I'm in a local boozer, but then I am eating pie and mash, after all. What more do you want?!
To book, please visit the website or call +44(0)20 7499 6321