‘Tis a shameful admission but I worked in St Helens for three years and parked up around the back of this place with no knowledge it was actually there. But maybe that’s a deliberate thing, as it is an understated institution where the locals furtively enter with a knowing nod.
Even as you walk past, it can be difficult to ascertain that there are top notch pastry products being served up in here as it is eeriely quiet, unless the infamous army of pensioners with their Tupperware boxes happen to be queuing out of the door.
Walk in and you’ll find an extensive meat counter with the pies hidden at the end. That’s if there are any pies on the shelves at all. The usual scenario here is that the pies are lifted out of the oven and straight into the palm of eager hands.
They only sell one pie, a pork pie – but oh what a specimen! Eating one of these is an art form. Still warm from the oven, they are lovely eaten by hand but you may need the insurance of a plate underneath as the fiery molten lava of jelly within looks to make good it’s escape all over your chin and clothing.
If you fail to keep this pie upright at all times, you WILL encounter spillage but with a plate underneath you can dab the succulent and peppery pork meat into the fresh, runny jelly which combine to make a fantastic culinary concoction.
So get their early, queue all the way around the shop, until eventually they bring out a tray with a pie that has got your name on it, and then nip across the road to Wardleworths bookshops where “Life of Pies” is on sale.
Like a Burchalls pork pie, I’m hardly subtle…..
There’s another 314 pies like the above featured in Life of Pies. If you want to order a copy of the book for just £9.99 plus postage please click this link to order www.lifeofpies.co.uk/buy