The 6th - 12th March marks that lesser known tradition of British Pie Week and it was therefore particularly fitting that I spent last Friday evening with my sleeves rolled up in readiness to get down and dirty at the small yet perfectly formed Lovett Pies container, located at Cargo 1...What I found was comfort food at its finest; served with a smile and for not a lot of dollar. Read on to find out more...
Date and Time: Friday 10 March 2017, 18:30
Name of Establishment: Lovett Pies*
Location: Cargo 1, Wapping Wharf
Reason for Visit: Comfort Food on a budget
What do you do when you're short of cash but in the mood for a right old nosh up? You scour the content of your Wriggle* App of course! This is exactly what my friend and I did on the verge of last weekend's merriment; in order to line our stomachs for the drinks that would inevitably follow. We found that for just under £6, Lovett Pies were offering one of their tasty creations in addition to two sides, gravy or sauce and an optional topping of bacon bits (a meal deal usually priced at £8.50)...we were opting in! Luckily, it wasn't too busy as there is limited seating in this intimately-spaced shipping container...we're talking two tables-for-two and a couple of stools poised alongside a makeshift bar. In light of this, I’d suggest that although the decor may be seen as minimal, (think exposed light bulbs, distressed wood and a neutral colour-scheme), the ambiance sparkles. My dining companion and I were really impressed with the super-friendly server who had been left to run the show - her smiley nature and 'here to help' attitude made for a really warm welcome. Whilst on the subject of warmth, the container itself was an absolute sweat-fest! We had to prop open the door to save ourselves - as well as anyone else in the vicinity - from melting.
The pie selection process was the most difficult aspect of our visit as there are a number on offer - both to eat-in or takeaway. In short, I would have settled for any of the fillings but finally decided to embark on a veggie-friendly foray of sweet potato which had been combined with goats’ cheese, butternut squash, spinach and plum chutney - what a mouthful...and it really was! All the flavours came through deliciously and the sweetness of the chutney offset the twang of the goats’ cheese to perfection. I think adding a side of roasted root vegetables was a rookie error however as, despite tasting great, it doubled the fun in terms of my intake of butternut squash and I found myself getting full very quickly! That said, the second side of bubble n' squeak - which was well seasoned and generously portioned (with an ice cream scoop no less) - was just too good to leave alone and I'm proud to confirm that I saw it through to the bitter end!
My dining companion opted for the seasonal special which constituted an ensemble of venison, smoked bacon and porcini mushrooms. It's fair to say that this was well-received as were the minted mushy peas and the aforementioned 'bubble' (as it's affectionately referred to) that she chose as sides. Generally, we were unanimous in our praise for the pastry which was crisp and well-executed and the gravy; which was of an adequate consistency and applied using the tried and tested method of; ‘say when’…No unsightly sogginess here, thank you! Pies are branded with letters - stencilled in poppy seeds which correspond to what lies within - I enjoyed the novelty that mine sported an 'S' which doubles up as my initial...simple things hey!
Overall, this an establishment that focuses on what it does best. There are no desserts to speak of and the drink menu is ‘soft’, (though lovingly sourced). As a result, you receive top quality fare that has been crafted using top quality ingredients. Furthermore, I enjoyed the upbeat atmosphere that resonates within the Lovett Pies container nearly as much as I enjoyed the food itself. Dining-in really feels like you've popped 'round a friend's house for dins and a natter and although I'm sure that this wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, it certainly kept a smile on my face! Incidentally, there is a similar experience to be had a couple of doors up at Corks of Cargo*; where I would fully recommend that you head to in order to follow up your pie with a glass of wine. This is without doubt the best option if, like yours truly, you like to eat and drink...to be merry!