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‘Beautifully preserved' Walthamstow pie and mash shop receives Grade II listing

31 October 2013 by
‘Beautifully preserved' Walthamstow pie and mash shop receives Grade II listing

A Walthamstow pie and mash shop has been awarded a Grade II listing by English Heritage.

First opened in 1929 by Luigi Manze, whose family reportedly owned the site until the 1970s, L Manze's eel, pie and mash shop features original tiles, design, marble counters and wooden seating, earning it praise for its "beautifully preserved interiors".

The traditional gilt lettering, marble counters and old mirrors which still stand are all part of architect Herbert Wright's original 1920s design.

Current owners Jacqueline Cooper and her family, who took over the site in 1986, were very pleased with the listing. She told Caterer and Hotelkeeper: "It's wonderful, we're really excited. It's a beautiful shop, spotlessly-clean, and it deserves it. I'm really delighted."

She said: "The people that use us know ours is freshly-made here. The meat is cut down from the bone and then minced; the pastry's made here; the parsley sauce and mashed potato; it's all made from scratch."

Manze seems a particularly successful name for pie and mash, with three sites under the name "M. Manze" still dotted around London today, including a Tower Hill branch said to have been open since 1902.

Despite having been part of the same family chain originally, these "M.Manzes" are now unconnected to the Walthamstow owners, whose branches extend to just one other shop in Chapel Street Market, which the Coopers bought back fifteen years' ago after a period of ownership by someone else.

Cooper said her family had worked to restore the Chapel Street Market location in a bid to get it back up to the old standards.

- She said; "It was neglected a lot. We tried to bring it up to speed but it's nothing compared to [the Walthamstow one]. We had a compliment six months ago; someone said, 'This is the Savoy of the pie and mash shops,' and I thought that was lovely."

Eel, pie and mash shops were a favourite of the East End of London in the early 20th century as eels from the Thames were affordable and readily available. It is estimated that there are around 80 shops still in existence around London and the South East.

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