Just around the corner from Elephant and Castle, Arments has been operating since 1914 but is sadly let down by inconsistency. On a good day, the pies are remarkable with flaky pastry lids and a minced beef filling with plenty of gravy and no trace of gristle. At other times, however, the meat can be pallid, chewy and generally unappetising, making the smooth mash, generally brilliant liquor and signature chilli vinegar pale into insignificance. There are veggie and fruit pies too, however, and Arments are also known for their jellied eels.
London’s traditional pie ’n’ mash shops are an endangered species. Usually small family-run businesses, some have been open for a century or more, and the survivors are hubs for local communities. If you’re into Instagramming your avo on toast, take note: along with roasts, fish ’n’ chips and full Englishes, this city was built on pies, gravy, eels and liquor.