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Best mince pies in London this Christmas

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 13/12/2018 Ailis Brennan

No matter how many Christmas puddings, roast potatoes, pigs-in-blankets and chocolate oranges you've had in a day, there's always room for one more mince pie.

Even if you're feeling as stuffed as the turkey, London's top restaurants and bakeries are producing versions of the festive treat that will make you want a whole box to yourself.

From deep fried delicacies to mince pies with actual ground meat, these are some of the best mince pies you can treat yourself to in the capital this Christmas.

St John

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Fergus Henderson’s world-famous restaurants are already renowned for their Eccles cakes – flakey pastry parcels stuffed with spiced currants, and served with a slice of Lancashire cheese. A little bit of Christmas wizardry later, and the foundations of this famous dish become a seasonally fit mince pie, with crumbly, buttery shortcrust pastry. They are available to take away at the Neal’s Yard, Druid Street, Smithfield and Shoreditch locations, with the option to eat in at the latter two, and enjoy them warm with a dollop of clotted cream.

Various locations, stjohnrestaurant.com

Black Axe Mangal

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Heavy metal-themed Turkish restaurant Black Axe Mangal loves a bit of rebellion, and is doing something particularly anarchic to its mince pie offering this year. Its fruit-stuffed pastry parcel comes deep fried and crispy, served alongside a scoop of bourbon and honey ice cream – that’ll get you on Santa’s naughty list.

156 Canonbury Road, N1 2UP, blackaxemangal.com

Jacob The Angel

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The festive-sounding moniker of this Covent Garden bakery actually has limited biblical background – it’s named after a Lebanese bloke called Jacob who started London’s first coffee house, the Angel Inn, back in 1651. Cakes and coffee come from the team behind The Palomar and The Barbary, in a menu inspired by the Middle East, where the recipe for mince pies originated. The mince pies at Jacob the Angel come topped with a pastry star and a dusting of icing sugar.

16 Neal's Yard, WC2H 9DP, jacobtheangel.co.uk

The Quality Chop House

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As its name suggests, The Quality Chop House isn't averse to a bit of mincemeat – it’s the fruity sort that is taking the reins this Christmas though. The mince filling here is traditional, but comes topped with both a layer of sweet almond frangipane and a caramelised slice of Christmassy clementine, adding extra sweetness and acidity to the festive classic.

88-94 Farringdon Road, EC1R 3EA, thequalitychophouse.com

Lyle’s

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Currently enjoying a prolonged stint as one of the 50 best restaurants in the world, Lyle’s has much to celebrate this Christmas, and it’s toasting the festive season with a very traditional mince pie. The mince in this piece actually contains real meat, as per some of the traditional recipes for the Christmas treat. The version at Lyle’s contains ground beef and suet, which is mixed with the more familiar fruit and spice ingredients.

56 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JJ, lyleslondon.com

Gail’s Bakery

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Gail’s Bakery is pulling out all the stops this Christmas, with festive-themed bakes cramming its many counters. Its mince pies feature thick, buttery shortcrust pastry, topped with a sprinkling of demerara sugar for an extra crunchy exterior. With plentiful locations around the capital, they’re bound to be one of the easier pie pitstops to locate while driving home for Christmas.

Various locations, gailsbread.co.uk

Pophams

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This bakery has become known as a croissant connoisseur since it opened just over a year ago, teaming layered puff pastry with less conventional flavours such as rosemary and sea salt, as well as a delectable maple and bacon combination. Among the precise and pretty bakes on offer at this most wonderful time of year are Popham’s mince pies, which fill laminated dough with three-month-matured mince meat, all wrapped in a caramelised sugar crust.

19 Prebend Street, N1 8PF, pophamsbakery.com

Holborn Dining Room

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(John Carey)

Holborn Dining Room chef Calum Franklin has quite the prowess with pies, and has even launched an open kitchen dedicated to the British classic at the five star Rosewood London hotel. This Christmas, the British brasserie is serving up Franklin’s superlative pastry with a traditional spiced mince meat filling. They’re not the most pocket-friendly pies on the list, mind – a full sized portion of Franklin’s festive creation will set you back £9.

252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN, holborndiningroom.com

Dominique Ansel Bakery

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Cronut creator Dominique Ansel is having plenty of festive fun at his London bakery. As well as a Christmas afternoon tea featuring edible baubles, snowmen and Santa, he’s also styling his mince pies after Rudolph the red nosed reindeer. Flavoured with brandy, nutmeg and orange flavours, the pie is topped with white chocolate eyes, milk chocolate antlers and a glowing red or brown chocolate nose.

17-21 Elizabeth Street, SW1W 9RP, dominiqueansellondon.com

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