One thing in life I’ve learnt recently is not to criticise where people decide to eat. I know that not everyone has the same taste as me and, honestly, that’s fine. Feel free to tell me how Miller & Carter is best for steak and I will look you in the eye and smile whilst my brain contorts and the backs of my eyes flicker uncontrollably. You love Rub Smokehouse? That’s great, I demand you tell me about it first thing Monday morning. And, what, you’re a massive fan of Wetherspoons, I hear you say? Good, me too. I’m not making that mistake; I’ve seen what they did to Marina O’Loughlin.
See, The Sunday Times’ latest food critic made the error of criticising JD Wetherspoons a few weeks back, an action that caused a reaction far greater than Newton’s third law could ever have imagined. The people spoke – no, shouted – via the medium of social media. It was pretty grim reading and totally uncalled for. It turns out the mixed grill is not named for the emotions it invokes, and paying customers really do eat for reasons other than necessity. Ms O’Loughlin rightly defended herself and made it clear it was not snobbery, pointing out that you could eat well for the same price elsewhere. In a stand of girl power not seen since I learnt the moves to ‘Spice Up Your Life’, I am agreeing with her. And I have proof thanks to a rather wonderful find in my home town of Macclesfield.
Thirty two pounds sterling, that’s what I spent in Lord of The Pies. For that, the bf and I had four pies; two we ate, the others we took home. We had two sides, and to wash it down he had a local beer, me my favourite Forest gin and tonic. According to her piece Ms O’Loughlin spent £42 purely on food. Now, price is where the comparison with Wetherspoons ends. The pies here are unbelievably good; the way you always imagine pies will be but so rarely are. They have burnished buttery pastry cases and fillings that have been cooked with love and patience. It’s easy to see why my beef and ale has won awards; the sauce is deep and heavenly, the large chunks of meat spoonable in texture. He who I am with has one with chicken curry. He doesn’t talk whilst eating it. This is why we leave with extra pies in hand; I need this weapon in my artillery.
The sides are almost as special. Mash with black pudding speaks to my Northern soul in the dirtiest of tongues. Likewise potato wedges that are really proper chips, crispy on the outside and fluffy in the centre. We dunk these with gusto into the last of the gravy jug. The lovely lady behind the till questions if we are local – the chip dunking should have answered that by itself. I love it here and it sits somewhere in-between seeing my mum and my dad in reasons why I should come home more often. A cheap meal doesn’t have to be a bad one; Ms O’Loughlin you really should give it a try.
Lord of the Pies is at 19 Chestergate, Macclesfield, SK11 6BX.