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Just Look at These Pies. Just Look at These Pies!

As autumn heads for winter, the capital’s pastry merchants are going hard on Instagram

A beef pie in a ceramic dish, with buttered greens on a plate in the background The Clarence Tavern [Official Photo]

Welcome back to Insta Stories, a column examining the London restaurant scene through the often-problematic medium of Instagram. This week’s filter is a real scoop.

News of the week

Consider the pie: is it the lived experience of eating in 2020 distilled into a single dish? It’s something that people can make at home (lockdown!), it’s something that people can make in a restaurant (Eat Out To Help Out!); it’s something Jeff Bezos can sponsor (¯\_(ツ)_/¯); it’s something that can be delivered frozen, warm, or ready-to-heat (whatever weird hinterland England is in at the moment!). Above all, it is comfort at its most quintessential, an autumn sweater to shield against whatever chill winds have assailed the planet in the last 11 months. For anyone still agonising, whether over what to eat, or what is going to happen to a world on the knife-edge of history – shhh; there there. It’s pie. The answer is always pie.

Collective spiritual shrug of the week

In retrospect, it may feel like this was the week in which everyone gave up on trying to shepherd the events of 2020 into something approaching a rational order. Banana skins go into curries; whole suckling pigs arrive in tinfoil delivery trays; charcuterie chalets are a thing; multi-course meals from Michelin starred restaurants are something people are encouraged to whip up at home. Yep, yep, yep, sure. This is fine. This is all absolutely fine.

Dish best served cold of the week

Dom: subbed.

Ghost of Christmas future of the week

Preparing to light the Christmas pudding like:

Clutch presentation of the week

Introducing the spring / summer (roll) collection.

Neologism of the week

At last: some company for nottolenghi, nigh-gella and gor-don’t tell him how many ingredients you left out.

Dish of the week

A big week for members of the banana family.

Shots of the week

This new Magic Eye series is intense.