Of Pies and Coffee Shops

April 15, 2008 at 11:29 | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments


Naturally, in a town which makes a fetish of the meat-and-potato pie, there is a lot of competition to be the best. So there’s an annual competion amongst the pie shops and bakers for the best. This year’s winner, judged by a panel including Barrow-born Hairy Biker and television foodie Dave Myers, was Thomas’s on Cavendish Street. Nice publicity for Thomas’s, which has the advantage of being in the town centre, but everybody has their own favourites. Taxi Bob, for example, is known to favour Green’s of Jarrow Street, distinctly off-centre in the middle of an inter-war housing estate. I can’t comment, as every time I get round to visiting Jarrow Street, Green’s have sold out. The real best pies in Barrow are the ones I make myself.

The Last Resort Coffee Shop, in Lower Cavendish Street, is a real oddity for Barrow, but a very welcome one. An outpost of metropolitan sophistication, or what passes for sophistication, in this most unsophisticated of English towns. (That’s not a complaint, by the way.) It serves top-notch coffee, cakes, pastries, snacks and, of course, Thomas’s meat and potato pie with mushy peas. It’s also home to the Barrow OBCZ (Official BookCrossing Zone) where you can pick up and leave free books – provided that you register them with Bookcrossing and pass them on when you’ve finished with them.

Oh, and you may like to know that I’ll be appearing on Bill Clark’s late show tonight on local radio station Abbey FM, to talk about this blog amongst other things. It’s scheduled for between 11 and midnight tonight, local time (UTC +1) and wherever you are in the world you should be able to link to a feed from the website.



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  1. Rosalind,
    Loved your blog here and mention of BookCrossing….we are having our annual convention in London this coming Fri-Sun and wanted to just mention that in the event you have time to pop down and visit….my best,
    Scott Sorochak
    CEO BookCrossing

  2. Mmm bit late for me but I will try to listen. I tend to get up very early for work but maybe Bill will send me the recording,

  3. What sort of pies are we talking about? Pork pies? Beef? Curried scallop? I’m keen on my pies and thus keen to know! Please :]

  4. Kris, we are talking here about beef and potato pies – see my recipe, linked to in the post.

    Curried scallop pie sounds wonderful!

  5. Ok, I try often to keep up with British culture, but when I first saw ‘hairy bikers’ I thought it was simply a gang of hairy bikers who are daily regulars at that one particular coffeeshop. Y’know, leather, tats, all sweaty and furry and in need of a good pie…

    I didn’t know they were all that, AND celebrities too…

    <<< studying my lone copy of Radio Times 🙂

  6. […] up mavericks and going against the tide. Michael Stephenson, who is proprietor of the excellent Last Resort Coffee Shop, stood as an Independent Anti-Academy candidate in posh Hawcoat ward and scored a palpable hit. The […]

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