F Cooke in Hackney is an absolute gem of an interior that I stumbled upon whilst shooting at the Cat & Mutton pub down the road (check out their awesome old London interiors) on Broadway Market. I walked past, glancing through the open door, and immediately reversed back to take it all in!
F Cooke is one of the last bastions of proper East End culture – serving up hot, hearty plates of pie & mash. The shop is over 150 years old and the interiors have been kept just the way they were.
The entire shop is a delight of pastel blue and sherbet lemon tiles. The slim wooden benches and marble tabletops run in rows and the retro Pepsi stickers on the mirrors have been kept from the 60s. The vintage clock, originally made in Dalston was taken from their old Dalston store and re-housed in Broadway Market.
Not only is the main shop an interior experience but we were lucky enough to have a snoop around their original kitchen too! They still have their antique potato peeling machine (has anyone made a modern version of this for the home?! If so, please let me know below!!) and…wait for it…a an eel bath. The old bath, which is no longer is use, is made out of Victorian bricks and sunken into the ground (think, tiny swimming pool but for eels) to wash the salt water off them for your eating pleasure! Ah Cockney charm.
In the kitchen, I cooed over the antique pie dishes they use to make every individual pie, the old pastry roller and the now defunct old brick ovens – hopefully to be reinstated!
It’s no wonder that TV & Film crews love it here. It’s a full on East End experience, down to the people who work there – wholesome East Londoners born and bred.
The authentic interiors of F Cooke provide a refreshing breath of fresh air amongst its more boujis neighbours, demonstrating beautifully that a stunning, immersive interior doesn’t have to follow trends, the latest must-haves or have a Pantone reference – perhaps, leaving us all eating a slice of humble pie.
You can get your fill of Pie & Mash at F.Cooke, Broadway Market, Hackney, E8
Photography by Gregory Davies