Shepherd’s Pie can be ordered in any number of configurations across the United Kingdom. The first I tried was at the Eagle and Child in Oxford, a literary hang-out of the group known as the “Inklings” which included J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.
The formal meetings ended in October 1949 when interest in the readings finally petered out, but the meetings at the Eagle and Child continued, and it was at one of those meetings in June 1950 that C.S. Lewis distributed the proofs for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
How could I not try this famous English fare at such a renown establishment? What I had there was akin to the image left. Also called “cottage pie,” the dish traditionally has a mashed potato top.
Tasty as that was in the Oxford pub atmosphere, I preferred the remake above with its tall, flaky crust. I highly recommend you stop in for a bite like this at the Howard Arms Pub the next time your travels take you to Hadrian’s Wall near Carlisle and Brampton. (Recommend the Roman Fort there at Birdoswald as well.)