mince pies

The best mince pies in SW London and Surrey

The best mince pies in SW London and Surrey

Our annual mince pie tasting was held this year at New Wimbledon Theatre with outstanding festive pastries entered by local independent bakeries, cafes and deli’s

We take our work at Time & Leisure very seriously when it comes to food and drink! During the Christmas period one of the hottest debates in the office is which mince pie is the best. This year our annual hunt for the best mince pie in SW London and Surrey culminated in the gathering of judges to blind taste eight treats that made it to the final – and one that was a wild card. 

Finalists were made up of independent bakeries, cafés and patisseries, and where better to get in the festive spirit on December 1st than the home of panto – New Wimbledon Theatre! The historic bar is beautifully dressed for the season, and our background soundtrack included occasional blasts of songs from the final rehearsals of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, featuring West End superstars Lee Mead and Ruthie Henshall (read our interview here) amongst a cast full of headliners. 

Judges were invited from our mince-pie-loving partners Love Wimbledon, along with friends from Morr & Co, Centre Court Shopping Centre, and Elys as well as hosts from the theatre.   

We diligently sampled whilst rating each pie for its quality of pastry, taste of filling, filling to pastry ratio, soggy bottom and appearance and awarding bonus x-factor points along the way. 

With a wide variety of appearances before us, some debate was had as to what makes a mince pie a mince pie. Some entries resembled more of a tarte or even pudding than the traditional ones your granny used to make. However, we decided creative interpretations were allowed as judges award points at their discretion on appearance. 

To assist tasting, a bottle of zesty Doctor Funk’s Craft Rum was opened (a Brand designed by our design agency) and a little tipple of this festive-warming rum was universally liked by all judges.  

Now onto the winners… 

Clockwise from top left: Bachmanns Thames Ditton, Cuppa Chaii Wimbledon, The French Tarte Kingston, The Bakehouse Putney,


Amongst the runners up were the best vegan offering from Metronome in Morden which was especially noted for its cinnamon kick and yumminess. It also had a lovely crumble topping.  

Cavan’s Bakery in Wimbledon Park won over judges with its traditional fayre: a simple yet lovely pie, with a sweet after taste. An eat-one-any-time-of-the-day kind of pie.   

Cuppa Chaii, the new exciting Wimbledon outlet for amazing teas, fresh bakery, food and games (complete with Carrom tables) gained praise for its nice sugary bite on top, with the toughest judge remarking “It’s the one I really liked.” 

Polka Theatre, which post refurbishment café is great for all the family entered “a decent all-rounder”, which was “pretty” and a “nice bite size.” 


The Bakehouse in Putney. One judge commented on its citrusy bite and many loved the tarte-like look, tasty rustic pastry and great balance of pastry to filling. 

Bachmanns in Thames Ditton, which gained bonus points for delicious filling deep in flavour also shone due to its unique and distinctive appearance.  “You know this one is going to stand out just by its appearance” said one judge. 

High Commended: 

Sally Clarkes, sold at Bayley & Sage Wimbledon Village (and other locations), rated as “divine” with specific comments on its perfect ratio of filling to pastry. The sweet sticky centre provided a “moment of joy.” 


However, the best overall mince pie was awarded to The French Tarte in Surbiton. Five judges voted it their number one remarking how its crumble topping was excellent in taste and appearance. Many judges gave it full marks on filling taste, quality of pastry (outstanding), filling to pastry ratio. Layers of flavour and a stand-out winner. 

And as for the wild card?  Aldi. Specially Selected All Butter Mince Pies. They may be mass produced, but still none were left at the end… 


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