The traditional Essex pie and mash restaurant that turns into a party venue by night

The party venue even includes vintage disco balls that really get the party going
-Credit: (Image: Emeralds private hire and events)

For those looking for a restaurant serving brilliant traditional English food but enjoy the more social aspect of a party, F. Cooke Pie and Mash in Chelmsford caters to both - as the shop can be hired out for free as a private party venue at night, while remaining a traditional pie and mash shop by day.

Originally established in 1862 by Robert Cooke in East London, F. Cooke remains the oldest established eel and pie house family still in existence today. After 160 years, 5th generation Robert Cooke brought the legacy to Essex - with the shop now located in Moulsham Street, Chelmsford, with a quirky modern twist.

The brains behind the idea of turning the shop into a party venue is 31-year-old Jordan Lassman, who owns the restaurant. She said: “We had a few people request to have private parties, such as engagement and birthday parties, so hosting our events trickled into a natural progression!”

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She added: "The demand for private hire became so big, so it was an authentic journey - expanding felt right. The venue is spacious but intimate, sophisticated and glamorous, yet fun and fabulous. I love hosting our own events as well as working with clients to plan their perfect party.”

The expansion of the company has been a great success for Jordan, as she said it was great to see everyone up dancing and drinking at the bar. She added “there’s not really a place like it in Chelmsford”, due to the intimate venue and different kinds of events on offer.

F. Cooke only opened its doors to private parties (such as engagements and birthdays) very recently. F. Cooke hires a mixologist for the night, so that customers can buy cocktails, but the bar is already fully stocked with prosecco wine and beer. Food, of course, includes pie and mash - but the shop also offers a hot buffet service if you would prefer something different!

The big event that F. Cooke is hosting is called “A night of West Ham legends”, where visitors can indulge in a meet and greet with West Ham football stars Julian Dicks and Mark Ward, with the event taking place on Friday July 12 at 6pm.

F. Cooke is unique in that the venue is free to hire for customers, and for its own events, ticket prices include a pie and mash meal. So if you’re looking for a unique night out in Essex without breaking the bank, F. Cooke is definitely worth looking out for.

Jordan commented: “It’s just a really nice night - everyone’s chilled out, getting on, you’ve got good food, good drink and you’re not spending a fortune!”

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