About Private Pie

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Something wonderful is afoot. Something secret. Something like a secret club for people who bake and eat pies, based in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Film Pies- The Star and Shadow

My dear pie-lovers, this has been officially The Most Sorely Neglected blog in history. This is a reflection not on the quality of pie club meetings, but mainly on my terrible grasp of technology, bad luck with broken computers, and immense laziness.

Today, however, I want to tell you about the fantastic night we had last night at the Star and Shadow, and why we chose to go there.

The Venue:

I am in love with the Star and Shadow, and have been since the first time I went there. Its entirely volunteer run, and has an air of lovingly home made shabbiness which I just adore. The volunteers made it all happen, and built a gorgeous little cinema out of empty warehouse space. you can find out all about their work at their website, here. Its great work- they show all sorts of films, have some brilliant gigs, poetry readings, a library etc. What I love most of all is that they never turn people away: if people can't afford their ticket, they can pay what they can afford, and admission is free for some groups such as asylum seekers.

The Star and Shadow philosophy
Our hosts were incredible. They were so happy to have us there and bent over backwards to make us feel at home. In return, we presented them with a little certificate of having been the venue for our tenth meeting, and were delighted to see a step ladder being whipped out immediately to put it in pride of place over the bar.

The bar, by the way, is delightful. The staff were knowledgeable about the range of beer on sale, and there are lots of lovely non-alcoholic drinks too. We had the run of the place, and it was a perfect size to let everyone sit down to nurse their full bellies, with comfy sofas to sink into dotted about the place.

the lovely bar area at the Star and Shadow

 Our hosts even offered us a tour of the building. So, just as everyone was starting to feel the effects of the first wave of pie, we were whisked off behind the scenes. Our tour guide was super knowledgeable, and had lots of little stories to tell us about how the cinema was made, how the projector works, etc. We were shown the film dark room- only one of two places in the country where you can develop black and white film. By the end of the tour, I think everyone was just as enamoured by the place as I am- the passion of the volunteers for the place is really infectious.

Behind the Scenes at the Star and Shadow

The Theme:

We now have a theme suggestion box, and being a democratic sort of pie club, have started choosing our themes based on our members' suggestions. Film themed pies were suggested by a few of you, so of course we found the perfect venue for it.

What I love about this theme is how much conversation it has prompted. I know many of you guys have been talking about this- at a wedding of my friend, a large part of the conversation with various different people was about pie-film puns. My friends who work at the hospital said a load of nurses had really gotten into the idea, and she'd find herself walking down a ward and someone would leap out and say something like "The PieWho Loved Me!". Its been brilliant fun.

We have come to expect much ingenuity and tenuous links from our bakers when it comes to our themes. We were certainly not disappointed.

The Pies:

This wasn't even all the pies- more turned up after this photo was taken.
This is just a small selection of the beautiful pies that we sampled. Honestly, our bakers outdid themselves this time. I'll be uploading loads more pictures onto our Facebook page eventually, so head over there for more pie porn pics.
Fantastic pastry decoration from Jenni and Janis- our very own pastry Gru!

The Breakfast Club by Vicky and Sarah. This was a behemoth of breakfast delights, and it smelt unbelievable. The next time I have a hangover, I shall be dreaming of this. 
My personal favourite film pie pun, courtesy of Michael and Amy. This made me do a loud guffaw-hyterical laughter type noise when they told me what it was called.
My own Lady Vengeance pie: chocolate, tofu, strawberry mousse, meringue, and liberal application of glitter and "bloodstains"
Kate's Peanut Butter pie. I-and a few others- made some very inappropriate noises whilst eating this. it was so, so good.
Lauren's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Crack pie. so named because its very, very addictive- it contains Speculoos.
The view from the sweet end of the table.

The People: 

We had a good mix of Private Pie stalwarts and some newbies, who seemed rather impressed with the whole concept.

Private Pie regulars Ange and Alex couldn't make it, and were missed. We could tell they weren't there because no one brought a rude pie- they have made a name for themselves as suppliers of the cheekiest pie puns.

I want to thank all who were there for their generosity. Not only did they gave their time and effort to bake a beautiful pie to share, but they also donated generously. For this meeting, we didn't ask for subs, but we did ask for a small donation to be made to the cinema. The staff were really grateful for our contribution, and whilst it might now be quite enough to pay for them to get a digital projector (£60,000 or so!), our donation will no doubt be useful for something.

A special note of thanks to the girl that came in just when we were packing up to ask if there was any pie about to buy. We chatted about who we are and what we do, and she donated some money for the leftovers, which was really sweet of her considering we were just going to give it to her for free.

H xxx

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