The gala premiere of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was held at the Beau Sejour in Guernsey in the Channel Islands on 12 April 2018. I have said the title so many times, but I still stumble every time. It is a mouthful.
Before heading up to London a few days prior, we were informed that we were going to be attending this premiere and the dress code was black tie. We were not prepared for that and we were already at Changi Airport waiting for our flight on British Airways to London.
Dennis and I were dressed up in black suits, a bow tie and Marks & Spencers shoes that the folks from the Duke of Rochester hotel and Old Government House Hotel & Spa of the Red Carnation Hotels group loaned us for the occasion.
At the red carpet, we managed to speak with the cast, author and also Mike Newell, the director of the film. We had watched the film in a private screening in Singapore but did not have time to read the book. We got to meet up with Annie Barrows, who completed the novel for Mary Ann Shaffer a decade ago. Annie Barrows has authored a series of children’s books as well as books of adults including her latest book “The Truth According to Us” in 2015.
The film surprised me, in a good way. There were happy moments, sad moments and some historic moments.
We learned that Potato Peel Pies were awful until we tasted those prepared at the Old Government House Hotel and Spa or the stewed rabbit version from the Mint Brasserie and Tea Room. In the film, the potato peel pie didn’t have flour or any other ingredients besides potato and potato peel. The potato peel pie I had at Old Government House Hotel and Spa was prepared with pan fried bacon, sautéed onions and green cabbage. The potato peel was deep fried till crispy and added on top of the pie. Looks as good as it tastes.
76-year old film director Mike Newell, who also director films such as Four Weddings and A Funeral and Harry Potter, was rather amused that we came all the way from Singapore to Guernsey.
Our contributor Sylvia Toh tasked us to ask the cast what their favourite pies were and we did just that. Check out our video below: