These students are on a mission to find the best mince pies in Cardiff and we’re here for it

You can’t beat a cheeky mince pie


The humble mince pie is a classic festive treat. With crumbly pastry and a delicious filling, they're impossible to resist. But what makes a great mince pie?

Well, five Cardiff University students have set up an Instagram page to find out just this, saving you all the hard work, and providing their invaluable mince pie knowledge.

The Instagram page, called @mincepiereviewswales, is run by “five students on a mission to answer the question on everyone’s mind at Christmas: Which British shop sells the best reasonably priced mince pie?” With so much variation out there, especially in a city like Cardiff, this has turned out to be a great idea and the page already has 600 followers.

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It’s 9pm on a Sunday and you’ve yet to get your mince pie review hit for the day. We may have kept you waiting. But here’s a little bedtime reading for your satisfaction. 6 lattice topped mince pies from @tescofood priced at £1.20. Our 3rd instalment of what tesco have to offer. We are ruthless in our pursuit to find Britain’s best mince pie. Don’t be fooled by the similar packaging. These pies have something very different on offer to Tesco’s £1 poverty pies. Our first lattice top pastry. Could go either way. Do they bring us up? Or send us down? We absolutely love them! Beautifully crafted to provide mince pie joy for all. You’d think that less upper crust would be a cure for dryness but, once again, a dry mince pie. Such a shame. The mince was superb and left us craving more. But as usual, there’s just 6 in a box. Another shame. Presentation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Pastry: ⭐️⭐️ Mince: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Value: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ OVERALL: 6/10

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So far, it is mainly the big supermarkets that have been put to the test, including Tesco, Sainsbury's, Lidl, Iceland, The Co-op and Morrisons. But Greggs, Mr Kipling and Fortnum and Mason mince pies have also been reviewed, providing a varied array of retailers, and offering insight on mince pies from every price bracket, from budget to luxury. The page is becoming so popular that it even received a letter from Home Bargains, asking if they would review their mince pies too, although these didn't really impress.

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Here we go. The review of our first mince pie donation. Although @homebargains have yet to claim responsibility for yesterday’s antics, we have confirmed that these are in fact home bargains mince pies. Home bargains. Where to start with this one. We didn’t even know they sold mince pies. But they do, so feel free to grab some when you’re purchasing other cheap but out of date items. Huntley and Palmers 6 deep filled luxury mince pies priced (online anyway) at £1. These were a total disaster. The presentation looks like the work of a child. The pastry, if you can justify calling it that, was pathetic. A barren wasteland that left us desperate to quench our thirst. Hopefully the mincemeat could be our salvation. But no, one of the worst we’ve tried. Lacking in texture – a horrible, gooey mess. ‘Luxury’, really!? Disgraceful. Presentation: ⭐️⭐️ Pastry: ⭐️⭐️ Mince: ⭐️⭐️ Value: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ OVERALL: 3/10 (Thank you for the donation)

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The Cardiff students use a classic star rating system, scoring the pies on presentation, pastry, mince and value, as well as giving the pie an overall score out of ten. The hilarious captions don’t hold back and give the sense that these reviewers are well versed in the world of mince pie tasting.

So far, Greggs and the Co-op appear to have really delivered, both receiving a more than respectable overall score of eight out of 10. The Fortnum and Mason pies also bagged eight points, but for £12 for six, these are certainly not in everyone's price range.

Other mince pies that were less than impressive were the Lidl six deluxe luxury mince pies. Which is surprising considering their bakery usually impresses, especially those who live in Cathays.

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We do not restrict ourselves to supermarkets. No mince pie selling establishment is safe from our expert critique. @greggs_official 6 sweet mince pies, priced at a steep £1.75, were put to the test today. Ahhh @greggs_official, good all year round but even better at Christmas. We all know their festive bake is exceptionally good, but is their mince pie game also on point? Unbelievable flavour. The best mince we’ve tasted so far, backed up by a near perfect pastry. The light dusting of icing sugar left a beautifully sweet taste on your lips, hungry for that second bite. But the presentation… a flat-top mince pie!? Complete and total inexcusable laziness. More expensive than supermarkets, but the taste – wow. Presentation: ⭐️⭐️ Pastry: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Mince: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Value: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ OVERALL: 8/10

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The students who run the account wish to remain anonymous however they did tell The Cardiff Tab: "Our inspiration to start the page came from a deeply ingrained love of mince pies and a true desire to give the people what they want- to know which is the best."

So, with a few weeks until Christmas and several pies left to review, it’s all still to play for the title of the best mince pies in Cardiff.