So how did the Stargazy Inn get its name? Not because of stargazing, but because of a fish pie. The pie is made of sardines along with eggs and potatoes, covered with a pastry crust. It is said to have originated in the village of Mousehole in Cornwall. In the 16th century a fisherman named Bawcock saved the village from starvation by rallying the town’s fishermen to go out during very stormy weather. The legend is that the entire catch was baked into a huge pie, thus saving the town from starvation. The fish were skinned and boned, tails and heads removed, before putting them in the pie. The heads poked through the pastry lid, to prove that there were indeed fish in the pie.
The pie was named “stargazy” because the fish appeared to be gazing upward at the stars.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find a single restaurant that serves Stargazy Pie. It’s still made for celebrations and in a few high-end restaurants, but has otherwise fallen out of fashion. However there are several recipes online and someday I might have to try making it, because by all reports it’s delicious.