Fish and Chips. As British as a theatrical Dalek serving milky tea in a greasy caff on a rainy day, the meal is a national institution and has become synonymous with seaside snacks, pay-day treats and post-pub feeds.
But, like a Morecambe and Wise sketch, an England goal or Beatles song, the quest for the best chippy is one which will inevitably always spark serious debate – especially amongst cod connoisseurs.
Here, we trek the UK – coast to coast, and salt and vinegar at the ready – asking Britain’s biggest media influencers for their tips, as we go in search of the ultimate catch…
“If the quality of the ingredients is good (and there aren’t that many to get right: fish, potatoes, batter, oil), there’s very little difference in flavour, I reckon. So I go on sustainability of fish and location. My favourite fish and chipper is French’s in Wells-next-the-Sea, North Norfolk, where fish is fried to order and dished up in cardboard boxes rather than polystyrene trays and you can sit on the harbour wall to eat it. Also, the fish and chip shop in Aldeburgh is also very good, but everyone knows about that one.”
Clare Gogerty, Former Editor of Coast Magazine
“It’s got to be The Cottage restaurant in Blackpool. The amazing dining experience is augmented by the pics of showbiz legends who have scoffed there over the years. Last time I was in, I sat under a signed photo of the Blow Monkeys as I devoured fish, chips & mushy peas.”
Andy Dawson, Writer at The Daily Mirror
“As a Southern girl I’d have to go for The Fish Plaice in Swanage, dodgy punny name and all. The mushy pea fritters sound so wrong but taste so right, and the chips are fluffy and buttery as an artery hardening cloud. There’s nothing like stuffing your face with salty, greasy goodness while you’re dangling your legs over the edge of a cliff face and getting doused by good old Dorset sea spray.”
Daisy Buchanan, Writer at The Guardian and The Daily Mirror
“Chesney’s, on Albert Ave, Hull. 92 year old fryer. Pre-war recipe batter. Gingham curtains. Only sold fish, chips, patties, scraps and Rizla.”
Russ Litten, Author of ‘Scream If You Want To Go Faster’ and ‘Swear Down’