Is there any food that smells as good as traditional fish and chips and, if you come across a chippy while you’re out, doesn’t it always make you want to nip in, get a bag and slap on the salt and vinegar? The days of serving this British delicacy in yesterday’s newspaper have long gone, but the excitement of popping in for an impromptu bag of chips or a Friday fish supper still remains.
Fish and chips have been a traditional British family treat for more than 150 years; one of the few foods during World War 2 not to be rationed; a real ‘comfort’ food and a treat on many a day out. Family holidays would not be the same without a chippy tea – sat on the harbour trying to avoid the seagulls in Nairn, queueing for the once a week visit from the chippy van in Nethy Bridge; the tiny chippy on St Marys, Isle of Scilly, where every fish was a different shape and type – whatever had been caught that day!
Chips with ketchup; chips with gravy; chips with mayonnaise. Don’t forget your mushy peas or, if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try a potato ‘smack’. Regional variations across the country and, being from Wigan, our chippys will always have pies!
We discovered the Old Keswickian Fish & Chip shop in the centre of Keswick many years ago and, on a recent holiday in the town, we were delighted to find it still there and managed by the same family who have been feeding their guests for over 30 years. Not only a takeaway but above the giant fryers you’ll find a cosy restaurant with great views of the Moot Hall and town square. Fish of the day, crispy chips, sausages, gravy and mushy peas (tasting as they used to, which is very rare these days!) and of course those northern favourites the ‘barm’ cake! Bet you’ve argued about their name - teacakes, baps, white rolls – how can one food item have so many names!
A great place to spend a short Saturday night out (had to be back for the dog!) and one ‘chippy’ loving family member very happy – so happy we popped back later in the week!
It's a long way to go though for a good bag of chips, but don't despair as Standish has a long history of it's own great little chip shops. Farrimonds on Church Street is now just a memory, but how many of you stood in the line with your Mum just waiting for your two chips wrapped in greaseproof treat to eat while Mum chose your Friday tea - bringing her own dishes and always a bowl for the crispy fish bits left over from the batter! Now you can take a trip to the award winning Pepper Lane chippy - just follow your nose from 11am when they start to fry - oh, and if it's Friday, be prepared to queue! Fish Fridays - some traditions may never die.
And Elvis? Might just have to keep an eye out for him!