Friday, 23 March 2012

The Great British Chippy

Bet this lot have no problems
finding fish...
I don't often use this blog for ranting purposes but today I feel I have to.  What has happened to our chippies?  And, more specifically, what has happened to our seaside chippies?  There can be no greater British tradition than sitting on the prom on a sunny evening scoffing a hot tasty fish supper enveloped by the glorious smell of freshly fried fish coated liberally with salt and vinegar - my mouth is watering at the very thought and it's only 8:30am!  But how hard are they to find?

I adore international cuisine and will sample just about anything - it was only a couple of weeks ago I was sat in a Dubai hotel eating curry for breakfast - but when I'm on the prom in England it's fish & chips I'll be wanting, thank you very much.  Yesterday afternoon I had a meeting in Lancaster so met up with Steve afterwards for a jaunt across to Morecambe to take advantage of the lovely early spring day with a stroll along the prom and a bag of fish and chips.  We parked up near to the wonderfully Art Deco Midland Hotel and began our quest for deep fried goodies.  Perhaps I have a distorted memory of days gone by, or maybe it's just Morecambe, but I'm sure there always used to be a plethora of sea front chippies to choose from, but not any more it seems.

Eric Morecambe on the prom
We passed one buried at the back of an amusement arcade, which really didn't appeal, and another which sold assorted pizza and burger products but not proper chips.  You know, real, proper chips; good and thick and chunky not some flimsy fries with barely an ounce of potato in them.  Next came the realisation that the big chains have taken over many of the prime slots; KFC, Costa, "themed pubs"...  I'm sure Costa has its place in society but a panini on the prom simply does not cut it for me I'm afraid; I want chips, and plenty of them.

Eventually we found Sam's chippy, and what a fabulous chippy it is too.  Fish freshly fried while we waited and a massive pile of wonderful chips, cooked to perfection.  The batter was light and fluffy and simply melted in the mouth and it was all served in paper - non of that polystyrene tray nonsense.  Giddy with excitement (or maybe hunger) we scuttled across to the prom and wolfed the lot as we sat next to Eric and watched the sun go down.  I doubt there are many finer ways to pass an early spring evening so I beg of you, walk away from the KFCs and Maccy Ds and support your local seafront chip shop. Long live the Great British Seaside Chippy!