Fred Capel’s sometimes pavement-room only eaterie comes with a side order of celebrity; its walls are adorned with signed photos of famous diners, which is a testament to its popularity and reputation (we saw Jools Holland tucking into a plate of Fred’s finest fish on our visit). What’s more, there’s strictly no endangered North Sea stocks on the menu – the cod is frozen-at-sea from Iceland and the Arctic.
When it comes to fish, who better to run a chippy than the 20th century Poseidon himself, Rick Stein. As you’d expect, menus change daily but you can expect a menu that reads like a Who’s Who of the ocean – sea bream, salmon, mackerel, skate, monkfish, lemon sole, gurnard, megrim sole, plaice…
Whitby, North Yorkshire
A café since 1939, the Magpie is housed in a black and white building that affords unrivalled views over historic Whitby’s harbour. As for the food, it’s legendary, as are the portions. You can even choose from three sizes of battered cod or haddock –all fresh off the boats in the harbour, and of course washed down with the obligatory mug of Yorkshire tea.
Over to the other side of the country where fish is selected fresh from the morning’s catch at Fleetwood fish auction. Even the potatoes for the chips are sourced locally. The superb value menu lists up to a dozen varieties of fish in season, including hake and turbot, and can be eaten in or taken on to the beach. Now you don’t get a more English seaside experience than that.
The Fish & Chip Van
Fisherman’s Pier, Tobermory Harbour, Mull
This is a true seaside fish-and-chip experience – from a van, wrapped in newspaper, looking out to sea. And it’s the only Les Routiers-accredited fish and chips van in the world. Owners Jane and Jeanette use only fresh fish (haddock is their best seller), and they cook it to order. Oh, and Prince Charles has even sampled the scallops.