I grew up near the sea, on the Fylde Coast.
With Fleetwood a pebble’s skim away, you were (almost) close enough to hear the rustle of the fishing nets…
Needless to say we were not short of chip shops (for some reason I’ve never been able to call them ‘chippys’. Always chip shop. Like a formal Victorian).
The nearest was a 5 min walk away and it would be on a Friday that those magical words would be uttered…
What would you like from the chip shop?
(ah it makes sense now – my mum says chip shop too).
My answer, by the way, would be
Everything. I’d like everything please. Except mushy peas. For me they’re the work of the devil, and I just don’t understand them.
When I moved to Manchester in 2000, I couldn’t understand where all the chip shops were at.
I mean there was quite often a tribute to the chip shop in that the takeaways offering kebabs etc might offer chips or even a jumbo sausage, but the traditional chip shop didn’t appear to exist.
There does appear to have been a shift in this regard over recent times. Even that great leader of our times, Manchester City Centre, has opened up a few chip shops in addition to stalwart Kingfisher…
I mean, no doubt there’s some irony involved, but still…
But it will always be the ‘burbs that don’t let us down. And so imagine my incredible (and I do mean incredible) excitement when a new chip shop opened a stone’s throw from home. I mean we even share the same postcode…
Residents of Hale, Bowdon (and definitely should be, if not actually) beyond will be no stranger to WA14 Fish & Chips
I mean it literally does what it says on the tin. It’s fish and chips, it’s in WA14. And on a Friday that’s where you’ll find a good proportion of its neighbours.
Now a grown up (I really am) it’s my job to stand in line on a Friday, listening to the frying of the fish, those dulcet tones of the chips being plunged into the hot oil, the chatter of the people in line – the communal excitement growing in anticipation of their pending supper, happy in the knowledge that the working week is over, and chippy tea is incoming.
But never have I stood in a chip shop line in such stylish and perfectly branded surroundings.
But fear not, Hale, Bowdon and beyond, fish, chips and, ok, mushy peas (if you have to) haven’t given way to a 16 course tasting menu with wine pairing. It’s all there. The pies are there, the gravy’s there, the jumbo sausages are there…
so it’s still the chip shop. Our lovely chip shop. But then some..
A range of fish choices, not only scampi but made with monkfish, and a pie menu like a gift from the gods.
Last night there was a distinct chill in the air in Hale (it’s ok – I don’t mean the parking rates have gone up again) and whilst Friday night chippy does not discriminate in terms of time of year, it is definitely best indulged in in colder climes.
And so anticipation at a peak as our food was seasoned (I don’t like vinegar – what an oddity I truly am reader)…
…it was time to leave with our boxes of delights.
I was heard to exclaim as we headed off down the cobbled passageway that is Bath Street, our cardboard wares reassuringly hot to the touch…
Home in two minutes, front door shut to the world, no work the next day, the aromas of the chip shop filling our senses (and those of the cat – for the final time, just get off…)
…life is about these moments.
All this romanticism, nostalgia, talking of branding is all very well, but what was the actual food like, I hear my one reader cry (hi mum).
You know that food term we all loathe and I would never lower myself to use…well here is some not food porn:
I opted for good old cod and chips. Served with a slice of lemon and pot of creamy tartare sauce , the chips were double cooked and with the effect that they were seemingly coated in a light batter. The cod was reassuringly white, soft in all the right places, mouth-melting, and the batter delicious and non-greasy.
My plus 1 in proceedings went with a chicken and black pudding pie and chips…
Every chip is the perfect chip
And basically silence as he emptied the box.
And along with a glass of wine, a beer, a can of pop, some trashy telly and a deep deep sense of relief and satisfaction that another working week has drawn to a close, what more can you want from your Friday night.
WA14 (and surrounding areas)? Take your place in that gastronomic waiting room on Ashley Road that is…WA14
And remember. Chippy tea is not just for Fridays, it’s for Mon – Saturdays. 1130-2100 (with a little rest from 1430-1630, Mon-Thursday’s).
For menus and full details head to https://fshnchps.co.uk/