Poppies of Spitalfields wins fry-off as Britain’s best fish’in’chip shop

Pat Newlands at his Poppies fish'n'chip shop he opened in January 2011

Pat Newlands at his Poppies fish'n'chip shop he opened in January 2011 - Credit: Archant

London’s East End where fish’n’chips were invented in 1870 is still the best ‘plaice’ in Britain to eat the nation’s favourite dish more than 140 years later—and that’s official.

Poppies fish and chip shop in Spitalfields has been named the best in the country on its third anniverary.

The chippie-cum-diner opened by Pat Newlands in January, 2011, just off Commercial Street, has won the 2014 Independent Fish and Chip Restaurant of the Year award.

It was judged on its décor, food quality, where it gets its fish from, customer service and marketing.

Pat, who came out of retirement in the catering trade in 2011 to open his own chippie that he’d dreamed of doing for years, said: “This is a huge honour after 50 years in the business.

“We put so much into the entire experience, from the fish prepared on the premises by our own fishmonger to our ‘poppettes’ waitresses in wartime Land Girl outfits and our vintage-style décor from the 1940s.”

Poppies won the prestigious accolade cooked up by Seafish, the seafood authority, beating two other shortlisted chippies, in Yorkshire and north Wales, in the fry-off finals leading to an awards ceremony at the Lancaster Hotel hosted by TV chef Jean Christophe Novelli.

The Seafish authority’s Paul Williams said: “We see new and established talent vie for the award every year and competition gets fiercer as a result.

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“Poppies stood out for their determination and commitment to the industry for responsible sourcing and keeping up standards vital to make sure future generations enjoy Britain’s favourite dish.”

The first recognised fish’n’chip shop opened in 1870 in the Old Ford Road in Bow. Fried fish had been sold on stalls before then—until the idea emerged of matching fish with chipped potatoes as a set dish.