Aldeburgh Fish and Chips

Aldeburgh is a small town on the Suffolk coast. In recent years it has become something of a fashionable place to live (or have a second home). Walking down the high street, there are many kinds of shops, cafes, and restaurants. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, when we use to visit Aldeburgh. My memories of back then was about the bookshop (which is still there), the toyshop (which isn’t). I also remember the newsagents which sold sweets and comics, and the sweetshops which sold sweets. There were probably other kinds of shops, but as a child, I don’t remember them!

We use to have fish and chips from the fish and chip shop. It is still there. The fish and chip shop in Aldeburgh is often recognised as one of the best fish and chip shops in the UK. 

I did have some in 2008 and wasn’t that impressed.

Well was I really disappointed. These are suppose to be the best fish and chips in the country. Well sorry that may have been the best, but the portion of cod and chips I had on a Saturday night were terrible and very poor.

So when I was back in Aldeburgh in January 2024 I decided to have some fish and chips for my lunch, I would try them out again, so I got a cod and chips to go and headed to the beach to eat them.

This was not a huge portion, but it was lunch, so I was happy with that. I am pretty sure they advertised their fish as boneless and skinless, well mine wasn’t. There was skin and some bones. I found it challenging to eat from the bag with a wooden chip fork, but they were nice fish and chips. The nearby seagulls kept eyeing my food up, you can get a huge fine if you feed them. These were my chips not theirs.

I did enjoy the fish and chips, but I wasn’t blown away by them. 

I want some artisan bread


There have been various discussions on various websites and radio programmes about the problems of the Chorleywood process that is used to make modern bread. As I am sure most people reading this blog are aware, the Chorleywood process was devised to speed up the bread manufacturing process. There has been recently a fair bit of criticism about bread made in this way, that it has a reduced nutritional content and doesn’t taste as good as bread made in a traditional manner.

I do like traditional or artisan bread, that is bread made in a traditional manner by a traditional baker. My real issue is that I don’t have easy access to such bakers to be able to buy such bread on a weekly basis, let alone daily as I would prefer.

There is something beautiful about a fresh baked loaf, straight from the bakers. Sliced with a spread of butter. If I had a baker close by, I would be tempted to pop down in the morning to get fresh bread for breakfast. I have done this a few times, such as when I was on holiday in Aldeburgh and when I was in France. I even managed to get some decent bread in Bristol when I lived there.

I have considered baking my own bread, not so sure I have the time to undertake this before I go off to work, however I still firmly believe that to bake decent bread you need a decent bread oven. A standard kitchen oven in my mind is okay for a few things, but it’s not a bread oven.

Having said all that and written all this I think I might try and bake some bread at some point in the future. Any advice for me?

Resting on your laurels…

Aldeburgh Fish and Chips

If you read a comment like:

I still can’t visit the place without going to The Aldeburgh Fish and Chip shop. Best chippy in East Anglia, I reckon…

Then in my opinion having eaten recently fish and chips from the Aldeburgh Fish and Chip Shop, I hate to think how awful fish and chips is in the rest of East Anglia!

Now let me put this post in context. Lots of people rave about the fish and chips from the Aldeburgh Fish and Chip Shop.

The Observer named it their number one fish and chip shop.

Scene of the longest queues since the petrol crisis, this is rightly regarded as one of the UK’s premier chippies. Eulogised by the likes the of Rick Stein and OFM’s own Nigel Slater, its popularity is such that, come the summer, this small Suffolk fishing town resembles Rourke’s Drift, as thousands of salivating punters appear on the horizon and stampede their way to its door. But with cod and chips from just £2, and the not inconsiderable benefit of having the wonderful White Hart pub on hand while you wait, it’s not difficult to see why the Fish and Chip Shop commands such respect among fish fans. And the secret of their success? ‘I never add flour to my batter,’ insists owner Margaret Thompson, who’s been frying fish for over 30 years. ‘I fry in pure vegetable oil, never in beef dripping. I think vegetable oil lets the flavour of the fresh fish shine through.’

Number one in the UK…

Well that top ten was done back in 2002…

I use to use the fish and chip shop a lot twenty five odd years ago, so this was the first visit back in a long long time.

Well was I really disappointed.

These are suppose to be the best fish and chips in the country.

Well sorry that may have been the best, but the portion of cod and chips I had on a Saturday night were terrible and very poor.

Let’s start with the chips which really weren’t too bad, crisp, good size, however the oil they had been cooked in was either very old or rancid. Despite the quote from the Observer, they did taste like they were cooked in rancid beef dripping.

As for the fish, sorry if I want battered cod I expect the fish to be boneless and skinless. I know it’s fish, I don’t need the bones and skin to prove it’s a real fish. If I want that experience I’ll pop down to the proper fish stalls on the other end of the beach.

The reason you batter the fish is to protect the fish from the oil, so when coating in batter, ensure that the whole fish is coated. Mine wasn’t so as a result the fish was very greasy (and remember this was the rancid flavoured oil the chips were cooked in).

I was very disappointed, nothing like the reviews and a very bad experience. Next time must do better, but I doubt there will be a next time.

Finally when asked and I ask for no salt, I prefer not to have salt.