Some fish and chip shops are really very bad indeed. Some are just mediocre, and fail because of their mediocrity. Some are quite sensational. Others are part of a tradition or a routine, and are important because of that.
The Old Keswickian fits into both of the last two categories. A visit to The Old Keswickian is as much a part of a trip to the Lakes as throwing stones into Derwentwater is for the kids. To visit Keswick without visiting The Old Keswickian just wouldn’t do, and there’s good reason for this.
The fish and chips are extraordinarily good. The fish in particular is first rate – thick fillets of haddock fried in a substantial batter, the fish moist, the batter crisp and crunchy. The chips are fresh and hot, crisp on the outside, fluffy in the middle, which is all I need from a chip.
Everything is prepared with a confident and expert air. The fish fryer sweeps salt and vinegar across each portion with a neat and quick figure of eight motion, a smooth and practised movement that’s almost hypnotic.
This isn’t a cheap fish and chip shop. The price of fish and chips nudges a fiver, but this doesn’t matter when the food is this good.
You get what you pay for.