Big news – we’ve just been named the best Independent Takeaway Fish & Chip Shop in England!
After coming out on top in England, Simpsons also took a strong 2nd place in the UK-wide competition for Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year award. We were only just pipped to the post, and came close runners-up to Frankie’s Fish & Chips in Brae, Shetland, Scotland.
We’re also proud to win the Field to Fryer Award, award for our passion for potatoes in categories like seasonal selection, storage facilities, preparation, and frying process.
The 2015 National Fish & Chip Awards involved a rigorous judging process, which has taken place over the last few months. This climaxed with a ‘Dragons Den’ style presentation to industry experts including representatives from Seafish, the Potato Council, The Caterer, MSC and the Craft Guild of Chefs and more.
We attended a glamorous award ceremony held at the Lancaster London Hotel, hosted by Radio 2 Presenter, Nigel Barden. The whole Simpson family were there to enjoy the prestigious ceremony, along with members of the Simpsons team.
Our Simpsons Co-Founder James said: “These awards are the Oscars of the fish and chip world and we’re absolutely over the moon to be recognised amongst such great company. The evening was such a fantastic night out and a great chance to ditch the hairnets and headscarves and put on our best clobber – although the signature red lipstick was still firmly in place for the girls!
Each year we strive to better ourselves and bring our customers only the very best, so for us we cannot thank them enough for their continued support – without them we wouldn’t be here!”
Here’s to another great year of frying at the award-winning Simpsons!
Jan Simpson, the Simpsons matriarch and Bonny’s mum, recently embarked on a Norwegian voyage to discover the source of our award-winning fish. We’re once again a Finalist in the Seafish National Fish & Chip Awards 2015, and Jan’s trip formed just one part of the selection process to determine the winner of this top award.
Jan said: “It was truly incredible to learn so much more about where our fish comes from and I’m very proud to be able to say I’ve seen the entire process from fishing to fryer.
As a family, we go to great lengths to ensure we serve our customers only the very best fish, from the most responsible and sustainable sources. The beauty of taking trips such as these and working so closely with our suppliers is that we can trace exactly where our fish comes from, right down to what boat caught it and even who packed it!”
Jan’s trip was courtesy of the Norwegian Seafood Council. Representatives from the ten regional finalists visited the port of Ålesund on the Norwegian west coast to discover the supply chain of Frozen At Sea (FAS) fish from Norway in the UK. The trip involved seeing the entire fishing process from catch to processing and filleting. Jan also had the opportunity to uncover the science behind Norway’s successful fishery management policies and practices.
The next stage of the awards will take place on 19 January 2015 when Jan, alongside Simpsons Co-Founder James Ritchie, will present to a panel of judges. We’ll then know if Simpsons has what it takes to be crowned Independent Takeaway Fish & Chip Shop of the Year 2015, Independent Fish & Chip Restaurant of the Year.
It’s a nail-biting time for the whole team, but we can’t wait to see if we can bring home the silverware this year.
We’re embarking on a town-wide search to reward a local hero this Christmas. We’ll be giving one extraordinary winner a Simpsons Christmas hamper to reward them for being a star this year… so it’s time to get nominating. We’re all about the festive spirit and thought this was the perfect way to spread some goodwill!
Nominations have already been flooding in for those who have overcome adversity, completed extreme trials for charity and made a real impacted in the community.
We think there are lots of local stars our festive prize could go to. James agrees: “As a town, Cheltenham is overflowing with people doing great things. So this Christmas we’re hunting out a true local star who has really gone above and beyond throughout the year.
Whether it is someone who has completed an extraordinary challenge, beaten a personal battle or simply given their time to helping others, we want to hear all about them! Although fish and chips might not be the most conventional Christmas gift, we think it will be a great surprise and a little way to show a token of appreciation to someone whose efforts have really benefited others.”
Our deserving winner will receive a Simpsons festive hamper including up to six free portions of Simpsons’ famous Fish & Chips and a generous helping of their festive creation – The Battered Christmas pudding; alongside a bottle of bubbly and a Christmas film, all delivered to their door on Christmas Eve.
Nominations close on 19 December 2014 and can be made online here: www.simpsonsfishandchips.co.uk/hamper. The winner will be announced on 22 December and the hamper will be delivered to them on 24 December.
It’s time to nominate your Simpsons Star 2014!
Christmas is a time for indulging… so we’re adding an extra Simpsons treat to our menu! This festive season, why not try our new deep fried Christmas pudding? Pop by and tuck in throughout December.
We’re always looking for ways to put a Simpsons twist on seasonal and traditional classics. Our Christmas pudding is the ultimate indulgence this December and we’re sure it’ll prove a success with fans of the dessert and inquisitive newcomers alike.
Enjoy four delicious chunks of scrummy Christmas pudding, lightly battered in the Simpsons signature batter and deep fried until warm and caramelised, then served with a choice of Brandy Butter or SubZero vanilla ice cream – all for £3.95, and available in our restaurant or as a takeaway option.
Or, you can sample the dish as part of our Festive Menu for £12, which includes cod & chips, the battered pud and a glass of bucks fizz. Come and tuck into some treats with us this Christmas!
How do we make the perfect chips every time? It’s not by accident, that’s for sure – we do everything from sugar-testing to employing potato nannies and even using airbeds during the harvest process. Simpsons really do go above and beyond to care for our prized spuds! Read on to find out the truth behind our perfect chips…
The perfect chip in our eyes has a perfect crunch on the outside, a lightly fluffy middle and a rich potato flavour. We take our chips exceedingly seriously which is why we are so rigorous in the methods we use.
James and Bonny have travelled the UK in search of the best potatoes and there is no doubt that the best ones do come from Cambridgeshire. We have a great relationship with our potato suppliers, such as farmer Tony Lee, who has been supplying the Simpson family’s fish and chip shops since 1976.
James thinks it’s well worth putting in the effort to find the best suppliers: “We only work with farmers who have invested in their land and machinery to ensure we receive the best potatoes. For example, our one supplier Tony has a tractor that he uses to harvest the potatoes which has an airbed in the trailer that the harvested potatoes are stored on. We love this and we want our potatoes to be treated as if they were as delicate as eggs. There is one thing for sure, we don’t want potatoes arriving with us all bruised and scarred.”
We then use a specialist company, Isle of Ely Produce, who act as ‘potato nannies’ and guard their spuds through their journey from field to fryer. They transport the potatoes across the country and babysit them until we need them at the chip shop. The potatoes are stored in high-grade air-sealed units and are tested regularly in a laboratory to pinpoint the best time for eating.
We have approximately 2.5 tonnes of potatoes delivered to our shop every week – that’s a lot of spuds! Arriving in three batches, each batch is then tested meticulously. Our Head Fryer will cut a sample of potatoes in half and, using a diabetic glucose testing stick, will test the sugar levels in each potato. Only potatoes with a glucose reading of less than 0.25% will be used.
James explains: “Potatoes with too high a sugar reading will result in sugars caramelising and turning the chip brown and wrinkly. If the sugar content is too high, we say the chip will do a Benidorm… that is, it comes out looking like it has spent too much time in the sun in Benidorm – brown, wrinkly and a bit leathery!”
We then fry our chips in groundnut oil, as recommended by Heston Blumenthal. This pure and odour-free oil can be heated to an incredibly high temperature to make sure our chips are crunchy on the outside then almost steamed within.
So, now you know – there’s a lot of care behind your portion of Simpsons finest! Come in and tuck into a portion today.
Local teams to get Simpsons support. Our sports sponsors appeal earlier this month has been so popular that we need more time to make the right choice! We will reveal who we have chosen to sponsor later in the summer, keep your eyes peeled. If you require Simpsons Fish and chips to become your sports sponsor, contact us for more information.
We are now sponsoring under 11’s football team The Prestbury Phantoms! Glad to report they are already having a great season! Well done team!
We are still the best chip shop in England! Yipee! We are busier than ever since becoming UK runner up in the National Fish and Chips Awards 2013. We’ve had a great deal of coverage from the media and customers visiting from all over the UK to see what the fuss is about. This year we’ve teamed up with 3 local businesses, Hobbs Bakery is now supplying our bread, Cotswold Brewing Company are supplying us some yummy beers and cider and we have finally found an amazing ice-cream supplier, Sub Zero, that create fabulous tortes and fun flavours of ice cream. We’ve even had some Simpsons strawberry & cream flavoured rock sweets for our restaurant customers! Visit the best chip shop in England today
See if you can spot difference next time you’re picking up your Simpsons fish and chips. We’ve smartened up our appearance with a new look uniform….. but don’t worry the team have kept their signature bandanas.
We went through a thorough inspection to retain the prestigious Quality Fish and Chip award run by the NFFF…..an award we really value here at Simpsons Fish and Chips.
The National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF), the body that represents the UK’s chippys, runs the scheme to raise standards within the fish and chip trade. To keep this award, inspectors will return in 2 years time and look at presentation, hygiene and cleanliness, staff training, equipment, frying and sales skills and the quality of the food here at Simpsons, all over again.
“We want to keep standards high and hope to provide a local reliable chippy for decades to come.” James Ritchie
We can’t wait for the summer holidays so that we can reveal the new fun members of the Simpsons team and our new kids competition. Look out for Farmer Fred and Fisherman Frank who will be joining Bonny the Fryer to entertain and educate our younger fish and chip fans. To welcome our new friends we will be running a colouring and writing kids competition throughout the summer (with fab prizes for the stars of the show). So visit our Simpsons Fish and Chips shop to find out more.