Tag: Fish and Chips

Bonny’s Big Adventure in Norway!


The Seafish National Fish and Chip Awards is fast approaching, and we’ve once again been selected as finalists. As part of the selection process, Bonny was asked to join the fishermen and women of Norway, where she was expected to help out on board. So, on the 21st October, Bonny packed up her winter warmers and journeyed to Ålesund, Norway.

Ålesund is a picturesque shipping town in the Møre og Romsdal county, and has one of the most vital fishing harbours in Norway. With multi­coloured houses lining the shore, and a fascinating local culture to boot, this town is not only a great place to fish, but a fantastic holiday destination.

After Bonny returned from her adventure, we sat down with a cup of tea to discuss her journey, and what she felt she’d learnt from this amazing experience. Here’s what she had to say.

So Bonny, why was this trip so important for you and Simpsons?

It was just an honour to have been selected [as a finalist], but it’s also something everyone else in the family has done. James and my mum have both been to Norway to experience the study trip, so it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

What was the boat you were on like?

The boat, Frøyanes, was huge, and there were so many different levels. At the base of the boat there was an entire processing factory where they skin, de­bone and fillet the fish. There was also a freezer section, where they packaged and prepared the fish ready for market.

What types of fish did you catch?

We caught cod and haddock. In fact, we caught the biggest cod I’ve ever seen,­ it was brilliant!

Was there anything that surprised you during your trip?

Urgh, how sea sick we all were! I definitely recommend taking sea sickness tablets for anyone who is considering a trip on a fishing vessel.

What was the highlight of the trip and why?

For me, it was just really good to see how the fish are caught. It was really exciting to be a part of the action, especially when we reeled in the bigger fish.

Did you get a chance to explore Norway?

Unfortunately, I didn’t see much of Norway. When I first arrived it was 11pm, and the following day I was on board between 8am and 4:30pm, so it was pretty non­-stop. What we could see from the vessel was beautiful, so picturesque.

That night we were treated to a delicious meal at the fantastic restaurant, Klippfiskakademiet (Klippfisk Academy). The restaurant’s incredible chef cooked­ up

some amazing Norwegian food. He also runs the onsite Seafood Academy, which aims to provide young and amateur chefs with the skills to cook great fish dishes.

What do you think the experience has taught you?

Mainly, it has taught me to appreciate how hard the men and women on board the vessels work. I didn’t think it could, but the respect I have for the entire fishing process has increased dramatically. And, in turn, the respect the Norwegian hosts showed us as small business owners was very rewarding.

Phew! Well done Bonny, and welcome back.

Bonny had a great time (well, apart from the sea sickness) and we all couldn’t be happier that Simpsons has reached the finals (once again) of the Seafish National Fish and Chip Awards. To find out more about our recent accolades and nominations, check out our latest blog.

We Really Are Award-Winning!


Great news, we’ve been nominated as finalists in both the Independent Takeaway and Marketing Innovation categories at the National Fish and Chip Awards 2016.

So, what is the National Fish and Chip Awards?
The National Fish and Chip Awards aim to reward and recognise businesses that offer-up top quality, and responsibly sourced fish and chips. The awards are in their 28th year, and will be organised by the company Seafish, who work hard to ensure all UK seafood is sustainable.

We’ve come so far!
It’s the third time we’ve achieved best in our region, but also the third time we’ve been nominated as finalists in the Independent Takeaway category, and we are so proud of what we’ve all achieved since our doors opened in 2009. It’s incredible to think that out of all of the brilliant fish and chip shops, we’ve been nominated as one of the top ten in the country.

James says, “we’re thrilled to be the best in our region for a third time! Taking part in the awards is a fun part of what we do at Simpsons and definitely keeps us on our toes. This year has been so busy, but we wouldn’t have it any other way!”

We’re not going to pretend that this out of the blue, however. We’ve all worked really hard to get where we are today, and that includes gaining MSC certification, becoming SRA members, improving the way we recycle, training up our brilliant staff, providing outdoor catering and developing our very own Simpsons Batter – with all of it achieved just this year!

We’re marketing innovators
The Marketing Innovation award is judged by a number of professionals, who each look at how a business researches, plans and implements a marketing campaign. Fish and chip shops must also prove that the campaign has had a positive impact on the business over the last year.

Our marketing campaign was all about educating local children, because we often found that many weren’t entirely sure where fish and potatoes come from. To help educate the little ones of Cheltenham, we developed a marketing strategy that used fun and creativity to teach them how fish and chips are made. From creating our entertaining book for families to read together, to inviting kids into the shop to create yummy fish cakes, we developed a campaign that got children talking about, and eating more, quality food.

What’s next
The National Fish and Chip Awards 2016 take place on 20th January, and we can’t wait to get our glad rags on! Unfortunately, we can’t invite you all down to London to celebrate with us, but you can support us through Facebook and Twitter. Fingers crossed!