Harbour Lights in Falmouth, Cornwall, has been crowned the best fish and chip restaurant in the UK after frying out on top at the 2017 National Fish & Chip Awards, organised by Seafish.
The restaurant scooped the ultimate title – Independent Fish and Chip Restaurant of the Year – during an awards ceremony widely considered as the ‘Oscars’ of the fish frying industry, held at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel in London on 26 January 2017.
To secure the top spot, Harbour Lights had to fry at the top of their game while progressing through a rigorous, multi-stage judging process which focused on their responsible sourcing policies, menu diversification, restaurant facilities and appearance, staff training and development practices, and marketing and promotional activity. They also underwent an in-depth audit to assess both the front and back-of-house operational aspects of the business, along with mystery dining assessments to ascertain customer service levels and the quality of fish and chips on offer to customers.
Commenting on their award win after receiving the distinguished trophy from awards host, Nigel Barden, voice of food and drink on BBC Radio 2, shop owner Peter Fraser, said: “We’re absolutely blown away to be named the winner of this award – our incredible team deserves a huge pat on the back!
“We’ve been open every day of the week, lunchtime and evenings, for the past 17 years, and have never stopped trying to find ways to improve the business. We feel very blessed to have our restaurant located in such a beautiful area; being close to the sea gives us direct access to the local fishing trawlers. We get to offer our customers the freshest fish and actively encourage them to branch out and try different varieties from the catch of the day.
“We all love this industry and our jobs; it’s the best feeling in the world to be able to put a big smile on all our customers’ faces and now our own smiles are bigger than ever after our success!”
Marcus Coleman, Chief Executive at Seafish, added: “The aim of the National Fish & Chip Awards has always been to showcase the very best fish and chip businesses and individuals in the UK while setting incredibly high standards for the rest of the fish and chip industry to aspire to.
“With the popularity of fish and chip dining establishments on the increase, the restaurant dining experience has now come up to par with the traditional fish and chip takeaway.
“Harbour Lights is the perfect example of a business that consistently innovates to keep things new and fresh for their customers. With experienced friers, and friendly and knowledgeable serving staff, combining to make the perfect team, they serve up a high level of professionalism that is unrivalled. Winning such a prestigious award in such a tough competition is an exceptional achievement, they should be extremely proud.”
Pete Fraser added: “Wow, judged best in the whole of the UK, still can’t believe it. Driving back from the awards down the M4 on a rainy but very happy Thursday evening I was wracking my brains on how best to share this success with our amazing loyal customers who have been supporting us over so many years. I got to thinking so much has changed since Sue and I took over the Harbour Lights in the year 2000. Why not turn the clock back to that misty February day, when totally green in the gills we took the keys, rolled up our sleeves and started our fish and chip adventure?
“As a big thank you from us we intend on Saturday 11th Feb from 11.30-8.30 to offer all our fish and chips at year 2000 prices to give our fabulous customers new and old a chance to celebrate with us; there will be a real party atmosphere. Regular cod and chips will be available from our takeaway for only £2.50 or £3.75 in our restaurant. Our sister fish and chippery Fraser’s in Penzance (on the Prom) is joining in the fun and will be offering the same prices and festivities. It would be great if you could join us.”
Now in their 29th year, The National Fish & Chip Awards are recognised as one of the most prominent and respected seafood industry events in the UK. They celebrate the Great British tradition of fish and chips, showcasing the best talent, quality and choice offered by fish and chip businesses through 14 different award categories.
For more information visit www.fishandchipawards.com or follow @FishnChipAwards #FishnChipAwards.