Frying high after Hartlepool and East Durham chippies make it into UK’s top 50

(left to right) Eric Lambert with staff Christine Armstrong, Simon Totty, Denise Balderson and Claire Noble
(left to right) Eric Lambert with staff Christine Armstrong, Simon Totty, Denise Balderson and Claire Noble

TWO fish and chip shops have battered the opposition by scooping a national award.

Mary Lambert, in Villiers Street, and the Easington Village Fish Bar in East Durham have both proved they are the plaice to be after being rated as one of the best 50 fish and chip shops in the UK by national trade prublication Fry Magazine.

Both shops were among 500 that were part of the mystery dining competition run by the frying industry publication.

The Hartlepool business was established 54 years ago by Mary Lambert, and owner Eric Lambert, 57, from Naisberry Park said: “My mum Mary would have been thrilled, and we are too.

“The award has re-inforced what we believe in, which is high quality food and a good service.

“We got 100 per cent for food quality and customer services.

“We had to get more than 95 percent overall to be included in the top 50, and things like the location, appearance and menu options were considered in the overall score.”

All shops that entered were subject to a mystery dining visit which was carried out by an independent company.

In order to open the larger shop in 2012, which can seat up to 90 diners, Eric, who co-owns the restaurant and bakery with his daughter Phillippa Lambert, 32, closed the two original bakeries in town.

Easington village fish bar owners Geoff and Lorraine Taylor are thrilled with their listing. Geoff said: “We were over the moon, considering it’s just me and my wife.

“For us it’s a major achievement. We’re hoping it will put us on the map and it might bring more trade to the area.”

Reece Head, competition organiser, said: “We were overwhelmed with the number of shops that entered our 50 Best Fish & Chip Shops this year and it just goes to show the level of passion, enthusiasm and commitment there is out there to be the best of the best.

“Entering the competition is not just about making the list, and that’s where we believe our competition is unique because every shop goes away with their feedback, giving them something to improve upon and which can only benefit their business in the long-term.”