The Birth of Fish & Chips and The Seashell
Posted on 9th April 2020 at 09:10
Ahh, good old fish and chips! The comfort food of the British and a staple in our national cuisine. Winston Churchill called them ‘the good companions’, John Lennon covered his in tomato ketchup, and Michael Jackson liked them with mushy peas...
Ask anyone planning a trip to England and indeed London what’s on their to-do list, and without a doubt there is bound to be a meal consisting of battered cod and hand cut ‘chip shop’ chips with all the trimmings that they just can’t wait to get their hands on. But how much do you know about where this traditional first stemmed from, and indeed why they continue to form such a normal way of life for the British?
History books tell us several different things about how fish and chips first came about.
It is said that Jon Lees opened Englands first chippy in Lancashire in 1863 although there are even earlier reports of Jewish immigrant Joseph Malin opening a fish and chip shop in Cleveland Street, London, in 1860. From then onwards fish and chips were considered as fuel for the industrial North and factory workers right up until the Second World War. Fish and chips were one of the only foods that were not to be rationed – people would often queue for hours once word got around their local chippy had a delivery of fish! It is from these beginnings we know and understand the humble fish and chips of today.
The Seashell first opened its doors to the local community of Lisson Grove shortly after the First World War as a fish bar serving and preparing cooked fish. The business then moved to its current location just down the road in 1964, and The Seashell brand was born. It was John Faulkner who expanded the fish and chip shop into a ninety-seat restaurant and we still continue to operate these two streams today. After suffering a fire in 2009, the premises was completely refurbished and re-opened its doors to the waiting public the following year. In 2017 we celebrated our 60th birthday - it’s been quite the journey!
Over the years it’s fair to say we have become something of a ‘celebrity chippy’, and we are so proud and honoured to continue to welcome people from all walks of life to The Seashell. Everyone is welcome and we still pride ourselves on this mantra to this day. A few names who have come to visit us in more recent years include Lady Gaga, Denzel Washington, Mary J Blige, Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa and Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin. x7 Michelin star chef Yoshihiro Murata has also praised our core product – definitely something to shout about! Perhaps the most famous story of all is that of one particular mushy pea fight in our private dining room between Michael Jackson and David Gest.
What makes The Seashell so unique is the fact everyone who comes to visit us has their own story to tell. It’s because of this we continue to be London’s most famous fish & chip landmark and we continue to stick to our roots of a traditional chippy for all to enjoy. Who knows what the next 60 years may hold for us!
What are your memories and stories from The Seashell? We would love to hear them!
Share this post: