Proper fish & chips from award-winning Brit chip shop
worth flying 4000 miles for
What’s the first thing us ex-pat Brits do as soon as we get “home”? Eat proper fish and chips, of course.
And so, the minute we arrived back in lovely Luton, hubby and I headed straight to The Wigmore Fish & Chips Restaurant in Stopsley.
We had vague memories of the takeaway chippy here from our days of living in Luton, and first heard about the new restaurant when it was recommended on Facebook (thanks Pauline). We later learned from our friends Paula and Del that it had won several awards for its fish and chips, which made us even more determined to check out the plaice (sorry, place!)
The restaurant is located in the former Wigmore library building, and the decor tastefully reflects this history with old leather-bound books neatly stacked on tall shelves. The bar is well stocked and the modern kitchen is open, with a traditional chip shop style counter, so you can even watch your fish being fried if you wish.
We ordered our food and drinks at the bar, then grabbed a table while everything was being freshly cooked. We'd looked forward to this moment for so long, having been bitterly disappointed by "British-style fish & chips" in the States - no, they're really not! Luckily, the wait wasn’t long and definitely worth it, as we were soon served two plates loaded with proper cod and chips, hot from the fryer. The portions, even my “small” serving, were very generous, almost American size. Our cod was coated in the most amazing batter - so light, not hard but still crunchy. Wow - these were the best fish and chips we’d ever tasted!
I indulged myself even further by making a chip butty (sandwich to our American readers) with thickly sliced bread, and enjoyed a lovely cup of tea poured from a rather cute Denby-style stoneware teapot.
Just then, the owner Barbara stopped by our table to say hello. She explained that The Wigmore is a family affair; her husband still runs the takeaway chippy, just a few doors away, while Barbara and her sons manage the restaurant, which opened last year. “We are here 7 days a week," she told us, “It’s hard work but we enjoy doing it.”
The fabulous fish and chips filled me up quite nicely, but hubby still had room for dessert. Barbara presented her homemade cherry cheesecake with ice cream. I sampled a spoonful before hubby polished it off, and agreed it was absolutely delicious.
Apart from their award-winning fish and chips, The Wigmore also serves Sunday roasts, afternoon tea and all-day brunch. The menu features gluten-free items, as well as a selection of traditional Greek dishes. With such a variety of choices, this is not your typical chippy at all. The owners are environmentally responsible too, ensuring all their fish comes from sustainable sources, composting their packaging, and using LED bulbs to reduce the carbon footprint. The whole space is modern, light and airy, with chic finishes, and a very nice ladies’ loo (I firmly believe you can tell a lot about a restaurant by the quality of the toilets!).
With friendly staff, great service and fantastic food, it’s easy to see (and taste) why this fish restaurant has been voted one of the best in Britain. And yes, I’d certainly fly 4000 miles for another chip butty here.
Getting paid to eat out -
We’re really excited about SEATED,
a no-hassle booking app
that pays decent rewards in return for restaurant reservations
Me and hubby love going out for dinner, and for many years we’ve been using Opentable.com to make quick and easy online reservations. But Opentable rewards are pretty stingy - usually 100 points per booking which can be cashed-in only when you reach 2000 points for a $10 Amazon gift card (so basically 50¢ per booking). If it wasn’t for the convenience factor, it hardly seems worth it. And when I first heard about Seated, another free reservation app about a year ago, I was a bit skeptical. At that time, users were required to divulge credit card details to verify that they’d actually paid the bill (as opposed to doing a runner). Always cautious about security, I declined to hand over any top-secret financial info. However, I recently received a new invitation which persuaded me to sign up - Seated has removed the credit card requirement, allowing you to simply snap a pic of your restaurant receipt instead.
Seated has partnered with select, upscale restaurants in NYC, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco … and Atlanta. We were very excited to spot some of our local favourites (Emidio’s, Anis Bistro and Eclipse Di Luna) on Seated, and it’s even encouraged us to try some new places too. Admittedly, the app itself is a little glitchy, and navigating the map feature to find restaurants in your area is a bit tricky. To help you out, we have listed some of our Atlanta recommendations below.
Seated helps restaurants attract new business, fill tables and create a loyal fan base by motivating diners to book in advance and remember to show up (don’t worry - the app won’t let you forget). In return for keeping your reservation and meeting a minimum spend you’ll be rewarded up to 30% of your check, which can be cashed-in as Amazon, Apple, Sephora or Target gift cards or Uber credits, and "experiences" such as wine tastings, celebrity dinners and other special events. I’m finding it amazingly quick and easy to upload a photo of my receipt, and I receive my reward within a couple of hours of leaving the restaurant. And all this done so simply on my phone. Splitting the check with friends? Just snap a shot their receipts too, and Seated will reward you on the joint total. Sweet!
While hubby and I don’t usually need any incentive to dine out, it is lovely to be rewarded just for going to dinner. Since signing up for Seated, I’ve achieved “Elite” status within my first month, earned tons of gift cards and received several $20 bonus rewards too. For our latest dinner date, we enjoyed a free Uber ride there and back, thanks to Seated.
As if getting paid to eat out is not rewarding enough, Seated will donate one meal to a child in need via the UN World Food charity in return for every reservation. How great is that?
Our Seated restaurant recommendations in ATL: