Simpsons fish and chips were crowned the Best Independent Takeaway of the Year in the Seafish Fish & Chip Awards. I was told that this was a really big deal, especially in this industry as it involved them not just having the most amazing food, but they were put through a 7 month process which included (among other things) several mystery shopper visits, in-depth judging audits, sourcing, the restaurant design, customer service, how they treat their staff and a presentation. The restaurant has had a refurb and I was invited along for the unveil, but this turned into a celebration party. Previously being runners up for the last few years (and last year being the best in England) people were willing them to win, and really pleased when they did. The lady I was speaking to had travelled from Kent (and was going back home that evening) just for the relaunch/celebration.
About Simpsons Fish & Chips
The Cheltenham shop opened in 2009, but fish and chips have been in their family for nearly 40 years. Natural ingredients are used – fish, chips and batter with no MSG, salt, or bulking agents, artificial colourings or flavourings. All card and glass used in store is recycled and they have ecolight fittings and sensors throughout. Staff and taken care of and offered training with qualifications. My experience of the night was that the owners, Bonny and James Ritchie, both work very hard – as I observed when glass was broken and they were straight in there clearing it up themselves, not expecting others to do it for them! It was a very busy night but both Bonny and Ritchie ensured all their guests were happy, and mingled. Bonny walked past and joked about only providing us with chips (different foods were going around and we happened to have just chips at that point), and James happily had a selfie with me (they’ve been on This Morning with Phil and Holly you know!)
Plus Simpsons cater for all sorts of venues. They hold a wheat and gluten free fish and chip frying day on the last Monday of every month 4:45-9:30pm. They offer food in the restaurant, as takeaway or you can order online for delivery.
The Simpsons Restaurant Relaunch
Apparently Bonny and James have taken on board all the feedback they were given in previous years as runners up, and acted it upon it. The look of the restaurant was very young, modern and fresh; I liked the mix of table booths and high stools. It is very spacious, easy to locate and I found parking easy. It goes without saying that the food was fantastic, but I was also very surprised at the range of foods offered, not just the quality. The new look restaurant is apparently very “them” – with things such as a wall with tattoos drawn it – which incorporates both the children’s names on it; unisex toilets with a cool sign that actually says it is for everyone (with a picture of a man, woman, wheelchair and baby). Their logo – “Long live Fish & Chips” was repeated in various forms throughout.
They are clearly very family orientated and the tables had their children’s book, “Where do fish and chips come from?” You can read it at Simpsons or buy a copy to take home. This is to raise awareness of fish sourcing and species, as well as teaching kids that chips don’t come out of the freezer, but start as potatoes growing underground. On the Simpson’s website there is also a kids section online with games and downloads.
I also observed that the queue in the takeaway itself to be really long.I wrongly assumed it was because the restaurant was closed and told no it is because everything is cooked fresh to order. That it is a really popular place and people travel from across the other side of Cheltenham to get their chips.
Thank you to SilverBallPR for inviting me to this wonderful evening and meeting such a wonderful family Gloucestershire business. They seemed such a lovely couple and thanked everyone involved with helping them with their huge success – and even gave out flowers.
Simpsons 73-75 Priors Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL52 5AL
I was invited to the Simpsons Fish and Chips Restaurant relaunch all words and opinions are either my own, from speaking to others who knew the business in more depth, or taken from the website. I received no financial incentive for this piece.