I’VE got that Friday feeling. Make that a fry day feeling, because today is National Fish and Chip Day, which is one of the more enjoyable of the many national days, weeks and months we mark through the year. June is National Microchipping Month, for instance, which sounds like a right bundle of laughs.

Feeling duty bound to sample what is surely our national dish, a chippy tea with all the trimmings beckoned. By which I mean a proper Northern chippy tea: fish, chips, mushy peas, curry sauce… the works. But which chippy to go for? We certainly aren’t short of deep-fried spud purveyors in these parts.

I settled on Priory Plaice, the newest chippy in Ulverston which, since it was opened at the end of last year, has already become a firm favourite – indeed, it was recently voted the favourite chippy in the area by Mail readers.

It’s down on Priory Road in Ulverston, hence the name. There’s an unwritten code among chippy owners that they must use some fish-related pun whenever possible – and something-or-other Plaice is probably the most popular, despite the fact that I don’t know of any fish and chip shops that actually sell plaice.

Personally, given the religious connection to a priory (in this case, Conishead, which is further along the road), I would have called it Cod Almighty or Lord of the Fries or something, but then what do I know?

Anyway, as those Ulverstonians among us know, this new chippy is found on the site of a former public loo, which seems to be another popular theme for chippies around here – there’s one at Greenodd, too.

I hotfooted it home from work in Carlisle on Wednesday, salivating at the thought of battered haddock, collected a chum and off we headed to Priory Road.

Priory Plaice is something of a chic chippy. A smart new-build with tasteful tiling and an airy feel to it, this is obviously the new standard for frying facilities. There’s even its own car park and outdoor seating area, should the weather be warm enough for some al fresco fish-eating. On Wednesday evening it wasn’t.

Inside I realised that the friendly woman serving us was someone we had been at Ulverston Victoria High School with many years ago, which was one of those nice connections we locals love to make.

Fish, chips, peas and curry for me; ditto but gravy instead of curry for my friend Sarah at whose Ulverston home we would be partaking of our fish feast. But not before I had had to buy some Heinz ketchup from the chippy to accompany it – followed a minor argument as to the quality of Sarah’s ketchup at home. I have chronicled here before my purist tendencies when it comes to ketchup. Own-brand cheap stuff just doesn’t do it for me – when it comes to tomato sauce you get what you pay for. Sarah isn’t on the same page as me on this one – her cupboard contains own-brand sauce, it transpires. I may have to reassess our friendship as a result.

Back at hers (I wouldn’t ditch a friend when there are hot chips to consume) we tucked in to our chippy tea. The fish was fantastic: crisp batter and thick white fish. The chips were plentiful – and perhaps we should have ordered from the smaller portions menu that the shop offers. Good chips; and if you don’t like them soggy (although actually I do when it comes to chippy chips), you’ll love these.

The mushy peas were great, the gravy was deliciously oil-slick thick, and the curry sauce was OK (I’ve had better but this was pretty much up to the mark for a chippy curry).

All in, our fish and chip tea for two came to £16.40 (£4.30 for a fish, £2.10 for chips – smaller and larger portions are available), which these days is decent value, the days of fish-n-chips-for-a-fiver sadly being long gone.

Priory Plaice is definitely worth a visit and it is no surprise it’s already proved so popular. If you want an out-of-town chippy tea, this is most definitely the place (if not the plaice) to go.

Food 4.5

Service 4.5

Atmosphere 4.5

Value 4.5


Parking and outdoor seating

Clean as a whistle

Quality grub


We didn’t get a carrier bag and hot grease dripped onto my friend’s trousers on the journey home - ouch