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Is Simpsons the best fish and chip shop in Gloucestershire?

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: October 01, 2012

FRYING START: Bonnie, centre, and James Ritchie, second rightwith employees Robbie Clark, Jon Wharmby and Sasha Dunn

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FISH shop owners James and Bonny Ritchie are proving they are a chip off the old block.

The couple, who run Simpson's Fish and Chip Shop in Priors Road, have just picked up two new awards for their work.

Simpson's Fish & Chips in Cheltenham has been crowned the best fish and chip shop in the Midlands as part of the National Fish & Chip Awards 2013, organised by Seafish, the authority on seafood. Owner James Ritchie and his wife Bonny Ritchie will now compete against nine of the UK’s best fish and chip shops for the coveted Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award which will be announced at a glitzy evening awards ceremony in London on 24 January 2013 at the prestigious Lancaster London hotel. The top ten finalists are:• The Bay Fish & Chips, Stonehaven – best in Scotland• The Crispy Cod, Tonyrefail – best in Wales• Pit Stop Fast Food, Kilkeel – best in Northern Ireland• Quayside, Whitby – best in North East England• Richardson’s Fish Bar, Fleetwood – best in North West England• Simpsons Fish & Chips, Cheltenham – best in the Midlands• Burton Road Fish & Chips, Lincoln – best in Eastern England• Henley’s of Wivenhoe, Wivenhoe – best in London & South East England• The Wigmore Fish & Chips, Luton – best in Central & South England• Hanbury’s, Torquay – best in South West EnglandThe ten finalists are the result of an arduous judging process which included the shops having an unannounced visit from industry judges. Shops were assessed on a variety of judging criteria including: product quality, food preparation procedures, commitment to customer service, staff training and development, marketing and promotional activity and their approach to sustainable sourcing.James Ritchie, owner of Simpsons expressed his delight at being recognised as the best independent takeaway fish and chip shop in the Midlands and what he regards as an extra special year as his wife Bonny is a month away from giving birth to their first child. He said: “We are delighted to win the regional title for the Midlands and we really hope we can win the overall national title and be the best in Britain. Simpsons really is a family business and we have put a lot of effort into the awards process.“Bonny is only a month from giving birth and I can honestly say that 2012 has been a spectacular year and we’re all hoping that January’s final brings more good fortune our way.”

Bonny and James Ritchie are the daughter and son-in-law of Brian and Jan Simpson, who started the chain of fish and chip shops across the UK.

They opened their Cheltenham branch in 2009 and have made a major impact.

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Last month, the shop reached the semi-final of a national competition to find the best fish and chip restaurant in the country.

They face competition from nine other semi-finalists before the finalists learn their fate at a gala ceremony in London's Lancaster Hotel on January 24 next year.

* Do you think Simpson's is the best chippy in Gloucestershire?Nominate your favourite by using the story comment facility below or email matt.holmes@northcliffedigital.co.ukWhen we have enough nominations we'll runs TiG poll.

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  • Chipmonster  |  October 08 2012, 12:11AM

    I agree with the majority of comments here, Charlie's in Royal Well Place wins hands down!! Cheaper prices, larger portions and brilliant quality. Ive never once been disappointed with their food. The few times I've tried Simpsons the food was very expensive and from the size of the portion I think I was only paying for the fancy box it came in...which didn't seem to retain any heat!!

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  • Takeawaylover  |  October 07 2012, 11:19PM

    It's great that Simpsons have been awarded the best fish and chip shop in the Midlands and have awards but what people don't know is that they have paid for most of them...

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  • DG9999  |  October 03 2012, 9:33AM

    RE raidermanuk My cold chips were served on a lunchtime. The evening I attended there were so many people were waiting the chairs were filled , people were standing by the window and to the left of the counter. 2-3 people outside the door. Hope this helps.

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  • Helens Allsorts  |  October 03 2012, 8:53AM

    Definitely 'The Pearl of Northway' food, staff, parking excellent

  • raidermanuk  |  October 02 2012, 10:11PM

    DG9999 Taking your comments seriously I felt obliged to have Benhall fish and chips tonight. Actually sent the wife and as she was back in a jiffy there couldn't have been any queues! Fish was excellent. Please respond so I have reason to revisit tomorrow!

  • Dave12345  |  October 02 2012, 6:27PM

    Definitely one of the best fish and chip shops - I think Kellaway Avenue in Bristol is better, but is the best in Gloucestershire that I have tried, although would like to know where Charlie's is?

  • Abdulpatel  |  October 02 2012, 6:12PM

    Abus in Gloucester, a real chippery, good food and a fair price nice & cheap. Best of all it's Halal wot more can Mr Kahn wants. (Sparkhill)

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  • Takeaway22  |  October 02 2012, 5:32PM

    This article was published to promote Simpsons. In fact Charlies is the one that is clearly promoted and preferred from the citizens of Gloucestershire. The irony.....

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  • smurf101  |  October 02 2012, 2:56PM

    Carlies chippy for me too, we come over from tewkesbury because its that good!

    |   3
  • Bob_Flaps  |  October 02 2012, 12:30PM

    No, it isn't. Next question?