Not a deep-fried Mars bar in sight as Scottish chippy takes industry crown

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A ScottisH chippy has won the industry’s top prize as the UK’s best fish and chip shop for 2013.

Owners of The Bay in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, said winning the title was “a dream come true” at the award ceremony in London.

The event marking the 25th year of the National Fish and Chip Awards was hosted by comedian Rory Bremner at the Lancaster London hotel.

Ten regional champions were finalists for the coveted category of independent takeaway fish and chip shop of the year but The Bay, run by husband and wife Calum and Lindsay Richardson, was crowned overall champion.

The Bay also won the good catch award for showing environmentally-responsible practices as well as raising awareness about the importance of sustainably-sourced seafood.

Mr Richardson said: “To be named the best fish and chip shop in the UK is a massive honour and a dream come true.

“Over the last few years we have put so much effort into our business and take pride in what we produce and the service we give our customers.

“This is without doubt one of our biggest achievements to date and is a great opportunity for the business to grow. To say we are delighted is an understatement and we can’t wait to take both awards back to take pride of place in our shop.”

Simpsons Fish & Chips in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, was placed second while Hanbury’s in Babbacombe, Devon, came third.

Other finalists included Henley’s of Wivenhoe, Essex, named UK fish and chip shop of the year in 2002, The Crispy Cod from Mid Glamorgan, which was a finalist last year, and Pit Stop Fast Food from Co Down, which has been a finalist three times previously.

The finalists in the awards, organised by seafood authority Seafish, had been selected over the last few months after unannounced visits and judging of criteria including product quality, customer service, food preparation, hygiene and innovation.

There are no cash prizes but previous title winners have experienced sales increases of up to 100 per cent.

Seafish chief executive Paul Williams said: “The competition gets fiercer each year and this year was definitely no exception, with the battle for top shop getting more difficult for the judges to determine. The exceptionally high standards of entrants across all the award categories demonstrates their continual commitment to the industry.”