An historic North East city has recently welcomed a new business to its thriving streets; Freddie’s Fish & Chip Shop.
Following on from the success of the first Freddie’s, which opened in nearby Stanhope in September 2017, founder Jolyon Fenwick felt that the county’s capital city, Durham, was the natural choice for his next shop.
With a smiling team and delicious fish and chips, Freddie’s opened in early April and has become a fast favourite with locals and visitors.
Freddie’s is unique in a number of ways. Home-made beer batter is used, which is unheard of outside of restaurants and gastro pubs, and creates body and a light texture. The mushy peas, gravy and curry sauce are freshly made from scratch each day, using ingredients such as fresh mint from a local greengrocer.
Perhaps most unique is the historic aspect of Freddie’s, which is evidenced by the style of the shops inside. Incredible images from The Battle of the Somme and the stories of the (often local) men’s heroism create an exhibition inside the shop.
Jolyon said: “It occurred to me that the great majority of young men killed on The Somme came from four places: London, Northern Ireland, Scotland and the North East – places, as it happens, that were the ‘cradle’ of the British institution of fish and chips. It set me thinking that it was therefore more than likely that local, newspaper-wrapped fried fish and chipped potatoes were one of the last home comforts these men enjoyed before their departure for France.
“In homage to this, Freddie’s is named after a Private soldier from the North East who was killed on the Somme. His full identity will remain unknown.”
Jolyon, who has published three books covering different tales from the war, said: “I opened Freddie’s because writing history books sadly won’t continue to maintain the roof on my rapidly dilapidating old house. And I’ve always loved fish and chips. I wanted to try and do them as well as I think they can be done.”
Freddie’s uses recyclable paper and paperboard packaging for its fish and chips, and responsibly sourced, sustainable fish – something else Jolyon is passionate about.
As for his plans for the future, he said: “More shops. I would never let it become a charmless chain, just great local chippies. I love local shops and high streets and we have to do everything we can to protect them.”