A FISH and chip shop has been crowned one of the best in the country by winning a national award.
Whistler’s Fish and Chips in Fareham has been judged by the industry authority The National Federation of Fish Friers and has now won the Fish and Chip Quality Award.
Owners Bill and Sandie Bishop were observed for three hours and assessed on 200 criteria covering hygiene, preparation and most importantly, the quality of their fish and chips.
The Mayor and Mayoress of Fareham attended Whistler’s in West Street to present the award to the couple.
Sandie, said: ‘Starting as a waitress 12 years ago, it’s an amazing feeling to know that we have now reached the top of our game. Our hard work and dedication has finally paid off.
‘We try to give the best food and the best service. We have strived to give five-star service right the way through and getting the award proves that we have hit that target.
‘It’s fantastic. It’s going very well. We get a lot of regular customers now. You get to know people.
‘We get to know what their families are up to. We try to remember the details so we can talk to them when they come in.
‘They are special to us. Every customer of ours is treated like a VIP. If it wasn’t for our customers we wouldn’t be in Gosport.’
As part of their active role in the community Bill and Sandie cater for those with coeliac disease by using a rice-based flour instead of a wheat one.
The disease affects at least one per cent of the UK population and is rarely recognised by catering establishments.
Sandie added: ‘My mother suffered from coeliac disease so I really do understand how difficult it is for individuals and families to eat out.
‘Some of our gluten free customers have not been able to enjoy fish and chips for 20 or 30 years and it gives us a huge amount of pleasure to be able to cater for them.’