Hello my wonderful Londoners! I hope everyone’s doing well and you are enjoying life here (and in vacation, I promise I won’t judge!). It’s the beginning of August, and by the time you are reading this, I will be on vacay in beautiful Greece! I am sorry for keeping that a secret until now, but I had to focus and be prepared mentally, and talking about a sunny holiday is not conducive to that! However, no matter the weather, I will describe my experience in dining at Poppie’s in Camden just for you! Never mind how many greasy (or not so) chippies I’ve visited in London, I do believe that Poppies do serve the best fish and chips and here I’ll tell you why!
My first time at Poppies in Camden was a weekday some years ago and what I really remember from that time is that the portion was huge and even then I couldn’t eat all of it! My second time there I visited with a friend from Greece (obviously she loved it!) and we enjoyed the music so much (I think it was Elvis) that I commented to a member of staff and they kindly let us know that they have little gigs on Saturdays. So, this time I had to take my boyfriend there to experience the food, atmosphere and live music gig!
I reserved a table at Poppies in Camden as I know it’s incredibly busy on the weekends, not only because of the tourist crowd, but also because they serve some incredible fish and chips! We got there just before the music started and got seated to a table very close to the stage (and I didn’t even do it on purpose!). We ordered a seasonal salad and two fish and chips, along with our drinks. The seasonal salad was fantastic! Full of colours and taste, it contained lettuce, cucumber, peppers, rocket, cherry tomatoes and a healthy piece of lemon to sprinkle over it. When one hasn’t been to Poppies they may be surprised by the quantity of the dishes, but not this girl! As a fact both the salad and the two fish and chips were big!
Because I was clued in, I suggested we order the regular size of fish and chips and not the large! And I was right, as the portion was big as it was! We decided on cod instead of haddock, as I believe that cod is tastier than haddock. We also didn’t have any mushy peas, as I don’t like the texture (yes, I know, that’s peculiar!). Of course if you do decide on having fish and chips with mushy peas, you can order them as an extra. Apart from the fish and chips we also ordered extra ketchup and tartar sauce, as obviously you cannot have enough of these!
The music part of the night was quite good and listening to the band was a fun experience. To my surprise, they played (and sang) mostly modern songs. I imagined their setlist would include more golden oldies from the 1950s and 1960s, given the overall atmosphere. However that may very well have been the case in the second part of the show, after 9.30 or 10.00 – after we left. The greatest part of the night was the bill, as for two soft drinks, a huge salad, two regular fish and chips with extra sauces, we only paid just over £30.00! All along with some excellent music as well! This is quite a bargain here in London, and the food is delicious and filling. It is no coincidence that the restaurant is always full, no matter if people are Londoners or tourists!
Now that I mentioned the atmosphere, I have to tell you that this is another part of the reason (the next part I’ll tell you later) I adore Poppies so much! The main restaurant is full of 1950s memorabilia and retro decorations, while even the staff are dressed like 1950s pin-up models from eras gone by. My boyfriend was also surprised (and impressed!) to find replicas of guns on the wall opposite us, as well as other police memorabilia on the wall behind us.
Despite though that Poppies still boasts of an air of nostalgia for the golden past, I’ve learned that they embrace the future! In fact, Poppies source all the food from sustainable sources, which I find fascinating. Fish are sourced from Billingsgate fishmonger Joe Bush, who is a family friend of Pat “Pop” Newland, Poppies’ owner. Same goes for the potatoes, which are sourced from another Billingsgate supplier, Masters and Co. I think that sustainability is important when talking about food, so I approve of any restaurant that has the same policy! Well done you all!
I hope that I can visit again Poppies in Camden, as they have some of the most amazing food, atmosphere and staff found in a restaurant in London. I hope you also enjoyed my foray into the chippies in London!
Till next time,