GOING THE EXTRA MILE: David Amsden, owner of Middleton chippy
GOING THE EXTRA MILE: David Amsden, owner of Middleton chippy

MIDDLETON-in-Teesdale Fish & Chip Shop has been named as one of the top 50 in the country – and the only chippy in County Durham to make the list.

The accolade follows an extensive search by leading trade publication Fry Magazine to find those takeaways serving up the finest fish suppers.

More than 400 shops entered, with each one subject to a mystery dining visit by an independent company.

Some 40 aspects of the business were assessed, including the quality of fish and chips, staff presentation, front-of-house hygiene and customer service.

The benchmark was set extremely high with every shop on the list scoring 97 per cent or over in their mystery dine.

Of the Middleton-in-Teesdale shop, the mystery diner stated: “The fish was huge in size. This was the crispest batter I have ever had, bearing in mind I ate the meal after a five-minute drive from the chip shop.”

Owner David Amsden said: “We are extremely proud to win the award and for the third time.

“It means a huge amount to the business.

“Everything we do is aimed at providing the best fish and chips possible. It takes a huge team effort to do this consistently.

“Good quality ingredients, cooked to order, attention to details and a fantastic team is the reason for the success.”

Reece Head, competition organiser, added: “The eating out market is more competitive than ever and you can no longer just open your doors and expect a regular trade.

“The focus has to be on offering a quality product that’s consistent, accompanied by exceptional customer service in clean, inviting surroundings.

“Our 50 best takeaways hit the mark on all these aspects day in, day out by buying the best ingredients, filtering their oil every day, sourcing the right packaging, training their staff and investing back into their premises.

“This all comes at a price, but these shops see the value it adds and it makes them stand out.

“The industry is so much more professional than it ever has been because of shops like those in our 50 best who go the extra mile.”