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    May 2021
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    It’s all about fish and chips

    Upon reading Mairiuna’s post on Scotiana’s Favourite Castles and enjoying the beautiful pictures inside the article, the view of Blair Castle reminded me of a sign post above the entrance door of a nearby fish and chips restaurant that had caught my eye for its originality.  😉

    sign outside of scottish fish and chips restaurant

    Sign outside of fish and chips restaurant. Blair Atholl, Scotland © Scotiana

    You’ve surely heard about the traditional fish in batter along with fries, or as they call it in Scotland  “A Fish Supper.” It’s our favorite dish when boarding ferries and travelling across Scotland, even though it is not the healthiest plate in the world. 😉

    Fish and Chips

    Fish and Chips – Stornoway Ullapool Ferry © Scotiana

    Winston Churchill called them “the good companions”. John Lennon smothered his in tomato ketchup. Michael Jackson liked them with mushy peas.

    Everyone has their own preferences and tastes vary from one part of the country to another. Cod or haddock? Salt and vinegar? Pickled onion? Scraps?

    Like Morecambe and Wise or Wallace and Gromit, fish and chips are a classic double act – and yet they started life as solo performers. And their roots are not as British as you might think.

    The story of the humble chip goes back to the 17th Century to either Belgium or France, depending who you believe.

    Oddly enough, the chip may have been invented as a substitute for fish, rather than an accompaniment. When the rivers froze over and nothing could be caught, resourceful housewives began cutting potatoes into fishy shapes and frying them as an alternative.

    Around the same time, fried fish was introduced into Britain by Jewish refugees from Portugal and Spain.

    The fish was usually sold by street sellers from large trays hung round their necks. Charles Dickens refers to an early fish shop or “fried fish warehouse” in Oliver Twist (1839) where the fish generally came with bread or baked potatoes. (…)

    Italian migrants passing through English towns and cities saw the growing queues and sensed a business opportunity, setting up shops in Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

    To keep prices down, portions were often wrapped in old newspaper – a practice that survived as late as the 1980s when it was ruled unsafe for food to come into contact with newspaper ink without grease-proof paper in between. (…)

    Read full article….



    Fish & Chips Restaurant and Trinafour Post Office – Blair Atholl, Scotland © Scotiana


    Of course some owners claim to have a ‘special and secret’ ingredient that makes ‘theirs’ better than anyone else’s.

    During World War 2 when food was often rationed, fish and potatoes were two food that were not – and it’s often been said by that generation that it kept the nation going during the war.

    You might be thinking that Fish and Chips is also famous in England.

    The difference is that in Scotland, the Fish Supper is made with Haddock, while in England it was traditionally made with cod.

    The chips are made with good ‘floury’ potatoes such as Golden Wonder (definitely NOT your wee French Fries). They are often served with ‘mushy peas’ – made from dried marrowfat peas.

    Read more…


    So, if you crave for a fish and chips, after, or before, visiting Blair Castle, drive to the nearby old village school, and give it a try at the restaurant beside the oak tree that was planted in 1902 by the Blair Atholl school children to commemorate the coronation of Edward VII.

    tree commemorating King edward VII

    The Atholl Country Life Museum and Trifanour Post Office are open to visitors.

    Tree for Edward VII in Blair AthollAs you might know, I love postage stamps as I find they are art in miniature, and when I see a post office, I just can’t resist taking a picture of it. Mail is still a central fact of life. You can be wired via tablets, cellphones, smartphones and the Internet, yet there is hardly an office or a business or a home where mail time goes unnoticed.

    How many times, as we were driving across Scottish villages, did I ask Jean-Claude to stop the car so I could take a picture of a post office? Too many to count! Blair Atholl was one of them. 🙂

    The wooden post office building was relocated from Trinafour, a small settlement in a remote location at the head of Glen Errochty, nine miles to the east of Blair Atholl. It was closed when we got there so could not experience its characteristics of having the ‘looks and feels exactly as it would have done in the 1930s, even down to the stock on display behind the counter and the phone next to the door.’  But nevertheless I could admire the beautiful green and red color of this neat little post office building.Scottish Post Office Trifanour Blair Athollatholl


    Trifanour Post Office Blair Atholl Scotland


    Wishing you a magnific stroll down memory lane on your next trip to Blair Castle and Blair Atholl in the Perthshire region of Scotland.

    Travel on!


    PS: Just for the fun of it, we’ve searched for a postage stamp depicting fish and chips….and to our great surprise found one!! When I tell you that you can find almost everything featured on a postage stamp, do believe me my friends. 😉

    Fish and chips on postage stamps

    Fish and Chips on New Zealand postage stamp


    A night at the Valente Chip shop in Auchtermuchty, Fife, Scotland

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