We had the honour of cooking fish and chips for over 200 Chelsea Pensioners at their Royal Hospital Chelsea home in celebration of National Fish & Chip Day on Friday 2nd June.
We supplied all the ingredients for the momentous occasion with the ex-army men and women treated to the delicious taste of fish and chips alongside portions of mushy peas, curry sauce and onion rings.
Pensioner Roy Palmer, who served in the British Army for 27 years, has enjoyed fish and chips all over the world, from Germany and Hong Kong to Blackpool and Skegness. Holding a passion for fish and chips, he cites his favourite chippy as Monty’s in Mablethorpe, Yorkshire.
Roy said: “I love fish and chips and today they were fantastic. The batter was lovely and the mushy peas were great too. It was lovely to be part of National Fish & Chip Day.”
Tucking into cod, chips and mushy peas evoked memories for Roy of enjoying the nation’s favourite dish as a youngster. He added: “The first time I had fish and chips was in either 1946 or 1947. They used to cook them in the town about three miles away from where I lived, wrap them in newspaper and put them in a cardboard box. They would go all around the villages selling them and people used to queue up to buy them. I lived in the last village and by the time they got to us, the food was almost cold and so congealed that you had to pull the chips apart, but we still loved them!”
Another Chelsea Pensioner, Roger, who served for 31 years after being recruited by the Army when he was just 16, recalled chips costing just 3p when he was a boy. He too has a passion for fish and chips having worked in a fish restaurant peeling potatoes when he was 14.
Roger comments: “We have fish and chips here every Friday and it’s a very popular lunch meal, but today it has been extra special. The fish and chips were very nice and I had curry sauce, which isn’t usually available.
“Not every pensioner comes to every meal, but today everyone has come for lunch. It’s been nice that we are able to celebrate National Fish & Chip Day here.”
Our managing director Stelios Theocharous expressed his profound honour in serving these remarkable men and women who dedicated their lives to protecting us in extraordinary ways.
"It's an absolute honour to serve these men and women who have dedicated their lives to serving us in the most amazing way. This generation has been brought up on fish and chips, and I couldn't think of a more fitting way to celebrate National Fish & Chip Day than by recreating that chip shop experience in their home. It's our chance to thank them for everything they have done to keep us safe."
This year was the 8th annual National Fish and Chip Day, the tastiest food awareness day of the year. It is a glorious celebration of the nation's favourite dish: fish and chips.
On this special day, people from all walks of life came together to honour the iconic meal that has captured the hearts and palates of the nation for generations. Everyone involved was recognised and appreciated, from fishermen braving the elements to source the freshest catch, to farmers diligently growing and harvesting the finest potatoes and talented chefs transforming these ingredients into mouthwatering delights in fish and chip shops and restaurants.
The Chelsea Pensioners, easily recognisable in their striking scarlet uniform, are esteemed members of the UK's veteran community. They reside at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, a historic establishment founded by King Charles II in the heart of London over three centuries ago. Today, the hospital is home to around 300 army veterans who have served in various campaigns, including Korea, the Falkland Islands, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, and World War II. Each resident understands the significance of being a soldier and the potential sacrifices it entails.