Fish, chips, half a dozen free-range duck eggs and a few tips on chicken-keeping on the side...
Mill Road Fisheries at Ecclesfield crossroads is surely one of a kind. You get far more than you pay for in this place. And I don’t mean the huge portions of chips.
The owner Sharon is a salt of the earth local lass who believes in traditional values and loves a good natter with her customers as the cod fries.
We called in just as she was about to close, but she happily popped in the three small fish she’d got left – only charging us for two – and in the time it took for them to sizzle to golden, we’d learned plenty about her life.
Animal lover Sharon (the one thing we didn’t learn was her surname) has sheep, horses, chickens and ducks on her small-holding. The chickens regularly hop indoors to follow her around.
She sells their eggs, and those of her ducks, at the chippie, alongside fish delivered fresh daily and cooked in batter made by hand from refined beef dripping.
Yorkshire fishcakes (a layer of cod between slices of potato), cod’s roe, rissoles and mushy peas that really look like mushy peas instead of alien bile add traditional flavour to the menu, alongside pies, burgers and sausages and a sandwich menu.
As there were three of us to feed, we also took home a fishcake, which proved far superior to the ones made of mushed up fish and mashed potato, a couple of fresh, fluffy oven-bottom breadcakes and two large portions of chips.
In addition, we got advice on how to add a few home comforts to our hen house – and a box of duck eggs to try. The wonderful Sharon refused to take a penny for them. We left feeling we’d just stepped out of Heartbeat.
Mill Road Fisheries, Tel 07905 765443.
Opening hours: Monday to Wednesday 11am to 7pm, Thursday to Saturday 11am to 9pm.
Delivery: No, but you can phone your order through for collection.
Atmosphere: Small, clean and quaint, with tables and chairs outside. A step back in time.
Service: So friendly, we felt like family.
Parking: It’s tricky. You’re on a main road, so there are double-yellows everywhere.
What we had: Two large portions of chips at £1.30 each, three small cod at £2.50 each but Sharon deemed the third too small to charge for, a Yorkshire fishcake at £1.50, two 50p breadcakes and a tub of mushy peas for 80p.
How it tasted: Fresh, creamy fish in proper batter – lovely. The peas were excellent, though the chips were a bit dry. But then, we had got there just before closing time.