“Alive without breath,
As cold as death;
Never thirsty, ever drinking,
All in mail never clinking.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
At least, one worth knowing. The Golden Hind, named for Sir Francis Drake’s famous ship, is 100 years old and has been serving acclaimed fish and chips for the entire time. It’s an absolute culinary landmark in London and a required stop on any gastronomic tour of the city.
The shop itself is not grand. The tables and chairs are beat up and wooden, I’m not entirely sure they all matched, and the crockery is utilitarian. The cash registers are straight out of the 80s and the decor is minimal and mostly involves photographs from the city area in the early 20th century. Don’t let that fool you. There is almost always a line to get in, and you need to go in slightly off-peak hours to guarantee a seat.
The plaque detailing the ownership of the Hind.
The only major deviation in the menu is the type of fish you can serve, and the sides that can accompany your main course. I recommend the cod, which along with haddock is the traditional choice. The fish slabs are absolutely massive, I could barely finish a third of mine on our last visit, it was easily the length of my arm from fingertip to elbow. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t order the chips, though. Slather those suckers in vinegar and get stuck in!