The Scallop Shell

When it comes to life’s little pleasures, it’s always the simple things which are the most delicious.

Bank Holiday weekends for one; an extension of purpose purely for an extra lie-in, another night of drinks with friends or a snoozy afternoon – or all three if you’re extremely lucky.

The August Bank Holiday signifies the end of Summer somewhat; a reminder that the days will soon be shorter, the nights altogether a little bit cooler and days spent in the garden, G&T in hand will soon be replaced with a rich, velvety glass of vino, snuggled under a blanket while the rain patters against the window pane.

Beginning this transitional process can be emotional for the sun-worshipping some; but what we lose in elevated degrees and strapless cami’s in one season, we gain in indulgence and blanket scarves in another.

 

We made our way down to Bath on a damp and dismal Friday afternoon. Having never ventured to this part of the UK before, we were hankering to explore a new city, the inevitable Bank Holiday traffic only fuelling our restlessness. After a quick turnaround and drop off at our Air BnB; we set off in search of sustenance and shelter from the droplets which threatened to spill from the darkening sky.

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After walking in what felt like the opening scene to The Perfect Storm; The Scallop Shell was a shining buoy of joy as we bundled in, dismantling our brollies and nestling in to our haven for the evening.

Ordering up a round of drinks which were served with a round of bread and butter; we pondered the menu whilst simultaneously stealing glances at our environment.

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Traditional with a drizzle of kitsch; The Scallop Shell attracts a fish pie mix of people. Old, young, couples and families – with not a table spare at 8pm on a Friday, I guessed we were all bounded by our love for a traditional feed of classic Fish and Chips of which my growling stomach reminded me we were still yet to order.

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But first, scallops swimming in parsley butter.

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Cooked to soft, pillowy perfection; perhaps scattered a bit too liberally with parsley…but ridiculously photogenic nonetheless.

Mussels, served in a garlic, shallot and parsley butter.

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Simply exquisite.

Having had our appetites well and truly teased; the arrival of our mains was greeted by silent squeals of excitement.

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Prime Cod Loin for me, served with handsomely cut British potatoes and tartar sauce.

Haddock Fillet for him.

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With a side of mushy peas, just because.

The fish gloriously flaky, meaty and encased in its light, crisp coat; every bite surfaced memories of piping-hot, battered suppers, hungrily eaten straight out of the paper.

Hot and fluffy chips, hugged tightly against buttered white bread evoking golden trickles of butter down the wrist; the snowy white potato only made more irresistible by lashings of vinegar and hearty dunks in the pool of sweet tomato ketchup.

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We cleared our plates and drained our glasses feeling immensely satisfied and just a little bit drunk.

Our cockles well and truly warmed, we bravely said goodbye to the incredibly hospitable team behind Scallop Shell before embarking on the walk home; the rain thankfully taking a well-deserved rest for the duration of our journey.

Whilst fish and chips are a traditionalist’s simple pleasure; Scallop Shell  not only nails the simple but excels in pleasure. It’s also somewhat of an institution in Bath, and one really should not be missed; it’s a terribly kept secret – so book ahead to stake your clam on a table.

Fin.

 

 

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