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.
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.
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.
But first, scallops swimming in parsley butter.
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.
Having had our appetites well and truly teased; the arrival of our mains was greeted by silent squeals of excitement.
Prime Cod Loin for me, served with handsomely cut British potatoes and tartar sauce.
Haddock Fillet for him.
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.
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.