Thursday, 2 August 2012

Ernie Beckett's, Cleethorpes

Have you ever been to Cleethorpes? Do you like a traditional British seaside resort?

If the answer to those questions is no and yes respectively, then you really should go. It's bloody brilliant. Every single stereotypical aspect of a slightly seedy, slightly downtrodden holiday town is there, in one coastal strip of wonderfulness. I really do mean that as a compliment. These places are unique in the world, and our coastline would be much the poorer if every seaside town looked like Padstow or Whitstable.

There's Mr Whippy, waffles with squirty cream and donuts five for a pound. Stale carpeted arcades housing tuppenny slots, grab a grotty teddy machines, vintage driving games and bingo. Crazy golf, a ferris wheel and a rickety rollercoaster. A sandy beach and a murky, distant, estuarine sea. Candy floss, sticks of rock and sugar dummies. Car parks, a railway terminus and vacant lots of waste ground in ought-to-be-prime locations. Sandcastles, grannies in deckchairs and a pier. Just the one stall selling tired looking crabs, cockles and seafood sticks, and fish and chip shops, loads of them.

Of course we had to have fish and chips, there was no debate. A few of the chippies had the unmistakeable lingering stench of stale fat, but many more looked and smelled appetising. Ernie Beckett's was pretty much a random selection.

The fish, a fat bobby-dazzler of a haddock, was very good. Flaky, tender, crisp batter. On this occasion I was even willing to forgive the fact that it hadn't been skinned.

The chips were better still. The photo doesn't really do them justice, but they were perfect. Lovely crunchy edges, meltingly soft centre. Pleasingly beefy from the dripping they were fried in. Excellent. The mushy peas were a bit too thick though.

We ate on the beach, the sun came out and we didn't get harassed by seagulls. What more could you want? Around a fiver for fish, chips, peas and a can of pop.


21 Market Street
DN35 8LY

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