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“Best fish and chips” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Old Keswickian

Old Keswickian
5-7 Market Square | Keswick, Keswick CA12 5BD, England
017687 73861
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Ranked #34 of 111 restaurants in Keswick
Price range: $5 - $10
Cuisines: British, Fish & Chips
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Takeout, Late Night
Carlisle, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Best fish and chips”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013

Following a hard wet day on the fells this was just what we needed. Lets not get confused here - this is an honest fish and chip restaurant, and doesn't pretend to be anything else. Its very clean, comfortable, the staff are genuinely friendly and attentive, and the fish and chips, mushy peas, all washed down with a pot of tea, was some of the best I've ever had! Really good, thanks, we'll be back!

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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301 reviews from our community

77% Recommend
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Newquay, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Do not go there...”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2013

I have used this place a few times over the years and it never gets better. The chips are dreadful. The so-called haddock and cod are neither, it is probably pollack. It is best not to use the "Old Keswickian" but to go to the "Kingfisher Restaurant" further down the road. The prices at the "Old Keswickian" are also on the high side when you consider the yucky food

  • Visited May 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ALAN S, Owner at Old Keswickian, responded to this review, June 13, 2013
POLLOCKS!!!!?

I should really treat this review with the contempt it deserves, you have
a propensity for caustic, defamatory and slanderous remarks, judging by your reviews of some of Keswick’s eateries.
You are the epitome of what is wrong with this system; anyone can put anything about anywhere.

Firstly and foremost WE DO NOT USE POLLOCK

We exclusively use Haddock, Cod and Plaice in descending order. We use one of Britain’s largest most well respected fish distributors, “Collins seafood’s”…they do not stock POLLOCK!!! NOT THAT IT’S AN INFERIOR FISH, MANY ICONIC BRANDS NOW USE IT AS A SUSTAINABLE ALTERNATIVE TO THE MAINSTREAM SPECIES.

I WILL INVITE ANYONE WISHING TO DISPUTE MY FORMER STATEMENT, OFFICIAL OR OTHERWISE TO VIEW OUR STOCKS. Yes…. even you!!

You say you have used us over the years and it never gets better…WHY RETURN??
There seems to be a common catalyst for derogatory reviews…. price, which is ironic as we must be one of the cheapest places to eat in Keswick. If you were to jump over to the next valley Grasmere you would pay just short of £15.00 for a sit down Haddock and chips!!

This brings me to the Kingfisher comments… a great shop, I should know we ran it for 5 years, (Now run by different people) we rebuilt/ refurbished and own it, the senior staff were trained at the Old Keswickian, they use the same potatoes & fish, the only difference being they are slightly cheaper.
We have thousands of satisfied customers through our doors and are complimented on the quality of our fish and chips daily, far from being complacent, I will be the first to admit that while catering for such large number during the height of the season things can, and do go wrong.

In your defence we recently had a substandard batch of potatoes, which fried too hard, and dry, this issue has been mention by other reviewers, this does happen occasionally although the chip exhibits brilliant visual qualities it’s hard, this is down to dry matter percentage of the potato, which can fluctuate for a number of reasons.
The batch was returned at the first opportunity and exchanged but unfortunately not before the damage was done.
Being the end user we do not always find out until it’s too late, and are somewhat of a guinea pig and at the mercy of the farm/supplier.

I will be Devil’s advocate
You received Pollock. Kipper or some other erroneous fish coupled with dreadful chips on numerous occasions over the years, as inferred by you comments…why return and secondly and most intriguingly why not return your food and have the situation resolved??

I want people to have the best and rightly so, there’s a lot of competition in Keswick, where if it’s not an outdoor shop, it’s a food outlet!!!
Hopefully this has outlined our side of the story and got some salient facts straight.(POLLOCK)

P.S.I find replying to these insidious reviews rather time consuming…I have better things to do…like fillet fish (HADDOCK/COD)
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Leeds, UK
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“High hopes... Let down.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

I was really looking forward to eating at the keswickian during our holiday, all I can say is we left a little disappointed.

We sat in and I ordered the plaice, not sure why maybe it was the Wainwright in me and the wife ordered the Cod. The meals arrived after a little wait, the plaice was obviously frozen, bread crumbs falling off and the chips very very dry, my wife’s fish was nice and the batter good but again the chips bone dry. On the plus side the mushy peas were nice and the cuppa tea good.

The service was ok, there was only one waitress for the upstairs and it wasn’t overly busy.

It was such a shame, after looking at what people were eating sat outside they looked great. Maybe next time we will just get a take-out and taken them down to Derwent water. The Kingfisher was better but I wasn’t overly impressed with fish and chips in Keswick.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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ALAN S, Owner at Old Keswickian, responded to this review, June 12, 2013
Thank you for your feedback, I am genuinely saddened to hear of your experience recently and I will try to address each comment.

Firstly the plaice, you are correct ,the place is frozen, this was originally put on the menu as we where continually being asked for breaded fish and alternative species, so a breaded plaice satisfied both, allthough a good seller it does not warrent buying in fresh as the turnover is very inconsistant, hence the logistics of keeping the fish fresh outweighed it purchase.

Secondly the dry chips, yes correct again, although we get the best potatoes we can source, we are as end user ,somewhat of a guinea pig as to the quality / durability.Over this weekend we had a less than perfect batch of pototoes, they looked great but due to their high drymatter percentage they became tough on the outside and dry in the middle,consequently we had a struggle to keep the chips anywhere near to what we normally produce. The potatoes were sent back and replaced ASAP.

Thirdly the staffing, depending upon the time of day we have various numbers of staff in their respective positions, this obviously fluctuates depending on the time of year, but occasionally there might only be one member, you say it was not too busy, so I can only assume it was staffed correctly.

We do try to precure the best food we can and on the whole we succeed, we do thousands of meals a week and very occasionally things can go wrong, in this instance our raw materials failed us and the customer has paid.

Lastly our waitresses normally inform the cumstomer that the place is frozen, and to be perfectly honest, the vast majority of establishments use frozen plaice, and at any time during your meal did you infrom the waitress of your findings, we would have been more than happy to resolve the situation.

I will contact you via email to try and make ammends.
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Doncaster, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
“1 Year on and still nothing special!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013

I wrote a review on the Old Keswickian last year and I am disappointed to say nothing has changed as far as portion sizes and cost. This is a view shared buy other trip advisor members.

The food is nice, the restaurant is clean and tidy but the bottom line is;

"It is pricey for what you get".

If your not on a budget, it is worth a try.

I can't really say any more.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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ALAN S, Owner at Old Keswickian, responded to this review, June 12, 2013
Thank you for the feedback and using our establishment again, sorry to hear you are not entirely satisfied, unfortunately as our overheads have gone up, especially potatoes (Nearly 300% increase) we have had to increase chip prices but only in the takeaway and by less than 10%, from what I gather in your review you are a restaurant customer, in which case the prices are as last year.
You say we are nothing special, however you are very complementary about the food ,service and surroundings, it's only the price which seems to niggle!
We are a small family run business so we do not enjoy the scales of economy/ buying power of the much larger "Weatherspoon/Mc d" type of business so our prices are correspondingly higher, K eswick is a "Honeypot town" in the central lakes so we have the corresponding "Honeypot" rates to pay, unfortunately all this has to be passed on to the consumer! The bottom line is if you are on a budget Keswick is maybe not the place for you.
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Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Very good value pensioners special Alan !”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2013

I have just read the read the reply post by 'Alan' who is the owner of this fish and chip shop with regards to another review. Well Alan I can tell you, and anyone else who wants to know, that I visited your establishment at lunch time on the 5th June 2013 and my wife and I had 'the pensioners special' - I had the haddock and my wife had the cod. They were lovely - fresh, juicy, crisp and tasty. The chips were equally as nice. Normally when I order fish and chips I ask for my tea to be served with my meal as sometimes you only get one cup and then have to wait for your meal by which time the tea is cold (probably to get you to buy another!). No such chance at this restaurant ! We had our meals served within five minutes of sitting down and our tea and bread and butter a minute later - and each pot of tea had two cup capacity. The waitress who served us was friendly and helpful and we came away feeling refreshed and as valued customers. Yes pensioners meals are smaller than full sized meals and that is why we like them at luch time. I am sure some pensioners want the 'full monty' for the bargain price of £6.95 but that is unrealistic and unfair. Keep up the good work Alan - you get my vote and I for one will return when I am back in the area.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ALAN S, Owner at Old Keswickian, responded to this review, June 12, 2013
Thank you very much for your review, its good to hear from valued customers.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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