A very British pastime: Fish and Chips at The Wheelhouse in Dartmouth


Anyone who calls themselves British will know how much we as a nation love the humble fish and chips. It’s painstakingly difficult when you become gluten free to have to give up this luxury. There’s simply no way to describe it, you feel as if you’ve failed at being British and you wonder if you’ll ever enjoy a Friday night treat again.

Well hold your horses, because I’ve discovered a new dig to get your cheeky Friday night takeaway. Yes, it might be in Devon, a good 150 something miles away from where I live, but that’s the added benefit, you’ll just have to venture there on holiday.

When I first walked past The Wheelhouse on a typically rainy English afternoon in Dartmouth, I thought ‘bingo’ there is a purpose to being soaked from head to toe. After drying off and warming up with a good old cuppa, me and my family ventured down to the town to sample for ourselves the fresh fish and potato concoctions, otherwise known as chips.

Alas, I could have my gluten free batter with either haddock or cod. Being sensible, I ordered haddock , after all I didn’t have much to lose as I’ve tasted some sinfully dreadful gluten free fish in my time. Luckily for me, the batter was cooked to perfection and the chips were nice and fresh. We had warned them half an hour earlier of our arrival when we were walking back to our holiday apartment, which was a benefit as the staff had time to mix the gluten free batter and let it stand for a while. I am told that much like pancake mix, letting the batter rest will allow it to set better when frying the fish and I would vouch for that as the batter was golden and crispy.

If you ever do venture down to the beautiful seaside town of Dartmouth in South Devon, I would highly recommend taking a little trip to this chippie. If low and behold you happen to be there on a sunny day, take your fish and chips down to the front and grab a bench where you’ll be able to sit and watch all the comings and goings of the boats on the estuary. Make sure to keep your dinner close by as the seagulls have a habit of sneaking in and flying off with a chip, or in the case of my brother when we were younger, his whole sandwich. A crabbing kit is a necessity too whether you’re young or old – just make sure to use bacon as bait and you’ll have a never ending line of sideways walking friends clinging onto the line to come up and say hello.

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