Fish and chips. Mushy peas. Tartar sauce. They sound ordinary, but were actually extraordinary at Squires in Braunton.
Why it’s on my list
Squires is a well-known local favourite. If you ask around for the best place to have fish and chips, it will probably come up. Now I’ve had chicken nuggets from their takeaway before and absolutely fallen head over heels for them (so much so that I may write a round-up of the best places to get chicken nuggets in North Devon), but not eaten in their restaurant. I was in Braunton by chance the other day and happened to be hungry, so I took it as a sign.
Location: Exeter Road, Braunton
Opening times: Monday to Saturday 11.45am to 9.45pm, and Sunday 12 noon to 7pm (8pm in the summer – June to September)
To book: call 01271 815533 to book a table. If you want to eat at a certain time it is recommended to book ahead.
The best fish and chips in North Devon. I should put in a caveat ‘that I have tried so far’, but it was so good that I’m tempted just to leave it there.
Squires is most definitely in the top three fish and chip restaurants in North Devon if I’m being cautious about naming it the best. It was a great serving of this British seaside favourite, with the meal’s top qualities being taste, portion size and price.
What we had
We both went for the cod and chips special. It’s a bargain, and a delicious one at that. The special comes with cod and chips, mushy or garden peas, and a drink from the selection (soft drink, tea or coffee).
We went for the mushy peas with our cod and chips. We also ordered tartar sauce to share on the side.
As I’ve already said, one of the best fish and chips in North Devon. The batter on the fish was delicious and it was a good piece of fish, cooked to perfection inside and flaking apart gently. The chips were just how I like them; big, floppy, a little salty and generously plentiful. The mushy peas were good.
Whilst every part was delicious, there was a star of the show. We ordered the tartar sauce on a whim and decided to share one between us, and it proved to be one of our better whims.
The sauce was perfectly balanced and brought tanginess, creaminess, coolness and freshness to every piece of fish it was applied to. We both absolutely loved it, which meant we were both terribly polite about sharing equally and so the portion was just big enough for the two of us.
Not the best
We didn’t have any vinegar on our table. To be fair, there was a bottle a couple of tables away that I could have asked for and there wouldn’t really have been room for it on our table once all our food and drink had arrived. The fish and chips still tasted amazing without it, but I like a little splash of vinegar and don’t want to have to bother other diners for it.
Because of its reputation, Squires has always been careful to look the part of a modern, welcoming fish and chip restaurant – this knowledge gained from driving past it over the years. They work hard to keep it looking modern and fresh, and some serious investment certainly goes on this. This was evident from my recent visit, where the upstairs has undergone a makeover with new tables, chairs, lighting and decoration, and the downstairs now enjoys a new bar and fresh, modern toilets.
Squires is well kept and inviting, with a lively, casual feel. To me it has a bit of a holiday vibe about it, but that may be because it’s so popular with people who come down to North Devon for that very reason. In any case, it’s a great atmosphere for tucking into some fish and chips. And from our upstairs position by the huge windows we had a great spot for people watching!
Order the tartar sauce if you’re going for fish and chips.