A COUPLE who grew bored of retirement and went back into the fish-and-chip business have seen their shop named one of the best in the UK.

Robinsons Fish & Chips, at King John Avenue, Bearwood, is one of two Dorset chippies to make a list of the nation’s 50 best.

The other was Nick the Fish in Penn Hill Avenue, Poole.

The top fish and chip shops in Dorset (according to TripAdvisor)

The accolade was awarded by Fry Magazine after entrants were visited by mystery shoppers.

Ian and Jeanette Robinson had run several chip shops in the Southampton area before their short retirement seven years ago.

“We’re a family-run business. We’ve been doing it nearly 40 years,” said Jeanette.

“We moved to Bournemouth to retire but got bored and decided to have another fish and chip shop.

“We retired for two years. Then my husband said, ‘We’ve got to have another fish and chip shop.”

The shop is off the main drag at Bearwood but attracts customers from a wide area.

“We’re not in a high street location. We’re in the middle of an estate. But people come from Fordingbridge, Ringwood and Parkstone. I think people will travel for good fish and chips,” said Jeanette.

She said ingredients were the key to running a successful chippy.

“Everything is home made. We make our own fishcakes and our own pies. We’re very hands-on people who do everything ourselves from scratch,” she said.

She has been told the shop scored 98 per cent in the mystery shopper visit, putting it fourth nationally.

“You enter the competition and a mystery shopper will come out,” she said.

“They come in and judge you on your batter, your portion size, the flakiness of the fish, the crunchiness of your chips. There are a lot of points for customer service.”

Reece Head, organiser of the 50 Best Fish & Chip Takeaways competition, said: “The pass mark was once again set very high at 95 per cent and to achieve that takes a lot of dedication and hard work from everyone involved, from the owner to the manager, to the frier and the counter staff. It really is a team effort.

“Running a fish and chip shop gets harder every year with so much going on behind the scenes, so to serve up excellent quality food with a matching level of service and atmosphere day-in day-out deserves to be recognised.

“All the shops that made the 50 Best have proved they go the extra mile to give their customers the best possible experience, whether that’s detailing the boat that catches the day’s fish, running weekly specials, or simply taking time out to ask customers how their day has been. This is what puts these chippies ahead and keeps customers coming back time and time again.”