London's Best Chips: The Fox & Anchor, Clerkenwell

By Ruth Last edited 163 months ago
London's Best Chips: The Fox & Anchor, Clerkenwell

If like @LaLaLollyWood and @distella you bemoaned the inclusion of les frites Francaise in our search for London's Best Chips, then maybe these will be a little more to your taste, since The Fox and Anchor near Smithfield market only does proper English (if you turn a blind eye to the Scotch Egg, Welsh Rarebit and, erm, French Beans).

The pub was originally established - so the story goes - to serve porters from the nearby meat market, although after a recent gastro-tilted reinvention by Malmaison, you'll find it stuffed with suited types who trade in stocks and shares rather than hocks and hares. It's not just the clientele who have cleaned themselves up either - the cosily gleaming wood and glass interior is lined with leather banquets in British Racing Green, and offers an oyster bar, cigar humidor, and both ale (including the house's own, served in a pewter tankard) and prawns by the pint, alongside more usual pub grub.Cooked in goose fat, the Fox and Anchor's chips have an audibly crisp outer skin that crunches pleasingly to reveal a Smash-ingly soft inner pillow of potato. Arriving at the table lightly dusted with rock salt, piled up in a brass cone as if prepped for an M&S photoshoot and accompanied by an inordinately heavy pewter condiment dish, the generously sized chunks make an instant impression on the taste buds. However, at £3 for a frustratingly small cone-full (we counted barely more than a dozen in our portion), these ain't as cheap as [chippie] chips. If you're coming for sustenance alone you're probably looking in the wrong place, but those in search of a dash of decadence could do a lot worse than holing themselves up here for a boozy afternoon. As ever, service — and the size of your pint — seems to vary depending on how busy the pub is, but a virtuous dose of patience will be rewarded handsomely.The search is heading further toward Waterloo for next month's instalment, at the recommendation of @themgidedmisils. Have we missed somewhere? Let us know below or via Twitter
and we'll go for a gander.

Last Updated 28 May 2010