Nothing says Christmas in the UK like fish and chips. The brown paper bag, tartar sauce and wedge cut fries in a cozy, hole in the wall place. At least I think it says Christmas. I actually have no idea as I am (1) not British and (2) never been to any of the UK outside of London.
However, our industrious Ironcityspy is a dual citizen of the Queen’s country and says so. His dad is British, he has family outside of Manchester, blah blah insert facts to make him sound legitimate blah, I really don’t care because it gives me an excuse to eat fried fish out of a bag. That, and Eamonn’s Dublin Chipper in old town Alexandria just feels like Christmas. I can’t explain why, it just does.
Maybe its the wonderful smell, the small wood tables (it only seats about 18), the comfort of hearty fried food on a cold day. The fish is WONDERFUL. You can get grouper, cod, ray, whiting, different sauces from tartar to Kitty O Shea to Chesapeake to curry. Vinegar is at every table. They sell British sodas, Cadbury snacks, Cadbury flake cones in the summer. It is actually one of my favorite little places in the city.
And then when you combine the homey warmth of fish n’ chips with Old Town Alexandria’s classic-American-Mt.-Vernon Christmas decorations, everything feels like you want Christmas to feel. Every tree has white lights, there are chocolate shops and antique shops to walk around, Town Hall is decorated, there is a massive Christmas tree, and carolers at times. Not hip enough for you? Well, here is what hipsters do to Christmas:
DESPISE. I don’t know what I want to murder more, her voice or the stupid expression on his face when he is ringing that stick of bells. Here’s to Christmas done the old fashioned way. Lights, pastries and awkward family moments.
As Eamonn’s says: thanks be to cod.