Scotts of Helmsley has reeled in customers from over 10,000 miles away with a visit from Sydney’s Cottage Garden Club.
Scotts of Helmsley, the award-winning chippie, has been visited by 37 members of the Australian club, who organise a tour of the UK each year to take in the best of British horticulture.
The club was founded 22 years ago by Mike Perkins and his wife Sue, the club’s current secretary and organiser of the tour. Originally from Northampton, the couple emigrated to Australia some 30 years ago.
The 22-day tour is the seventh the club has made to the UK, but this year is the first time the party has travelled to the north of the country, visiting Cheshire, Yorkshire and the borders.
Of the Cottage Garden Club’s 700 members, around 40 will go on the UK tour each year, with many more travelling around Australia on the three to four tours they organise in the country annually.
Scotts owner, Tony Webster said: “We quite often serve customers who have travelled some way to dine with us, but I think the Cottage Garden Club have probably made the longest journey to enjoy our hospitality!
“They tell me fish and chips is a very popular dish in Australia, as are roast dinners, but as we all know the best fish and chips can only be found here in Yorkshire.
“We were delighted to welcome Mike, Sue and their fellow club members to Scotts and we’re very happy to hear they enjoyed their time in Helmsley.”
Sue Perkins, club secretary, said: “This was our first visit to North Yorkshire and our first time in Helmsley.
“Everybody really enjoyed the visit, and Scotts was a real highlight of our trip.
“Indeed one of our members thought it ‘was better than Rick Stein’s in Padstow’.
“We’re already starting to plan for next year’s tour and given the feedback we have had from our members, we might be making a return trip to Helmsley, and Scotts too.”
Mr Webster added: “If I’m not mistaken the criteria for an award of three Michelin stars is ‘exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey’.
“While we’re not expecting the inspectors through our doors anytime soon, we are certainly a cut above your average chip shop.”