I, Claudius

fish and chips, sylvesters, haddock, cod, chips

No poisoned figs here.

Every now and again, you come across, totally by accident, someone or something that really makes you laugh. You know the kind I mean. That quick witted, dry humor that has you bent double and brings tears to your eyes.

fish and chips, sylvesters, haddock, cod, chips
Sylvesters Fish and Chips, Appledore, North Devon

Last Tuesday evening, I happened to find such a person. Claude, the proprietor and chief fryer of Sylvesters Take Away Fish and Chips, in the picturesque, estuary village of Appledore, North Devon. Popping in with my dog to enquire if it was convenient to have a chat for this blog, I was greeted with a big smiley, expectant face. ” I haven’t come to buy anything, can I bring the dog in? ” I enquired, ” You can leave the dog and P**s off” was the jolly retort. Charming, I thought. As I’m always up for a bit of banter and a laugh a time was arranged for the next day.

Claude’s foray into the world of master fish fryers started as a boy. Having to earn a crust -or should I say chip- while at college, studying Business Finance, Claude took on a part time job as a potato peeler in Bideford. His then employer, entrusted him to cash up in the evenings. The die was cast. Whilst stashing the days takings in little bank bags, Claude knew where his destiny lay. He was going to become King of Fish and Chips. Did Claude return to college. No, he was off, meeting by chance Chris Sylvester of Appledore, who offered him a job, where he toiled for the next twelve years.

fish and chips, sylvesters, haddock, cod, chips
Sylvester’s Independent Trading Co.

Sylvester’s is situated just off the quay, in Meeting Street, Appledore. The name was retained, when Chris Sylvester retired and the business was purchased by Claude for £1 in 2003. Previously being run as a pet food and wet fish shop Claude started his new business by selling wet fish, between 8am – 12 noon. From 12 noon onwards Fish and Chips were introduced. Claude’s father who was very proud of his son, for his entrepreneurial skills was to be book keeper for the business. Unfortunately, it was not to be, as he passed away shortly after the opening. At least he knew his son had achieved his ambition to work for himself. Sylvester’s is now just a Take Away Fish and Chip shop.

Food from Sylvester’s is very popular, queues can be seen in the evenings and a nice “big portion” can be taken into The Champ pub, next door to munch, while enjoying a drink and live music. The traditional fish and chips, cooked in vegetable oil are delicious, in their light crispy batter, made with Claude’s secret recipe, these are obviously his best seller, however, gluten free and vegetarians are also catered for. So, whatever your culinary tastes, you can be sure Sylvester’s can cater for your every need. Pop in and give it a go, you won’t be disappointed.

As well as his love affair with fish and chips, Claude also has a passion for cars, owning a few. The Robin Reliant in the picture above above can always been seen parked on the Quayside in Appledore, a stones throw from the shop. No excuses for missing this display board!

I must say, it was a pleasure to meet Claude and have a tour of his spotlessly clean premises. I was informed on leaving, that everyone in Appledore has a nickname. Asking what mine might be “Micheal” replied “F*** Knows”. Not sure about that one, but if the cap fits, ” I’ll wear it”.

Published by Truffleicious.org

TRUFFLEicious was an independent business based at Great Chalfield, Wiltshire, in a stable we converted into a 5* hygiene registered kitchen, within the grounds of Great Chalfield Manor. Wiltshire In January 2019 I moved to Appledore, North Devon, UK, where as well as cooking I have also built & maintain a local food & drink blog web site for small businesses & visitors alike. My new site www.northdevondoes.com is a non-profit website. Having worked as a cook for more than 40 years mainly in private family houses for Polo functions and at Harrods. “My aim is to supply & blog about the benefits of 100% Homemade foods made from my own original recipes and containing fresh, natural, local ingredients, which contain NO nasties”. Visit my website: www.truffleicious.org I have wealth of experience behind me, encompassing a broad range of cookery techniques & original own recipes. www.truffleicious.org I also write a blog, giving recipes, cookery tips & dealing with what to do with your leftovers & also food & nutrition blog (Low FodMap Diet) "Paws for Thought" www.truffleicious.blog I was invited to The Great British Food Festival, Bowood House, Nr Calne, Wiltshire on August Bank Holiday Monday 2017 where I gave a cookery demonstration on Gluten Free Cakes. Media Interviews: BBC Radio Wiltshire Graham Rogers Morning Show. Love your leftovers 26.12.18 BBC Radio Wiltshire. The Social. Sue Kinnear & Tim Weaks 17.12.2018 BBC Radio Wiltshire. GBBO Tech Challenge. Rachel Houghton morning Show 27.11.18 I will also be on the Sue Davis show, BBC Radio Wiltshire, for 6 weeks in October 2017 sharing my recipes on food leftovers. The Marie Lennon Morning Show. BBC Radio Wiltshire. Tues 12th December 2017 talking about making chocolate Truffles for Christmas. Chatting with Holly Rattley about my blog www.truffleicious.blog in the Kitchen at BBC Radio Wiltshire on Thursday 28th December 2017 & demonstrating what to do with those Christmas leftovers. BBC Wiltshire also featured me on "The Social" with Sue Kinnear & Tim Weeks in Dec 2018 chatting about building my websites & social media. TRUFFLEicious/FoodiesDevon is registered as a food business with Torridge Council & our Scores on the Doors are 5*. We hold current public & product liability insurance & Food Hygiene Certificate. I am an avid user of social media & you can follow me any FB, five accounts, twitter five accounts, Instagram, four accounts. View my profile on LinkedIn.

4 thoughts on “I, Claudius

  1. love the reliant robin , always brings a smile to the face when seeing it parked on the quayside at Appledore…gonna have to go and tried the legendary fish n chips now . Great blog and its nice to see someone following a dream and making a success of it.


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