Have you seen David Lynch’s 90s TV series, Twin Peaks? I didn’t catch it on the first run, but binge watched it recently and was captivated. It’s an American drama-mystery set in the fictional north-west mountain town of Twin Peaks in Washington. I’d describe it as a cool version of a soap opera, a police drama and psychological horror movie rolled into one.
It oozes strangeness and there’s so much to grab your attention – great plot twists and turns, dream sequences, memorable one-liners, beautiful costumes, the most bizarre characters, and the mountain-town aesthetic. Think: lodges, wood panelling everywhere, checkerboard floors, log fires. Jus looking at the sets makes you want to get cosy at home and, to quote Agent Cooper pictured above and below, drink some damn fine coffee…
So, with thoughts of Twin Peaks fresh in my mind the other week – who killed Laura Palmer? Will Cooper get together with Audrey? – my latest discovery-slash-realisation is well timed. Even though I’ve been to my local chip shop countless times, this time around, I did a double take when I realised it looks like something straight out of Twin Peaks. Introducing the Model Fish Fryer, my local fish and chip shop, which I’m now going to call Brighton’s accidentally Twin Peaks chip shop. Let me show you around!
Let’s just take a moment to appreciate this little place. As you can see, this humble English neighbourhood chippy has all the elements that make it Twin Peaks-worthy. First off, there’s the classic mountain-lodge-interior feature: wooden panelling. And lots of it, all around the place. Then there’s the co-ordinating checkerboard flooring, the matching orange formica counter frontage, and that shiny silver counter top. Even the pots of pickles, the little chintzy china lamp shades, oh and that retro menu board with all the colourful fonts scream Twin Peaks.
Turn around and there’s more wood panelling! An entire wall, complete with a cool old clock, an unusual fish decoration adding strangeness, and a noticeboard. What a Twin Peaks-esque sight to behold! Side point: what I love so much about the collection of cards on the board is that if you look closely, you’ll see that some of them date back to the 80s when the owner opened the shop.
On this particular visit, I wasn’t armed with questions. I spent more time taking in the details to be honest, and sneaking lots of photos. The owner can also be a bit serious, and there was a queue, but I did manage to spark up a very brief conversation about the decor. “When I had to refurbish the place, I used all the same materials so it still looked original.” Clearly a Twin Peaks fan…
The fish and chips aren’t bad here, either, and for bonus points, they come in the classic chippy wrapping: in layers of white paper and popped in an illustrated chip bag. All that is missing from this scene is a nice cup of coffee and slice of cherry pie.
Find the Model Fish Fryer aka “the Accidentally Twin Peaks Chip Shop” at 136 Preston Drove, Brighton BN1 6FJ