Throw Out The Ration Book With Vintage Design For New Poppies Fish and Chips

A host of salvaged design gems and traditional craftsmanship come to life in our design for the new 

Poppies Fish and Chips

Set in the heart of Camden Town, London, this 110-seater sister restaurant to the original in Spitalfields takes customers back to the 1940s and London's re-birth after the war.

Recently judged one of the best independent fish and chip restaurants in the country, Poppies serve up traditional fare, to eat in or take away, from some of the finest sustainable suppliers. To match that quality, Avocado Sweets ensured fixtures and fittings from floor to ceiling are reclaimed or traditionally-made to create a lasting appeal for Camden’s discerning locals, creative office workers and tourists alike.

Situated beside MTV studios, an upstairs performance lounge, lit by vintage fire brigade search light, creates a new venue for Camden’s music tradition and an evocative window display from the street.  Alongside stunning vintage lights overlook the two-floor restaurant.  Salvaged from a war time MOD facility in Stirling, a 50s factory in Halifax and street lights by G.E.C., they swap their perspective of the past to watch over today’s diners.  Underfoot, reclaimed parquet flooring from a chapel in the north of England is set beside traditionally-made Victorian tiles and original 40s wallpaper.

An eclectic array of memorabilia is punctuated throughout, including a restored 1948 Wurlitzer 1100 Jukebox, reclaimed leather cinema seats and an original children’s puppet show - all lovingly sourced with Poppies 70-year old owner, Pat Newland. To finish off the look, a visit to the Thomas Crapper toilets evokes a London underground air-raid experience through a domed tunnel staircase lit by bulkhead lights.

Fresh from success as a finalist in the international Society of British Interior Design awards, Avocado Sweets is thrilled to bring its trademark innovation to Poppies’ new restaurant.

“Fish and Chips were one of the few foods not to be rationed during the war and we certainly haven’t scrimped on our design detail either," says Creative Director, Evros Agathou.

"Getting the look right is crucial to the success of any restaurant and essential in Camden Town where authenticity is key.  The Poppies design had to appeal to the local market as well as office workers and tourists.  As a top quality independent restaurant we needed a unique look with genuine vintage items and craftsmanship to avoid a tourist theme. With Poppies, we’re borrowing the best of the old to create something fun and new that will have widespread appeal,” he added.

Design challenges:

The building’s modern glass facade and top floor mezzanine provided the greatest challenge as they threatened the integrity of the 40s design.  To counteract this, Avocado Sweets used the glass to the restaurant’s advantage by extending the mezzanine to create the performance lounge area as a 40s window display and attract footfall from the street.  The facade is broken up with an awning to ensure an authentic feel.

The problem of how to meet the need for comfort as well as authenticity in the toilets was solved with Thomas Crapper & Co’s new version of his old classic Edwardian W.C. with ‘beer engine’ handle flush.  The ceiling of the basement staircase was built into a dome and clad with ceramic tiles from the same supplier as the London Underground. This detail ensured that even the toilets were as much a part of the experience as the rest of the restaurant.


Poppies Fish and Chips of Spitalfields was in a final shortlist of three in the 2013 National Fish and Chips of the year award (Independent Fish and Chips restaurant category) and the only London-based restaurant in the shortlist. Web:

Poppies Fish and Chips of Camden is at 30 Hawley Crescent, London, NW1 8NP, open seven days a week.  Monday - Saturday 11am-12am, Sunday 11am-11pm.

Avocado Sweets

 is a Camden-based interior design studio founded in 2010 by designer Evros Agathou.  A finalist in the 2012 international Society of British Interior Design awards ‘innovation’ category, the studio offers a full design service for commercial and residential clients with a mission to transform everyday life through exceptional design. Contact:

, 07939 046 706/ 020 7284 0348 for more information and images. Web:

Poppies Fish and Chips of Spitalfields

 started two years ago as a labour of love to indulge 70 year-old master fryer and owner, Pat ‘Pop’ Newland’s hobby and personal interests and has proved to be a great success.

Pat began his fish and chip career in ‘Phil’s’ on the Roman Road aged 11, where he cut the newspaper and was paid 1/2 a crown a week. With Poppies, Pat is creating fish and chip shops with all the traditional courtesy, humour and values of the East End - and providing London with the very best fish and chips.

The chips are peeled and handcut on site from British farmed maris piper potatoes supplied by a 4th generation family business; the fish - delivered fresh every day from T Bush, a renown 3rd generation supplier in Billingsgate - is sustainably sourced and harvested with great care, specifically offering Peterhead Cod, Haddock, Plaice, Rock, Sole, Mackrel, Halibut or Skate; all cooked in crunchy fresh batter from a secret family recipe of Pat's.  The sides of tartar sauce and mushy peas are handmade on site, again to specific recipes Pat has devised over the years.

Pat and his team of fish and chip veterans, also offer home-made fish cakes, whole-tail scampi, whitebait, hand peeled prawns, and that staple of the East End diet, Jellied Eels.

NewsSusie Agathou