Aussie garden lovers “plant potty” for Scotts fish and chips

A party of Australian horticulturists have swapped prawns on a barbie for battered cod and chips during a 22-day tour of the UK.

The 33 members of the Sydney Cottage Garden Club insisted a stop in North Yorkshire would not be complete without paying a lunchtime visit to Scotts of Helmsley, where they tucked into fish, chips and mushy peas.

The club was founded 24 years ago by gardening enthusiasts Mike Perkins and his wife Sue, who emigrated from Northampton to Australia more than 30 years ago.

For the last eight years, the pair have organised and run tours to the UK, which have taken in famous gardens in the south and the Midlands. Last year, they decided to venture further north, and plumped for a lunch stop in Helmsley.

However, their original destination cancelled their booking just before the party set off, and, after scouring the web for a suitable alterative, Scotts was chosen.

Sue said: “Last year Scotts came to the rescue, and once we knew we would be visiting North Yorkshire again this year, we didn’t hesitate in booking the venue again.

“The majority of our party are either ex-pats, or of British descent, and we all love traditional fish and chips. And I can honestly say you don’t get much finer than Scotts!”

Scotts owner Tony Webster said: “We were delighted to welcome Sue and her party back to Scotts of Helmsley for the second year running.

“Whilst we have many regular customers who travel a long way to sample our fish and chips, 10,000 miles from Sydney takes some beating!

“Our reputation for excellence is local, regional, national and, thanks to the members of Sydney’s Cottage Garden Club, international.”

Destinations visited by the party this year included Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, near Ripon, and Harlow Carr Gardens in Harrogate.

Of the Cottage Garden Club’s 700 members, around 30 to 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.


Sydney Cottage Garden Club founder and secretary, Sue Perkins, with Scotts waitress, Natalie Fielding, tuck into fish and chips served in plant pots!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.