Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tucks into fish and chips at Colmans chippy in South Shields

Colmans Fish and Chip Restaurant on Ocean Road welcomed a special trans-Atlantic visitor on Friday night (June 3) as former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton popped in for a hearty serving of the traditional seaside dish.

The former presidential adversary of Donald Trump ordered a crab salad starter followed by a portion of fish and chips with mushy peas accompanied by tartar sauce.

She was joined by former South Shields’ MP and Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, at the popular outlet which has been serving fish and chips to South Tyneside diners for over a century.

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Owner Richard Ord said: “She was in the restaurant for a couple of hours and said she ‘loved the fish and chips’. She even ordered an extra portion of tartar sauce. She was aware of the tradition of fish and chips but was a little puzzled at first as in the USA, chips are what we know as crisps.

"It was wonderful to welcome her into Colmans. She was a very nice lady, very accommodating, and she took the time to chat with staff and diners. I can’t praise her highly enough.”

Mrs Clinton has family connections with the North East with her great grandfather Jonathan Rodham, a former coal miner who hailed from County Durham. While in the region, the former first lady was keen to immerse herself in the local culture.

Hillary Clinton along with Colmans Fish and Chip Restaurant owner, Richard Ord (left) and former South Shields' MP David Miliband (right). Photograph: Judith Graham

Richard said: “We had a chat about the local area and she was very proud of her North East connections and had taken time to go for a walk at the coast, visit the Customs House and had a tour of the sights of South Tyneside.”

Mrs Clinton had been on South Tyneside delivering a ‘Politics and Beyond’ lecture alongside David Miliband at Harton Academy.

Following the lecture she said: “I was so intrigued to come here for this lecture series and also that my paternal grandfather’s family came from this area and I had not really explored that so it just seemed to make so much sense.”

During the lecture, the first since the onset of the pandemic, the political heavyweight took part in a question and answer session in which she covered topics including US gun laws, Donald Trump and Brexit.

Hillary Clinton and David Miliband at Colmans Fish and Chip restaurant on Ocean Road. Photograph: Judith Graham