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15 unexpectedly beautiful photos of chips in London

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Photographer Harry Hall has spent the past few months snapping plates of chips at restaurants around London for project Chips of London. Here he explains why he decided to celebrate the humble fry. 

There's a nostalgia about chips. They're accessible and affordable, we're always surrounded by them. There's the portion you eat on the sea wall on your first holiday and the greasy box after your first night out. I set out to capture their beauty, shooting them exactly how they came out of the chip pan in a way that highlighted the grease. It's the opposite of Instagram where people lay food out neatly.

 

Vestry RoadHarry Hall

 

 

 

 

I shot chips at all kinds of restaurants and takeaways from Boxpark pop-ups to gastro-pubs to chicken shops. The weirdest combinations I tried were chips with jalapenos and a gherkin, and one plate with a pickled egg. There was a greasy spoon where they presented the chips like a meal on this incredible round plate. In other places they were chucked into a box and lathered in mayonnaise. The chip shops in East Dulwich were very generous portion wise and there was a place in Nunhead where there was so much curry sauce it was seeping through the paper.

 

Harry HallEast Dulwich Road

I ate at most of the chip shops. For me, good chips are those that are taken straight out of the fryer and chucked on a plate. Cheesy chips are normally my go-to but I haven't photographed any yet. The portions were always huge, and one restaurant owner got really offended when I couldn't finish all the chips. He said something like 'I've served these chips to the cast of Eastenders' and really put the pressure on.


Kirkwood RoadHarry Hall

 

My favourite photo is a box I shot in a chicken shop. I put them down on this really grimy metallic surface to photograph them, but when I went to edit the picture I realised the surface photographed like luxury marble.

(As told to Kate Lloyd.)

 

Bethnal Green RoadHarry Hall

 

Peckham RyeHarry Hall

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nunhead GreenHarry Hall

 

Brick LaneHarry Hall

 

 

 

Evelina RoadHarry Hall

 

See 100 photos of the best dishes in London

 

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