THE WETHERBY Whaler has been named one of the UK's ten best fish and chip restaurants.,

The chain, whose Guiseley branch has become its flagship outlet, has received the accolade following a six month search by Fry Magazine.

The restaurant had to impress a mystery diner who visited, unannounced, and then rated over more than 40 aspects of the business.

Everything from food quality and customer service to cleanliness and value for money was appraised, with the Wetherby Whaler receiving a 97 per cent rating.

Director Caroline Murphy said: "Our Guiseley restaurant has grown to become our flagship branch and we are delighted to be recognised nationally for our quality and service.

"The bar was set incredibly high in Fry’s extensive judging process and it is a testament to our dedicated team for their consistent hard work in Guiseley, as well as at each of our restaurants and takeaways in Yorkshire.

"We are now looking to build on this success and positivity by continuing to deliver a quality service to our loyal customers and suppliers.

"Hopefully we will be celebrating further awards success in the future!"

The company runs five restaurants and takeaways in Yorkshire, in Guiseley, Pudsey, Wakefield, Wetherby and York.

The competition organiser, Reece Head, said: "Once again we’ve got a fantastic list of fish and chip shops spanning the breadth of the UK who put their all into their business, their staff and their food.

"With margins getting tighter for fish and chip shop owners and more competition than ever before, it’s a tough business to be in these days but these shops are going out there, investing in their business, motivating their staff, staying up-to-date with the latest food trends and embracing technology.

"Our mystery diners are the toughest customers of all to please so we’re delighted to say these shops all made the grade, and we welcome them to our list of 10 Best Fish and Chip Restaurants."

TV weatherman Jon Mitchell, meanwhile, attended a recent fundraiser - including live music and a quiz - at the Guiseley restaurant for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

The fish and chip chain has now raised another £10,000 for the charity, taking its total contributions to the air ambulance since 2011 to more than £28,000.

Restaurant manager at Guiseley, Tracy Speight, has been instrumental in organising a variety of events for the cause over the last three years.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance's Director of Fundraising, Garry Wilkinson, said: "As an independent charity we are so grateful for the fantastic support we receive from businesses such as the Wetherby Whaler and the wonderful people of Yorkshire.

"Wetherby Whaler have continued to support the charity over the years and have raised a fantastic amount which will go directly towards helping to save lives across the region.

"We’d like to thank the staff and customers for their support and making their charity night such a huge success!”