Tim Hughes tries out fish and chips day at a nearby fishmarket in Osney Mead

Cockles, candy floss and sticks of rock. Somethings just taste better at the seaside – and that’s particularly true of fish and chips, which is why Oxford is, for fans of a well-battered cod, a culinary black hole.

Aficionados (or should that be af-fish-ionados) of seafood can at least con-‘sole’ themselves with a great fishmonger in the shape of Haymans, whose long-established stall at the Covered Market has supplied generations of Oxfordians with everything from whelks to shark.

Its mission to serve up top-notch piscine delights continues with its cash and carry-style fishmarket in Osney Mead, just over the road, in fact, from the Oxford Mail’s office at Newspaper House. And for one day a week it also happens to serve up the best fish and chips in the county (though this column is always keen to hear of contenders).

Fish and chips day is, predictably enough, Friday, with lunchtime diners invited to pay for a ticket in the fish market before climbing the stairs to choose between generous portions of battered fish or scampi. Both are delicious – the cod being particularly fine, and how could it not? This being a shop window for one of the South’s leading fishmongers.

Decent-sized and coated with light crisp batter (with none of that fat-oozing greasy sponginess which lets down so many battered takeaways), it comes with lovely chunky chips and a choice of beans or mushy peas (in my view it has to be the latter). Best of all, you are invited to help yourself to wedges of fresh lemon and – joy of joys – mountains of crunchy scraps.

It weighs in at just £4, with free drinking water from the dispenser.

If you’d rather eat in, you can take a seat in the dining area. With its sticky tables, wobbly chairs and less than panoramic views of the drab Osney Mead skyline, it is hardly uplifting, but for a decent midday chow down, it’s unbeatable.

Squint and you can almost imagine yourself in...err... Grimsby.