Report by Andrew Brown

A Southport fisherman who has served seafood to the Royal Family is urging people to ditch the turkey this Christmas – and impress their families and friends with fish instead.

Kevin Peet, who owns Peets Plaice in Churchtown, has been fishing off our coastline for over 40 years.

The 53-year-old, who ran a shop in Southport Market before his move to Churchtown six years ago, loves his seafood and believes it makes the perfect starter for Christmas – as well as the centre-piece on the table for the main meal.

Kevin said: “There must be a lot of people who want to find a good alternative to turkey this Christmas. Not everybody likes it.

“We get a lot of customers coming to us for their food over the festive season. They tend to go for special fish.

“At Christmas we always sell a lot of halibut. For their main courses, people also tend to love buying things like tuna, salmon, monkfish and hake, and we even offer special mains such as cod wellington, salmon wellington or smoked haddock wellington.

“Everyone goes full out at Christmas, whether they are entertaining during December, enjoying New Year, Boxing Day, or Christmas Day itself.

“They just want everything to be right, and that is where we can help them.”

One person who wanted everything just right was the Queen Mother, who loved eating Kevin Peet’s famous potted shrimps.

For the past four decades, Kevin has been out to sea and netted the shrimps himself, before boiling and potting Southport’s most famous food delicacy.

The potted shrimps make the perfect starter over the festive season, but there is lots of choice to be had for people wanting to wow their guests.

Kevin said: “We offer lots of options for starters, whether they are wanting a tasty prawn cocktail, or gravlax, which is salmon cured in either beetroot, or gin and tonic.

“Lots of people love coming in for lobster tails, bags of fresh prawns, dressed crab, smoked salmon, scallops in or out of their shell, crayfish, big tiger prawns, and smoked fish such as hot smoked salmon.”

The businessman, who also presents a weekly radio show on Mighty Radio in Southport, is keen for everyone in the area to shop local this Christmas, supporting independent firms where they can, both his and others.

He said: “We are already taking lots of orders for Christmas. Our busiest days on the week itself, with Christmas falling on a Wednesday, will be 10am-4pm on Sunday, December 22; 9am-5pm on Monday, December 23: 7am-1pm on Tuesday, Christmas Eve; and then 9am-5pm on Friday, December 27 and Saturday, December 28, for customers shopping for New Year.

“If customers are struggling to get into our shop, providing that we have their payment and their order, we can even arrange to deliver to them as well.

“We just want people to keep it local this Christmas, and we will work hard to help them do that.”