Originally I come from Whitstable, Kent, a beautiful (now busy) small town on the South East Coast, famous for its oysters. My father used to love them and would eat them every time we went back home to visit. As a child I wasn’t too keen, not liking their appearance but as an adult I returned to Whitstable, was encouraged to try them again and found I had wasted many years when not an oyster had passed my lips.
Eager to make up for lost time, I don’t let an opportunity pass to order them. It’s the taste of the sea, the smell of the salty air, each small mouthful a memory revisited of time spent by the sea.
As children would often be taken to the harbour to buy our seafood, I always preferred Wheelers Oyster Bar. It was painted bright pink (still is), on opening the door you would be presented with the seas delights, crab, shrimps, mussels and of course, our Fathers oysters. We would indulge ourselves with a tray of our favourites, whilst we made our choices for the evening meal.
If you do find yourself in Whitstable, take the opportunity of visiting Wheelers, they even have a restaurant in the back now- although you’ll need to book. I’ll make a suggestion, skip the restaurant, take your oysters down to the beach and share them there with someone special whist you watch the Turner skies.