You don’t need to be by the sea to get your oyster fix. We’ve found the top spots in London where you can enjoy beautifully fresh oysters, from laid-back eateries to sophisticated spots for the ultimate luxurious evening – after all, there’s nothing quite like oysters and champagne…
Randall & Aubin
Soho’s Randall & Aubin, a once butcher-house and now stylish seafood cove with a dazzling disco ball and partly open-front restaurant, offers oysters from France, England and Ireland. Order a selection and notice the difference in size and taste, and try this tip we got from the mananger, Susu – pour a splash of champagne into the shell, mix slightly and enjoy. The fiziness compliments the seawater very nicely and its a tip we’ll be using at every other oyster opportunity. The restaurant, though right in the heart of Soho’s hubbub, offers a welcoming and cushy dining experience (especially for lunch) where the staff are experts on the menu and you can even watch the chef himself shucking your oysters. A rather dreamy way to spend a lazy Saturday mid-afternoon in the summery city. By Kerri Stolerman.
Chelsea’s chic Blakes Hotel, the unassuming haven of understated and absolute luxury, has launched their new Seafood Platter to coincide with this year’s Oyster season, making them the place to go for the freshest seafood this winter. The platter, which includes a whole lobster, langoustines, oysters, mussels, prawns and clams amongst other shellfish, launched back in September and is now (luckily for us) a permanent fixture on their menu. Accompanied by Tabasco sauce, lemon, vinaigrette, spicy tomato sauce and mayonnaise, the gloriously fresh and well-presented platter is a sharing plate for two and very much deserves to be seen (and eaten) this winter. Pair with crisp wine and champagne poured by the charming staff and make sure to take advantage of the bloody mary station before you leave! Spoil your taste buds with splendour and book your table now at
Wright Brothers Soho
The Soho branch, nestled in buzzing Kingly Court, offers something new in seafood – accessibility. By offering an oyster ‘happy hour’ where during the week from 3pm – 6pm oysters cost £1, Wright Brothers is opening up the sometimes seemingly exlusive world of seafood and flipping the outdated stereotype on its head. It is perhaps the most diverse branch, attracting an interesting mix of guests from young millennials to local businesspeople in suits, tourists and lovers. Guests return here for the sharing small plates, oyster platters and the service, always found with a smile and a wealth of knowledge about the dishes being served.
Make sure to book before you turn up – a 7pm post-work supper will do the trick – and either sit inside where the interiors are cosy thanks to the h seats and vintage candelabra adorned with dripped solid wax, or outside when the weather’s nice. Start with a bloody mary, easily one of the best in London, with a strong infusion of cucumber and a speared oyster in the place of the traditional garnish, olives. Now you’ve got the oyster bug, continue with a small platter featuring a selection of different oysters from some of Wright Brothers’ many suppliers. The freshwater oysters were particularly interesting and had a noticeably fresher taste to the Jersey and Cumbrae oysters. The small plates are a great option for when you want to try new flavours without committing to a whole plate; carpaccio of wreckfish (whose name comes from their love of swimming amongst shipwrecks) with kohlrabi, orange oil & chives; shetland mussel escabeche on toast with aioli (a very interesting taste, pickled mussels). Accompanied by a fresh glass of wine to cleanse the pallete between bites, it’s the perfect light meal and introduction into seafood. By Kerri Stolerman.
Wright Brothers Battersea
The latest Wright Brothers outpost is located in the new Battersea Power Station development just by the River Thames, providing beautiful riverside views. Come summer, there’ll be nowhere more idyllic to sip and slurp your oysters – but in the meantime, indulge indoors with a large platter of fresh, juicy oysters selected by seafood specialists Ben and Robin (the actual Wright brothers). Don’t leave without trying the dressed oysters, too – our favourites are smoked on mini Ritz-style crackers topped with pickled cucumbers and horseradish. 26 Circus West Village, Battersea Power Station, London SW8 4NN
Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill
Having served fish for over 100 years, the one thing Bentley’s knows is good seafood. Now, under the watchful eye of Richard Corrigan for 10 years, the oysters have become front and centre of this establishment. Overindulge with friends with a glass (or ten) of champagne and The Royal Seafood Platter – particularly enjoyed al fresco on the terrace come summer. 11-15 Swallow Street, London W1B 4DG.
J Sheekey Atlantic Bar
At J Sheekey’s Atlantic Bar, all seafood is sustainably sourced, so next time you have a hankering for some oysters take a stroll to the West End. Sit inside and watch as the chefs prepare your food in the open kitchen, or outside outfitted with blankets and heaters, making for the most leisurely evening. 33-35 Martin’s Court, London WC2N 4AL.
Since its inception in 1742, Wiltons has been known for two things – great oysters and great hospitality. So much so, in fact, that they were awarded a Royal Warrant in 1836, specifically for their oysters. If you fancy some seafood that has clearly stood the test of time then look no further than this Jermyn Street classic. 55 Jermyn Street, St James’s, London, SW1Y 6LX.
Kaspar’s at The Savoy
What could be more inviting than enjoying a dozen oysters in a room reminiscent of the roaring 20’s? With cut-glass mirrors, brass railings and a silver leaf ceiling, you’ll feel as if you’ve been swept up into something from The Great Gatsby. If you’re partial to a swanky evening out on the town, then Kaspar’s at The Savoy is definitely worth a stop. The Savoy, Strand, London, WC2R 0EU.
HIX Oyster & Chop House
Mark Hix’s first solo venture is one full of British classics with a twist and a menu in constant flux to accommodate the seasonal changes. There is a marble oyster bar creating the perfect space for you to enjoy these delicacies which are brought in from the British Isles, so here you’ll be getting authentic food through and through. 36-37 Greenhill Rents, Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6BN.
Bibendum’s Oyster Bar
Now being helmed by superstar chef Claude Bosi, Bibendum’s Oyster Bar has undergone a menu revamp to include an all-new weekday breakfast and weekend brunch which include novelties such as the Bibendum Oyster Omelette. The oyster bar remains untouched as do the six varieties on offer which you can enjoy with a bottle of your favourite wine after a long day. 81 Fulham Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 6RD.