On a casual Thursday of the half-term, we decided to head down to Wheelers Oyster Bar in Whitstable to sample some of what has often been described as ‘one of the best seafood restaurants in the country’. Booking is usually a waiting game but we were fortunate enough to get a last minute cancellation. We were salivating at the thought of what we we were going to eat…


From the outside, Wheelers is an eccentric looking pink building that is home to a quaint oyster bar with many sea treats on ice. You can go in and order food to take away and there is also a small oyster bar that works on a first come, first served basis. Behind that is what can only be described as a living room stuck in 1945,  this is the restaurant, seating about 16 at maximum. It is incredibly homely and we have not eaten anywhere like this before, perhaps other than our own Grandma’s living room. There are four sittings throughout the day, we were lucky enough to get in for lunch at 1pm, the other sittings are 3pm, 5pm and 7pm.


The first thing out the kitchen was a  helping of homemade granary and rosemary bread served with pesto and olive oil. The bread was delicious. The menu is quite small and changes regularly depending on what has been caught and what is in season.


Toby had half a dozen oysters, served simply with lemon. Amazing. He has always enjoyed oysters and these were no exception. All washed down with some Oyster Stout, also from Whitstable. The restaurant is a ‘bring your own’ – another plus in our books.


Well damn, we were a bit too eager to start eating at this point, so the photography suffered, but amongst the pixels above is a crab cake and lobster spring roll with a lemon celeriac roulade. It was outstanding. The portion was very generous. This is what I ate, I came home looking up crab cake recipes, I loved it. Damn Toby’s poor photography skills.


Wheelers has no alcohol license, so it is a ‘bring your own’. This is absolutely no issue as there is an independent ‘Offy‘ over the road with a stellar selection of wines and beers, many of them local. We opted for a firm favourite of ours: Flint Dry from Chapel Down, Tenterden, Kent.


Toby’s main was stone bass with parma ham, asparagus and fondant potatoes. It was tremendous! We did that sad thing that couples do where they change main half way through. I had to stop myself from eating the rest of it.


I went for pollock and salt and pepper squid rings on a bed of chorizo, spinach and mash potato. It was sensational. The dish was around £18.50 but it felt completely worth the money, an excellent helping of fish. To be honest, I am running out of adjectives to describe how great the food is at Wheelers.


We usually prefer starters to desserts but we had heard that the desserts here were fantastic. We went for a rhubarb savarin with rhubarb and pink champagne sorbet. It was sensational, fresh, seasonal and delicious.

All in all, we left feeling very happy. Our bill came to a respectable £58 (this doesn’t include drinks as it is a ‘bring your own’), we were happy to pay that for local, seasonal and delicious food. The thing with Wheelers is that it is not just a fish restaurant, it is literally like eating in your Grandma’s front room, the service was fantastic, the staff were very pleasant and seemed proud of their food – they have every reason to be!

We absolutely recommend to Wheelers to any seafood lover or someone looking for something a little different. The menu only contains seafood, so do remember that if any of your friends dislike seafood or are vegetarian. We are already thinking about booking in again over the summer…

Rules Rules

For my twenty something birthday last year, we went all out and booked a table at the oldest restaurant in London, Rules. Expectations were high, having passed the place many times and always looking enviously through the windows at the seemingly very rich people inside.

Entering through the butler opened door revealed grand decor akin to the kind of thing you might see in a period drama stately home. We were seated quickly as booking over a month in advance only got us a two hour window to eat, which shows how popular it is.

First course was a Game Broth. Essentially a stock base intermingled with root vegetables, greens and bits of wild animals. It was totally divine and I can’t quite imagine how they managed to eek out such flavours from such seemingly simplistic ingredients.

Second course was a meat pudding which I ordered having found out that Oysters were off the menu that day because of a national issue at the time, a shame given that Oysters are what Rules are famous for historically.

The meat pudding was as traditional as they come, offering up a classical suet case with sumptuous red meats inside coupled with rich gravy poured all over. Even the bed of cabbage was seasoned to perfection making the whole meal a mouthwatering renaissance of a bygone age.

By this time, there was plenty of food in our bellies, but who could pass up the chance to try this absolutely scrumptious portion of home made lemon meringue pie? I am not one for deserts, but I can safely say that this is the best lemon meringue pie I think I have ever eaten. The picture also does not quite do justice to the sheer size of this thing!

So there you have it, a stellar recommendation from us for this age old establishment and some quite fantastic snaps of some of the best quality food I have ever eaten in London.