Oysters in Whitstable

Oysters in Whitstable

I eat to live and live to eat . The constant battle of the balance.

I must have been the only person walking around Whitstable that day. Rain poured in torrents for hours. The British shopkeepers circled me in astonishment (and fear?). Besides the outside I brought inside, I was looking for bargains, not shelter. But I was wearing my brand new Rohan Globetrotter Mac and I was going to make the most of it! (It works well, by the way.) Undeterred, I strode through the streets to see as much of the town as I could as I passed through. I was making my way to my ultimate destination – the harbour.

It was the first of two solo trips. For a couple of years I’d been planning to travel to the UK to eat fresh oysters. Because I’d seen a documentary about the various assets of Whitstable, I decided it had my name on it. Unbeknown to me at the time of my early craving, my life would take an unexpected turn. Not long after, I juggled a series of hectic events which ironically led to my visit to Kent. This became the beginning of the best of my life.

I must have eaten many delicious meals that holiday, but this seems to be the only one I photographed. A small vendor with outdoor tables was my defining choice. The overhead canopy leaked copiously and the only other human in sight was my waiter. Seagulls swooped around, but I always enjoy them. Kent seagulls have a different cry to Cape Town seagulls – a country accent and a local dialect defines us all! Fresh from the sea with no frills, those oysters were the best I’ve ever experienced. My homegrown Knysna oysters don’t even come close.

I returned to Whitstable a year later, but this time sat upstairs in a cosy restaurant. Both times the oysters tasted deliciously of a foreign sea….. and a dream realised. A small dream, but long overdue and the first of many to unfold.

A recipe for life perhaps? Dare to dream, live with hope and enjoy the little pleasures wherever you may find them. No doubt good thoughts for a first post.

the Whitstable vibe
KEEP WHITSTABLE WEIRD. The chalk message in the shop window says it all.

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