It is a treat to go to the Company Shed, both for the value for money seafood and for the enjoyable journey. It is situated on Mersea Island, which is not far from London but it has a completely different pace. It is calm and relaxing.  It is a perfect place for weekend lunch!

It is run by Heather Haward, whose husband and son are the producers of the some of the finest farmed flat oysters in Britain. The Haward family deals directly with local fishermen who land their catches daily. It started off as a fishmonger but its eaterie is as popular.

The Seafood platter at the Company Shed

For £11.95, we got a seafood platter which could cost easily double in other restaruants. I think I had better smoked salmon and mackeral elsewhere. The shrimps, crevettes, cockles and crab were lovely though.

Green- lipped mussels with parmesan and herb crust at the Company Shed 
My favourite dish was green- lipped mussels with parmesan and herb crust. The mussels were big, meaty and succulent. The crust was fragrant and tasty. It act as a little ‘lid’ which held the juice in well. £3.95 for 6, it was a steal! 

Most people go there for the oysters- Native or Pacific ones. During the months that have a ‘r’ in them, ie. from September to April, Native oysters are in season (£18.95 per dozen). Alternatively, for £9 a dozen, customers could have the Pacific oysters, which are available all the year round. They both have loyal supporters. We did a tast test between the Native and Pacific oysters to see which one we like here.
 
Other great dishes included fresh scallops with bacon. The scallops  were  BIG and fresh – amazing!
Scallops with bacon at the Company Shed

Grilled king prawns with garlic mayonnaise. They were a little too salty for my liking.Grilled king prawns wiwth garlic mayonnaise at the Company Shed

Tips:
1. Sign up when you arrive
The eaterie has a no booking policy. You get there, ask the staff to put your name up at the blackboard and wait. Special waiting list at Company Shed

If you go there for lunch during the weekend, I suggest you arriving by noon as it gets busy after that. The wait was only 3 mins for us when we went during winter but it could be up to an hour during nice warm summer. We went for a stroll by the sea and watched people feeding the sea gulls. Before we knew it, the table was ready!

Blue sky in Mersea

Mersea

2. Bring your own bread
They specialise in seafood, not baking so they do not mind you bringing your own bread!

3. Bring your own drink
This ‘tradition’ started as they did not use to serve wine nor drinks at all. Even though they now have a limited selection on offer, customers are still welcome to bring their own drinks. No corkage charged!

4. Check the tide
There is only one road leading to Mersea, which is an island. At high tide, the road gets flooded. Unless you have a 4×4, you might have to wait.

Flooded road to Mersea

Flooded road to MerseaWith such a beautiful scenary around, I actually did not mind getting stuck in traffic at all!
a beautiful wait. the flooded marshland

The Company Shed
Lunch for two: £37, excl. service charge and drinks
129 Coast Road, West Mersea, Colchester, Essex, CO5 8PA
Telephone: 01206 382700
Opening hours:
9am – 5pm Tue – Sat, 10am – 5pm Sun. Closed Mondays
Last order at 4pm.
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