Colchester Oysters

Colchester and nearby Mersea Island are world-famous for their Oysters, which have been grown here since Roman times and considered by many to be the finest in the world.

If you wish to try the Oysters for yourself we recommend a trip to Mersea Island, where you will find several fine seafood restaurants. Although, if you're wanting to stay within the City Centre, you will also discover Oysters on the menu at many restaurants nearby too.

The annual Oyster Feast - which is held on the last Friday in October and dates back to 1845 - is now an invitation-only occasion for civic dignitaries and their guests, although you will often find other Oyster themed events held throughout the year, such as the Oyster Fair in Castle Park, and opening of the fisheries on the first Friday in September.

The annual opening of Colchester's Oyster Fisheries is a tradition dating back to 1540 and sees the mayor, the town serjeant, and Colchester City Council's chief executive, don full regalia to mark the lifting of the first oysters of the season.  A sailing barge sets sail from Brightlingsea and The Proclamation, an ancient tongue-twister, is read to officially declare the fisheries open for the season. The mayor then raises the loyal toast to His Majesty The King, which is accompanied by drinking gin and eating gingerbread.