Monday, 28 February 2011


"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,
"Is what we chiefly need:

Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed--
Now if you're ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed."

The North Norfolk coast, aka Chelsea-on-Sea: Barbours and Boden, Hunter wellies - oh and Jack Wills now resides in Burnham Market where a delightful fish restaurant used to be.  Luckily there is still plenty of authentic charm and beauty here: the marshes - haunting on a misty early morning walk, the long stretches of sandy beaches (don't get caught in a rainstorm here - there's nowhere to shelter), the haunting cry of a curlew, redshanks delicately picking their way on the mudbanks ... oh and the Cley Smokehouse. 

We make our usual pilgrimage there and breathe in the tarry, woody smells while buying potted brown shrimps, kippers and smoked crevettes; we then drop into a wayside shed selling crabs and generally have a fishy time of it. We stop short of buying the freshly boiled lobsters in Gurneys in Burnham Market, and just gawp at the swanky comestibles in the deli next door - just the stuff to pull in the punters from Putney.

As evening falls we dine, like the Walrus and Carpenter, on oysters ... and potted shrimp and sea-bass teriyaki and mussels and smoked salmon ...

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