Mersea Island is a wind swept marshy lump sticking out into the Blackwater estuary an half hour drive off the A12, the spine of East Anglia. Save for the waterside pubs serving frothy pints IPA and the sailing clubs dotted along the water front West Mersea doesn't offer the casual explorer much. This however is only true if you don't know about the Company Shed.
The unassuming shed has about seven long tables, a chiller counter and a rudimentary kitchen. Seafood platters are the main focus at £9.50 per person with ancillary items on the short menu. Oysters are a main sideline, where gigas or Natives can be bought for about £1 and £1.50 respectively. Whole dressed crabs, fished out from tanks stacked at the rear of the shed, smoked cods roe, mussels, and a few other warm shell fish dishes can be bought inexpensively.
Recently the Shed have started selling a few bottles of wine but customers are entitled and encouraged to bring their own bread and preferred tipple. We made some aioli, shallots in sherry vinegar and an extra oily gremolata to go with our late lunch.
Make sure you get there early especially in summer, we arrived at one thirty and got on the waiting list by the skin our teeth, the one hour wait was well worth it.
'If you love fish, this is paradise'129 Coast Road, West Mersea, Essex. Tel 01206 382700