A Blind Tasting To Identify The Finest Oysters In The Uk & France – Founded By Boisdale & Wright Brothers

 On Wednesday 6th November, Boisdale of Bishopsgate will celebrate the history of its premises by hosting the British Oyster Championship & Lunch 2019. Formerly Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill (1969-2001) the event will gather the very best in the restaurant industry for the world’s greatest ever blind oyster tasting. The oysters will be supplied by seafood experts, Wright Brothers, whose wholesale business supply over 300 prominent restaurants and chefs across the UK with a range of high quality, sustainable oysters, fish and seafood (including their own five London restaurants). Owners Ben Wright and Robin Hancock will also be on hand to guide the judges through the tasting.

Hosted by renowned bon viveur, writer and chef Bill Knott, the tasting will gather under one roof the industry’s most talented chefs, top sommeliers, influential food writers and oyster enthusiasts. Since 2012, the event’s guest list has included many prestigious figures – Cloudy Bay Oyster Champion 2015 and world-renowned chef Richard Corrigan, seafood guru Rick Stein, national treasure Brian Turner, self-taught chef and Sunday Times resident food writer Lucas Hollweg, food critic Charles Campion, chef and food columnist Xanthe Clay, chef, restaurateur and journalist Rowley Leigh, food writer Tom Parker Bowles and restaurant critic Joe Warwick to name a few.

Shucking off at midday, the tasting will be divided into two categories: Pacifics (also known as Rock oysters) and Natives and it will consist of a blind tasting of a comprehensive selection of the best British and French oysters in production (listed below) by an expert panel of judges. Guests and judges will then enjoy a spectacular lunch created by head chefs Richard Kirkwood of Wright Brothers and Andy Rose of Boisdale and expertly  executed by Boisdale of Bishopsgate  head chef Robert Kavara. The menu will be paired with delicious French wines supplied by Berry Bros. & Rudd and lunch served at 1.45pm during which time the awards, including the country winner, will be presented.

The Tasting:


Rock: Jersey Channel Islands • Carlingford Ireland • Morecambe Bay Lancashire  Native:  Fal Native Cornwall


Rock: Prestige Marennes d’Oléron •  Speciales – Cadoret Riec-sur-Belon •  Gillardeau Ile d’Oléron

Native: Belon – Cadoret Brittany

Boisdale will also present two further awards to recognise those who have made a particular mark in the Oyster community through their highly visible and unbridled passion for the bivalve mollusc: the Lifetime Oyster Achievement Award and the Oyster Champion 2019 award. Winners of each category will receive the prestigious title and a commemorative prize.


Brixham cuttlefish croquettes, aioli

Sweet pickled herrings, gin & dill

Devonshire dressed crab

Native Hebridean smoked salmon, St. John Bakery sourdough


Poached Brixham John Dory, sauce vin jaune

Scottish chanterelles, leeks, Ayrshire bacon


British cheese, pears & oatcakes

Sheep Rustler, Somerset

Blue Monday, Yorkshire

About Boisdale of Bishopsgate

Boisdale of Bishopsgate opened in The City of London in 2002 and is well known for its outstanding food.  The ground floor Champagne & Oyster Bar for drinking and relaxed dining has a large contingent of regular and devoted City customers.  The Restaurant on the lower ground floor offers formal dining with booths and alcoves for private business discussions as well as the traditional Piano Bar with light live music Monday to Friday provided by top British performers influenced by the likes of Ray Charles, Dr John, Louis Armstrong, Johnny Cash, BB King, Nina Simone, Alberta Hunter, Jimmy Witherspoon and many more.  Boisdale of Bishopsgate has recently discovered that the beautiful vaulted cellars in Swedeland Court in which it operates (formerly Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill) were built in the mid-seventeenth century possibly before the great fire of London in 1666 making it the oldest London building with restaurant premises.

About Wright Brothers

The Portfolio

Each Wright Brothers restaurant offers a different ambience and cooking style of seafood, but all share the founders’ commitment to the finest quality. The group’s restaurant portfolio includes: Borough Market, Battersea Power Station, Soho, Spitalfields and South Kensington.


Wright Brothers supply over 300 prominent restaurants and chefs across the UK with a range of high quality, sustainable oysters, fish and seafood.

Ben and Robin

Wright Brothers was established in 2002 by brothers-in-law Ben Wright and Robin Hancock whose mission was to bring oysters back to popularity in the UK and back onto London restaurant menus. Since then, the name Wright Brothers has become synonymous with the finest, freshest seafood.

About The City of London Distillery

The City of London Distillery opened on 20 December 2012 inside Jonathan Clark’s cocktail bar in Bride Lane, within the City of London. The first gin produced was a classic London Dry Gin – followed soon after by the celebration of the City of London – Square Mile Gin,  Sloe Gin,  Old Tom Gin and the Christopher Wren Gin.

In 2017 The City of London Distillery won three Double-Gold Awards at the San Francisco World Spirit Competition – for City of London Dry Gin, Old Tom Gin and Square Mile Gin and a coveted Gold Award at the International Wine & Spirits Competition for Christopher Wren Gin. The Sloe Gin was just available in time to go into the Spirits Business Competition in which it won a Gin Masters Award – better than a gold.