Some of you may know that I have a bit of an obsession with oysters.

I absolutely adore these rather odd looking slimy ocean delicacies, some of you may have other ideas about oysters. They’re meant to be an aphrodisiac not least because of how they look once open – apologies for that, I won’t say any more other than let your imaginations figure that one out. They’re full of zinc which is a mineral needed for sexual wellbeing, I rest my case! I used to buy oysters from my local Waitrose and dutifully hand the task to my husband to shuck, yes, I do have a proper oyster knife however never very keen on this, he soon stopped obliging sighting “they don’t taste as good as in a restaurant” as an excuse. I used to love the odd weekend at home with a chilled glass of Chablis, Sancerre or my favourite champagne and 6 oysters each. I make a mean shallot and raspberry vinegar dressing or plain simple tabasco and after frustratingly opening these 12 sea gems with perhaps a stray bit of shell, we’d both devour them and think, “ah yes, they’re truly wonderful things”

Image result for rock oysters

Loch Fyne Rock Oysters

What could I do now that he semi-refuses to oblige? I think one day perhaps starting with this weekend, I will surprise him with 12 gorgeously big oysters to shuck meanwhile, last week on a typical miserable wet British February winters’ day I happened to be in London and I decided I WOULD have oysters. Always suffering Monday Morning Blues ever since I was little when school beckoned closely followed by work, Monday Motivation for me now is doing the things that I enjoy making the start of the week more bearable. Last Monday meant a shopping trip to Primark for some essentials and I decided I would then head over to Selfridges to enjoy a much-needed hit of oysters. I know I had oysters literally two days prior after visiting Bonnie Gull in Soho on a date-night, but it just wasn’t enough to satisfy my craving; I was on a mission to have more oysters and I didn’t care if anyone thought it was excessive.

So, on the computer I went, and I tweeted tagging Selfridges in my tweet, they immediately responded with a “we’re waiting to see you later” and that was that, I would most definitely be heading to Selfridges after Primark.

Primark, ever shopped there? I find it very arduous and quite a traumatic experience fighting hordes of people, usually holiday makers taking advantage of this cheap & cheerful store which is great for basics such as t-shirts, socks and other lower-garment bits and pieces. Trawling Primark wasn’t as bad as I expected but that’s probably because it was Monday. I had a rather heavy bag which wound me up slightly especially as across the road is Holland & Barrett and a large Superdrug and I needed to stock up on some vitamins and my much-loved Mixa body creme which only Superdrug stock. This weighed me down even more;  I hate shopping trips like this, it takes the fun out of shopping, so I was rather frustrated as I approached Selfridges.

I entered via the revolving doors with none other than my weakness in front of me, perfumery, so I decided I would try again a perfume I have been toying with for the last few months – “shall I, shan’t I” scenario in my head, I mean it is £195 so not your every day scent purchase which is probably why I still haven’t bought it.  When everyone at home commented on this heady scent once again as they usually do when I try this perfume, my mind was made up, I will indulge and treat myself to this utterly gorgeous highly addictive perfume. What is it I hear you say? Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540, so I’ve made up my mind, I will finally buy this in time for my forthcoming trip to Paris. I love niche perfumes; the allure is that not many people know of them and the price dictates who purchases them. Another one is the house of Creed, love, love, love their fragrances, my husband’s favourite is Aventus, such a manly, sexy scent, it’s truly mesmerising but enough of perfume, I was here on a mission and that was oysters! Although smelling Baccarat Rouge made me feel so much better.

Baccarat Rouge 540 Maison Francis K

The red bottle on the left is Baccrat Rouge 540. The fragrance on the right is masculin pluriel, a gorgeous scent for men which also comes in the female version, féminin pluriel.

Caviar House & Prunier, Selfridges, ground floor inside the food hall.

Caviar House & Prunier in Selfridges

I happily headed down to the food hall on the ground floor which is a food lovers’ paradise, I thoroughly recommend a leisurely half-hour here for any foodie, Lola’s Cupcakes has a permanent fixture here but enticing as they were, cupcakes was not what was on my mind, and there it was, Selfridges’ Champagne & Oyster Bar by Caviar House & Prunier. Offering a variety of seafood with the stars naturally being oysters, I couldn’t wait to get stuck in.  Resembling a Parisian bistro of sorts with burnished gold and black bar stools, it’s right up my street of course.  Bar stools are the only seats here, probably about 15 or so in total situated around the seafood counter where you can see the artists at work shucking oysters with such dexterity and speed, I’m in awe.

Oysters at Caviar House and Prunier

Oh my gosh, I am in seafood heaven with these beauties.


The menu is quite vast with various seafood cocktails, smoked salmon served in a variety of ways, a Foodie’s Corner with some appetising delights such as my favourite duck foie gras with ginger and apple chutney, an array of caviar, Coronation king crab & mango, lobster salad and this really caught my eye, Burratina (Italian Burrata) served with 10g of caviar. I’ve never eaten caviar before and it’s something my husband says we ought to do and I agree, the man next to me, a very distinguished looking young Japanese/Korean (I assume) business man not only ordered 6 oysters and champagne, he also ordered the burratina with caviar! I was so jealous, I had to ask what it was like to which he replied “very delicious”. That’s it, next time I’m having that too. There is a good selection of champagne and wines, white mainly because this is seafood afterall; I choose a glass of champagne but pleased to see my favourite white wine Sancerre is on the wine list plus the classic Chablis too.

Oysters are served with bread or toast

Bread is always a good option.

oysters and bubbly

How naughty of me, I had oysters yesterday this time with a glass of Chablis.

Chanpagne my favourite!

Starting off with a glass of champagne at £13.50 a flute.

My oysters are English native Jersey rocks, six of them for £20 accompanied by lemon and a bright pink shallot vinegar, I assume it must be raspberry vinegar as it looks like one I make at home.  You are also offered bread and butter which I always gratefully receive – lightly toasted brown bread or just plain, entirely your choice and it comes with two rounds of salty creamy butter. I ordered my favourite tipple, a flute of perfectly chilled champagne which is £13.50.  My oysters are delicious just as I expected, I try not to devour them all at once instead I enjoy them slowly taking an oyster sprinkled with shallot dressing in my mouth and enjoy the sublime salty-sea briny taste and then a sip of champagne, I’m in absolute heaven.  I love that Selfridges isn’t at busy as it normally is later in the week, there are plenty of seats at the bar even at 1:30pm.  How can I make this momentous occasion last longer? sadly I can’t unless I order more oysters, alas they’re all gone but I thoroughly enjoyed them. I finished with a cup of silky smooth aromatic filter coffee and sit back to contemplate what had just happened, enjoying oysters and champagne on a Monday? how naughty of me.

There are many iconic London seafood restaurants that do a seafood take on “Happy Hour” usually between 3:00pm-6:00pm where you can get an oyster for £1.00 and a glass of bubbly or prosecco, usually two thirds of the price a glass would normally be, that’s a pretty good deal! An example of this is The Wright Brother’s near Kingly Street and at Bonnie Gull where I ate last week; they have a brilliant deal of oysters at £1,00 each and a glass of Prosecco for £5, you can’t go wrong but at midday, it’s Selfridges all the way for me.

Selfridges is a store with many restaurants and café’s but this one is undoubtedly my favourite.  Everyone deserves a treat now and again and why not while shopping in London; I vow to make this a more regular occurrence and why not? I even had some oysters on my shopping trip to Selfridges yesterday which turned out to be an even better idea as upon leaving, I was shocked to see snow was falling but safe to say, I was deliriously happy knowing I had just consumed the best lunch ever.

Finishing off with a creamy aromatic Americano coffee.

Oyster’s at Selfridges I decide are always a good idea. With that in mind and craving nicely satisfied, I headed off home, me and my secret illicit affair with oysters.

Caviar House & Prunier


400 Oxford St

London W1A 1AB

0800 123 400

Since writing this post, I was sad to learn that Bonnie Gull had closed their Soho branch in 2021, perhaps as a casualty of the Covid pandemic and the same with The Wright Brothers in Kingly Street, they do however have a few other restaurants in South Kensington, Borough Market and next to Battersea Power Station.  Not very convenient if you’re in Central London I know.  Keep in mind Randall & Aubin and J Sheekey both located in Soho and Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill in Piccadilly, restaurants I can certainly vouch for as I’ve eaten there before. I’m also pleased to announce that I did buy MFK Baccarat Rouge 540! I usually always purchase this divine perfume in Paris as I get it tax free, that’s a good chunck off the price and it’s lovely coming back with a present just for me! Baccarat Rouge has a body cream, scented hair mist and a silky body oil in the collection so you can layer this hypnotising scent ensuring it lasts for hours and hours….


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  • Reply Louise Riis 20/03/2018 at 12:37 pm

    Oh Helen. I know it is a sin to say this…. But I really don’t like oysters! It actually makes me so sad, as I think the way they are presented is simply beautiful! Living with French man, I can tell you, that he thinks I am completely uneducated not liking oysters – and his family are in chock too (I’m laughing, as I write this down) The best seafood, I have ever had (and the best oysters according to Jerome) we enjoyed in Andernos Les-Bains! Such a lovely place to spend a few warm summer days. You would love it here! They have quite an impressive oyster produce!
    X Louise

    • Reply Helen London meets Paris 20/03/2018 at 2:09 pm

      Don’t feel bad Louise! I think it;s a bit like marmite, you either love them or hate them!! I wasn’t that fond at first but I grew to love them 🙂 Now I am somwhat addicted as you can tell :):) Where is this restaurant you recommend? Would love to try…in fact, every place you’ve posted about is on my list of restaurants now, your reviews are wonderful and the restaurants you talk about are completely my style. Maybe babygirl will love oysters instead taking after her daddy!

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