As with all of our ingredients, we are always excited to exhibit the wonderful local produce available on our doorstep. Being located in Leigh on sea, we are right by an excellent fishing industry and are able to enjoy only the freshest fish throughout the year. We feature fish as it has a wealth of health benefits that are important to brain health and development as well as the rest of your body. Choosing to only have wild fish rather than farmed fish ensures we only have food that has the optimum amount of nutrients to offer and is less likely to contain pollutants.
I am always surprised by guests reactions when we say that our fish is fresh from the Estuary. It is easy to understand why some people are taken aback by the prospect of eating Thames fish when you recall that is was only back in 1957 that the Natural History Museum declared the river biologically dead. During the Second World War many of the Victorian sewage systems that allowed wast to be redirected away from the river were damaged. As a result, all sewage from the overpopulated city ran into the river. Bacteria responsible for breaking down waste uses oxygen in the process. Oxygen levels were depleted in the river meaning no biological matter could survive. The river had been suffocated. As the country began regeneration after the war, improvements began to be made to sewage systems. 1970’s and 80’s saw a higher awareness of pollutants such as field run off (another reason to go Organic!) and the negative effect they have on ecosystems. For the first time, the river wasn’t being relied on to take waste away from the city, rather waste was being diverted away from it. Today, there are almost 125 species of Fish in the River Thames itself, up from nearly none in the 1950’s. They naturally returned to the river, no species was reintroduced from conservation, they came back on their own. The result is a whole healthy ecosystem that has returned to our doorstep.The diversity of species in the river and sea fish in the Estuary is astounding and allows us to offer a wealth of choice. Mullet, plaice, whiting, rock eel and bass are all widely available. Even Salmon has been found to have returned to the river up towards Hampton Court although it will be a while for numbers to return to the extent they can be fished.
Beyond the choice, we can ensure the best flavour from our produce as it comes straight from the water for you to enjoy with us! It just goes to show that looking after our environment is the only way for it to look after us in return.