Billingsgate Seafood School


It’s an amusing fact that, as an island, the UK should be renowned for its seafood. Yet the truth is, we’re mostly just known for a good ol’ bag of fish and chips and most people I know are a little scared of cooking anything too adventurous just in case they make their family and friends ill.

Now, if you live in London you have access to one of the best fish markets I’ve ever been to. It’s a hustling, bustling, rowdy space at 5am with more types of fish than you’ve ever seen and it’s also got a specialised seafood school that’s aiming to help us traverse our fears.

Add this to the scenario: We Brits are not that well known for our wine production either but with changing climates and an advancing industry, the UK is starting to produce some excellent wines, predominantly white and most often the bubbly ones!

So an invite to a British seafood and wine tasting session was going to be interesting any way you look at it. This event is part of wider series of classes run by the Billingsgate Seafood School that are interesting, informative and lots of fun! We got to try eight different dishes with paired wines all under the very knowledgable guidance of Stephen Skelton and CJ Jackson (Chef and Principal of the school). Alongside this there was great advice on ways of preparing the fish and details regarding where the fish had come from in the UK plus a great history of english wine over the last 30+ years.  We won’t spoil it by giving you too many details and the pics will give you enough hints but when you get to either the mackerel or lava bread, dig in! It’s amazing!! I worked in a wine shop before university and I remember the way customers with some basic idea of good wine would laugh at the idea of buying english wine. I don’t doubt for one minute that you’ll be very surprised with what’s on offer during the course as it challenges some of the higher priced french white wine you’ll find in the supermarket.

This is an excellent gift for any foodie and also a great alternative to the many other tasting events in London. It’s less formal, right in the heart of the east end and if you choose one of the market tours, it will have you up at 4am to see dawn by the river. I have to confess that having been to billingsgate several times to brave the market floor and take advantage of what was available I still had no idea that there was a school on site but now I do I’ll definitely be going back to learn more.

For more info, Billingsgate Seafood School class schedules and costs Head over to the schools site:


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