Whitstable ~ Raw oysters on the half shell and Cats

Wednesday June 25th ~ Canterbury and Whitstable, England

Our morning breakfast was more of the juicy, sweet flat peaches.  The juice rolling off your chin type.  The OMG this is the best peach I have ever eaten type.  We can walk out our hotel door and 1/2 block down the car-free walking street get a handful off of a fresh fruit cart.

Flat peaches

Flat peaches

We put our adventure shoes on and hopped on a local bus for a day trip to the nearby coastal town of Whitstable.  Sitting up top on a double-decker bus is a great way to see some of the neighboring countryside, buildings, sheep in the pasture, gentle rolling hills and small towns.

The “Triangle” bus offers a 1 day or a 1 week explorer pass that allows you to use the busses through out Kent as much as you want.  We got the one day pass for just over 6 pounds.

Building we passed on the way to Whitstable.  I think it is a school.

Building we passed on the way to Whitstable. I think it is a school.  (Local Hogwarts?)

Whitstable is a sleepy fishing village situated on a rocky beach.  They are famous for their fresh oysters, which are raised right offshore, lobster and several other varieties of fish.

On the bus we met a couple of actors that are currently performing in “Cats” at the Marlowe Theater in Canterbury.  Nicholas Pound (Nic) plays the lead “Old Deuteronomy” and Barry Haywood is his understudy.  Nic recommended a restaurant, The Lobster Shack, to us in the harbor, and since I had never tried raw oysters, I thought this was the perfect opportunity.  You can’t get them any fresher than this!

How the oysters were served

How the Rock oysters were served – On a bed of ice with lemon, tabasco, and a mixture of shallots and vinegar

The 1/2 dozen came to £7.50.  They were much better than I thought they would be and I would definitely try them again.

The shoreline is rocky, and not what I think of as a “beach”.  The harbor area is lined with colorful fishing huts, some that have been converted into overnight rental units.

Rocky shoreline

Rocky shoreline

The oyster shells are recycled and replanted in the sea

The oyster shells are recycled and replanted in the sea

Nets, cages or traps?

Nets, cages or traps?

Colorful fishing huts

Colorful fishing huts

Through the window at the restaurant

Through the window at the restaurant

Rocks don't stop people from using the beach

Rocks don’t stop people from using the beach

Purple flowers (did I mention that I love purple?)

Purple flowers (did I mention that I love purple?)

We took the bus the long way home, via the town of Herne Bay to see more of the area.

After meeting Nic and Barry, we decided that if we got back to Canterbury in time, we would see if we could get tickets for the evening performance.  As we entered the lobby of the Marlowe Theater, there was Nic, sitting waiting on Barry who had taken a detour to the  police to turn in a wallet he had found on the bus.

Nic walked with us to the window and since he was part of the cast, got us a discount on the tickets.  What a lovely gesture.  The play was almost sold out, but we managed to get front row in the upper balcony.

Tim took a picture of me with Nic before we headed out for dinner and to change before the play.

Joanne with Nicholas Pound (Old Deuteronomy in Cats)

Joanne with Nicholas Pound (Old Deuteronomy in Cats)

Sophia Ragavelas (Grizabella) and Nicholas Pound (Old Deuteronomy)  - Kentnews.co.uk

Sophia Ragavelas (Grizabella) and Nicholas Pound (Old Deuteronomy) – Kentnews.co.uk

I took a picture of the set before the play began.  Old Deuteronomy signed my program for us at intermission.

The play “Cats” has always been a bit of a mystery to me.  This was my third time seeing the play and the storyline still confuses at times.  What I most enjoy about it is watching the cast interpret the movements, attitude, playfulness, and disinterested behavior that only a cat can do.  The singing and dancing were excellent.

Having someone on stage that you have met gives an added dimension to the performance and I loved watching Nic in his role.  He has a wonderful voice, as does Sophia Ragavelas who plays Grizabella and sings the classic song, Memory.

I love these unstructured days where we just let it unfold.  When we got up, I had no idea that by the end of the day I would try raw oysters, walk on a rocky beach and see colorful fishing huts, meet two actors and attend a fabulous play before the day was over.

Gratitude Moment: Today I am grateful for surprises around every corner.  Tim and I discussed this evening how delightful most days turn out if we are simply open to “possibilities”.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our "next chapter". At a stage in life where traveling the world, taking pictures, and sharing our adventures with friends and family will be our dream come true.
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10 Responses to Whitstable ~ Raw oysters on the half shell and Cats

  1. clgarner says:

    I love the colors of the fish huts. All your photos and commentary are bringing your trip to life for others as well as providing a bunch of wonderful memories for you. How nice that you had the personal contact with the actors to know them as people before they whisked you away to the “fantastik” feline world. Cheers, Carol Leigh Garner

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    • Carol Leigh, all the different colors are what caught my attention the first time I saw the fish huts. Later in the afternoon when we were on the bus headed back toward Canterbury I spotted another long row as we approached a bus stop. I jumped up and got off the bus with Tim in hot pursuit so that I could get a picture. The small picture that I used as a header on this post is one that Tim ended up taking while we waited for the next bus to come along. And yes, meeting the actors definitely made the performance more special.

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  2. Brenda Thompson says:

    Oh my gosh. These are the best days!!! Relaxed. Go with the flow. Why not?— let’s do it!!!-kind of days. You both are so kind and open, so it makes it easy to talk with you. I always appreciate when locals share their favorite spots. What a gem of a day!!! Loved all the pics too.

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    • Brenda, I’m loving the freedom to simply let things unfold. I think we are going to try to have more days like this instead of the hectic back to back tours we took on the first part of our journey. We will still enjoy a tour here and there, but just not so many. Slow and steady, taking time to smell the flowers along the way!!

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  3. PCgal says:

    What a wonderful day. Don’t you love it when life just happens!!

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  4. Carrie Bland Miller says:

    Happy for U 2….life is great when it’s good!! love ya~~

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  5. Mike Alesko says:

    I love reading of these serendipitous days Joanne. They probably will end up being some of your favorite travel memories, I bet. Reminds me of the time I met a guy in a park in Naples who took me to his favorite trattoria, where the chef owner personally hosted us and cooked a special meal of fish just in from the bay. Or the time when on a whim my buddy and I hid out in the Roman Forum at closing time and spent the whole night all alone with all that history, pondering how we were the only people in the world enjoying that incredible connection at that moment. Just us and ole Julie Ceasar! It remains unforgettable! May you have many more wonderful whimsical wanderings!

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    • Mike, those sound like amazing times and I know you cherish those memories today. That meal prepared just for you by the chef/owner I’m sure was tasty and I’m always on board for that. Staying in the forum alone after closing might get me arrested these days, lol!

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