When I think of a London double decker bus, I do think of oysters; only I think of oyster in card form rather than the edible variety. Walking home from a busy but enjoyable afternoon, visiting exhibition after exhibition with my friend, I caught sight of a big red bus.
This is not an extraordinary sight in London, of course, but this bus was not on the road in a long line of traffic, it was parked up to the side of the Southbank centre.
And on the side it had written “The Bloody Oyster, serving bloody Marys’ and oysters”.
That was it, I was sold.
I quite literally ran to the bus, which is odd because I have never run for a bus in my life before, in fact, for anything at all for that matter.
Stepping onto the bus I found that it had been turned on both levels into a restaurant. Yet still felt completely like a double decker. It was almost like it had always meant to be much more than a bus, like this particular vehicle had been destined for a more glamorous life from the day it was first been built.
The seats were still in bus seat form but rather than all being forward facing they were facing forward then back and forward and back. And in between them was a little table, like the kind of American diner set up you might remember from Grease.
This cute little set up made it incredibly cosy, and although of course I’m so very happy I was there with my girl, I couldn’t help thinking this would be the loveliest place to come for a date, a feeling increased by the fact that the light was coming from a single candle on each table.
We were given the menu and on there were oysters in a variety of ways, fried, grilled, baked and also a range of drinks offerings. But I had had my heart set on fresh oysters and a Bloody Mary.
The Bloody Mary was served perfectly for me; you could taste the vodka, but not so much that you were instantly paralytic, there was plenty of tomato juice and ice. And then of course the Worcester sauce, this was served in a dropper, placed into the drink. I really liked this touch, it adds a bit of fun but also serves a practical purpose as I realise not everyone wants their drink to burn all the way down like I do!
Then the oysters arrived, they’d been opened and prepared so that they were ready to be eaten.The Tabasco was already on the table, a few drops on each, and then swallowed whole.My friend who was watching me eat the oyster with a mildly sickened face, asked what they taste like. I thought for a second and then as poncey as it sounds, said, “They taste like the sea.” To which she guffawed with laughter.
The bus is there until the 27th of September, so if you get a chance I’d highly recommend you pop down. One, because the staff are lovely, two, because the restaurant bus is cute, and three because for just £11.50 you can have three outstanding oysters and a beautiful Bloody Mary.