Tales of Covent Garden: Oystermen
Welcome to the first of our on-going feature called Tales of Covent Garden! Each month, Covent Garden will be bringing you exclusive interviews of the people who live, work and love Covent Garden.
First up, Rob Hampton and Matt Lovell from Oystermen, Henrietta Street
Where do you work and what do you do?
We are Rob Hampton and Matt Lovell, founders and MDs of Oystermen in Covent Garden.
How long have you worked in Covent Garden?
We opened end of June of this year, and it’s our first restaurant we’ve opened together.
What is your favourite thing about Covent Garden?
The hustle and bustle; the mix of office workers, residents and tourists; it really brings an eclectic group of people together. Everyone shares their experience differently that way; everyone’s in Covent Garden to have a good time. We do feel it’s easy to work in Covent Garden when your customers are predisposed to having a good time.
Tell us a story about Covent Garden?
We saw John Goodman walking past the other day! There’s a nice sense of community between retailers and operators which is quite rare in central London. Covent Garden has that village feel.
Tell us a secret about Covent Garden?
I read this morning that [the painter J.M.W.] Turner was born in Covent Garden and he was the son of a barber who worked in Covent Garden. Why has no-one ever opened a barbers called Turner’s?
What are your top five favourite things to do in Covent Garden?
Apart from our Oyster happy hour? It’s a great place for people-watching, walking around the Market, full of antiques and proper market people. It feels like an area of London that’s changed a lot, but bits really haven’t changed. Al fresco lunch in the church courtyard. We always enjoy a cocktail with our friends at the Henrietta Hotel, they’re lovely people in there.
Recommend the perfect Oystermen meal:
Without a shadow of a doubt, half a dozen Porthilly oysters from Cornwall, with a pair of buffalo oysters, for starters I would have the scorched mackerel, whole plaice with Old Bay chips, white chocolate and yoghurt ganache for dessert, because it’s outrageous. Polished off with a bottle of Aligoté from Burgundy, a terrific white wine.
32 HENRIETTA STREET