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“Great fun and food” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Company Shed

The Company Shed
Mersea Island, Colchester CO5 8PA, England
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Ranked #38 of 357 Restaurants in Colchester
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Dining on a budget, Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch
Herts
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Great fun and food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013

I remember reading a review of this place over a decade ago but never managed to get here until now. You need a bit of planning ahead especially at weekends. We arrived just after noon and got a table for 12.45pm. They stopped taking bookings after 3.30pm. We had the seafood platter and eight oysters, especially the mackerel. All delicious. If you are a couple you will have to share a table but that's part of the fun. They have started serving wine but take your own as there is no corkage - and your own bread. The staff are friendly and helpful. This is what meals should be about.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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381 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Hythe, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Does what it says on the tun”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013

This was my first visit to the shed, although my parents have visited several times. This meant that they bread, wine and lemon were all packed safely in the picnic basket. We arrived at 11.30, seated straight away and noticed the place was full to bursting in fifteen minutes.
We ordered crab, grilled oysters, grilled muscles, king prawns and salad. The staff were utterly charming, if not rushed off their feet. The food was utterly divine and at a tenner a head, there really is no cause to grumble. It really is what it says, a shed with no frills. I loved it. I think the negative comments can only come from people who don't quite "get" the concept. A definite hit with me..I'm seafood transformed!

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey, Uk
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
77 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Basic interior but not quite a shed, lovely food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2013

Our visit was unplanned and we were surprised how busy The Shed was on a weekday. We had to wait 30 minutes for space at a communal table but it was well worth it. The grilled prawns were lovely, the oysters were very good even though May is not the best time for oysters. The side salad was enormous, very fresh, with excellent vinaigrette. House wine was OK and inexpensive. The staff were very friendly. The only drawback is that no card are accepted and as our visit was not pre-planned we were short of cash so did not eat enough! Also you need to bring your own bread and we did not but I managed to persuade a charming chap at a table nearby to part with his left over rolls! So remember: bring cash and bread!

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Little Canfield, null, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“fresh, fresh, fresh”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

To enjoy this experience at its best you need to know what you're letting yourself in for. It is, as the title suggests, a shed! The tables are not pristine, the crockery and cutlery variable and you have to bring your own bread (although they do serve drinks now). If you go as a couple, you will have to share a table and listen to other people's conversation whether you want to or not.
Getting a table is a bit of a mission too - if you turn up too early you will get a table - but who wants to eat seafood at 11 o'clock in the morning. If you turn up too late, you will not get a table at all. We found that getting there about 11.30 means that you can put your name on the list then go for an appetite enhancing stroll for about an hour before returning to find your table almost ready.
So why have I given it 5 stars? Simply because the food is so fresh, beautifully cooked and reasonably priced that none of the above matters. The lobsters are so fresh, you can chat to them on your way to the toilet and the scallops with bacon are absolutely beautiful - sweet, juicy and tender.
In conclusion; time your visit right (don't forget to check the tides), be prepared to be flexible and hope your neighbours aren't too noisy and be prepared to eat some of the best seafood you have ever tasted!

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Billericay, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Bank Holiday Meal with Friends”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

We knew exactly what expect at the company shed, so two friends decided to drive down for 11am to put our names down for a table, which we got at 2pm. So there was a LONG waiting time for people who rocked up , but Mersea is nice in the sunshine so we had a few drinks at The Victory. At 2pm we walked to Company Shed and happened to meet two more friends, who were trying to get a table. The staff allowed us to add the two new friends to our table for 7, which was great.

We ordered Oysters, Tiger Prawns, unpeeled prawns, crabs, mjussels, cod roe and washed this down with our BYO wine and various breads. You help yourself to cutlerly, glasses and the whole experience works well. You have to queue to place your food orders, and the queue was long.

Recommend the grilled seafood with cheese, cream and breadcrumb toppings. I am not a seafood lover, but I managed to try a bit of everything and ate the bread we brought, My husband tucked in and really enjoyed it. Next time I would bring some more accompanyments for our meal, various other breads, dips, olives and some cheese to make it more satisfying. price was spot on £15 per person.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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