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Six of the best places to eat oysters

Beside the market square in the charming village of Orford, the Butley Oysterage, Market Hill, Orford, Woodbridge, Suffolk (01394 450277) serves sweet, plump specimens, home-grown on the river Butley. The restaurant is also justly famous for its smoked fish (especially cod's roe) produced in the smokehouse behind the premises.

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It is said that to experience your first oyster au naturel is like taking your first ever dip in the ocean. In Whitstable, on the north Kent coast, the experience was something of a shock as I threw a freshly prised and very much alive mollusc down my throat. Yes, there was a definite dip in the ocean feel to it, but it was like being caught unawares by a wave and swallowing a mouthful of the briny.

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