FISH Fridays run every first Friday of the month at Wivenhoe House.

It’s a new idea, the brainchild of the Colchester restaurant and hotel’s head chef Simon Morris, and begun in March, so my wife and I were present at just the second event of its kind.

April may have not had the packed attendance of the first night, tales of which the indefatigably attentive staff were keen to relay to us, but there was a good crowd of diners and there was a convivial buzz in the plush brasserie.

We were greeted with a glass of crisp Prosecco and instructed to take our pick from the buffet table for our starter.

The table ran the width of the brasserie and was laden with all kinds of fresh fruits of the sea.

There were crayfish on kebabs, a new one on me, Mersea oysters, king prawns, smoked salmon in a pepper and lemon marinade, which was divine, and tranches of raw tuna, which was also delicious.

My wife and I could quite happily have repeatedly loaded up our plates from the buffet and been very satisfied, but there was the main course.

There was a mouth-watering choice on offer, including mussels mouclade and clam and chorizo broth as well as a couple of fish-free dishes. I went for the fish and chips with homemade mushy peas and tartare sauce. I rarely have battered fish, as I like to eat healthily, but this was gluten free - which practically made it one of my five a day, right?

My wife went for the fish pie, which she wolfed down amid murmurs of “creamy”, “heavenly” and “divine”. She was also very taken with the mint pea salad she had with it.

For dessert we deserted, if you will, the menu, under the prompting of one of our waiters.

He described himself as the patron flambeur at Wivenhoe House, which seemed to put him charge of setting things on fire.

He proved his credentials tableside by whipping up two crepe suzettes on a portable stove, letting the orange liqueur blaze expertly.

The crepes tasted fantastic, especially washed down with a glass of Cointreau. All seemed well with the world.

All the staff on the night couldn’t have made us feel more welcome and the personal touch of having an off-menu dessert prepared for us made us feel very special indeed.

For fans of seafood, I can’t recommend Fish Fridays at Wivenhoe House highly enough. May can’t come soon enough.


Wivenhoe House, Wivenhoe Park, Park Road, Colchester 


Set menu £35 per person (drinks, except Prosecco, extra)
Glass of Prosecco x2
Seafood buffet x2
Fish pie
Fish and Chips in gluten-free batter
Crepes suzette x2
Two glasses of Pinot Grigio
Cointreau x2


Atmosphere 4/5

Food 4/5

Decor 4/5

Value 4/5

Service 5/5

Disabled access? Yes