Foreign News: Refugees from the Whelk Tingle

An old ship's bell outside Cunningham's Oyster Bar on Mayfair's Curzon Street clanged brassily last week for the opening of the oyster season, but it rang for few Britons. In the days of Charles Dickens oysters cost a penny a dozen and Sam Weller could comment truthfully on the "wery remarkable circumstance,' sir, that poverty and oysters always seem to go together." Today only the rich can afford oysters. The best Colchesters cost 16s. ($3.20) a dozen, Whitstable natives IDS. to 125. ($2 to $2.40), imported oysters from Holland and Brittany 8s. to 10s. ($1.60 to $2).

Total catch of oysters this...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!