Early Mornings at Billingsgate Market

November 29, 2014


Billingsgate Market scallops

Earlier this week the lovely folks at Billingsgate Seafood School invited me down for a guided tour of the infamous market. 

With my winter evenings packed full of festive activities, it was nice to get up early for an out-of-the-ordinary activity before work. 

Billingsgate Market sea bass

The guided tour taught me an incredible amount the fish market. 


 Billingsgate market sources fish from 165 countries around the world and sells 500,000 tonnes of salmon a year, which makes up 1/3 of wet fish sales. 


Buying fish at the market is 50% cheaper than supermarkets as the prices are whole sale. However, you usually need to buy a box of fish rather than individually. 

Billingsgate Market fish

Any products that you buy are bought as presented, fish cannot be processed (de-headed, gutted, filleted etc) at the market due to health and safety regulations. 

Hot Tip: Native lobsters currently cost £25, whereas Canadian Lobsters are £18. Subject to the weather, lobster prices can vary significantly. Prices usually soar during December when luxury food products are in demand . They refrigerate the water in the tanks to prevent the lobsters from fighting and feeding. 

Billingsgate Market seafood

We were informed that french oysters are currently infected with a Herpes virus, which is pushing the price of English Oysters up from 35p and 55p each. 

Hot Tip: Scallops don't respond well to the 'tap test', so don't be concerned if they don't close instantly like other shell fish. 

During the tour I was lucky enough to hold a King Fish. There were many different varieties of fish on display, including a small shark that had been caught (unintentionally) of the south coast of England. 

Billingsgate Market

The Seafood School is currently running a breakfast experience during the 6 weeks leading up to Christmas. 

From £35 guests will experience a champagne breakfast with smoked haddock royal or smoked salmon kedgeree whilst learning about fish from the Director of the cookery school CJ Jackson. 

For an additional £10 guests can also have a guided tour of the market, which I would highly recommend. 

Providing seafood courses for food lovers, schools and the food industry, there really is something for everyone. More info can be found here


Billingsgate Market