Pop Up Gatherings - since October 2009

Celebrating 10 Years of Pop Up Gatherings - Last Weekend of March 2020 January 27 2020

Pop Up Gatherings 10th Birthday Bash
& "Saving Ester" CrowdFund Raiser at
Skinners Brewery Tap - the Old Ale House Truro

12 noon - 10pm Thursday 26th to Sunday 29th March 2020

So, in October 2019 we celebrated 10 years of Pop Up Gatherings and its Fal Oyster Wink's at The 'Front on Custom House Quay Falmouth as this was actually our first 'pop up oyster bar'. However, in 2010 we actually started our own 'Oyster Gatherings' where we invited chefs and artisan producers to show off our seafood and their skills and ingredients...

Steve Skinner & Goemon @ Pop Up Gatherings 2014
Steve & Goemon @PopUpGatherings 2014

Skinners Brewery Tap - Having been the main sponsor for all the early Pop Up Gatherings at Mylor Yacht Harbour, Flushing Quay, Prince of Wales Pier and Custom House Quay Falmouth, it is a great honour to announce Steve Skinner has provided us with our first indoor venue upstairs at the Old Ale House Truro, so we don't have to rely on the weather!

Dinings Japanese Tapas - Another major sponsor over the past 9 years has been Dinings Harcourt Street Restaurant in London (W1H 4HH) and many a plate of sashimi and sushi has been devoured at our end of native oyster season celebrations. Goemon San studied under the sushi Jedi Masaki San at Dinings, then went on to Claridges and then on to a brand new restaurant as head chef at Parsons. In just 9 months Goemon San achieved Hardens Best Fish Restaurant of the Year 2018, now he is back with Fuku San at Dinings Harcourt Street...

As always he is taking a busman's holiday to prepare a truly stunning menu as the Head Chef throughout the 4 day Pop Up Gathering.

Goemon - Hardens Best Fish Restaurant 2018
Goemon claiming the very prestigious Hardens Best Fish Restaurant Prize 2018

Lunch bookings all 4 days are available but some are already reserved for our "Saving Ester" Crowdfunder Patrons (see link) - then in the evening it will be a much more informal Japanese Tapas experience, sushi, sashimi, cooked oysters etc etc where we hope you will gather and mingle around the bars and tables as you would at our outdoor feasts & gatherings...

...There will be a dedicated Cornish Native Fal Oyster Bar downstairs and much more to shout about soon too...

Steve Skinner & Goemon @ Port Eliot Festival 2017 (Copyright CJ Ranger)

Steve Skinner & Goemon @ Port Eliot Festival 2017

Steve and Goemon (our resident head chef) have enjoyed a long friendship, with Goemon serving Steve platters of his favourite Japanese Tapas and Steve pouring many many pints of Goemon's favourite tipple - Betty Stoggs


Friday evenings live music will be provide by: the Cornish Male Voice Choir

Saturday evenings band are Newquay's: Ferris Wheel Junkies

Sunday afternoons British Summer Time Session Special: Rosie Crow




11am – 11pm 10-13th October 2019

Back in October 2009 Chris ‘Ranger’ had started his second season gathering wild Cornish Native Oysters aboard his Truro River Oyster Boat the ‘Alf Smythers’, he had also spent the summer setting up a purification centre, which he named ‘Cornish Native Oysters’, on the edge of the Fal Fishery at Mylor Yacht Harbour.

With his first batch of depurated native oysters packed and ready he set off to the Falmouth Oyster Festival to see if he could be part of one of the biggest food festival attractions in the South West. Unfortunately he was unable to participate as the festival is supplied by one supplier alone, however, all was not lost as he was stood beside the manager of a local public house and Matt invited him to bring his boxes of oysters to The Front on Custom House Quay.

This was the start of a great friendship and perfect pairing between the local shellfish and the local ales including Skinners Pennycomequick, served from the vaulted ex Custom House overlooking the boundary of the fishery. The ‘Pop Up Gatherings’ have become known as the ‘Oyster Wink’ as a reference to the old ‘Kiddlywinks’, which were licenced by Customs and Excise, rather than the Taverns and Inns that were licenced by the Magistrate’s after the 1830 beer act.

 In 2018 at the 10th consecutive ‘Oyster Wink’ Ranger invited a friend from London called Bobby Groves, Bobby was touring Britain and Ireland on a Triumph Bonneville motorbike and in search of all the oyster fisheries, farmers and shacks dotted around the coastline. He travelled 5,000 miles in all weathers and has written a whole chapter about the storm he rode through on his trip to Falmouth in his newly published book “Oyster Isles”. Bobby competed in the inaugural ‘Cornish Native Oyster Opening Championships’, which was hosted by Ranger and inspired by the rules set out and his entry in the ‘Tabasco British Oyster Opening Championships’ in London in September.

The ‘Pop Up Gatherings’ have evolved over the past 10 years to include an annual end of season celebration, know as the ‘Oyster Gatherings’ that started in 2010 at Mylor Yacht Harbour and went on to Flushing Quay, Prince of Wales Pier and even popped up outside The Front on Custom House Quay. The unique turquoise shipping container restaurant & oyster bar has been seen at Rock Oyster Festival, Truro Piazza and has spent two summers as resident caterer at Carlyon Beach. The biggest pop up was without doubt the Port Elliot Festival and Festival Number 6 at Portmerion in North Wales in 2017.

So in 2019 what can you expect from the 10 year celebrations, well there will be a raw bar inside The Front and weather permitting a cooked oyster bar outside.

Ranger says “with the Falmouth Oyster Festival so early in the season we have had to look at other species such as the invasive Pacific Oysters and Queen Scallops to ensure we have enough shellfish to show off, we have also partnered up with ‘The Cornish Shellfish Company’ who are the only other PDO verified depuration company. We have recently incorporated the ‘Fal Fishery Cooperative CIC (Community Interest Company)’ to address the density of the last truly British indigenous native oyster stocks that are on the Fal Fishery, which are so low there are fears that the density would make successful reproduction incredibly difficult.

The CIC aims to develop a restocking, repopulation and recognition project with the Universities of Exeter and Bangor and the National Lobster Hatchery. We are currently raising some small funds to support the start up costs but the CIC with the help from Marine i has applied for £350,000 grant funds, £100,000 for aquaculture infrastructure for a new storage and growth facility, plus £250,000 towards a scientific research facility that will be looking at the growth, maturity and fecundity of the resident stocks. The project will create 5 full time jobs on the fishery and a senior lecturer wrote to me saying he will “set up an MSc course based on my project”, which is a huge accolade for me and I will be looking at doing the course myself”

Things to look out for during the 4 day celebrations at The Front include the pairing of oysters with the truly vast range of great Cornish ales and spirits, the opportunity to try the invasive oysters cooked and served in many ways, the chance to indulge in the newest species to appear on the fishery the Queen Scallop, to watch contestants shuck it out at the ‘2nd Cornish Native Oyster Opening Championships’ with some Tabasco Prizes on Saturday evening at 6pm in aid of Fisherman’s Mission and finally you can view the fleet in the annual Falmouth Working Boat Oyster Festival Harbour Race on Sunday at 11am from the end of Custom House Quay.

Finally a date for your 2020 diary is the ‘last weekend of March’ where Steve Skinner has invited the ‘Pop Up Gatherings’ crew, which includes the sushi masters from Dinings in Harcourt Street London, to host its 10 years of ‘Oyster Gatherings’ at the Old Ale House in Truro, expect a culinary feast showcasing Cornwall best fish and shellfish!




Fal Oyster Wink - Customs House Quay 13-16 October 2016 September 13 2016

The next #FalOysterWink is:
Thursday 13th to Sunday 16th October 2016
on Customs House Quay Falmouth
admin@popupgatherings.co.uk for info


Our latest Cornwall Living Gourmet Gossip...

 Cornwall Living 52 - Gourmet Gossip

Our shortlisted pop up street food trucks are:

Ostraca - Shellfish, Steaks and a full Cornish Bar

Cecil on Ice - Cocktails

Picnic Cornwall - Coffee, Tea and Cakes

Woody's Wood Fired Pizza - just great pizza's

Wild Food Kitchen - wild foraged foods

obviously we highly recommend our friends at The Front Fal too


We have been so unlucky with the weather at the previous Pop Up Gatherings but we hope our luck is changing !

7th Fal Oyster Wink, 8-11 October Customs House Quay Falmouth September 24 2015



7th #FalOysterWink 8th-11th October, The 'Front Customs House Quay, Falmouth

What started with just an oyster knife and a cool box full of the first batch of Cornish Native Oysters in the corner of a pub has become an annual pilgrimage for many visitors to the Falmouth Oyster Festival, however they are not in the main event, they are on the fringe, at The 'Front, Customs House Quay, behind Trago and Harbour Lights, the home of some of the early festivals !


"The 'Front also happens to be the old Customs & Exercise office and so we thought it would be great to celebrate the 1830 beer act" says Chris Ranger (oysterman, merchant, restaurateur, shucker & harbour racer) "with our fully licensed pop up oyster bar @OstracaCornwall and Rebel Brewing Co responsible for the latest brew of #FalOysterStout, as well as the latest Tres Hombres New Dawn Rum, we hope to have a sneaky nip or two of a very special dawning... Oh and with Camel Valley putting the BRUT in #ShellfishBRUT we aim to bring you the ultimate pop up venue before we take the whole thing on tour to parties, festivities and @PopUpGatherings ending up back @CarlyonBeach for Easter 2016 and the "7th Fal Oyster Gathering", which by all accounts maybe about to become part of something much bigger"

Of course, on the menu will be all sizes of Fal Oysters fresh from the fishery and verified by Trading Standards as a Genuine 'Fal Oyster' with Protected Designation of Origin status. Fal Oyster Ltd. t/a Cornish Native Oysters, based right on the fishery at Mylor, are the 1st company to be verified and the Fal Oyster is the ONLY oyster to have a PDO, Whitstable has PGI.

Tempura Pothilly Rocks with Wasabi Mayo 

Additionally Ostraca will always have a specials board of Porthilly Rock Oysters, natural, Kilpatrick, Rocker Fella, or tempura, other cooked options such as Steak & Oyster will be available too.

CJ Ranger
Fal Oyster Ltd.


[Kiddlywink (sometimes spelt kiddleywink) is an old name for a Cornish beer shop or beer house, which became popular after the 1830 beer act. They were licensed to sell beer or cider by the Customs & Exercise rather than by a Magistrate's Licence which was required by traditional Taverns and Inns. They were reputed to be the haunts of smugglers and often had an unmarked bottle of spirits under the counter.
Farm labourers could receive beer instead of their wages.

#ShellfishBRUT - Crinnis, Carlyon Beach, St Austell - Summer 2015 May 21 2015

2nd #PopUp stays at #Crinnis for the summer... OSTRACA.co.uk


The second ‘pop up’ experience arrives at Carlyon Bay this weekend (Sat May 23rd) with Pop Up Gatherings setting up an oyster shack and wine bar on Crinnis Beach.

The fully licensed restaurant and bar Ostraca will be open for a week from Saturday for the bank holiday and school half term with seating for eight inside which can be reserved (www.ostraca.co.uk) or alternatively, visitors can pop up and eat and drink al fresco on the decking or at the large tables facing the bay.

Director of Fal Oyster Ltd, Chris Ranger, said he was excited about being the first 2015 Carlyon pop up, following the return of the popular venue Sam’s @ The Bay who arrived on site last year. 

“It’s a stunning location and we hope that lots of people will come down to sample our menu,” he said.  “We know every producer we work with personally and will be offering a selection of local goodies including Porthilly Rock oysters, Cornish sardines, Cornish scallops, Cornish crab and Cornish salad, Baker Tom cakes, Tregothnan teas, Fal Oyster Stout, beers ciders and as the 1st Official Camel Valley Wine Bar the solar powered fridge will be stocked with 'Cornish Champagne' see #ShellfishBRUT 

“If it’s successful, we would love to return for the summer season and be part of this fantastic development.”

Cornish Native Oysters was set up in 2009 and evolved in to Fal Oyster Ltd, which was launched in 2012, by local fisherman Chris Ranger. Ranger bought the Alf Smythers in 2008 and decided there was a future in the sustainable gathering of the wild native oysters found on the riverbed of the Fal Estuary - famed for their distinctive sweet, fresh and delicate flavour.  The Fal Oysters have been harvested in the same highly sustainable fashion without the use of mechanical power for more than 500 years, but sadly natives are only available September to April so we source the best farmed oysters 'Porthilly Rocks' during the summer.

Jacky Swain, site manager for Commercial Estates Group, said: “We’re delighted to be able to welcome the first of what we expect will be many other attractions to our site.  I hope everyone will come down and try some of the delights on offer. We are currently talking to a number of other organisations with the aim of creating a hub of activity down here for local people and holidaymakers to enjoy.”



For further information, please contact Michelle Sammons, Communications Consultant, Tel 07767 810481 or email michelle.sammons@carlyonbeach.com

Cornish Native Produce at Fal Oyster Gathering 2015 March 19 2015

We are showcasing the four soon five Protected Food Names and also showing the Feast Films, so we hope to put on the finest spread of food and drink from the counties top producers...

Ok so its quite a list, and still growing... some of the top produce you can enjoy at our event:

Fal Oysters, Porthilly Rocks, Cornish Mussels, Cornish Sardines, Cornish Scallops, Cornish Crab...

Camel Valley Wines, Rebel Brewing Co, Skinners Brewing Co, Cornish Cider Co, Tres Hombres RUM, Grandma's Weapons Grade Ginger Beer, Keltic Ale, Polgoon Orchards...

Baker Tom, Portreath Bakery Cornish Pasty's, GrumPies, Lynher Dairies, Chocolarder, Cornish Seaweed, Furniss Biscuits, Rodda's Cornish Clotted Cream...

Tregothnan Tea, Olfactory Coffee, Karenza Arval Apple Juices, Just Water...

to be continued...

Cornwall's Protected Food Names (and soon Drink) in bold

Any Resemblance Film producers in italics

6th Fal Oyster Gathering 27-29th March 2015 #FalmouthForOysters March 06 2015

Press Release



Friday 27 - Sunday 29 March at Prince of Wales Pier Falmouth

Program coming soon... Headline act confirmed: Rosie & The Goldbug on Saturday Evening 2100hrs

With the aim of celebrating the end of the native oyster season, the last weekend in March (and the beginning of the Easter holidays!) the Prince of Wales Pier plays host to the Fal Oyster Gathering. After a hard 6 months of fishing for oysters on the water of the Carrick Roads, the fisherman prepare to hang up their oilskins for the summer, but not before a good old knees-up!

The Fal Oyster Gathering is a fantastic opportunity to delight in the freshest native Fal Oysters....and don't panic! If oysters don't happen to whet your apatite, this festival has a veritable feast of local Cornish produce on offer that will be sure to hit the spot!
As well as an 'au naturel' Fal Oyster Bar, the gathering will feature oysters in all guises to tempt the the taste buds of the visitors. If the thought of a raw oyster sends shivers down your spine, then perhaps you will be tempted by oyster & pork stuffing on bruschetta? Or a tempura oyster with wasabi mayo, that turns the oyster into an almost fish & chip shop affair. Proof that a cooked oyster has to be tried.

Both local and national chefs will be working their magic in the kitchen to bring you a menu of the best seasonal produce that Cornwall has to offer.
For gathering organiser, local oyster fisherman and merchant Christopher Ranger, it's all about the 'Terroir'. " You get a real sense of place when you eat these Fal Oysters. They have played a huge part in the history of the Carrick Roads, for them to still be fished under sail and in a conservation area makes them like no other oyster." A reason why the Fal Oyster has been given it's own Protected Designation of Origin along with only 3 other foods in Cornwall, The Cornish Pasty, Cornish Clotted Cream, & Cornish Sardines.
So pop to the bar and drink up the fantastic atmosphere that the Fal Oyster Gathering has to offer......

Ostraca Pop Up Venue - for hire!


Next @PopUpFineDining event dates:

Fal Oyster Gathering 2015

Prince of Wales Pier, Falmouth

Friday 27th - Sunday 29th March

Lunch and Afternoon Reservations

Evening Reservations

Cupid's Pop Up 14-20th February 2015 March 02 2015

Please pop up and say hello, we have Rebel Ales for him and Camel Valley Wines for her! We are over by the tennis courts opposite St Michaels Hotel and Spa, Gyllingvase Beach, Falmouth 10am til 10pm...

 ... if nothing else worked, try Fal Oysters, au naturel or cooked, that should work Cupid ;) 

You Shellfish BRUT November 18 2014

Cornish Shellfish & Camel Valley BRUT on Truro Piazza 21-23rd November 2014

We are pleased to announce that OSTRACA.co.uk, the Fal Oyster pop-up restaurant and bar, will be coming to Truro Piazza this weekend! Not only will our own wild, sail gathered, Fal Oysters be on the menu, but also a feast of Cornish seafoods to keep you sustained whilst your Christmas shopping.

We will have a hearty menu of Steamed Mussels, Mylor Prawns and Tempura Battered Porthilly Oysters with Wasabi mayo (our star of the show at the Fal Oyster Fringe Festival!) for you to feast on. This year we have partnered up with Camel Valley Wines, the award-winning Vineyard from Bodmin, so why not get into the Cornish Christmas cheer with a glass of Camel Valley sparkling wine and a dozen fresh Fal Oysters.

There is also something for the beer lovers amongst you, as we will be serving Rebel Brewery Co. 3rd edition Fal Oyster Stout. Both the Fal Oysters and the shell go into the boil for this very special beer, giving it a fresh and light taste which is only available whilst the native Fal Oysters are in season.

We will be open all day from 10am-10pm Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd November, so make sure you come on down to sample some of our delights (shellfish) before buying them for everyone else (not selfish!)

In the evenings, the Cornish Chefs Club: Steve Marsh head chef at the Greenbank Hotel Falmouth, Ben Prior from Ben's Cornish Kitchen and Adrian Oliver from Margot's in Padstow will be offering a unique 10 seater fine-dining experience on Friday, Saturday & Sunday.

Finally, sign up to newsletter at the bottom of our home page and we will keep you posted about our OSTRACA Box (and Pop Up Gatherings) for these unique fine dining events in special locations around Cornwall. You will also be sent a code to claim the 10% OFF discount we are offering this weekend for Christmas or New Years Eve Fal Oysters & Camel Valley Brut!


Fal Oyster Wink - Thursday 9th til Sunday 12th October 2014 September 17 2014

Breaking news...

The 6th Fal Oyster Wink is confirmed for Falmouth Oyster Festival weekend and as always we will pop up outside The 'Front Bar thanks to Matt for his continued support, Sophi at The Watermens, Chris at Trago and Barry at Falmouth Haven!


This year we will be showcasing our unique pop up restaurant and bar, converted from a 20ft shipping container and fully fitted with an EHO approved kitchen so we can do all sorts of cooked oysters and shellfish...

Thursday's guest chef is: Mark Apsey from the Idle Rocks St Mawes - Fal Oyster with Raspberry & Horseradish

Friday's guest chef is: Stephen Marsh from The Greenbank Falmouth - Fal Oyster Soup & Stout Bread

Saturday's guest chef is:TBA

Sunday's guest chef is:TBA

We have always sold Camel Valley Cornish BRUT and this year we will have unique flutes to celebrate the collaboration with the Lindo family, so you can enjoy the award winning sparkling wine by the glass!

Fal Oyster Stout 3rd edition is in the pipeline... draft available over the festival weekend at The Front and other Falmouth Oyster Fringe participating venues... Hand Beer Bar, Seven Stars on the Moor, Royal Standard Flushing...





Kiddlywink (sometimes spelt kiddleywink) is an old name for a Cornish beer shop or beer house, which became popular after the 1830 beer act. They were licensed to sell beer or cider by the Customs & Excise rather than by a Magistrate's License which was required by traditional Taverns and Inns. They were reputed to be the haunts of smugglers and often had an unmarked bottle of spirits under the counter. Farm labourers could receive beer instead of their wages.

Easter 2014 - Falmouth Prince of Wales Pier April 15 2014

We will be serving the freshest fish and shellfish landed by local day boats, the last of the seasons Fal Oysters accompanied by Rebel Brewing Co's Fal Oyster Stout (2nd limited edition), Skinners Pennycomequick, Camel Valley Wines and the newest arrival to Falmouth is the Tres Hombres Rum landed from the only sail cargo vessel!!

 Wednesday 16th - Tuesday 22nd 1000-2200

Follow our footsteps and join us at future gathering by following




or simply contact


07807 290315


My first Fal Oyster - Mark Essien competed in the Pewter Oyster Race on 29th March, where you have to gather a Fal Oyster before 1pm then race to the Fal Oyster Gathering... Photo: Mark Falmouth

'Fish & Ships' 28-30th March, Prince of Wales Pier, Falmouth March 09 2014



Welcome back to the weekend of British Summer Time, Mother's Day and celebrations of the harvest of the Fal Oyster!



The Fal Oyster Gathering is held this year on Prince of Wales Pier, Falmouth, Cornwall

FalRiver.co.uk for Fal River Information

Friday 28th to Sunday 30th March 2014

We've moved again from our previous venues to Falmouth where there's enough space for an Aussie Marquee and Skinners Bar and large enough to keep everyone warm and dry inside. We're open 10 till 10!



Celebrate the unique Fal Oyster and its new Protected Food Name, and enjoy fish and shellfish landed by local fishermen using traditional and sustainable methods.


Come and enjoy recipes and menus created with local produce by top chefs, both local and from exclusive London restaurants, Dale McIntosh from Merchants Manor and Mark Apsey from Idle Rocks then from Marylebone in London Masaki Sugisaki and his sushi masters at Dinings whose contemporary Japanese tapas combine traditional Japanese and modern European cuisine.



The Local Producers Market lets you see (and buy) the produce that these renowned chefs will turn into their delicious recipes for you to eat all weekend.


The Little Yellow House Studios are hosting the Artists & Makers tent so you will find nautical and local artists selling their best...


The second Fal Oyster Race from the Fal Oyster Fishery to the Fal Oyster Gathering starts again at 1300 Mylor Harbour, this year Hannah Batstone Contemporary Jewellery has been commissioned by Fal Oyster to cast a Pewter Fal Oyster for the trophy... Prize giving by Betty Stogs... if its sunny... :)


Not forgetting live music on Miss Peapods Stage: Shanties on Friday, bands on Saturday including headline act Lightknife Band at 2030, but Sunday its a Mother's Day so a Camel Valley special.

We will also be proud to showcase our new venture OSTRACA and introduce the
Fal Mussel at the inaugural Fal Mussel Festival...


all gatherings of friends are free!



Thanks MC!