Category: Dining Out
Book a delicious lunch* in April, May or June 2014 and get free use of their 6 hole golf course.
Running parallel to the rear of the hotel, the course abridges the extensive woodland rising above the stunning Priory Bay beach. You can enjoy fantastic Solent sea views whilst playing a great round of golf on their three challenging par 4's and greens.
This is an activity for all of the family to enjoy - children are welcome.
The Priory's Oyster restaurant serves family style dishes - local fresh fish or piece of meat to share with a focus on organic and biodynamic wines, local beers, ciders and liquors. The Priory Oyster is open every day for lunch.
To take advantage of this offer quote 'Lunch Golf' at the time of booking.
*Lunch must be to the value of £60 or over.
Dining Out, Outdoor Life
There is a crew bar and heated terrace to sit out and relax watching all the comings and goings of the boating world.
Quoted in Trip Advisor as being in a 'lovely setting overlooking the Solent', with 'beautifully presented and interesting food'.
Take advantage of their 'Winter Special' offer. Visit for lunch between Wednesday and Sunday for lunch or dinner and enjoy a 3 course meal for two plus bottle of wine for just £29.95.
Lugleys of Cowes - 01983 299 618
Using the finest of local produce, it has even been featured on the Hairy Bikers Best of British programme and has received a Certificate of Excellence 2013 from Trip Advisor.
The menu regularly changes but consists of such temptations such as:
Starter of Bembridge crab tart with Parmesan pastry, and a rocket cress garnish,
Slow roast maple glazed belly pork, served with crackling, potato rösti and fine green beans wrapped in pancetta
Mouth watering dessert of Peach and vanilla crumble with clotted cream.
And it is one of Matt and Cat's Favourites...
Lockslane Bistro - 01983 875233
Dining Out, We Love!
Situated right on the seafront overlooking Appley beach with magnificent views across the Solent, this restaurant has fast gained a reputation for offering the most refined menu, in the most exquisite location.
Local man, Tim Foster has over 10 years experience in the catering industry and has created the most delicious of menus using the finest local produce.
Pop in for brunch and try the 'Buttermilk Pancakes, almond creme fraiche, berries & syrup'.
For a great main course I would go for the 'Asian battered Sea Trout, sesame salted chips, sticky soy dip and asian coleslaw' followed by 'Frangelico Tiramisu, white chocolate & hazelnut praline'. Yum!
Wight Locations are looking forward to their end of summer meal and this time we are definitely going to the Three Buoys so watch this space for our own personal review!
Three Buoys, Appley, Ryde - 01983 811212
As part of the Old English Inns chain, you know what to expect when visiting. The menu is vast and various and there are plenty of meal deals as well as an array of tasty beers, ales, wines and spirits including the very popular Greene King IPA.
I took advantage of the "Two mains for £10" deal and really enjoyed my Sausage with Cheddar Mash and Red Onion Gravy".
Also if you arrive after 5pm on a Sunday, you can get two Sunday Roasts for £10.
The Hare & Hounds - 01983 523446
A spokesperson said: "Beevers grew up in Hampshire just across the Solent from the Isle of Wight and is very excited to be returning to the area and by the prospect of running the Hambrough kitchen and cooking with the excellent local produce on his doorstep.
The Group are now able to continue their focus on the redevelopment of the Ventnor Winter Gardens Project, which is planned to offer a 34 bedroom hotel, food and beverage outlets and a 400 seat auditorium.
The Hambrough is the only 3 Rosette Michelin star restaurant on the Isle of Wight, situated in the beautiful Victorian coastal town of Ventnor, with stunning views over the English Channel. The Hambrough is currently at number 20 in The Good Food Guide.
The Hambrough, Ventnor - 01983 856 333
The Pond Cafe in Bonchurch is also part of The Hambrough Group and offers fine cuisine in the stunning setting of Bonchurch Village across from the Pond.
Dining Out, Island Produce
Kids will love the milkshakes and local ice creams.
Formerly the Copper Kettle, this little cafe is now open until 9 pm during peak times and open weekend evenings.
Even better, you can now enjoy a Saturday evening offer a "Buy one get one FREE" deal on pizzas to eat in or takeaway.
Why not try the Chicken, Tomato, Basil Pesto and Mozzarella or the Bembridge Crab, Prawns, Calamari and Mussels pizza.
And now for something completely different -
LPSV are hosting Psychic Nights. Come and indulge in a main meal, glass of wine, and a Tarot card reading for £19.50.
And they also have WiFi for those that need to plug in!
Wight Locations have an abundance of properties with broadband internet access if this is important to you on your visit.
Contact them for dates and bookings - 01983 568 988 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Dining Out, Island Offers
Our friends, Michelle and Tim welcome locals and visitors of all ages to their friendly traditional 16th century pub, which has a beer garden to sit out and relax during the summer months.
They serve a full selection of drinks, wines lagers and beers that change regularly including Sharps Doom Bar, Young's Special and locally brewed "Holy Jo" from Yates Island brewery.
Delicious locally sourced traditional food is served in the pubs private restaurant, all freshly prepared on the premises. The extensive menu serves everything from Sizzling Fajitas to Steaks,to Southern Indian Tiger Prawn Curry and Sunday Roasts. And with locally caught fish, or catch of the day also on the menu you are spoilt for choice. There is a large selection of sandwiches and baguettes, as well as children's menu and you can Create your own Pizza - to eat in or take away.
Michelle and Tim also have a boat that does boat trips up the River Yar to see the wildlife and trips around the Harbour. They also do Rib rides for five people to the Needles and back.
Any Wight Locations guests staying at 4 Wellington Square receive a complimentary bottle of wine on arrival and can take advantage of a Special Offer of 10% off a meal at pub during their stay.
The King's Head, Yarmouth - 01983 760 351
Dining Out, Island Offers
One of these is "Angel in the Kitchen" which is the creation of Kate White who has been professionally catering for around seven years and has built up a well respected reputation as a real expert in her the field.
Using only the very best local produce from Isle of Wight garlic and asparagus to Bembridge crab and lobster, all menus created are bespoke to match individual requirements.
Kate and her team will come to your venue to offering a delicacy of dishes, chosen by you, for any event such as weddings, glamorous parties and functions.
The Island now welcomes the recent opening of her restaurant based in Bembridge, which hosts regular Supper Clubs and Cookery Schools.
The Supper Club has it's emphasis on sociable dining in a convivial atmosphere where you are encouraged to mix and mingle, meeting new people over shared tables.
Book early to avoid disappointment...
Angel in the Kitchen 07542 377776
Wight Locations has some fantastic places to stay in Bembridge, especially the fabulous new Pitt Corner in Love Lane, which is a Visit England 5 star Gold Award property sleeping up to ten guests.
Food & Drink, Dining Out, We Love!
The Priory Oyster Restaurant has just undergone a refurbishment with Oxford stone and Farrow and Ball decor while The Island Room displays an 1810 mural painted by the Crace Brothers who also completed the spectacular Brighton Pavilion for the Prince Regent.
Oliver Stephens returns to The Priory as Head Chef injecting new life into the already haute cuisine Priory menu. Having worked in the Michelin starred restaurants Roussillon in London, and Hotel de Crillon in Paris, as well as the past two years at Noma in Copenhagen, Stephen brings a wealth of experience and variety to his craft.
The hotel has an herb and vegetable garden and daily sources fresh fish and seafood from the local fishermen. The Isle of Wight is the UKs most southerly island with a unique micro-climate which has made it famous for it's garlic, asparagus, new potatoes and tomatoes.
You can book in for a Sunday lunch or why not try a Tasting Menu of 5 to 7 courses. And whilst the Priory Bay is full of elegance and old age charm there is no dress code, so you can relax and soak up the welcoming and tranquil atmosphere without feeling stuffy...
Wight Locations have two self catering properties at The Priory Bay Hotel, The 5 star Priory Coach House and the 4 star Cluniac, where you have the benefit of a swimming pool, 6 hole golf course and tennis at your disposal and of course the beautiful grounds and beach. And if you love your pooch, these properties will be a paradise of a holiday for them too!
Priory Bay Hotel - 01983 613146
Dining Out, We Love!
But if you take the trouble to venture a little further into the town there are some places worth visiting a little way off the beaten track.
The Missy J Cafe, for example, or Chipmunks fish and chip shop. One of the most notable isMonsoon - a large and modern Indian restaurant which is up in the heart of Ryde Old Town, at the southern end of the High Street.
Monsoon has become Matt and Cat's favourite sit-down Indian meal on the entire Island. With consistently good food, a great atmosphere and service, Monsoon has overcome its out-of-the-way location with style. M & C are not alone in this view either - you'd be advised to book if you too want to enjoy it.
The food tastes and looks great - and it's consistent. Service is enthusiastic but nonetheless it manages to offer food at good prices.
Matt and Cat recently visited to celebrate Monsoon's fifth birthday - and it was a very cheerful evening, with live music, champagne, and a packed house.
All too often Indian restaurants adhere to a formula which makes them blandly predictable. Monsoon is a traditional restaurant in many ways, but the food and service makes it stand out - it's worth the journey into uncharted territory.
Matt and Cat's Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide
The Island's biggest food review website
Dining Out, Matt and Cat's Foodie Feature
Why not take a brisk winter walk in the beautiful Island countryside and reward yourself with a hearty meal after...
The Folly at Whippingham:
2 meals for £9.95 Monday to Thursday & 2 Sunday Roasts after 5pm for £9.95
The Wight Mouse Inn at Chale:
2 Course Lunch for £7.95 & 3 Course Lunch for £9.95
The Chequers at Rookley:
Amazing daily carvery but you can get a small plate for £5.75 and it is plenty!
The Buddle Inn at Niton:
2 for 1 Monday to Friday, Lunch and Evenings
The Boathouse at Seaview:
Winter 2 for 1 menu
The New Inn at Shalfleet:
Winter 2 for 1 menu
The Little Gloster at Gurnard:
A Special Set Menu is run Wednesday-Friday - 2 Courses for £17 or 3 Courses for £21
The Griffin at Godshill: 01983 840039 (newly refurbished)
Wednesday £5 Carvery, 15% Fridays, 2 for £10 Special Menu Monday to Thursday, & 2 Steaks with sides every evening for £20
Over 400 years old, the original pub is flagstones in the entrance, open fires and oak beams opens out to a modern extension at the back which is light and airy and offers amazing panoramic views over the countryside towards Newtown Creek, Thorness Bay and Gurnard.
There is a spacious beer garden out back with safe play area for the kids.
The pub is a family run Freehouse so able to offer a varied selection real ales and beers and numerous wines from around the world to suit every palate.
The menu is extensive and home cooked with seafood being a speciality. The Sunday roasts are reputed to be the best on the Island accompanied by a large variety of fresh veg, but you will need to book!
The Blacksmith's Arms - 01983 529263
Spitbank Fort was an historic sea fortress off the coast of Portsmouth. It was formerly home to hundreds of soldiers guarding the Portsmouth coastline, storing a mass of arms and ammunition to ward off potential invaders.
It is now the most exclusive luxury hotel and venue on the south coast, offering nine bedroom suites, three bars, three restaurant areas, and spa facilities.
Only accessed by boat, you can hire your own private fortress for exclusive use, special events, private parties, wedding receptions, music videos and corporate hire. How cool is that?
Spitbank Fort - 01494 682 682
Whilst on holiday in one of Wight Locations' many self catering properties on the Island, why not book an experience to remember? You can treat yourself to a 3 course Sunday lunch at £95 pp or a 4 course Twilight Dinner at £125 pp at this unique and special venue.
Top Tip - Book up well in advance to ensure you do not miss out!
No Man's Land Fort is nearly three times the size of the Spitbank Fort and is going to be completely refurbished over the next two years to transform it into an amazing spa, hotel, events venue and filming location. Ideal for the next James Bond film I would think...
Dining Out, Things to do
Down in Freshwater Bay is the HF Holidays Centre at Freshwater Bay House, a prominent building dating from the 1790s. This popular holiday centre now has a cafe open to the public, and thus some of the most spectacular views on the whole Island can be enjoyed in comfort. The outstanding new cafe contender this year is called Dandelion Cafe. This venue has a truly spectacular seascape view across the Heritage Coast, and if the deliciously tempting food isn't enough to entertain you, it has its own croquet lawn and swimming pool.
We visited recently and enjoyed a relaxing lunch, followed by a gentle stroll down the centre's own private access to the beach. The food is not just cafe fare, either - an impressive daily a la carte menu had three courses for lunch including roasted cod fillet wrapped in bacon with a chilli and lime dressing; and vegetable ratatouille with tagliatelle and cheddar cheese. All were very well-presented and not too pricey.
We'd recommend Dandelion as a venue for families with slightly older children who will enjoy exploring the facilities whilst their parents relax. With an open play area, plenty of space outside, and the beach nearby, you can see why Freshwater Bay House is such a popular holiday destination - and now even non-residents can appreciate it.
Matt and Cat's Eating Out Guide
Dining Out, Matt and Cat's Foodie Feature
The Dell Cafe, Puckpool - Eclectic fully licensed beachside café with a cosmopolitan feel.
Accessed either by walking along the seawall between Seaview and Ryde or catching the Dotto Train from Ryde or through Puckpool Park, where ample free parking is available. They serve an extensive breakfast and lunch menu with specialities such as home-made fishcakes, local seafood, fresh filled baguettes, wraps, ciabattas and fresh exotic salads.
Watersedge Cafe, Gurnard
In a stunning setting looking out over the Solent, The Watersedge offers a vast selection of baguettes and paninis to snacks and meals such as fishcakes to burger and chips. Come and watch the little dinghies to the big ocean liners cruising up and down whilst relaxing in a beautiful location.
Wonky Cafe, Whitecliff Bay
The Wonky Cafe can only be accessed by foot, either through Whitecliff Bay Holiday Park, or walking along the coastal path from Bembridge or you can walk along the beach from Seaview when the tide is out.
A nationally protected sandy beach sheltered by the impressive Culver Down, this hidden gem is well worth the trek. The menu varies from a fabulous cooked breakfast through to paninis and home made pizzas. And they usually have special nights when you can enjoy a themed night of food, music and bring your own booze.
Wight Locations have an abundance of unique and individual self catering holiday cottages on the East of the Island with something to suit everyone.
The Little Gloster, Gurnard With the same stunning vista as the Watersedge, why not treat yourself to fine dining from the renowned menu created by Ben Cooke, with the finest choices of breakfasts, to fresh Bembridge Crab and Danish Crayfish cakes or even better a platter to share so you can sample a selection of the delicious options available.
Baywatch on the Beach, St Helens
Baywatch was placed in a top 10 uk seaside cafes in Telegraph in 2008 and Condé Nast Traveller reviewed the place favourably and it has been listed among Britains top 40 alfresco tables. The menu is varied offering the obligatory seafood selections including as Moules, to Bolognaise and Burgers. With the location to die for on the Duver, and views out across the sea to Bembridge Harbour, you can just while away the hours watching the comings and goings of the nautical variety.
Dandelion Cafe, Freshwater Bay
The best of the traditional British tearoom with a modern twist, whether you just want to relax over a cup of coffee or tea, a beer or glass of wine, or to meet friends and socialise over lunch. With wonderful views across the sea
Barefoot on the Beach, Colwell Bay
At this beautiful bay on the west of the island this cafe serves up a select menu of quality nibbles and snacks using the finest of locally sourced ingredients. Try the Whitebait, garlic mayo & brown bread & butter, or a Board Mezze: Salami, Serrano ham, chorizo, olives, homemade hummus, cornichons,pitta bread, or my favourite: Parma Ham, Buffalo mozzarella, & fresh peach Salad.
Wight Locations has an ever increasing number of self catering properties on the popular west coast of the island.
The Waterfront Bar, Totland
Boasting the best sunsets on the island, The Waterfront Bar has an extensive selection of fish platters and dishes, as well as the usual restaurant favourites. And they have live music on Sunday lunchtimes and Friday evenings to entertain you.
Long Ledge Cafe, Bembridge
Also known as the Cabin Cafe situated on the Bembridge Ledge, another hidden gem that reveals wonderful rockpooling and fishing when the tide goes out. Their all day breakfast is famous, and they serve an array of sandwiches, baguettes, jacket potatoes and a speciality of hot local crab ramekin. The cakes and scones are all homemade.
Tollgate Cafe, Bembridge
On the harbour this small, simple, traditional beach cafe offers standard cafe fayre, but has the benefit of the fabulous location on the beach looking out over the sand dunes to the harbour and the hustle and bustle of the boats sailing in and out.
Lifeboat View Cafe, Bembridge
Another hidden gem, this friendly cafe serves sandwiches to lobster and champagne, fresh salads and delicious homemade cakes. And once again the views out across the Solent are stunning.
The Beach Shack, Sandown
The Beach Shack's homemade crab cakes have won the award for the Best Crab Cakes on the Isle of Wight for the last five consecutive years! Fully licensed and right on the esplanade at Sandown, you can sit out and watch the world go by. Also great to let let little ones build castles in the sand while you sit in comfort, keeping a watchful eye on them.
Wheeler's Crab Shed, Steephill Cove, Ventnor
My personal favourite and as the name suggests offers fresh crab, lobster & mackerel caught every morning serving up all kinds of fishy delights including the famous crab pasties.
This is a fully licensed cafe in the most perfect location, just a gentle stroll along from Ventnor and hidden away, when the tide is out it is perfect for a spot of sunbathing and rockpooling.
Castlehaven Cafe, St Catherines
On the south of the island in unspoilt surroundings away from the hustle and bustle. It is ideal for walkers, nature lovers and anyone loving a peaceful seaview. Specialising in clotted cream teas, coffees, and locally caught seafood, all dishes are made to order.
Dining Out, We Love!
The ambience is relaxing and welcoming, to come and sit and while away the afternoon chatting or people watching or gazing out to sea.
They boast an extensive range of fresh coffees and huge selection of over 50 wines.
The bar is predominantly a tapas bar with tasty dishes such as Crayfish tails with allioli dip, Lamb meatballs in a tomato & basil sauce topped with grated cheese, to Caramelised potato & onion tortilla.
Check the Daily Specials for fresh snacks to mains and they have some really guilty pleasures of fabulous home made cakes.
The Met Bar - 01983 855441
Food & Drink, Dining Out
Princes William and Harry are fans along with celebs such as Chris Evans.
Local crab and lobster is supplied daily and the menu has an extensive range of seafood delights such as 'Seared tuna and swordfish on tomato and caper salsa dressed leaves' to Surf and Turf to 'Mussels, shallots, garlic, white wine, cream and parsley'.
The emphasis is on fun here, with backgammon and scrabble being played, graffiti encouraged on the walls of the bar and live entertainment once a week.
Wight Locations have more and more self catering properties in the West Wight area to accommodate our guests.
Salty's Restaurant - 01983 761550
Yachtsmen, motor boat people, tourists, locals and visitors to Osborne House all stop off here to enjoy the varied menu and ever changing specials served up all day in this open plan, rustic Inn by the water's edge.
It has seating for over 200 inside with abundant picnic tables outside to soak up the sun and the views.
August visitors should keep an eye out to see if this popular event will repeat in 2012, where Newfoundland Rescue Dogs demonstrate their life saving skills on a few willing local residents!
Top Tip - Look out for the deals that are regularly featured in the County Press such as 2 main meals for the price of one mid week.
Top Tip - Drive very very slowly along the long winding lane to get to the Folly as it is full of large pot holes - the Island's natural traffic calming tool!
The Folly Inn - 01983 297171
The Crab & Lobster was voted Isle of Wight Pub of the Year 2010 with an extensive menu serving a wide variety of fresh pub favourites. They specialise in serving locally sourced seafood all year round, including the lobster which is caught by local fisherman and delivered most days.
Children are really encouraged and offers a select childrens menu, and well behaved dogs are welcome in the main bar area.
The Crab & Lobster 01983 872224
Wight Locations have an increasing number of individual and unique self catering holiday cottages in Bembridge
The Taverners is a real country pub that is popular with locals and tourists alike, with its flagstone floors, oak beams and open fires. Recently voted number 5 in the top ten pubs in the UK by Trip Advisor.
All locally sourced, the produce is bought daily depending what is available and in season. Everything on the menu is freshly made. I am a big fan of their beer battered fish and chips with home made chips and tartare sauce, followed by sticky toffee and date pudding with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.
The bar offers a selection of 10 different wines by the glass, draught lagers and ales including The Taverners very own brew. Roger Serjent, the chef/landlord even has his own vegetable patches and chickens in the garden. There is a new farm shop offering local produce.
Check out our self catering holiday cottages that are within staggering distance of The Taverners in the beautiful village of Godshill!
The Taverners - 01983 840707
We wrote afterwards:
Lockslane is a delightful and unpretentious venue that focuses very clearly on food. With smooth and informative service plus imaginative and tasty food, Lockslane offers a relaxed and informal bistro style - at a reasonable price - that should suit a range of different audiences. Highly recommended.
We also had a couple of unexpectedly good lunches at the House of Legends in Newport. No, really, we did. Legends is one of those places that weve been extremely disappointed with. Theyve shown that theyre able to deliver good food and service but also there have been times when they havent. Quite a few times. Having vowed not to go there after a particularly dismal meal, we decided to give them yet another go after we saw that theyd got some help from a local troubleshooter. We visited on a Saturday lunchtime with diners of all ages, and found it to be cheap, decent food, and prompt and reasonable service. The venue is still a bit of a soul-less barn, and it's still not one wed wholeheartedly recommend but at least they are now on the right track. Were watching their trajectory with interest.
Dining Out, Matt and Cat's Foodie Feature
Using the finest local and sustainable ingredients, many grown in the grounds of Farringford, the restaurant serves up a superb a la carte menu, a set price menu and the very, on trend, eight course tasting menus.
This is the first Island restaurant to offer a chef's table experience where up to 6 guests can dine in the kitchen, be served by the chefs themselves and see the workings of a real professional kitchen. (Wonder if Ramsay will try this?...)
Justin Brown is aiming for a Michelin star and 3 AA rosettes within the next couple of years.
Farringford was home the the Poet Laureate, Alfred Lord Tennyson for 40 years.
Why not make this your one real special treat whilst staying in one of Wight Locations many self catering holiday cottages.
Using quality ingredients sourced mainly from regional family run businesses, they serve up fresh, unpretentious, seasonal dishes. The menu is wide ranging and quality value for money.
With spectacular views over the sea down to The Needles and Tennyson Down, the Wight Mouse Inn is convenient for beaches, Blackgang Chine and Ventnor.
With a large south-facing terrace and garden, indoor childrens soft play area and outdoor playground this is an ideal family friendly eating house.
The Wight Mouse Inn - 01983 730431
It has a large rear garden backing onto fields with horses and provides lots of games and activities for the little ones.
Serving an extensive menu and daily carvery all day it is great value for quality home cooked food. As a Free House, The Chequers is also in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide for it's selection of real ales.
The Chequers Inn - 01983 840314
On the way we passed one of our favourite pubs - The Pointer Inn, Newchurch, a great place for an excellent home-cooked pub meal in a friendly atmosphere. As well as very good food, this little pub is the heart of the community, and visitors can expect to meet some local characters at the bar, and maybe even eat some very local food, as the kitchen does have a habit of swapping homegrown vegetables for beer!
Another find this week was out at Gurnard, where we tried The Watersedge Beach Cafe. Its somewhere that lots of people had recommended but for some reason wed never yet been to. We had a lovely lunch there overlooking the Solent. Matt ate fried squid - an unexpected feature on a cafe menu, and not an unwelcome one either.
Were looking forward to seeing what else is going to be on the menu this year, as many other places are opening up again after a winter refurb. Some new faces, such as Justin Brown at The Farringford, who says hes aiming for a Michelin star; and some familiar ones, such as The Royal Hotel, which has reopened after its customary new year break, with a new springtime afternoon tea menu. It's going to be a good year of eating out on the Island!
Matt and Cat confirmed events Spring 2012
29 March, Missy J's, Ryde
26 April, Bluebells Cafe, Briddlesford Farm
10 May, Needles Battery (National Trust)
Dining Out, Matt and Cat's Foodie Feature
We've had such a busy weekend! Some of the Island's restaurants and cafes close down after the Christmas and New Year rush - but plenty do not, and we've been to no less than three places in the last few days, with our reviews coming soon. It certainly looks as though 2012 is going to be a great year for dining out on the Island - at least one new eatery we visited was absolutely packed, and this was in the middle of January.
If you're still feeling a bit sluggish after the excesses of Christmas, a bracing winter walk will help shake off the cobwebs. We love the walk up to the Needles Battery - even on the warmest of summer days you will experience a cooling breeze and, even at this time of the year it can be positively glorious. Hardier walkers may wish to stride to the Needles from Tennyson Down but whichever route you take, the walk is quite literally breathtaking with (on a clear day) views across the Solent taking in the New Forest, Hurst Castle and Dorset.
Needles Battery Tea Room is open most winter weekends - with no entry fee - plus, if you approach it from Alum Bay, parking there is free too. Although the indoor exhibitions are not open, the tearoom most certainly is, serving excellent tea and cake, and when we went, some nice warming vegetable soup - just what you need after that fantastic walk.
Matt and Cat's Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide
Food & Drink, Dining Out, Matt and Cat's Foodie Feature
Angela now judges all the eateries and producers for the Wight Good Food Guide and these are the results for 2011 - 2012:
Best Cafe - Quay Arts Cafe, Newport
Best Pub - Taverners, Godshill
Best Bistro style Restaurant - Dan's Kitchen, St Helens
Best Fine Dining - The Hambrough, Ventnor
Best Food Shop - Dairy Deli, Calbourne
Best Food Producer - Ventnor Haven Fishery
Best All Rounder - Royal Hotel, Ventnor
Best Cream Tea - Chessell Pottery
Best Sunday Lunch - The George, Yarmouth
Best Crab Cakes - Beach Shack, Sandown
Best Dessert - The Bonchurch Inn
Food & Drink, Dining Out, Island Produce, We Love!
Head chef Liam Finnagan creates 'contemporary brasserie style menus with a European influence' offering a fine dining experience in a relaxed atmosphere.
The George has just been voted best 'Best Sunday Lunch' in the Wight Good Food Guide 2011 - 2012.
The George - 01983 760 331
The Red Lion is renowned for quality home cooking, using locally sourced meat, fish and vegetables, served in a traditional village pub with open fires and flagstone floors.
There is a good range of real ales at The Red Lion, as well as an extensive wine list and a large garden.
You will find The Red Lion alongside All Saints Church, at the top of Hooke Hill.
No children under 10 are allowed in the pub, but are welcome in the garden.
Tel - 01983 754 925
The menu is extensive and the quality is second to none, serving dishes based on traditional recipes from Bangkok. Using the freshest ingredients, none of the dishes contain monosodium glutamates. The service is attentive but un intrusive.
If you are staying in one of our self catering holiday homes, you can order and have free home delivery on orders over £12 for Seaview, orders over £20 for St Helens and orders over £30 for Bembridge.
Krua Thai Orchid Restaurant - 01983 568 899
Dining Out, We Love!
You can walk to the famous St. Catherines Lighthouse at the foot of the hill, a short walk from the Inn.
The resident chef, Pepe Van Gaal, joined the team many years ago from the Dorchester Hotel, Mayfair. He uses the very freshest produce from the Isle of Wight so everything is in season. All the dishes are made homemade every day.
The Buddle also maintains six real ales all year.
Ingredients are locally sourced where possible and in 2008 Quay Arts Cafe won the Isle of Wight Healthy Eating Alliance Award.
The Cafe offers lots of healthy choices for the whole family from soups and chilli to daily specials and locally caught crab.
The Cafe is situated on the River Medina quayside and it displays exhibitions of artwork by local and regional artists, and hosts regular evening entertainment.
If you like healthy but tasty food in a relaxing setting by the river, its a bit of peace in the centre of Newport.
It was originally the Tap to the Bonchurch Family Hotel and the history dates back to 1840. The inn remains unchanged and unspoilt with its Dickensian courtyard and beer served from the barrel.
The Besozzi family have run the place since 1984 and serve lovely authentic Italian food and quality home cooked English fayre. You are always met with a friendly welcome and service with a smile.
You will feel like you are stepping back in time. I would recommend booking if you are visiting at the weekend.
The Bonchurch Inn, Bonchurch - 01983 852611
Dining Out, Hidden Gems
He now creates unpretentious eclectic menus, served up in a relaxed atmosphere and great location in Gurnard with stunning views across the solent.
The Little Gloster - 01983 298 776
Dining Out, We Love!
Just because you are staying in self catering accommodation here on the island does not mean that you cannot treat yourself to a night off from the cooking.
It has been created by the former head chef of the famous Royal Hotel in Ventnor and the menu consists of quality ingredients simply cooked and imaginatively served at very reasonable prices - a two-course lunch costs around £15 per person.
Dan offers mouthwatering dishes such as Duck 3 ways- parfait, confit leg, smoked breast with orange caramel, Braised pork belly, creamed potatoes and roasted root vegetables, Local Pollock fillet, Puy lentils, spinach, spiced carrots, onion bhaji.
And desserts to die for such as Dark chocolate mousse, salted peanut caramel, popcorn ice cream.
Dan's Kitchen - 01983 872 303
It is a wonderfully converted open church like restaurant with mezzanine floor offering a fanastic dining experience in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.
With main dishes such as locally produced pheasant sausages with caramelised onion jus and salmon and king prawn chowder with crispy bacon lardons, to desserts of sticky toffee sponge, creme anglaise & Baileys and Dark Chocolate Cheesecake this bistro has received nothing but rave reviews, since it opened.
A classical guitarist serenades you every other Friday evening.
The Forresters - 01983 761635
Dining Out, Hidden Gems