What I love most about going for something to eat or drink on the Isle of Wight is that anywhere you go they serve local produce to an excellent quality. The Isle of Wight have a feel within their restaurants and cafes that differ from your average place to have a meal.
Here are my personal favourite places to enjoy food, drink, and atmosphere on the Island:
The Coast Bar & Restaurant – Cowes
I have two absolute favourite places to dine on the Island, and one of those places is at the top of the high end high street in Cowes, The Coast Bar & Restaurant.
With shabby chic interiors and a mix of relaxed coffee drinkers by the fire and diners at Kilner jar candle lit tables, it has a wonderful atmosphere that gives a sense of quality.
The menu includes delicious starters, mains, platters, and desserts, and their pizzas are made fresh and cooked in a stone pizza oven (just how pizzas should be cooked!).
The Boat House – Seaview
The Boat House ties with The Coast Bar as being my favourite places to dine, purely down to the fact that I love both places for their food and atmosphere for different reasons; and I love The Boat House not only for their food, friendly service, and an understated nautical interior, but for the views of Portsmouth, especially at night when the Spinnaker Tower is lit up and the mainland city lights bounce off from the Solent’s surface.
I love coming to The Boat House in the summer, especially during regatta season, where I sit in the paved area with a glass of local Mermaid’s Gin looking out to Portsmouth and watching sailing boats race by.
The food really is delicious… Let the pictures speak for themselves:
The Crab & Lobster – Bembridge
Tucked away in the outskirts of the village of Bembridge, sits a pub restaurant with a friendly team of staff and delicious wholesome food.
Normally in the Summer months, my Husband & I go camping in Bembridge, which is along the East coast of the Island, for 2-3 weeks based around Whitecliff Bay. Now, when I say “go camping”, I mean we go camping the Elliott Way – glamping without the electrics.
Anyway, from our campsite, we are able to take a walk along the tree covered coastal path all the way along to The Crab & Lobster, where we are able to enjoy drinks in the garden looking out to sea.
They have since renovated the inside without losing it’s cosy old seaside town feel, with archaic books filling the shelves, two stone fireplace areas to sit by, and fishing nets and buoys decorating one seating area ceiling.
The food and drink are, of course, local, and the fish is fresh from the sea. So, once it’s gone, it’s gone.
The Bandstand – Bembridge
A contemporary take on a traditional English park bandstand (which is what it used to be) with panoramic views of the sea at Sandown, The Bandstand is an excellent place to enjoy any meal of the day. Personally, this is the place to go for breakfast.
Having coffee by the window, enjoying every morsel of their wonderful smoked salmon with scrambled egg atop a toasted muffin with finely chopped chive sprinkled over… it’s making my mouth water as I type this. It really is delicious.
In the summer, when it gets especially hot, I believe that they open up the panoramic windows, which gives an alfresco feel.
Ventnor Haven Fishery – Ventor
Okay, so this may not be a sit down restaurant. However, this is the place to go to when you want deluxe fish and chips! The fish is freshly caught, all food is made to order, and the crab croquettes are to die for.
Ventnor is a coastal village, which means not only do you have the fresh fish and chips to enjoy, but you also get the luxury of uninterrupted sea views to accompany your lunch.
Ventnor Haven really is the best of the best for a typical British fish & chips by the sea.
Chocolate Island – Godshill
This is one for all the chocolate lovers out there, including myself.
Chocolate Island is a small thatched cottage turned chocolate shop, chocolate factory, and chocolate cafe, where everywhere you look there is chocolate.
The menu is a thing of beauty, where you may lunch sensibly with a panini or sandwich, or if you are like me then you’d opt for the platter that comes with a choice of white, milk or dark melted chocolate, churros, fruit, marshmallows, and a side of chocolate coma.
Even when choosing a milkshake or hot chocolate, it is made with melted chocolate, all made there at the little chocolate factory, where you are able to view what they’re up to, making moulds of chocolate from bars to houses!
In the shop itself, there is a range of chocolate to purchase for yourself or to gift to others: plaques, shoes, houses (again), darleks for the Dr. Who fans, Millenium Falcons for the Star Wars fans, choco-pops, marshmallows on sticks covered in IOW chocolate, truffles, bags of broken chocolate…
Chessell Pottery Barn – Yarmouth
If you enjoy Afternoon Tea with scones the size of your head, I would strongly recommend Chessell Pottery Barns.
A venue where you are able to enjoy homemade cakes, scones, and all things nice, as well as have a dabble at making your own pottery or browsing the gift shop.
They also have a log burner in the corner of the back room, which is a prime seating location in the winter as its so cosy!
Off the Rails – Yarmouth
My Husband & I were pleasantly surprised with this little train station turned restaurant that has wonderful countryside views, delicious cocktails, and even a menu for our four legged friends.
The inside pays homage to its heritage as a train station, where you may be seated at a row of tables that mimic a sweet train carriage, with luggage props and photographs/artwork that I believe resemble the train station it once was.
Off the Rails’ presentation of food was superb, and to have your water bottle brought to your table with a mint sprig already inside and your sourdough bread to be brought to you wrapped in its own little sack with your soup, I was sold.
The quality of the food is superb, it is definitely a place to enjoy a lunch before going into the little town of Yarmouth to browse their quaint shops.
I hope I have managed to feed your inspiration; I am already looking forward to returning back to my favourite Island to dine at these favourite places of mine.