It’s not the easiest pub to find for the uninitiated, as you have to make your way through the outskirts of Bembridge and then down a winding single track lane to discover it perched at the eastern most extremity of the Isle of Wight, but it is well worth the expedition to the Crab and Lobster.
Seafood fans flock here, and it has a well-earned reputation for good crab and lobster, as its name would suggest, but there is so much more on the menu nowadays. Specials of the day are accompanied by steaks, burgers, ciabattas and salads.
But the hot or cold seafood sharing platter (for two) is still one of the most popular dishes. Sat outside on a summer evening with a cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc, this particular dish is paradise on a plate for seafood lovers.
You can even look out over the Bembridge Ledges where many of the tasty crustaceans crawl at high tide. Or in the colder months there is a roaring fire in the bar around which to tuck in.
Plus they now have a great breakfast menu for their bed and breakfast customers staying in the five well-appointed rooms above the pub. Along with the Full English are smoked salmon and scrambled eggs and a choice between Croque Monsieur or Croque Madame(Madame has the addition of a poached egg).
Awarded "Isle of Wight County Dining Pub of The Year 2014" by the Good Pub Guide, the Crab and Lobster has a reputation for good food and great hospitality. There’s a dining room at the front to the seaward side, where the front window tables are highly prized. But food can also be eaten inside the expansive bar, which is a warm red brick with exposed beams and cosy atmosphere.
The bar area has the look of the galley of a ship, with huge barrels within the woodwork of the actual bar. High shelves display old bottles, tankards and antique plates and the walls have a fine collection of paintings and photographs of boats and ships. There is also a quirky overspill restaurant room to the rear with exposed brick walls.
There has been a pub here since at least 1862, and probably earlier, and it’s thought that coastguards, fishermen and smugglers frequented its interior: the latter to divide their contraband and plan their next sortie to France. The coastguards are still here as the coastguard station is just beyond the car park to the front of the property.
At low tide the ledge appears and locals appear to pick over the rockpools or to fish with their lines for mackerel or bass. There are outdoor tables and chairs on the top of the low cliff and here you have a wonderful view of the English Channel, the yachts and liners sailing by and seabirds dipping and diving.