The Island’s top chef now has his own restaurant Thompson’s in the centre of Newport where you can opt for open kitchen-side dining downstairs or one of the two dining rooms upstairs. Acknowledged as the best, Robert Thompson and his young team strive to “put smiles on people’s faces”.
Robert became the youngest Michelin starred chef in 2006, and in 2009 got a Michelin star for the Hambrough Hotel, but this is his first solo venture. He renovated and restored the ancient red brick property himself, taking it back to the way it was.
Entering the bar area, there is comfortable seating, antique feature furniture and a wood burning stove in winter. Sixteen people can be seated in the kitchen-side ground floor restaurant where copper industrial lighting illuminates the slate covered pass that food is plated on. A bookcase displays their cookery reference books.
Upstairs old beams have been exposed along with two brick built fireplaces and feature shelving. Chapel chairs have been recycled from Niton and Gatcombe, the wooden flooring has been restored and Robert’s father handmade all of the tables.
On the walls throughout the restaurant are watercolours by a local artist of the restoration of the building, ingredients Robert has used and the dishes that were first served here.
Thompson’s champion Isle of Wight produce, forage for food on occasion and many of the wines are biodynamic and naturally organic. The aim is to “allow the food to sing to you from the plate”. And according to reviews, it certainly does.