10 Best Eats by Boat

What better way to dine on the Isle of Wight than arriving by boat and sitting eating overlooking the sea – whether that’s by ferry, rib or sailboat. With an Indian summer forecast across the Island this September, we pick the best eats by boat beside the sea.

1. The Hut, Colwell Bay

Nestled into the side of a picturesque sandy bay, The Hut in Colwell Bay is the perfect place to stop off while sailing through the Solent for a casual relaxed alfresco lunch right on the water’s edge or for an intimate supper, whilst taking in the breathtaking sunset. The food at The Hut is all homemade and a mix of classics such as burgers and whole lobster and fries, with fresh fish specials daily.

The Hut definitely wants people to notice it with its rooftop signage a beacon for passing boats, it also offers a tender service to ferry visitors in from their boats moored in the Solent channel.

For reservations call 01983 898637.

2. The Waterfront, Totland Bay

Some say that if you’re looking for an authentic Mediterranean experience here in Blighty – then Totland Bay is the only place to be. With its shimmering crystal clear waters, perfect anchorage and sheltered outlook, it’s the perfect spot to drop anchor and enjoy a scorchingly hot afternoon on the water. Just a short tender ride (or swim) ashore is The Waterfront an unassuming eatery with fabulous views, great local food at affordable prices and windows all along the sea elevation that open completely up during the summer to give a true sense of alfresco dining. Make sure to try the Chef’s specialty, Mediterranean Fish Stew, with a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio.

To book call 01983 756969.

3. The Brasserie, The George Hotel, Yarmouth

The George Hotel is hard to beat when it comes to stunning locations. It sits in the heart of Yarmouth in West Wight, right on the water’s edge. The George is a stone’s throw from Yarmouth Harbour so arriving by boat is simple. The hotel spans views across the Solent all the way to Lymington marina. So no surprises that the hotel’s Brasserie is very popular with the yachtie fraternity. You can dine outside in the sumptuous courtyard garden, which runs down to the private beach and water’s edge. What better way to kick off your culinary experience than with a delicious jug of Pimm’s on the terrace watching the sun set.

To book call 01983 760331.

4. Salty’s, Yarmouth

The fish restaurant Salty’s is located right in the centre of Yarmouth, the picturesque little harbour town in West Wight. Right next door to the harbour, arriving by boat to dine at Salty’s is a popular pastime amongst hearty sailors. If you don’t have access to a boat you can hire a rib from Lymington or Cowes and power round for a spot of lunch. At Salty’s the menu is dominated with locally caught fish and seafood, which attracts a diverse crowd of both young and old who share an appreciation of good food and excellent hospitality. Booking ahead to reserve a table is recommended. 

To book call 01983 761550.

5. The Globe, Cowes

Located right on The Parade in Cowes, with views out across the water and a roof terrace – this is a perfect spot to watch the boats sail by and enjoy a fresh and reasonably priced meal. Their Smokehouse Menu has a whole plethora of smoked goodies from Rack of Ribs and Posh Dogs to seriously good Open Sandwiches bursting with filling. We particularly loved the Fish Finger sandwich - very old school!  Just a 5 minute stroll away from the harbour, through the cobbled heart of the town, this is a top pick for visiting sailors.

To book call 01983 506053.

6. Little Gloster, Gurnard, Cowes

A slightly longer walk round the headland from Cowes Harbour is Gurnard with its picturesque summer beach chalets and sailing club. It is here that you’ll find one of the Island hidden gems – well not that hidden as it has been featured in myriad publications from Conde Naste Traveller to The Times – as one of the best places to eat on the water in the whole of the UK. A myIsleofWight Award winner, The Little Gloster offers stunning fresh flavours, using the finest locally sourced ingredients as well as a sublime wine list to accompany your culinary choices. The “Gravadlax” House Cured salmon with horseradish, sprouted spelt bread, Danish style caviar and crème fraiche is a must try. Definitely worth the walk.

To book call 01983 298776.

7. The Old Fort, Seaview

A Family run local’s favourite for the past 20 years, The Old Fort is situated right on the seafront in the Islands’ North Eastern town of Seaview, with outside dining available if the weather is good. Visiting Yachtsmen who are members of a recognised Yacht Club may use Seaview Yacht Club's moorings and ferry service subject to availability and payment of fees, and a tender service ashore is available in season. The Old Fort is just along the front from the yacht club and offers lunchtime homemade specials, salads and sandwiches and an ever changing smorgasbord of delight every evening.

To book call 01983 612363.

8. Best Dressed Crab, Bembridge

Floating on the water in Bembridge Harbour, The Best Dressed Crab in Town specialise in the freshest locally caught crab and lobsters. From dressed crabs served in their shells, to giant crab claws, seafood platters and local Bembridge Prawns (when in season), this is shellfish literally jumping out of the boat and onto your plate. You can also buy crabs and lobsters to take away with you from the shop next to the restaurant.

To book call 01983 874758.

9. The Beach Hut & Beachside Bar Seafood Kitchen, Bembridge

Perched on the side of Forelands Beach, The Beach Hut & Beachside Bar Seafood Kitchen is literally a small beach hut housing a kitchen, with outdoor seating on a deck overlooking the sea. Only open if the weather is good, this is a rustic eatery with seriously fresh seafood, salads and great wine. A walk or taxi ride from Bembridge Harbour, this is well worth a visit on a glorious sunny day, to sit and enjoy the view.

To book call 01983 874270.

10. The Smoking Lobster, Ventnor

We love this little restaurant that sits overlooking the beach in Ventnor. Boasting a stunning Asian inspired seafood menu that is so packed with flavour and exciting dishes you’ll not know what to choose. Do you go for the Crispy Soft Shell Crab, Chill & Cucumber Maki Rolls, the Seared Scallops, Chilli, Coriander, Peanut & Prawn Rice Noodles or the King Prawn, Crab and Calamari Laksa Curry Risotto? Best thing is to drop anchor in Ventnor harbour for the night and get to enjoy lunch and dinner at this amazing eatery before you leave.

To book call 01983 855938.

Alix Robinson

1 September 2018

By Alix Robinson in Articles

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