Best Summer Eats

One thing you are guaranteed of while visiting the Isle of Wight is some fantastic dining experiences. Whether eating out or buying in to cook for yourself the Island offers a wealth of locally grown produce and culinary talent. Here’s our guide to the best places to eat on the Island this season.

Heavenly Homegrown

The Island has some internationally renowned, award winning local producers like the Isle of Wight Cheese Company (their Isle of Wight Blue is multiple medal winner at the World, British and International Cheese Awards, most notably winning Best English Cheese at The World Cheese Awards), Minghella ice cream (chances are you’ve heard of the Minghella family before, but not in connection with ice cream or sorbet, but due to the celebrated film director, writer and producer Anthony Minghella), and The Garlic Farm garlic and chutneys (famous for exporting garlic to the French!). For fresh from the ground seasonal produce Living Larder is a definite visit when on the Island or you can contact them to pre-order delivery of their weekly veg boxes, which this summer include new potatoes, Isle of Wight organic cocktail vine tomatoes, french beans, mixed baby leaf salad, sweetcorn, broad beans and bunched shallots.

Long Lazy Lunches

It’s not just our local produce that is internationally renowned, The Hut in Colwell Bay was recently mentioned in featuring alongside restaurants in Singapore, New York and Barcelona as one of the top places superyacht industry key players like to lunch. This waterside eatery has stunning views across the Solent, a tender service for bringing guests ashore who arrive by boat and has a menu offering a diverse mix of innovative dishes.

A long time local’s secret, The Boathouse restaurant in Steephill Cove is very hard to get a table at, often being booked up months in advance, but if you can get a table it offers a simple menu of the freshest seafood platters, laden with whatever has been landed in the cove that day.

Over on the Island’s north shore just outside Cowes is The Little Gloster a must visit when on the Island. Recently awarded ‘Restaurant of the Year’ in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and featured in the Michelin Guide, head chef/proprietor Ben and his team cook up a storm of simple seasonal food with a Scandinavian influence. A favourite spot for breakfast, lunch and supper.

Simply Stunning Suppers

For simple intimate suppers there are many places to choose from across the Island. Our top choice for big innovative flavours is Nomad, with two restaurants in Cowes and Newport. These guys really know about creating dishes that pack a mighty punch serving neuvo Latino and Asian street food alongside some classic British dishes. Their Shut Up & Feed Me menu is just £25 for a 5 course tasting menu – they just bring you whatever the chef has created that day using the freshest local ingredients. This is all about eating with your fingers to finish every last morsel. The crispy pork belly bao steamed buns with chipotle aioli are a must order!!!

To the east of the Island is Lockslane in Bembridge, self billed as an ’intentionally small, two woman band’ restaurant which is open all year round (which is a bonus on the Island) with a relaxed and unpretentious menu focusing on dishes showcasing local seasonal produce – many of the ingredients are sourced right there in the village.

Just next door to Nomad in Cowes is the Mess Canteen. Here the menu is vast and exciting offering lots of innovative culinary combinations and influences. There are gluten free and vegetarian options and their rosemary fries are not to be missed – served in a colander this is a proper sized portion!

Alix Robinson

7 August 2017

By Alix Robinson in Articles