Dine by the sea - 5 of the best

What better way to dine on the Isle of Wight, than by the water’s edge with spectacular sea views. Here's 5 great places to eat right by the sea.

1. The Brasserie, The George Hotel, Yarmouth

The George Hotel is hard to beat when it comes to enviable locations. It sits in the heart of Yarmouth on the water’s edge, across the Solent from Lymington’s marina. Not surprisingly The Brasserie is very popular with the yachtie clientele who flock to sample some serious culinary muscle in the kitchen. You can dine al fresco in the sumptuous courtyard garden which runs down to the water's edge.  What better way to kick off your culinary experience than with a delicious jug of Pimm's on the terrace as the sun sets.

2. The Bandstand, Sandown

The newly renovated Bandstand Café in Sandown rightly deserves its place in out top 5 as it offers breathtaking views out over the beach and endless sea at Sandown Bay. Lovingly restored they have retained the bandstand's vintage charm and architectural features, and created a unique glass upper seating area to give you a dining experience that's truly unique. Full height windows slide back in the warm summer months, giving you a direct connection with the coastline.

Open 7 days a week, the bandstand offers a wide range of delicious dishes. During the day they serve freshly ground coffee, brunches, home-made cakes and light lunches, as well as cool beers and chilled wines allowing you to just relax and take in the view.  In the evening the restaurant offers a selection of seasonally varied dishes and traditional favourites using the best local produce and the twinkling lights along the Bay make for a beautiful backdrop.

3. The Boathouse Restaurant, Steephill Cove

The Boathouse Restaurant is one of the Island's best kept secrets. Only open from the end of May to the first week in September, getting a booking for lunch here is considered a coup by locals and visitors alike.  It’s easy to think you are in the Mediterranean or even the Caribbean, when sat on the deck with a chilled glass of wine dining on fresh crab and lobster. The views of the picturesque cove and sea beyond are stunning. It’s also quite likely that you might actually spot the fresh catch coming in just meters away from your table by the coves fishermen who fish every day. It’s the freshly caught seafood that really makes The Boathouse just an absolute joy to eat in. Opening hours are only lunchtime and with just 30 seats to fill, booking is essential.

4. The Little Gloster, Gurnard

This is an unassuming waterfront eaterie in a great spot with far reaching views out across the Solent to the mainland beyond.  Its huge decking area outside has comfy poufs to lounge on in summer make it well worth a visit on that merit alone.  The Little Gloster is self-classed as a location offering “non-pretentious, well-priced food and drink, in a warm and friendly ambiance.” True to its word, this is a venue well worth discovering if you fancy fresh food full of flavour.  Chef Ben’s philosophy is to let the flavours speak for themselves by keeping it simple – a skill picked up from his Danish grandmother whose influences are everywhere from the food to the décor.

5. The Beach Hut, Bembridge

Always in a fantastic location The Beach Hut now offers fabulous food to match, specialising in deli style food, sharing platters and favourites with a twist. Small but perfectly formed, perched on the edge of the sea wall on a grassed terrace, The Beach Hut is one of a number of jewel-like huts that dot the fringes of the sea at Bembridge Foreland, looking out over the English Channel with Culver Cliff in the distance. The food is light: deli-style sharing platters with a lot of crab – Crab trio is a tasting platter with two mini sandwiches, a crab salad and a crab ramekin.

myIOW top tip: The café is not licensed but they are happy for customers to bring their own drinks and no corkage is charged when you are eating.

Alix Robinson

28 May 2016

By Alix Robinson in Articles