For great food and an amazing view go... Off the Rails
Yarmouth has long been a Mecca for visitors, by yacht, ferry, bike and on foot. It is a picturesque harbour town with its own Tudor castle, a plethora of pubs, boutique shops and a selection of varied eateries catering for every taste.
So Off the Rails, situated on the old railway line that ran through Yarmouth to Freshwater, is a real surprise - offering something completely new in this well catered for arena. So what makes it so special and stand out from the other eateries Yarmouth boasts?
Well for one thing, Off the Rails has the most amazing views. This is the only place to eat in Yarmouth where you feel you are in the countryside rather than on the waters edge, looking out over the stunning scenery of the Western Yar instead of onto the Solent.
The old railway line is now a well known cycle path and frequented by walkers and riders alike, making Off the Rails the perfect stop off point on any journey along the line. Housed in the old station (which for many years has been a youth club) this wonderful historic building has had new life breathed into it, while recreating the nostalgia and essence of train travel in days gone by.
The platform now has picnic tables and chairs, the “Mind the Gap” has been painted back on to the platform edge, while inside banquette seating takes the form of re-upholstered train carriage seats and tables, complete with luggage racks overhead.
The attention to detail here is brilliant and with a woodburning stove ready for the winter months – this is definitely somewhere to pop into year round.
Incorporated into the buildings new lease of life is a bespoke bird hide tower – available for private dining for up to 8 people whilst taking in some of the marshes spectacular wildlife. Also on site is cycle hire from Wight Cycle Hire, perfect for picking up a bike, exploring the West Wight for the morning and then stopping off for a lovely lunch when dropping the bikes back.
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner the food is a real treat, coupled with great service and an eye for detail.
A different offering from other local establishments, breakfast at Off the Rails is a sumptuous affair, all fresh and handmade. Try black pudding on toast with poached egg and hollandaise or a stack of pancakes with fresh fruit topping drizzled with maple syrup. The coffee is smooth – carefully sourced by manager Philippe Blot who brings his Gallic flair to the whole establishment – while soft drinks include treasures like homemade pink lemonade and fresh fruit frappes.
Head Chef Pete Corney has created a range of simple menus. For lunch why not opt for the Luggage Burger - homemade and cooked to order served with a heap of dressed mixed leaves? Or try the sandwiches with fillings that all take the usual and deliver in a new and exciting way – try the Railroad Reuben; salt beef, mature cheddar cheese, apple cider coleslaw, pickles and Reuben sauce or grab a Trackside; smoked salmon with wasabi and beetroot houmous and watercress.
With a strong emphasis on salads and fresh produce, the menu changes weekly and always starts from the point of offering good vegetarian, dairy and gluten free options. But fear not the Green (herb) Fries are still seriously naughty.
Dinner is served Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and offers a daily changing menu of specials, all using seasonal products cooked simply with a twist.
And for those just out for a cycle who need a pitstop to refuel and make it those last few miles home – there is an abundant array of cakes and pastries on offer too as well as teas and specialty coffees (try a flat white with a hazelnut shot).
If you love good food in the tranquility of the picturesque countryside, then Off the Rails is definitely the place to be this season, so grab your bike or pull on your walking boots and head over to the West Wight.
Off the Rails, Station Road, Yarmouth, PO41 0QT, 01983 761600
20 May 2016