Top Foodie Pubs

The perfect accompaniment to a vigorous walk is a pitstop at an Island pub that serves fabulous homemade food. The Isle of Wight has many great pubs serving locally sourced, seasonal produce so here's a few of the best to get you started...

The Red Lion, Freshwater

The Red Lion in Freshwater is a beautiful olde worlde pub, with its origins dating back to the 11th century, that has a refreshing stripped back country interior and serves some great food. Locally sourced seasonal produce dominates the menu with classics such as 100oz IoW Farmed Ribeye Steak with Roasted IoW Tomato and IoW Crab Mornay, while Sunday lunches are a top hit here too. Dog and child friendly with some great local ales this is definitely one to visit while on the Island.

Top Tip: Don’t try and pick up the pound coin from the flagstone floor – it’s stuck on!

The Pointer Inn, Newchurch

The award winning Pointer Inn in Newchurch is perfect for a beer or a bite to eat, and is one of the oldest and most historic pubs on the Isle of Wight. Their clever bartering system helps bring the Isle of Wight’s best fresh produce into the kitchen with local growers exchanging their freshly picked produce for food and drink. These homegrown ingredients provide the inspiration for the chef’s specials, which change on a daily basis. There’s also a menu of comforting classics, plenty of light bites for lunches and snacks, and a ‘little pups’ menu for the children too.

Top Tip: Make sure you try the homemade lamb shank Newchurch Pie – famous Island-wide.

The Taverners, Godshill

The Taverners in Godshill has earned a well-deserved reputation as one of the best gastro pubs on the Island. They serve good Island ingredients in inventive and delicious ways, and like the Pointer Inn will even exchange your home grown veg for food and ale in their pub. Boards on the wall tell you which foods are currently in season and therefore more likely to be in your lunch or dinner. Dine in the large back room or the olde worlde former pub in the front of the building that overlooks the high street.

Top Tip: Try their own real ale the Taverners Brew.

The New Inn, Shalfleet

The New Inn in Shalfleet specialize in game when it’s in season and have won many awards for their food. The pub has a roaring open fire in the winter and sits by the bridge over the river that becomes Shalfleet Creek – a lovely walk before or after dining will take you down the edge of this beautiful stretch of water. In the winter months you are likely to hear the guns that are shooting your dinner as you walk along the path! Pheasant, partridge and duck are often on the menu along with other local meats and seasonal fayre.

Top Tip: Splash out and try their Seafood Royale - a large platter of locally caught lobster and crab, hot and cold fresh fish and shellfish served with lemon mayonnaise, IOW smoked garlic mayonnaise with citrus dressed salad and locally baked bread.

The Fishbourne Inn, Fishbourne

The Fishbourne Inn, owned by the same people as the New Inn, has a great menu to match their sister establishment. Decorated in a modern minimalist style, the pub offers quality dining in a pub setting. Again it features Island produce and tells you your food’s provenance on the menu where you can opt for a full main course or a smaller portion for ‘the smaller appetite’. Deli boards for two to share are popular and the pub also has Isle of Wight crab and lobster on the menu.

Top Tip: The Fishbourne Inn is also open for breakfast and coffees everyday from 9-11am.

The Bonchurch Inn, Bonchurch

The Bonchurch Inn has long been a well-kept secret amongst those in the know and now its reputation is spreading far and wide. Waiters in long black aprons and the Italian menu give this pub a definite gastro atmosphere, but the pub itself is like a well preserved antique. Little has changed since the Inn gained its license in the 1840’s, making it one of the most unspoilt Pubs on the Island. Once the tap to the nearby Bonchurch Hotel, the interior is out of a bygone age and there’s a sun/family room across the pretty courtyard. Ulisse and Gillian Besozzi have been landlords since 1984 (hence the Italian menu) and are now partners with their children Adrian and Victoria.

Top Tip: Try the lasagne as recommended by Rick Stein who loves to visit the Bonchurch Inn while on the Island.

Jo Macaulay

12 May 2016

By Jo Macaulay in Articles