Where to Eat While Adventuring...

When pottering around the Isle of Wight, discovering new haunts and taking in the local sights, you are bound to get peckish in new and uncharted territory. So here's a helpful list of key spots to grab some nammet while out and about on an Island adventure.

South Wight - Bonchurch Inn, Bonchurch

Tucked away in Bonchurch on the southern side of the Island, just outside Ventnor, lies the Bonchurch Inn. This charming pub is a Victorian institution in itself with a reputation that spreads far and wide and exudes faded Victorian grandeur at its best. Little has changed since the 1840s giving it an unrivalled authentic feel of a bygone era, topped off by waiters walking around in long black aprons. The Italian menu gives this lovely pub a definite gastro atmosphere from fresh crab and juicy steaks to the traditional Italian specialities such as Lasagna or Tagliatelle Carbonara and homemade pizzas. The Bonchurch Inn has to be the most unspoilt pub on the Island. It's also very child and pet friendly. Open 12pm- 3pm then 6.30pm-11pm daily.

North Wight - The Coast Bar & Dining Room, Cowes

The most wonderful aspect of the sleekly designed bar and eaterie,The Coast in Cowes, is that you always get the warmest of welcomes, great service and fantastic quality food with a modern twist, whether you want bite size morsels or a three course blow out. With a wood fired oven recently added you can also nosh way on all manner of pizzas, garlic roasted mushrooms or tomato garlic bread. What’s more open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you are completely spoilt for culinary choices – eggs benedict to seafood risotto or crab linguine. Be prepared for a foodie joy.

Central Wight - we've given you two choices here that are quite near each other and both have fab cafes.

The Garlic Farm Café, Newchurch

Nestled along a tiny country lane is one of the Island’s most famous visitor attractions, The Garlic Farm. Its café has built up a huge clientele of families who flock to devour the delicious dishes where the focus is firmly rooted in locally sourced, fresh food with a garlic following. The ethos here is super-relaxed and friendly. Big on family too, the Little Grown Up’s menu is hugely popular – so you really can relax in the knowledge that your little ones are welcomed by staff while oodles of outdoor space caters for any restless leg syndrome.   There’s plenty of tantalizing choices and much of the food is Island seasonal produce. For the adults, why not try your palate on the garlic beer to wash down the Garlic Farm Mezze. Open everyday for breakfast and lunch.

Bluebells Café at Briddlesford Farm Lodge, Wootton

This charming café is situated right in the heart of a working dairy farm run by the Griffin family since the 1920s, in what used to be the cows winter housing. The Bluebells Café is run by a team of talented chefs who place much emphasis on fresh, quality Isle of Wight food from the best of the Island's farmers. Open 7 days a week from 9.30-5pm with late evening openings Friday and Saturday. The A la carte menu offers such tasty fare as herb encrusted lamb from Wootton, Ventnor caught sea bream fillets, Cheverton Farm fillet steak on buttered spinach. Live music nights are once a month with the best Island bands entertaining, while you devour a delicious all you can eat buffet of local produce. Open for breakfast and lunch everyday and for dinner on Saturday evenings - booking advisable.

East Wight - Dan’s Kitchen, St Helen’s

You can taste the influence of the chef having worked in a Michelin starred kitchen when you dine in this wonderful eatery. Situated on the south side of St Helens’ village green on the east side of the Island, head chef Dan Maskill and wife Carla are both passionate about delicious food. This is relaxed, informal dining par excellence in smart surrounds. Dan’s pressed Moor Farm ham hock terrine with pickle vegetables and cider jelly is an absolute must. Any of his fish dishes are to be devoured such as pan-fried local pollack with creamed potatoes, brown shrimp and leeks. Desserts also combine comfort with innovation – orange cheesecake with rhubarb crumble and blood orange sorbet. But you can’t beat the battered fish with triple-cooked chips, and locally smoked haddock with spinach and quails’ egg risotto. Yum-yum. Open Thursday to Saturday for lunch and dinner, and dinner only on Tuesdays & Wednesdays. Note - closed on Sunday and Mondays.

West Wight & myisleofwight Favourite - Off the Rails, Yarmouth

Off the Rails is situated in the original station building on the old railway line that ran through Yarmouth to Freshwater, has the most amazing views and is the only place to eat in Yarmouth where you feel you are in the countryside rather than on the waters edge. 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. You can also hire bikes onsite from Wight Cycle Hire.

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner the food is a real treat; breakfast 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. For lunch why not opt for the Luggage Burger - homemade and cooked to order served with a heap of dressed mixed leaves, while dinner offers a daily changing menu of specials, all using seasonal products cooked simply with a twist. Child, pet, bike and even horse friendly - this is a must visit when out adventuring in the West Wight!

Sarah Sims

8 May 2016

By Sarah Sims in Articles