Wholesome Wight Bites - a guide to healthy eating out on the Isle of Wight.

Conscious eating on the Isle of Wight is becoming easier and tastier; vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, gluten free, diary free, fat free, or paleo, the good news is that our Island restaurants, cafes and pubs are now gearing themselves up to cater for our wholesome lifestyle choices.

As a yogini and triathlete I am conscious of what I eat and I love clean, fresh and wholesome food as do many of my clients. When I eat out I want it to be tastier and more imaginative than I can cook at home and I want the dishes to inspire and indulge me without leaving me feeling indulgent, but sated in a crisp, balanced, local and loved way.

Bembridge is home to the smashing new vegetarian and vegan cafe The Farm Shop & No8 Cafe. Fresh juices, smoothies, breakfasts full of fruits and nuts, pies and soups and gluten free options, all made from local and seasonal produce, whole and healthy foods at standard cafe prices that won’t break the bank. It’s a very popular venue in the village with downstairs health food shop offering a wide selection of speciality foods and local vegetables and fruit.

For a summer seaside specialities and salads you can’t beat the hospitality of Jon and Emma at the Beach Hut Beachside Bar and Seafood Kitchen. Eating their food is to be enjoying the best of seaside and vegetarian feasts. Delicious, plentiful and ambrosial dishes are made with loving concern for your palate and belly. This is unpretentious eating, sat beside the foreshore, looking east over Bembridge ledge sheltered from the predominant SW winds, kids and dogs welcome.

My go to veggie and healthy eating venue of choice is still The Garlic Farm Restaurant. I have never been to a more helpful venue. If your diet isn’t immediately catered for on their veggie filled menu, they will tweek, substitute and carefully craft you something suitable that never fails to delight your palate - the veggie quesadilla makes for a fantastic lunchtime cycle stop. Be warned though - if you have a partner, they need to be enjoying this fare with you. It is as the name suggests, full of the bountiful benefits of the garlic grown on the farm.

For more of a restaurant type atmosphere and price tag then Heima in Brading is a truly inspiring culinary experience. Their aim to forage for much of the menu ensures that their dishes are authentically seasonal and local. Truffles, nettles, wild garlic, sea greens and rose hips are currently served in their tasteful Scandinavian influenced restaurant. Nomad in Cowes and Newport are also innovative and really considerate eating venues. Their catering philosophy? Shut up and Feed Me! They seem to be constantly working to find new ingredients and techniques to present you great street food. You pay a fixed price and they bring you the very best dishes the kitchen has to offer. They are notoriously helpful when considering your individual dietary preferences and the food is good, new and fresh.

More and more of us are insisting on quality, whole, local, clean and fresh tasting food and the Isle of Wight’s innovative culinary community are hearing that call. Whether you are a committed foodie or simply a clean living, health conscious person, choice is now available for us from cleansing juices to just picked greens - nutritious and delicious on the Isle of Wight!