Matt and Cat are always grateful for your suggestions for places to try next. If there's a food venue you want them to visit, just leave a comment here with your suggestion. They check this post regularly and every suggestion is taken on board... although with so many great places to eat on the Island they might take a while to get round to visit each one.
If you've got a comment about a particular restaurant they've already visited then please comment on the review page, not here.
Please check they haven't already been to your suggested venue by using the search feature on the sidebar, as otherwise your wisdom might get deleted unread!
They won't normally respond directly here in this page, but watch out to see whether your suggestion is taken up. To keep the page to a manageable size comments here are deleted once they get old and/or when the review suggested is written.
Latest comments are at the bottom of the page
I've not been for a while - but there was the most wonderful tea-garden that was accessed next to the beach steps at Rylstone Manor Gardens (at the top - don't go down to the beach!). Looking out over the sea, it was/is the most idyllic spot to sit and sup tea and eat home-made cakes.
I'm not sure if it's even there now, but I used it frequently about ten years ago. I think it's linked to the tea rooms that are located round the back of Rylstone Manor - almost on top of the Chine.
If it's still there - visit it in high summer. You won't find a better location. And the home made cakes were something to behold.
Apologies if it's closed down!!
Matt and Cat respond: It was certainly open last summer, although we've not been there yet. And as far as we know it's not connected with the tearooms at Rylstone.
Matt and Cat respond: we'd love to go to the college and eat. Do they have a restaurant website?
we used to go to the griffin at godshill years ago, but the couple separated sadly, so I'd like to know if she cooks any where else.
Matt and Cat respond: Thanks for your comment Christine. Perhaps you'd like to read our review of the Dark Horse.
Some shock results!
I remember reading of your visit to the Boathouse at Victoria fort Yarmouth after the gaffers festival some time ago. I recall that you sampled the tea and cakes. My Brother-in-law is the owner and he has worked very hard to establish a reputation for good honest food with local fresh ingredients. I would like to suggest you visit the boathouse for breakfast, lunch or dinner when you next find yourselves in Yarmouth and would be very interested in reading your comments. Keep up the good work.
Matt and Cat respond: Thanks for your comment, Jonathan. We really enjoyed our meal at the Boathouse and are pleased that your brother-in-law is making a success of it.
Great value, huge kids portions - you really should try it!
Matt and Cat respond: That was us alright. What a night!
my wife enjoyed her meal but my rogan was only average. Seemed all tomato and very little spice. This all came to £45 which I thought was excessive. My wife paid by card as I left the restaurant. When I queried the bill she only had the visa receipt showing the grand total, no itemised bill as they had retained that. I then remembered that another customer was only given a total bill and had to ask for the itemised list.
The mains were about £9 x 2 (18) plus the rice say £3 and the popadoms say another £3. The nan bread about £5 this = £29. So we paid approximately £16 for 2 lagers and 2 glasses of wine.
Four of us had similar meals and drink at the Ryde tandoori next to Wetherspoons and that only came to £55. Definitely not repeating the experience.
Matt and Cat respond: Hi julie, thanks for your comment. We went to the Little Gloster a couple of weeks ago - we're just putting the finishing touches to our review. Watch this space!
We ordered two baguettes (tuna and prawn) one coffee and one coke. They had run out of lettuce but that was only a minor matter. The baguettes were well-filled and about 10" long. The young lady serving was very nice and welcoming. The bill was just under £13 which isn't bad.
Before we left, I perused the menu in the window. Prices for most of the dishes were comparable to other places but two stuck out as being rather excessive. An 8oz rump steak meal for £14.45 and a mixed grill with a 4oz steak for £16.95. You could have those far cheaper at the Woodman in Wootton or the Folly Inn. I would go again but stick to the other menu items.
I liked it so much even I attempted to write an interim review until you guys can do it properly.
Matt and Cat respond: yes, we're convinced!
The Tap in Sandown is lucky to have one of the best 'cooks' I've met in years...yes we are a 'boozer'..but our staples compare well with the best on the Island for 'pub grub' so ' come on down' Mssrs Matt & Cat ;) I'll buy the drinks
Matt and Cat respond: Thanks for your honesty KJ, we're happy to take self-referrals when they're up-front about it! We'll definitely put you on our list.
What do you think?
Matt and Cat respond: Hi Stephen. Thanks for your comment. We have been to the New Inn, but it was some time ago so we value your update. Thanks!
Have you tried the west bay club in yarmouth? anyone can eat in the country club brasserie (you don't have to be a member)
Their Beetroot and goats cheese salad is amazing and there are tables outside and place for kids to run around
highly commended by a customer :)
Then a crème de barry (cauliflower soup) followed by mains; rack of lamb or sirloin of beef (carved at table) from Godshill or sea bass (I guess from the sea around the Island it did not say) or vegetarian option of a savoury bread pudding, all were served with different vegetables and potatoes & jus.
And to finish a Lavender Crème Brule, a Rhubarb Pavlova (rhubarb grown in the IOW College Garden) or Strawberries and Cream, then a coffee & mints. The night was the best we have been to yet and at £20 for 5 courses and with the high quality of ingredients, it really was fantastic value.
You must try and go next term; they told us they are having many themed nights again next term starting in October including a Robert Thompson Night and another IOW Produce Night. Well done to all at the College and the budding trainees who provide such excellent food and service.
Re: The Propeller Inn, Bembridge
I enjoy reading your reviews and feel you have a balanced approach... here is a question :
I regularly eat out and recently went for a meal with 5 friends to The Propeller Inn, Bembridge. We ordered 5 meals, a bottle of wine and a couple of beers. One of the ladies has a multitude of allergies and only drinks tap water. The staff said they couldn’t serve it; we needed to buy it by the bottle. When we asked the management to explain this, she stated that the Environmental Health had told them they cannot serve water from the tap because it is a tap used for washing up. (?!)
We pointed out that the tap behind the bar surely couldn’t be for washing up, it was far too small to get any dishes under it... her response was to become quite aggressive and telling us that we didn’t have a right to "Ask" for free water because she was a business woman and as a commercial premises she has to make money. Unfortunately we had to buy a bottle for our friend, but it left us feeling that this was some ridiculous story about the Environmental Health!
To be honest, having spent £70+ in there, I would have thought they may have seen the value of offering one lady a glass of water!
We will NOT be going back and always laugh as we see the sign which says "Good Company" outside! "Not"!!
I would welcome your views on this please?
Matt and Cat respond: yes, it's a statutory licensing requirement for anywhere that sells alcohol. Details here. You should draw this incident to the attention of the licensing authority (the IW Council).
Re Propeller Inn
I'm sure that since last year, Licenced premises are required to provide free tap water as part of their licence conditions.
From: Consumer Council for Water:
Do pubs and restaurants have to supply free tap water?
Yes if they serve alcohol. The government updated rules requiring establishments to have free tap water available wherever alcohol is sold, in an attempt to combat binge drinking. You can read more about the Home Office’s latest guidance here. Failure to comply with any conditions attached to a licence or certificate is a criminal offence, which could be punishable by a fine or imprisonment or both.
I then rang The Propeller Inn, Bembridge tonight and (extremely politely) pointed out the above.
I probably can’t repeat here what they suggested. Suffice to say they do NOT agree.
I think that PAUL MULLERY is right; this is very damaging to a pub that isn’t busy at the best of times!
We had two mains, three papadoms, and shared an egg fried rice and naan. We brought our own wine and the waiter uncorked it and put the cork back on a second bottle we hadn't finished.
Excellent food and reasonably priced at £24 the lot. The only minor thing - in common with most Indian restaurants - the table for two was too small. The waiter had difficulty finding enough surface area to put all the dishes on. The table was about the same size as those mini desks you see in a school hall when the kids are doing exams.
We will definitely go again but ask for a bigger table.
Matt and Cat respond: voila!
Could you review Bagel Wrap Coffee House as we have moved to 61a Union Street Ryde.
Trust me it's dead nummy!!
The dining area was somewhat canteenish, not helped by tables being placed near the toilets. I also noticed that there was no obvious heating which might be a problem in the winter. The room echoed with conversation which detracted from the dining experience. the plus point was that the drinks were reasonably priced. On balance not planning a second visit but we wish the new proprietors well in their new venture.
Dan's Kitchen truly deserves to succeed and it seems to have got off to a very encouraging start. We wish it well and we will certainly become regular customers.
Can you let me know if I just haven't found it or it has been left off for a reason?
Matt and Cat respond: yes Lawrence, it has indeed been left off for a reason - because we have yet to go there. When we do, we'll certainly put a review here.
We had a good chat with the owner, a single parent. She has to do everything by herself which accounts for her limited range of food. I imagine that it would be impossible for her to cook food and serve customers single-handed. Thus everything must be pre-packaged and ready to sell. If she offered fresh cooked food - assuming she has cooking facilities - she might be able to employ someone to look after the serving and the till. A shame really as she could do with some assistance.
It's well worth a visit.
Matt and Cat respond: Hi Mike and Sue, thanks for your comment. Although there are plenty of restaurant reviews on our site, we love to visit other types of venue too - burger vans, takeaways and we definitely make time for tea. We'll put Brannon's Tea Room on the list - thanks for the suggestion.
Could I ask that you perhaps pay a return visit to The Hare and Hounds? Your last review was from March 2007, and it was pretty favourable; however, as can be seen by the subsequent comments the place has either let things slip quite considerably, or as I suspect, you caught them on a rare good day! Please try and pop in again and tell us all what you think! Cheers.
Meanwhile, a public service announcement. Perhaps we can ask something of you - yes, all of you. If there's already a review of a venue, please can you post comments about that location in the appropriate place? Sadly there's no one-click solution on this blog so it takes us about 10 mins work for us to move each misplaced comment. We don't get round to doing that very often.
Some folk like to use this suggestion page for specific comments about venues - that's not the idea and means that people reading the actual reviews will be deprived of your wisdom and up-to-date information. We very much appreciate and encourage the sort of informed and opinionated comments that we get here, but do us a favour, can you? Just pop them in the right place please.
Remember - this page is for you to (checks title) 'Suggest a venue'.
(I'm assuming this is not already on your site having looked all through "tea-rooms", but sometimes things are nicely tucked-away?)
Just wondered if you had tried the Foresters in Yarmouth?
We went there a couple of times whilst staying in Yarmouth back in May and found it to be excellent.
Very good food, friendly staff and a lovely atmosphere too. She even let Jim play the piano!
* Bluebells at Briddleford Farm, Briddleford for a fab cream tea on a Sunday afternoon (lunch menu looked good too)
* Chale Green Stores for a light lunch - great food from their deli, beautiful gardens and lovely views
We wondered if you'd visited yet?
Matt and Cat respond: yes, we've been to both. We agree with you!
I know some have already commented on the opening of Dan's Kitchen in St. Helens but I just wanted to come here and endorse those views. We just got back from lunch and want to thank them for a lovely meal and for being prepared to go out of their way to cook an dish from the evening menu, which was fab.
Good luck to all with the new venture and hopefully see you soon.
well woth the visit
go, u wont regret it
This has been our favourite pub on the Island for the past 3 years.
Food is generally home cooked (no frozen chips here!) & always served with a smile by the Landlady Shirley & her team.
Good mix of friendly locals & holidaymakers.
It's been a while since I posted on here, extolling the virtues of The Four Seasons.
It seems it's finally getting recoginition, although the fact that newly opened establishments are being reviewed ahead of it is irritating.
Surely it's time Mat & Cat headed to Wroxall and sampled the best value pub food on the Island.
the waterfront was fantastic views and culver inn were very nice, we found staff here great all you want is someone who knows what they are doing. however the tap in sandown was the worst food ever, cheap and nasty, defrosted quick and cooked fast, “carico di rifiuti” as the Italians say. Both pubs nearby the fountains and the chalkhead seemed way better all round, food looked and smelt good with friendly and welcoming staff, we wished we had eaten their instead so mainly thumbs up from us scooter boys for IOW grub - all it takes to please us is good service and tasty food, simples...you would think.
as for the kids moaning its up to the parent and establishment owner how late kids are in places you can go always go elsewhere if you don’t like it or choose somewhere kids enjoyment and laughter are not allowed try a conservative club! (or the tap)
The also offer locally caught fish dishes which I haven't tried as yet.
The downside is no toilet, the nearest being up the hill at St Helens or on the point.
The lovely lady gave my dog a sausage which was much appreciated.
I love this place!
Don't think you've reviewed Taj Tandoori in Sandown. We went twice: both times I'd say it was top quality curry-house stuff - nothing as imaginative as some of the things on the Maharajah (Shanklin) menu but everything I had (onion bhaji, jalfrezis, keema nan and chips) was spot on (though, to balance things, my wife thought her Bengal Chicken was very bland). They've got an offer at the moment - popadoms, starters and main course for £9 and didn't mind us ordering two of these and sharing the food amongst two adults and two children. Top marks from me.
Also, if you felt in need of a greasy spoon in Sandown - Sunny Side Up (top of the hill by the pier) is worth visiting if only to experience the attentions of the friendly young man behind the counter.
Matt and Cat respond: Thanks for your comments, Pete. We've added a link to our Taj Tandoori review to your comment. Thanks for recommending Sunny Side Up - we'll have to give it a go; Matt loves a fry-up!
Maybe I'll get the 100+ Black Country scooter Club that have 'lived' at the pub for the last 4 years to write a few reviews about us and Caulkheads.
After reading a post here I had to try the food The Tap had on offer (in what was stated as the best pub on the south coast) after ordering ‘Gourmet Beef Steak Burgers’ well who could resist those, and having to order another couple of pints of reasonably priced ale while waiting, in fact it was quite a wait for the food (probably close to an hour) and the pub was pretty much empty. But if its good food who cares, unfortunately it was not good, the roll on the wrong side of fresh, similar sad salad, burger well overcooked, if your going to use a good burger, and it resembled what could once have been a good burger (only CSI would be able to tell for sure) learn how to cook it right - put some effort in to make it gourmet not just say it, the chips were surprisingly ok, not very gourmet more just the cheap ones, here could learn about chips from places like The Taverners, chips can be very nice too even gourmet. It was not even served hot. Waited so long could not be bothered to complain just wont go back when other places near by have been tried and preferred for food.
“Best pub on the South Coast” it’s not even the best pub we have tried in Sandown, or even in Avenue Rd. Shame for us maybe you will find them on a better day.
Matt and Cat respond: we're big fans of the Brading veg market. The van's also there on Wednesdays. great for fresh bread, pies, cakes and obviously, veg.
However well it might perform as a cafe in the daytime, the prices it charges in the evenings (from £7 to £9 for starters and from £15 to £22 for mains) demand that it be taken seriously as a restaurant. With drinks and a bottle of wine our bill came to a staggering £134 for two! At these prices - not far off London's West End - I expect genuine service: a proper welcome, a knowledgeable headwaiter, maybe even an amuse-bouche. Instead, what we got were what now seems to be standard for chef-run restaurants on the Island: two young girls, who were perfectly pleasant but clueless about running a restaurant. As with the Garlic Farm Cafe, we waited 15 minutes before the drinks arrived - even then, it was only our persistence that got us this far.
As for the food - bits of it were OK, but the meat-based dishes suffered from the overall "brownness" that Matt & Cat commented on in their review of the Priory Bay.
But when will these chefs get the message that eating out is not just about the food - it's the overall experience that counts.
Also the rumour is true they are taking over the old Thistle cafe and I believe plan to open in Nov
We have just returned from our annual pilgrimage to the Island. One of the best pubs, in our opinion, is the High Down Inn. A proper authentic hostelry serving lovely varied food including game and seafood which has not been 'gastropubbed' and stripped of all character and atmosphere . Hopefully another one for your ever expanding list. We'd love to know what you think.
Matt and Cat respond: Hi Jan, thanks for your comment. It looks like you came to the same conclusion as us! We visited the Highdown Inn back in 2008.
Your site is excellent with the unique reviews and helpful banter from the readers. I fear that you'll lose people by too much non-Island material. After all there are great establishments on our doorstep that warrant reading about.
On the other hand I found the reviews very interesting and even though I live on the IOW I discovered a magical vessel that for a lot of gold coins will take you away to a magical land where you can try things such as restaurants, and go to markets and enjoy yourselves and share it with your interested readers...I was at the restaurant near were you went called Roast recently and I went round Borough Market, both made for a great day out.
I have not been in the restaurant personally but was commenting on Bruniocat's experiences in relation to mine with respect to quantity. I assume Bruniocat can count past 3 and if he says only 2 pebble sized potatoes were on the plate then it cannot be contradicted. He also says the food was of good quality.
The fact remains that certain restaurants appear to be in a competition to see who can charge the most for putting the least on the plate. I care not if the starter is by Gordon Ramsay, the main by Jamie Oliver and the sweet by Delia Smith. If they put mouse-sized portions on my plate, they would get a complaint.
Matt and Cat reply: Thanks for your suggestion Barry. We hope eating at Brannons won't be too much of a chore! It's on our list.
Matt and Cat respond: Thanks for your suggestion, Miss Food Critique. No, we haven't been to Forresters. Yes, it's on the list!
as i surfed threw the thread i realised you have not updated the Mamma Mia shanklin page,
they have moved up the road in a new establishment not sure on the number but is very nice.
They have brought a whole new look to the place nice elegant and warm.
only been in once through the week and once on weekend and has been full on both occasions.
Try it out matt and catt its rather nice
Seems a lot of places are putting on special menus for valentines day/week - but are they special or just more expensive - knowing people will go out whatever?
We normally go to our local Indian Restaurant (Bengal Palace) same prices all year round and great food - I may even break the poppodums into heart shapes - and who says romance is dead!!
Matt and Cat respond: Aw, heart-shaped poppadums, Casanova? Who said romance is dead! We'll be out and about on Monday and Wednesday, trying a couple of new venues but not Valentine specials. However, for a lovely romantic venue and excellent food you should try Burr's. Or for a bit of flamboyant old-skool Italian, book a table at Valentino's, Carisbrooke. Although we haven't been for a while we really liked the menu and swanky interior at Lakeside Park Hotel, Wootton Bridge, great for impressing a prospective mate. Or there's always afternoon tea for two at The Royal Hotel, Ventnor. Hey, we should write a website about this sort of stuff!
Despite the revamp - yes the fire was very welcoming after a long cold walk, which was the only good thing about our experience. We had luke warm but acceptable leek and potato soup with a meagre portion of stale bread. My coffee was ok but £1.95 for a very small cup is too much. My request for fresh milk was granted but not that cordially. A friend decided to have a pot of tea ... she said it was the worst pot of tea she had ever had - no flavour and too weak and to cap it all she was given UHT milk! - I did however calm her down when I shared my fresh milk with her. With so many other places to eat lunch, one would think they would pay more attention to detail. In future we will drive somewhere else, possibly Hulverstone as we enjoy it there.
We went to Avenue Road chippy this evening. They had no cod (initial minus point - like a pub without lager) so we ordered two large haddock, one large chips and two mushy peas. Toal cost £12.20.
We had to wait about 15 minutes but it was cooked fresh to order.The meals were absolutely spot on. The size of the fish was exceptional and the batter was perfect(light, smooth and crispy)not the hard, dark brown, spikey hedgehog-like offerings at other places. The chips were tasty and plentiful. The mushy peas were also the real McCoy.
A bit far to travel for us but well worth it. Avenue Road has restored my faith in Island chippies.
Best Fish n Chips within 5 miles
Matt and Cat respond: thanks for the question Jules, and all the lovely dots. You have answered your own question, really. There are about 400 reviews on our website. If we revisited venues we've already done at the rate of one a week, it would take us until 2019. So we do try to revisit, and to do new places, but we've only got so much time... and money!
Matt and Cat respond: if it's open to the public for paying customers to eat, then yes, it's fair game. Presumably it is, so we'll put it on the list!
Serving fabulous food and traditional English puddings in a really unique setting with first class customer service and stunning views.
Some people were saying they were amazed the new bistro in Ventnor turned them away at nine, on what was probably one of Ventnor's busiest evenings! Was a great buzz around the town.
I thought New China House Restaurant very much worth a try!
I am still receiving calls for 'orders' on my home land line from their prospective customers who think they are being clever by changing the old number advertised in an old edition of Yellow Pages to mine thinking that it should start (for Shanklin) 86......
Thank you in anticipation.
P.S. Mamma Mia's - some form of compensation would be appreciated!
HI THERE NOT SURE ON WHAT YOU MEAN BY YOUR COMMENT, CHANGE NUMBER? BEING CLEVER?
WE HAVE MOVE PREMISES OUR FORMER NUMBER WAS 864999 OUR NEW NUMBER IS 861162 SO NOT SURE WHERE THIS IS GOING!?
As well as the former number you quote, in an old advert, I believe it was Yellow Pages, you published a number beginning with 3... for customers wishing to place orders over the phone. As a result, customers aware that Shanklin telephone numbers begin with 8..., thought the 3.. was a printing error, dialled an 8 instead and landed up on my land line. This happened quite frequently at the time,and still occurs now on an irregular basis. I did speak to Mr Mamma Mia about this, but I had to agree there was nothing he could do about it. I seem to remember that to compensate for the inconvenience he did offer to supply me with a Pizza - haven't claimed it yet!
Have a good summer!
On our first visit over the weekend the 2 Adults had double chilli burger and fries, and a 3 egg ham omelette with a small salad, and 2 kids had tuna/cheese jacket potato and a half size portion of lasagne/chips/garlicbread…all for £12.50!
Outstanding in terms of quality, presentation and value. Everyone ate every mouthful. Well done lads and keep up the good work - at this rate we will be popping in a lot more!
If you get the chance to try - give it a go.
I would be pleased if you could find the time to review Bagel Wrap Coffee house now that we have mved to Union Street. With an exciting new menu,ice cream ,terrace garden as well as our great Italian coffee I am sure you will have a great experience.
PS Snow was falling the last time you visited us.lol.
They've got new chefs,new staff and had a complete outdoor renovation with new terrace, seating, signage etc.
Give it another go! :)
Does anyone know a pub that does good pub grub whilst also offering a reasonable and reliable vegan choice as well? A tall order, or a justifiable expection in this day and age....?
Matt and Cat reply: we crowdsourced your question on Twitter, and The Royal Hotel no less replied: "Roger at the Taverners Godshill is always accommodating, but would call beforehand"
I must have gone on a busy day though,as the queue at the counter was snail pace.The other issue I had on the day,was one of the toilets was out of paper,and there was no handwash left in dispenser.I did mention this to a young lady at the Cafe,who assured me this would be corrected,but had my suspicions that the message was not being passed on,as said young lady remained at the cafe for the length of my visit.
I don't eat shellfish and hate jacket spuds BUT their veg lasagne is really quite delicious. I stopped going there a few years ago due to a terrible meal and decided to give it a whirl again after learning a new chap was in charge.
The place is quite a treat for crustacean lovers, the lobster lunches look good.
The female staff were friendly and attentive, perhaps the chaps could take a leaf out of their books and remember a smile is free.
Seabreeze in East Cowes which we have loved for years seems to have changed hands. Anyone know for sure? Very disappointed when popped in for coffee some weeks ago - dirty cup, lipstick round the edge, perfunctory service. Oh dear....
Great meal and great service so much so that we have booked Sunday lunch there in a couple of days time. Highly recommended.
As for your anti-spamming grass colour question, since the arrival of a puppy in the household our grass is no longer as green as it should be!
Re: Seabreeze, East Cowes
So sorry you had a bad experience, please except our apologies and please make yourself known to me, Dino, should you come in again. I am the owner of Seabreeze and have been since 2002 and still going strong. We have had a change of staff recently so maybe there are a few faces you don't recognise. We always endeavour to deliver excellent customer service and great food, so I can only hope this was a one off.
Matt and Cat respond: Thanks for your comment, Sue. It's always good to hear about places that serve decent vegetarian food.
I know you dont normally review spa days but you should try this, I have been coming to the IOW for years and this is one of the nicest places we have been to.
(Quite excited, the last one I did was as a student in the now defunct Fatty Arbuckle chain. Puked on the pavement afterwards, but got the t-shirt!)
Matt responds: We would suggest Original Phil's, The Dark Horse, the White Horse, or The Alamo. All have been known to put on prodigious meals, in some cases with a prize for finishing. Or just have a normal mixed grill at The Pointer. It's bigger than your head.
New place on Ventnor Esplanade, was mentioned in IWCP last week. Went along for breakfast on this lovely sunny day. Very nice decor, good quality china and cutlery. Veggie breakfast freshly cooked, and served on hot plates (hooray). Would love it if chefs could give a bit of thought to the veggie option rather than just not including the meat - how about griddled/sauteed courgettes. Anyway, a very nice place, lunch menu looks good, and they are open Friday and Saturday evenings. A good addition to Ventnor Esplanade.
Anyone tried it yet? If not I will report soon!
I had a great Full English there on Saturday, good quality ingredients. Lovely doorsteps of toast, the bread was from the Village Bakery in Freshwater - what a welcome change from cheap, white supermarket sliced. There was a good selection of bread available for sale as well.
As their name suggests, homemade pies are a feature including pie, mash and liquor.
The staff were very friendly and couldn't do enough for you - I was even given a sample warm sausage roll!
Grest stuff - I must try for a pie lunch next time.
Probably the best value breakfast on the Island
Mini - sausage, egg, bacon,beans,fried bread and toast and butter. £2.50 YES £2.50 !!
Next one up the same plus hash brown, mushrooms and more beans £4.50
Well cooked and presented by a friendly and efficient staff.
This is a fun competition which welcomes homemade bangers made from pork or alternative (any meat or none). Any ingredients are welcome - the judges are looking for the tastiest sausages. Farmer Jack's can supply sausage skins if you don't have any!
Enter your bangers by contacting Farmer Jack's for an entry form email@example.com, pop into the shop or call Stuart on 07973 382965.
Spectators are very welcome on the 15th - there will be the chance to taste a range of sausages as well as watching the judging and enjoying a pint.
The beach hut on forelands beach... We were looking for the wonky cafe but stumbled across this little gem of a place. One of the few places still open this time of year - and they're open until December! Fantastic food, the mackerel pate was one of best I've had and equally good service.
Mat and Cat respond: Hi Chloe, thanks for your comment. We think that Dimbola is great. Although our review is quite ancient, we have been many times since - the picture on the front of our Facebook page is of a recent cream tea at the fabulous cafe. Perhaps we should have another though, if the tea room has had a revamp :)
2 soups and prawn crackers, 3 mains and 2 rices, 3 beers and a bill for £34, that is very good value, and more importantly every mouthful was lovely. I think this is my favourite 'traditional' Chinese Restaurant on the Island! The free 2013 calendar a nice touch too!
Isn't it about time for an updated review of the Garlic Farm Café? It's been a while since your last visit and the cafe has become a popular venue for summer tourists and Island residents. It would be interesting to see if they can impress you more than they did during your last visit now that they have been up and running for a couple of years. I have always enjoyed my meals there although some of the other reviews from other users are mixed. Look forward to hearing your thoughts and keep up the great work!
Matt and Cat respond: Not yet, Phil. But we hear it's worth the trip.
Matt and Cat say: voila
Also an update on the Spyglass, Ventnor, please
Matt & Cat respond: he's only been there a week! As big Staley fans we are intending to go there, but maybe we'll give him a short while to settle in. And Spyglass? Yes, we will be going back there too some time. That review is getting a bit old.
Elsewhere I spotted today that the former Manoel's in Cowes has now re-opened as a Basque restaurant under a different name That really seems like something unusual - don't remember seeing one anywhere before....
Matt & Cat any chance of a review of this place as it is no where to be seen on your site
Matt and Cat reply: yep, true enough, we've yet to review it - no reason why we have not, it looks great, just haven't got round to it!
Matt and Cat respond: Thanks as always for your comment, da yw wyth. You certainly paint a pretty picture of 'My Cakery'.
I have just taken over the Union Inn in Cowes and we would love you to come and visit us.
Our new menu is all homemade and cooked fresh to order for every customer. The pies are fantastic, as is the Spaghetti, but I definitely recommend trying a bowl of our homecut chips. I can't get enough of them and I'm going to be twice the size if it carries on this way!
If visiting on the weekend we suggest booking or coming early as we are often sold out of the Specials by 8:30pm due to small stock holding.
Hope to see you soon!
We went as a family of 4, 2 weeks after Amabi Cowes opened. We were really impressed. The ambience is fantastic - very Basque and foreign feel, with good music that is not overwhelming. The staff are courteous and knowledgable about the Basque cuisine. The chef is something special - Spanish himself, and his natural feel for his own cuisine really shines through in the excellent cooking and finesse of his dishes. We enjoyed some delicious gambas al ajillo which were perfectly cooked, some excellent croquetas with a delicious filling of cheese and chopped chorizo, tortilla that was still soft and delicious inside and some very fine Jason iberico. The price was very reasonable and we will certainly be revisiting soon, and taking more friends to share the lovely restaurant.
Matt and Cat respond: Hi Hannah, thanks for your comment. We popped into French Franks, Ryde shortly after it opened. Cat had a smoked salmon and cream cheese seeded bagel Matt had a baguette. The food and service are of the same standard as the Newport branch. We'll be bound to write a review in due course :)
May I suggest you both take a trip to Shanklin and try Fine Nammet. A welcome new addition to the Shanklin restaurant scene!
Coffee and soup are of the instant variety. However, it is the cakes that elevate this venue into the elite category! Hearing that they were made by "a local lady and her daughter" was immediately a good sign, and so it proved to be when I bit into a memorable coffee and walnut cake. The main thing, and worth the visit in its own right? Here is to be discovered the ULTIMATE cheese scone...!
Matt and Cat respond: you know exactly what we like, da...
The tearoom itself is beautiful - restrained colour scheme with classic furniture and real bay bushes in pots in various corners. Window to the back looking out towards holm oaks.
The cakes? Gorgeous textures and flavours abound. My date and walnut cake was moist with almost the texture of a brownie, fabulous spicy tang to it. Another customer left saying she had just eaten the best chocolate cake in the world.
The icing on the cake? The enticing sign outside advertising "sumptuous cheese scones"! I will have to return another day at bit earlier in the day, before they sell out like hot.... scones!
Matt and Cat respond: Thanks for your comment, da. We were in Ventnor last night, dining at El Toro Contento and spotted 'Cake' on our way back to the car park. It looks lovely from the outside - from what we could see with our noses pressed to the window at 11pm at night!
Olivia - please take note from your regulars on whom you depend on out season. Step it up or find someone who can.
Not sure about the last review, as I called in last Sunday and found the place empty. Only one choice of meat & unfortunately that was cold, ok when returned re-heated, but still a bit pricey.
I am now frequenting the Pier View instead. Such a shame, the Union used to be great.
The eating area is too near the bar. Not an ideal place for a quiet meal.
The tables are too close. I suggest they take out the armchairs from the alcove and put two tables in there and re-arrange the rest to give more space between the tables.
The tables are covered in red and white checked cloths which looks very much like a greasey spoon cafe. These should be replaced with white tablecloths.
Given the closeness of the bar to the dining area, I would eat early before the drinkers arrived
To compare us to a greasy spoon cafe is an unfair comment ,everyone who comes through our doors comments on the look and feel of the pub and think we have made a great effort with our decor .Feel free to visit our Facebook page and view our photos .Yes maybe our tables are close together but no worse than many other pubs unfortunately that is the space we have and we use it the best we can .We have had such lovely comments and support since we opened and as we are new to this trade we are eager to learn .I would like to add that people like us who decide to have a go in this time of recession I believe should be praised and supported ,if not we all know the pub is a dying trend and it would be a sad day to see little pubs like ours disappear .
Matt and Cat respond: Thanks for your comment, SueA. We'd spotted that Bay Grill had been renamed, and we look forward to trying the food at Three Buoys.
I found the pub to have a small but regular group of vocal 'wet led' customers who contrast starkly to what the new owners seem to aspire towards.
I would think that the suggestion "booking essential" is not used as this is obviously not the case, and will deter the casual diner when passing.
With respect to clientele, when I go past during the week there is hardly anyone in. One guy told me it does better at weekends.
On somevsailing forums, visitorsto the Newtown/Shalfleet areaI have recommended "The Dairy Deli", farm shop and cafe at Shalfleet, part of Calbiurne classics. I have not yet had an opportunity to visit there yet, but would like to know what our esteemed gastronomes make of it, their website is
By the way, I like the tablecloths - they remind me of many Bavarian hostelries!
To keep comparing us to past landlords is silly as we have certainly put our own mark on the Roadside and have given the community back it's village pub .