A regular stop for coach tours in the day time, when it trades as a tearoom (see note below); after hours Arreton Barns is perhaps better appreciated as the home of the Dairyman's Daughter pub, a splendid drinking and eating parlour, full of character, with good beer, good food and reasonably good live music every night. If you are lucky enough to get a seat by the real fire in the winter, or in one of the snug 'alcove' seats, you really will be settled in for a splendid evening.
Matt and Cat enjoy a quiet drink down the Dairyman's now and again, occasionally combining it with the enjoyable quiz night, hosted by the highly entertaining 'Rodney Stardust'. Despite the fact that it is a tourist Mecca, part of a (local) chain of pubs, and able to cater for several coach loads of old dears at once, the place still feels like a comfortable village pub - no mean achievement. It is a welcoming atmosphere, and if you feel peckish, a bite to eat is also worth the trouble.
Good basic pub fare is available from the comprehensive menu. Steaks, salads, sandwiches, burgers and other favourites are all dished up with enthusiasm, plenty of chips and salad. The kids section is also particularly diverse. The food is fresh, well presented, generous in size and delivered fairly promptly. The place is also set out to cater for a multitude, so even at busy times if you can get a seat, you will probably get served soon enough.
One word of caution - the Scarecrow microbrewery on site was much heralded, and a fantastic idea, but did not manage to produce much that pleased Matt's palate. It's not even clear if it's still brewing as no sign of its produce has been seen at the bar for a while. The Dairyman's serves a very good range of beers from elsewhere on the Island and beyond, but although some seem to like it Matt's own advice is not to try the very local stuff. Finally, if you're wondering about the name, there is an explanation, the irony of which is probably lost on all but a very few of the Dairyman's many happy visitors.
Addendum: Matt and Cat and some friends paid a visit to the Dairyman's on a Bank Holiday afternoon to try the cream teas. Sitting in the charming courtyard in the shade of an olive tree, they found this pub to be a delightful spot. A cream tea with an extra pot of tea was ordered, and proved to be generous enough for two. As much tea as Matt and Cat could drink combined was supplied, in pots, with milk in a jug, and yes, hot water in another pot. Exactly right. Two large fresh scones made up the cream tea, with a big dollop of clotted cream, not in a little plastic pot but on a china plate. Jam of two types - red and yellow - also occupied a china plate of its own. The actual flavours of the jam were hard to determine as there wasn't a huge amount of fruit in it; but for the cost (£5) this was not a bad cream tea. The only fly in the ointment was the insistent piped music: indoors, you can just accept it as a price you have to pay, but outdoors? Please, no more.
Categories: We like, Pub Grub, Family friendly, Sandown & Shanklin, Tea shops
Here's looking to a return visit to the Dairyman's Daughter and most definitely, an alcove seat.
I'm always interested to get genuine customer feedback, so don't let me know if you decide to come, so you won't get any special treatment!
Keep up the good work!
Glad you liked the website! We are aware of your chip shop, but have yet to try it, and that's why it's not on our list yet. You have a very good website, and perhaps, one day, we shall venture in your restaurant to try your wares. Don't worry, we don't expect special treatment either, so you can put away that 'Welcome Matt and Cat' banner until after you've read the review! In fact, you won't know when we're there as we don't want to compromise our integrity.
EDIT: OK, we've been! Go and see.
Again, a great website..will be visiting DD's again this year while on our honeymoon...can't wait.
Just had a look at your very well informed site, having seen a printout of it in The Pointer Inn in Newchurch. I must say that your evaluations pretty well coincide with my own. However, I feel I must disagree with you regarding the "reasonably good live music" link (which, incidentally doesn't work!).
"Reasonably"?!! In general the quality of music is very good, being provided by the cream of Island pub bands (and personally vetted by Andrew Gibbs himself). You are assured of good music whenever any of the following acts are playing: The Chale Wailers, JC & Angelina, Pete Hogman's Blues Band, Menage, ContraBluesBand (which, incidentally, is the band I play with not wishing to be accused of nepotism of course!), Dave Packer, The Griffins, The Lonesome Valley Boys.............the list is endless. I don't know which night you were there but I am surprised the band that particular night only merited the phrase "reasonably good"! Most of the above mentioned bands also play at the other pubs in the Gibbs "Empire" including The Steamer Inn at Shanklin which, unless I've overlooked it, you haven't listed yet. Believe me, if you love fish then they have a specials board with a fish selection to die for which is cooked to perfection by their chef who really knows his stuff.
Another good pub for fish is The Spyglass in Ventnor, likewise The Mill Bay Inn also in Ventnor (neither of which, unless I've overlooked them is listed. But then again there are an awful lot of pubs on the Island!).
So, how about it, drop the word "reasonably".....................please?
Nigel Foster (Island musician)
As for the music, well, we agree top marks to Gibbs pubs for a constant supply of local talent - that rocks. I'm pleased to hear that you like it all, I should hope so, if you play some of it! We do think that some of the music is great, and some is still on the way. As for changing the review, well, what you perhaps don't know is that these reviews do all change over time, as we revisit venues. Sometimes they are upgraded, sometimes the other thing. So, if the music consistently pleases us at the Dairymans then no doubt eventually this will be reflected in the review... keep sucking on that harp, Nigel, and we'll hear it!
Sadly, it was sold on and not long afterwards caught fire, razing it to the ground, which is why I do not rate the rebuilt version so highly. Character is not something you create simply by adding a few beams or folksy accessories.
The positives were the staff were very friendly and it was very quiet when we visited, but I prefer that over coach loads which this place attracts.
I doubt very much we'll go again.
We wont go back to the DD, too many 'tea tray' people where serious foodies requiring more substantial menu items are not considered as restaurant clients but must queue out of the door. Snobbish? potentially, however, not good for business either when a family wants to spend a substantial amount of cash. So we didn't get to try it out.
No problem , the competition are glad to have us - we're going back at the end of the month, we'll head straight for the Lion.
After successfully ordering a variety of items from the main course and lite bite menus, the wait did not appear to long. However when the food was brought to the table it was at that point we were told that there was no longer any prawns, to accompany the salad. However there was no apology, no alternative offered, and the "manager" concerned then walked off to bring the next batch of plates which left the person in our party pondering over the choices whilst we were eating our meals.
What angered me more though was the attitude of the staff concerned who were rather abrupt. For the rest of the party it appeared that some were satisfied with their meals and some were okay.
I personally had the meat and meaty 8oz burger which unfortunately came without some main ingredients the chilli and cheese!
We were not in the process of having anything further from the establishment desserts or drinks, and on leaving the premises a couple of the party went to speak to the "manager" We were then giving the usual excuse by the manager of " I will speak to the chef ". Our concerns were really with the waiting staff and not the chef as such.
On the plus side of our stay we did have a couple of meals in the superb White Lion Arreton, round the corner, which had a comprehesive menu, good array of beers and pleasant staff members and would certainly recommend this in future instead
When she queried it the assistant was sharp and unhelpful. We have never been again.
When ordering a burger for my daughter i asked wether she could have a small version of the adult bacon burger. Was told i could have a small version but pay the full price by a young girl that insisted on referring to me as 'Luv'. Not wanting to cause any fuss i paid for the full adult version, which my daughter then ate half.
I chose the chefs special Chicken with Goats cheese, the Chicken was very dry and the salad that came with it was very dull.
The final meal was the vegetarian mushroom burger which was enjoyed by my second daughter.
This is the first time i have been here and will probably be the last. :-(
Even now, every time Arreton arises in conversation she starts on the cut cake.