The Taverners, Godshill
It's only six months since Matt and Cat reviewed the former Cask and Taverners in Godshill, but it has undergone a couple of significant changes - a new name and a new chef. Enough for a whole new review.
If you want to read what M and C thought of the old Cask and Taverners, click here.
Encouraged to revisit this vast rural pub by james wilson and Mr Rutelo, Matt and Cat packed up the Ordnance Survey map and headed to Godshill. Unlike their previous visit, the summer sun was shining down on Godshill's narrow-pavemented street and the smell of cooking drew them to the rebranded Taverners.
Godshill is an odd place. It's always been the haunt of tourists, often by the coach-load, who stop off briefly on the way to or from somewhere else - they use the toilets, buy a cream tea and a postcard, and move on. In the winter it can be a ghost-town. So Matt and Cat were intrigued by what they'd heard. Had The Taverners, a big Godshill pub, abandoned the idea of churning out cheap bland food in volume? Would it be as friendly as before and would Cat's meal have any vegetables?
Entering through the courtyard door as before, the pub did not look particularly different despite the promise of a "famous top London chef". Matt and Cat were not sure what they expected; perhaps a moustachioed maitre d' presiding over a lectern and a leather-bound diary in which M and C's names would not appear. As it was a friendly lady stepped out from behind the bar to greet them with a big smile and a clipboard. Thankfully she wasn't canvassing for pub quiz contestants but proffering the menus. The bill of fare was a far cry from the dull offerings of the former pub. Every dish looked interesting and unusual. It was written in an informative yet very jaunty style, with snippets of humour amongst the worthy details of the locally sourced food. Starters included 'classic 1970s prawn cocktail with all the bits' and 'hand raised (ie odd shaped) free range pork pie'.
As well as plenty of clearly identified local produce there was an emphasis on what Cat described as 'man food' - pies, chips, chops and other red meat, perfect fodder for someone who has been toiling in a field all day. In fact, she overheard the man at the next table positively exclaim at the sight of (Moor Farm) ham, (double free range) egg and chips. And it had certainly been some considerable time since Matt and Cat had seen home-made faggots, mash, peas and gravy on any pub menu.
Although the food looked wholesome enough, it all seemed a bit stodgy for Cat and she rapidly scanned the menu for chicken. Alas, none was there. She later found out that chicken was available from Tuesdays onwards due to the slaughtering schedule at the nearby poultry farm.
Matt, however, was spoilt for choice, so unusually decided to go for the full three-course experience. He chose a starter of devilled lambs kidneys on toast (£4.50) and 'proper' beef and ale pie in suet crust pastry with hand cut chips and peas (£10.50). Cat, with her more delicate appetite, struggled to find anything that she really wanted to eat apart from the goats cheese soufflé with roast tomato and salad leaves starter (£4.50). However, help - of a sort - was at hand from a fellow diner. A hearty lady standing at the bar alongside the vacillating reviewer decided that Cat was going to try the home-made tagliatelle with lobster, tomato and basil. "Do you like sea food?" enquired the friendly woman. Cat had to confess that she didn't particularly. "Oh, but we live on an Island," the lady went on to explain cajolingly, "and we eat a lot of fish here". Cat, standing in a pub in a village which must be the furthest point from the sea on the Isle of Wight, found this a little patronising. But a glint in this lady's eye suggested that refusal wasn't going to be an easy option, so Cat ordered the lobster anyway: it was going to be a new experience and that's something she never shies away from.
The food ordered and beer bought - a nice pint of Ventnor Brewery's Undercliff bitter for Matthew, M and C sat back on the charming chapel chairs and listened to the crazy toe-tapping mash-up of French accordion music and dub reggae insinuating itself out of the bar's speakers. Cutlery arrived, swaddled in freshly-laundered linen napkins. The London influence was beginning to reveal itself.
After some time spent, as before, listening to the locals chatting at the bar, the starter arrived. A generous portion of piping hot freshly grilled lambs kidneys sat atop two pieces of extremely crunchy bread, drizzled with a surprisingly sweet reduction. More chutnied than devilled, but splendid nonetheless. The dish was garnished with what seemed to be deep-fried sage leaves; tasteless but crunchy things prepared for texture and colour rather than for their aromatic properties. Matthew was very pleased with this delicious platter.
Although the vast pub was pretty empty, the main courses took a bit of time to be delivered. But this is not necessarily a bad thing, indicating that the food takes more than four minutes at 850 watts to prepare. Still, it might be interesting to see how they manage when a few coachloads arrive on, say Mothering Sunday or the August bank holiday.
Cat looked at her plate of lobster tagliatelle with interest. Tucking into the fishy dishy, Cat was amazed how pervasive the taste of the slightly chewy lobster was. Torn basil leaves helped temper the flavour and tangy tomatoes finished off the rich sauce. The home-made pasta was a bit clumped together in places and Matt ate the thickest bits with gusto. Later, the lady who'd suggested the lobster passed by and asked how Cat had liked it. She was able to say that the dish was very well-made, and lobster was an interesting experience, but perhaps next time she'd try her lobster in a salad.
Matt's pie was fantastic - it was like no steak and ale pie he'd ever had before. The generous portion of meat was packed into real pastry - all the way around, not just topped with a dismal fluffy lid of air. The pie wasn't particularly big but then it didn't need to be. A meaty glaze on the top of the solid pastry lid gave the whole thing a really impressive taste and texture. The chips seemed to be double-cooked and this added to the crispiness.
Feeling like spoiling themselves, Matt and Cat ordered puddings. Again, these tended towards the cuisine Anglaise, bananas, custard and chunks of cake. Matt was very keen to try the intriguing-sounding fried custard with flambéed banana and vanilla ice cream and Cat chose the lemon polenta cake with lemon sorbet.
A vast wedge of the dense cake arrived with a welcome dollop of tangy sorbet. Matt's pile of bananas was covered in a sweet caramelised toffee syrup and the fried custard had a crispy coat to protect it from the deep-frying process. Again, the dish appealed to Matt, high in calories and with a big stodge factor. And fried custard! It seemed worth ordering this just to see what turned up. It did not disappoint in any way.
When the waiter came to deliver the coffees and chocolate chip cookies he stopped for a chat, and on enquiry, explained how the fried custard was made. He also wanted to let Cat know that he had clocked her taking some photos. "Is this going to end up on some review?", he laughed. "You'll have to wait and see..." replied Cat, mysteriously.
Kidneys on toast £4.50
Lobster tagliatelle £11.50
Beef and ale pie £10.50
Fried custard & banana £4.50
Lemon polenta £3.95
2 x coffee 3.60
Now, it's worth pointing out that Matt and Cat rarely, if ever, reveal themselves as reviewers or give their names to restaurateurs - it's part of the deal. So at this stage it seemed pretty likely that their amiable host had an inkling of who he was feeding. It's also a credit to his attention to his guests, as obviously a keen eye had noticed the photographic activity - this almost always goes unremarked elsewhere.
Perhaps this suspicion led him to offer a little extra, because the waiter, who, it transpired, was indeed the 'famous London chef' and proprietor, took the time to show Matt and Cat around the venue. He explained his passion for locally-sourced food, and aspirations for a welcoming pub atmosphere rather than a stuffy restaurant. It seemed that your reviewers' expectations about the maitre d' and lectern couldn't have been more wrong. "I looked up this place on the internet before I bought it", he said chattily, "and saw it on that Matt and Cat website." Obviously fishing for Matt and Cat to step forward and throw off their disguises, Scooby-doo style. But although this wily chef seemed probably to be one of the very few who'd ever actually managed to spot your reviewers in action, they didn't confess their identities, and went on their ways with cheery goodbyes and sincere anticipation of a return visit.
It's to be hoped that Godshill is able to support such an ambitious venture, very different from anything else in the village. Eating at the Taverners was a bit like being in a parallel universe. The venue looked exactly the same as it had done in November 2007 and the locals were still as friendly. All that was different became clear from the board outside "New chef, new menu, new beer, new owners, welcome".
Categories: We like, Pub Grub, Family friendly, Ventnor area, Local produce
101 comments (newest first)
Visited The Taveners for Sons birthday on Friday 1st Nov, we would like to thank the team for another wonderful meal, could not fault the menu, food or service.
Highlights were the rabbit and blackpudding scotch egg starter, and the 12 hour braised beef brisket main.
Booked for Christmas as we enjoyed the meal so much!
We ate at the Taverner’s last night and I have to say I was very disappointed with my meal. I ordered steak and ale pie. The meat was very dry, the pastry I couldn’t cut and there was gravy on the chips. A jug of gravy would have been more acceptable. The other three meals we had were not the best.
After two great Christmas meals at the Taverners we revisited on our wedding anniversary to see if the standard menu matched up the the Chrimbo one. It did. The food was fabulous, the local sourcing policy is stronger than anywhere else I have eaten on the Island and the atmosphere and service is friendly, relaxed but efficient. I’m quite a scrooge, but compared with other Island eateries I don’t find the Taverners too pricey and the quality is well above many places charging similar prices. We’ll be back.
Sunday lunch at The Taveners was of the usual high quality, however why serve food in ‘poncy’, trendy, inappropriate containers. Dishes are the norm for a reason - they are practical and functional. Mini tin buckets, ramekins shaped bowls and wooden platters may, in theory create a rustic feel, but you can’t eat your meal! A ramekin filled with dessert and a separate bowl of custard, how are you meant to bring the two together? Forget the gimmicks, use normal crockery to serve the excellent food on offer.
Thank you for your kind explanation Roger and when I see Bembridge prawns on a menu I will not order them. Everyone has a right to an opinion .That is what this website is all about.Honest comments!If I had known that the Bembridge prawns were the size of Shrimps i would have not ordered them.
I have eaten at the Taverners on many occasion and the food has been first class I personnally feel it is one of the best eating places on the Island,It is refreshing to be served freshly cooked food and local..Many other eating venues feel it is nessesary to throw a pile of salad and frozen chips on every meal…at the Taverners the chips are correctly cooked and salad is served on request.from an ex chef of 40 years
I can assure you the prawns are Bembridge prawns and are actually catagorised as such. They were caught my Richard Barret in his prawn pots just outside the harbour. They are only available for approx 6 weeks of the year and when he catches them he calls direct from the boat to let us know he has some on the way. They are served immediatly and are probably out of the water for less than 12 hours when you got to eat them. We think they are delicious and really look forward to them each year, they are a bit small and fiddly to peel certainly in the first couple of weeks and rarely get bigger than 4cm.
Also whilst I’m replying. Because we are commited to only using Island meats, and there is only one chicken supplier (Brownrigg) on the Island, who deliver on fridays only we don’t have a regular supply of it. We do occasionally put it on our specials board along with Brownrigg duck and try to alternate between them, however we find the duck dishes are far more popular.
I recommend The Taveners to everyone because Roger and Lisa have a real passion for what they do and it shows in the quality of the produce they use, their cooking and their staff. For the most part the menu is packed with reliable family favourites, the one oddity is that there is often not a chicken dish, which, given that it’s the nations favourite meat has always seemed to me a little odd.
Matt and Cat respond: Thanks for your comment, Robert. Cat likes chicken too but has rarely seen it on the menu at The Taverners.
I went to the Taverners last night with my 2 grown up Daughters as a Birthday treat for the Youngest.We sat in the “Restaurant” part nearest the road.We had a nice table but were a bit disappointed that we had to go to the bar to get our drinks as we thought that this was a restaurant and would be served.The food prices were certainly not pub grub prices.
The staff were very pleasant but one of them seemed to be a bit irritable and offish.
The food I will give marks 7 out of 10 because the starter was Bembridge Prawns of which they were not.The so called Prawns were in fact Shrimps.
My visiting aunt wanted to take us for dinner last weekend, so I suggested The Taverners as we’ve always enjoyed the food there. Same again this time. I had sweet potato and ginger soup followed by a really tasty vegetarian special – can’t remember the name, one week on. But it hit the spot. Just had room to squeeze in a dessert of cherries with sabayonne, which was gorgeous. My aunt was really impressed.
had yet another amazing meal here today - the crab cakes were lovely and the roast (first one i have has there) was the best i have had since we moved to the island - loved it.
We popped in here late lunchtime (3.15pm) after a lovely walk along Stenbury Trail/Freemantle Gate/Worsley Trail. Nothing much open in Godshill. I was in more of a tea-and-cake mood than lunch, but was tempted by the Chip Butty on the menu. What a delight. Beautifully soft, fresh baked bread, with the famous triple-cooked chips, served deconstructed as 2 slices and a pile of chips, which I remade into a proper butty. £3.80’s worth of heaven !! Will definitely be back when we have more of an appetite.
Had a jolly fine lunch on Saturday and the fried custard, rhubarb compote, vanilla ice cream was fun and delicious.
Visited on Friday, it was very busy and nice to see lots of locals at the bar and playing darts (so it really is a pub as well as a provider of fine gastronomic fair!) Food was great as always, hearty mains on a cold night, and delicious desserts, one of our friends tried the fried custard with rhubarb, looked delicious and got the thumbs up. We liked the atmosphere, very friendly staff and locals, the food is really spot on, if you have not tried it…you should.
We Visited tonight with a group of friends and we were all really really happy with our meals. No starters, straight to the main course. Having read the above comment I must add that the pie I ate was just lovely, tender meat and crispy suet yummy!! I could of done with a bit of extra gravy though, however all I did was put my hand up and the lovely waiter quickly bought me an extra jug. He was even kind enough to explain the triple cooked chips to our very inquisitive group. Apparently they are boiled, blanched? , and finally fried in oil. The best chips we have ever had,,, group decision!. We also really enjoyed dessert and devoured plates of lemon meringue, sticky toffee puds and a very rich dark tart. It appears that the owners nan makes these delicious puddings,, Home cooking at its best !
The staff where nice and beautiful and the place had a big open fire and was really warm.
All in all a very great find for a very enjoyable meal.
Cant wait until the next birthday do !
I finally made it to the pub, after the hype I was expecting great things!
I love what they have done with the pub, I love their own ale, the food?
The pie was not great, the top hard and the bottom soggy. Innards consisted of fatty meat and was lacking in taste. I don’t know why the art of pie making seems to have gone, I can’t remember the last time I had a stand-out one. My dog ate most of this.
Chips? Certainly not triple-cooked, not crisp and crunchy.
Sticky toffee pud, good.
Perhaps I ordered the wrong thing, I’ll give it another go.
I’ve been a few times and never been disappointed. The Beef and Ale pie with triple cooked chips is always excellent, although I could always do with more gravy. The puddings are always good too. 10/10
This continues to be an excellent venue; professional welcome and the steak and ale pie is still delicious.
We paid our third visit here on 30th August, meeting with friends who live on the island and hadn’t eaten there before. Three times, three different meals and still not disappointed. We have recommended it to others and will continue to do so - and will be going back next time we’re on the island. Good food at a very reasonable price, all locally sourced and served by courteous, friendly staff.
The Taverners doesn’t need our help but, hey, the meal we had there on Sunday was so good I just thought I ought to do the decent M&C thing.
Lovely pink beef, duck-fat roasties, perfect veg - what more could you want?
And the staff are great too.
And they’ve got a nice little playground out the back.
And the dark chocolate tart was terrific.
Over and out.
The two Ronnies spring to mind………….."got any rook”
Eight of us from the Seaview Supper Club dined at the Taverners on Friday night, and we were very impressed. Despite the place being packed, including several large family tables, we were immediately made welcome and presented with menus. We ordered drinks from the crowded bar without any delays, and throughout the meal we were looked after superbly. Paying our separate bills was also handled speedily and efficiently. The food was pretty good too! I would suggest that the Taverners is a model for running a pub/restaurant which many island establishments could learn from.
Have a chef friend that has been recommending the Taverners to us for a long time. We at last made our first visit recently and will certainly be going back. Suet crust beef and ale pie, with triple cooked chips was completely delicious. Best pub chips I have ever tasted. Peas were pleasant and for once in a pub didn’t taste like they were microwaved. Would possibly have liked some of the locally sourced veg’ that is talked about but no big deal.
Again my husbands meal of steak, chips and mushrooms with a bernaise sauce was freshly and superbly cooked. Only one point was that the steak wasn’t the best of quality and would have benefited from being hung for a while. Sorry we’re big foodies. The pub itself (including toilets) was clean and full of character. The gift shop full of quality and interesting products. A delight to find a pub that cares. Bloomin’ well done!
Loren - disagree re background music - cannot stand it let alone live - even worse. If I want music I go to a concert!
We went in wild garlic season (just catching up on our reviews) and had very garlicky sausages - in a good way - and lovely potato and Gallybagger mash yummy. Also had game pate for starter. Yummy is my expert opinion! Mr had fish and fish. I can’t remember what but he raved about it.
Lovely place, but would be really good if they had a bit of background music (Live).
Just had our first meal at the Taverners largely due to the positive reviews. Terrific food, particularly the slow-cooked belly pork and faggots. Friendly and excellent service. We will definitely be going back soon.
a well balanced review..nobody is perfect 24/7 but the Taverners is better than good 75% of the time
Another visit - out of choice, as yes the food is always good.
but ! ……
Rook salad, causing somewhat of a furore …. (get over it!) gamey morsels of meat served with diced beetroot, green salad a crushed hazlenuts £5.95
somewhat disappointing I’m afraid. The meat was tender enough but a sinew skin was left on the pieces of mets making it necessary to peel off, but really was just the overall lack of flavour from the beetroot & dressing made it flat & bit rather bland. wish i had ordered the usually lovely whitebait .. oh well.
Steak & Ale Pie …. £10.95? i think ….now what a great pie, full of soft tender meat and lovely pastry served with peas & as advertised ‘triple’ cooked chips. The pie excellent - the chips were, in my mind not triple cooked (I have made these myself- and i dont know how they managed to stay so pale if they were triple cooked ) , far too pale & floury - I wanted crispy crunchy edged chips, instead they were big lumps of slightly flavourless potato - what a shame. The pie would be far better served with another vegetable, as there was an abundance of chips for such a pastry heavy plate. or even some chutney to accompany.
Chilled white chocolate rice pudding £4.95 served with Grand marinier orange syrup .. very tasty although I was a little full by this point so couldnt fully aprreciate it ! would be nice if the de-pipped the oranges though .. just a small detail
overall the standard is as ever better than most pub on teh isle of wight, service very friendly and the prices very reasonable.
Another Taverners triumph today. Must have been over 10 times now and the standard is consistently high. I had confit of duck, swede puree, spring greens and goosecurrant sauce today. It was beautiful. The duck was moist and so meltingly tender it fell easily from the bone. I have never had a bad meal at the Taverners and always take visitors there, they are always impressed.
Had another wonderful meal at The Taverners on Saturday evening. Mullet with a roast tomato and herb crust topping served with creamed leeks and new potatoes was spot on. Another in our party commented on how moist the chicken was - a very generous portion of Brownrigg free range chicken breast filled with something creamy - can’t remember the detail. Ian had the slow cooked lamb, which he said was beautifully tender, and not fatty (which lamb can sometimes be).
They really do make the best of local produce here, and even the basics like chips are excellent - hand cut and really crunchy. Desserts were also great, though I was too full to do anything but try a weeny bit of everyone else’s! The honey parfait with banana bread and baked banana was stunning.
Consistently good all-round.
We went for the first time tonight for my Wife’s Brithday and the service and food was exemplary!
I work for a pub / restaurant on the Island, and I enjoy eating out, and the biggest problem I find is that we ALL serve the same food and we ALL order from the SAME suppliers, and it was really nice to see an original and varied menu with different suppliers or home made stock.
We seemed to get the last free table in the house, every other table was filled or reserved and the bar was booming, yet food service was not delayed at all and was absolutely faultless. The staff were friendly and professional, and the food was of the highest quality, the waiting times were very small and I would gladly recommend to anyone and we will certainly be going back.
The prices are fair for the quality of the food, although my eyes were bigger than my belly so I missed out on what looked like an AMAZING chocolate brownie (no starters for me next time) And frankly the best Suet pastry I’ve ever tasted, also the three times cooked chips were beautiful.
Obviously no-one get’s it right all the time, and of course sometimes someone will have a dis-satisfactory evening, but I would urge those that do, to not write it off and give it another go, as I hope others would if they came to my establishment and didn’t have a good time, no-ones gets it right all the time no matter how hard we try. The Taverners sets a good example worthy of notice.
Cannot understand why Phil did not make his concerns known to the proprietors before leaving the premises!!
I don’t know who ACW is but i would like to say that i have only just found this web site and recently have been invited back to the Taverners there with friends and declined because of my reasons that i stated in my review.At the time last year i looked on the Taverners web page to contact them to complain but there was no contact me tab.
depends on the complxity of the till and the facilities offered by the bank.
You are just as likely to have your card details abused by someone who swipes your card as someone who hold onto it….in fact I would trust someone who acknowledges they are holding on too it as recourse would be much easier and evident.
That being the case that they have to do this in busy times, how does every other pub manage to set up a tab? Most other places just swipe the card and if you fail to pay will use the details from that to take the money from the card provided meaning those details are not accessable to any other person that the till operator. Being the way the world is today i am not happy about handing my card to anyone. I know that’s not very trusting, and The Taverners is a wonderful pub to eat at, they could still quite easily use the card to buy anuthing they wished, online or over the phone, and they could do that in the time it takes you to eat your dinner. I’m pretty sure insurence doesn’t cover you if you hand you card over to a complete stranger if they racked up a £500 bill! I entirely agree with Phil and do specifically take cash out when i go for that reason! And everytime i have been the food has been superb especially the proper chips!
I don’t think it is reasonable to complain about handing over credit card, many places do this presumably because when they are busy, as the Taverners often is, it is only too easy for diners to slip away to the public car park along the road having suffered payment amnesia.
Took you a long time to get these rather pedantic moans out of your system!
My wife and I ate here in the front restaurant part at the end of last year 2009 with 2 friends.The food was 8 out of 10 and the service was 4 out of 10.The waiter was very friendly and nice but 3 things have put us off from going again.When the owner said our meals were ready I went to the bar to order a bottle of wine.I expected the wine to be brought to our table but instead the bar girl opened the bottle at the bar and gave it to me and said e ar and I carried the bottle myself to the table .The 2nd moan I have is my friends asked for a jug of tap water and 4 glasses.When that arrived the waiter had his fingers in the glasses as he put them on the table.The 3rd moan was that we had to give our credit card over the bar or give them our car keys to put the wine on our tab.
Visited The Taverners on Monday lunchtime with friends: 4 adults, 3 children in all. My meat-loving friends waxed lyrical about their various choices of pheasant served with belly pork and lentils; slow-cooked beef on the bone with vegetables; and lamb cooked two-ways (that went to one of the children, normally a fussy eater, but he wolfed the lot down). I chose the veggie special of aubergine risotto, which was spot on.
Puddings were also a hit: apple crumble with “real” custard; “my nan’s lemon meringue"; quince tart with vanilla ice cream; sticky date and toffee pudding all absolutely scrummy. The only “fail” was the final dessert choice of frozen white chocolate choux pastry, which really was a solid lump of a thing. I was surprised it made it on to the otherwise excellent menu.
But all round a splendid meal with lots of polished plates.
we went a couple of weeks ago and it was really good. The best place to eat in godsill is the taveners. If I could give it a mark out of 10 I would give it 9.
Recently went to Taverners and had a sublime Liver and Bacon dish with Sage and Red cabbage - absolutely suberb, service was excellent and altogether a terrific experience. Can’t wait to return to try the other specials - well done to the chef and staff…
We had one of the best meals in The Taverners and would tell anyone to give it a try.
The food was well cooked and delicious and the service was excellent,we could not help trying each
others dishes.We go out to a lot of restaurants and thought this was somewhere we would come back
too.Thanks for a lovely meal.
I’ve been back to the Taverners at least three times since my first comment and it just seems to get better and better.
This lemon meringue pie mentioned in other reviews really does need to be seen to be believed, it was actually as tall as the salt grinder on our table (photos to prove if anyone likes :p) and was as light as a feather.
My 94 year old grandfather is a regular patron there thanks to us, and the last time we visited for his birthday, the owners were kind enough to move their own car so we could get ours in. The service is friendly and the food is always seasonal, well cooked and delicious. I used to come to the Taverners when I was very small, I remember the jazz piano man playing in the corner, and the home made fudge you used to get at the end…mmm…and it’s gone from strength to strength. A must visit.
Hello Matt & Cat
We ate here last night thanks to your reviews and can´t praise the place enough.
A beautiful venue with beautiful food and oh-so friendly staff.
Everyone was friendly and welcoming, even though they were obviously busy. The friendly waiter who served us the delicious deep fried courgette flowers was kind enough to show us the garden where said starter had been grown´n picked for the menu that evening.
The lovely lady behind the bar was most welcoming to our children and provided them with crayons and scribble pads to entertain them while we (the paying adults had time to relax and enjoy).
We were most impressed with the food. Even the kids nuggets and fish fingers where hand made, along with the chips, no French fries here,,, we are talking real handmade chips.
We had a fantastic bottle of wine (recommended to us) which I am going to have to phone back, just for the name of the bottle.
The children had freshly squeezed orange juice which was an absolute pleasure, both for the young kids and the big ones as well.
The cherry on the pie (oh yes) was the delicious desserts, whilst the kids settled for the bucket of Ice-cream, Mr Alandia and myself shared what can only be described as the best lemon meringue we have ever eaten.
Named on the menu as ´My Nans Lemon Meringue´ I can only comment that I wish my grandmother had such fantastic baking abilities.
All in all a most wonderful evening that left us all oh-so impressed. What more can I say about this absoulute gem of an eating house (dare I use the word pub!)
We are leaving the island tommorrow on an early boat, after an amazing week on the beatiful isle our only regret is that we didnt discover the Taverners on our first day,, maybe if we had we wouldnt of left.
My final words and thoughts on The Taverners Isle of Wight
We will be back soon and thankyou for a wonderful evening.
It will be remembered and recommended to all of our friends
(yes we like to make our friends green with envy)
Thanks again to all at the Taverners.
N. Alandia & Family
Returned today for a family lunch afetr our great first expereince.. 2 pm Sunday booking. My daughter and family fancied a nice sunday roast. Upon arrival we were told there were no roasts left, apparently they only prepare a maximum of 15 and they were all gone at 1245!! A this point we considered racing down to the Griffin.
Staff are friendly here, and we didnt want to leave unhappy, however, after an interminable wait, and there were few diners, the Steak and Ale pie was dry, crusty and lacklustre, and the fish and chips flattered to deceive with overfatty batter, and a limp salad. With no starters, and no desserts a bill of almost £100 left us with that uncomfortable nauseous feeling you get when the show doesnt match the billing, and the moment has gone. Sorry folks, must do better, and please, watch those prices. A bit tastier than the food..
The Taverners fitted us in at 6.30 yesterday when we found our fridge was bare and we fancied a lovely dinner. My son went straight for the Mum Knows Best platter, which he remembered from last time. We shared a starter of delicious crab cakes with sauce and rocket side salad, then Ian chose pork belly with red cabbage and “champ” (which I gather is mashed potato with spring onions), while I hovered over the vegetarian special of courgette flower risotto, but in the end went for the haddock fillets with green beans and crushed new potatoes. All superb. We also shared a side order of the fab hand cut chips served in a little tin bucket.
Ian found room for a generous slab of beautifully zingy lemon meringue pie, and Milo the sticky toffee and date pudding, while being rather full I made do with a taste of each (obviously!) and a cleansing pot of jasmine tea.
It’s the first time Ian’s eaten at The Taverners and he was as impressed as I was. Yum.
another fantastic meal on the 8th. the steak was amazing and the crumble was lush.
Treated to a Fathers Day lunch here on Sunday. Was fully booked and they were turning many people away, lucky we had reserved a table. Had the most wonderful Vine Tomato and Red Pepper Soup, followed by a Godshill Cassoulet, not a summers day meal I know, but it sounded so good, duck, pork belly and sausages (all from Godshill) with broad beans and jus, it was as good as it sounded to me. Usual problem if you have a starter it leaves no room for the Lemon Meringue Pie! Always fantastic here.
Went to the Taverners on wed 16 june. Absolutely delicious food - I had asparagus and hollandaise to start with and dunsbury lamb and roasted veg to follow. - it was so good. Can’t believe I have never been before in 12 years we have lived on the island.
Thoroughly reccommended - I will be going again soon.
had a fantastic meal last night, one of the best we have had since moving here 3 years go.
How I regret giving this place a great review right at the top….can’t get in anymore, always to busy with these ‘johnny come latelys’ :)
Had Sunday lunch at The Taverners and introduced some friends to the pub, sometimes a worry to take people to a venue after keeping on about it to them. No need to worry as everything was excellent as always, the starters of IOW asparagus and pigeon on celeriac were superb, as were the rib of roast beef, one problem was not everyone being able to fit in the best lemon meringue pie I have had on the Island in a long time, other problem is they have opened a shop; my wife can’t visit without spending on their wonderful product range.
Ate at the Taverners last night ( saturday )
Have to say the food was excellent friendly, my wife loved her Briddleford Veal, although we my have a problem staring the cute little claves in the face next time we go there!
unpretentious staff, always smiling, and strangely quirky like the menu, uniquely varied in shape size, colour and appearance.. althogether a memorable and interesting experience; even a Prince Harry lookalike in the bar!
We will go back, perhaps on a less frenetic evening.
Finally got round to visiting The Taverners in Godshill for lunch, and loved it. Wanted to make sure I had room for the scrummy-sounding puddings, so I went for the starter of grilled goats cheese on bed of salad, which was very tasty. But I was more impressed with my daughter’s mains of potato and porcini cake with salad. I thought it sounded potentially dry, but actually it was a superb vegetarian dish - really moist, with a bubbling top, with real depth of flavour from the middle layer of porcini mushrooms. She let me have a mouthful and I was smitten. My daughter commented that she’d have liked to see more than one vegetarian mains on the specials board, but we certainly couldn’t quibble with the quality of the one on offer.
My eight-year old son was mightily impressed that the children’s menu included what we’d call at home “snacky lunch", but which was here described as “Mum Knows Best Platter” - a mix of fruit and veggie sticks with bread, cheese and a little pot of mayonnaise to dip into. He was very happy.
For dessert, we ordered the three puddings on the specials board, and shared. All three were hits: a creme brulée with cherries, served with shortbread; a honey parfait with poached pear (my particular favourite); and chocolate cake with coffee sauce and clotted cream. All three plates were scraped clean.
Other things that impressed were the freshly-squeezed orange juice, and the great range of speciality teas. Obviously, it’s a good place if you like a pint with your meal, but equally good if you don’t!
Friendly staff, too.
Also liked the little shop in the corner where you can buy bread and goodies to take home.
Will definitely be back, and on the strength of today’s meal it goes straight into my top 4 island favourites (the others being Burrs and Olivo, both in Newport and - for a special occasion - The Hambrough in Ventnor).
We looked for a real pub, with the real taste and atmosphere. We found it. What do you wish more? Nice warm people, fantastic food and drinks and the topper: their lovely bread. We took 3 loafs home to the Netherlands. We will come back although it is a very long way !
The Taverners is my favourite place to eat on the Island at the moment and I’ve eaten there loads since the new owners took over. The specials are always interesting, brilliant value for money and taste delicious. (I recently had braised veal for £12- fantastic- especially when you compare it against the abysmal microwaved ‘fish’ pie I had for £10 down Ventnor’s prime seafront pub a couple of days before).
I really can’t praise the Taverners enough. They have a great ethos when it comes to seasonal, local produce, and their food is great. Nuff said!
I really love the Taverners.Have eaten there 3 times now and enjoyed it very much. I like the nice touches such as linen napkins and freshly squeezed juice at the bar. Last time I went I had veal fillets with polenta and marsala sauce accompanied by fresh spring greens. The meal was excellent- lots of well blended flavours. For pudding we shared the chocolate fallen angel cake with cherry compote which has to be one of the most wonderful things ever to have passed my lips. Mmmmmm……..
Went last night with friends, lovely evening with great company. Pub very busy the service was good, waiting staff were very friendly and helpful. We had pre-booked a table which was just as well. The food didn’t take long to arrive and was good with the exception of the steak which was a shame as it was cooked beautifully but unfortunately it was very salty not sure why? and the sticky toffee pudding which was overcooked and hard in places, despite this my hubby still devoured it for me! I thought portion sizes were just right although not so sure hungry blokes would be of the same opinion!
We will go again.
Visited on 19/3 on the recommendation of my daughter who has eaten there several times recently. Fabulous meal. Between us we had the Steak & Ale pie, Slow roast pork and the Faggots.
We did have quiet a wait for our meals, but as everything is obviously cooked to order, this was not a problem.
Really good value.
As regular users of The Taverners we are always impressed, and so are people we invite. I think recent comments have been spot on, the menu is not the biggest but the specials board is always interesting to see what is seasonally on offer, and the use of local ingredients is in abundance here. We often try the specials, and if you are a fan, the liver and bacon is the best ever; it’s without doubt my favourite. Not just homely fair on offer, there is a range of various dishes and seafood and they are all very high quality. Never difficult to find a dish; I know I can always have the beef and ale suet crust pie À la Matt, while my wife says the ham egg and chips or macaroni cheese are both very tasty, they certainly look it and theres never any left for me to try! I believe the good menu philosophy is rather than offering pages and pages of passable food ensure everything you do is not just a pass but a credit, even a distinction!
We rarely manage 3 courses unless very very hungry, so decide when arriving whether to go starter or dessert, and the ‘my nans lemon meringue pie’ normally wins as it is fantastic, a real zingy treat, this alone warrants a trip. The ’hand raised’ (i.e. a bit scruffy) free range pork pie with homemade piccalilli is much tastier than the one I tried at that ‘F’word blokes pub in London, and at a much better cost, and here the famous london chef actually is in the kitchen. With The Taverners great food, atmosphere and service it makes this place a real gem. Well done and please keep up your very high standards.
Thanks to the many splendid references above 8 of us visited the Taverners on Sunday last.
It was absolutely fabulous - lovely-looking pub, friendly people and utterly delicious food.
The Whitebait was wonderful: http://www.flickr.com/photos/itsaboyd/4395206988/
The great thing is in my humble opinion that they do a relatively short (but more than enough for all tastes and persuasions) menu extremely well rather than going for a list so long you’ve forgotten it all half way down and it all looks and tastes the same anyway.
Thank you M+C and reviewers above for sending us there. And thank you Taverners too.
The two times that I’ve eaten at the Taverners the food has been superb and my only complaint was that I wished I had room for a pudding the second time!
They have about 5 spaces in their carpark and a pre-booked party…what do you expect them to do?
There is a large public car park 50 yards away
We take our disabled aunt who is always really well looked after and they thoroghly deserve their award
“No we can’t reserve a place on our car park for a disabled person we are expecting a party of 20, its first come first served". When your mother has been given a 50% chance of living thorugh a brain operation and she can’t walk far, you expect some compassion. We feel absolutely disgusted. Profit before people is the order of the day here it seems!!! Poor Show. How can a pub gain an award with such a bad attitude towards diasabled people?
Definately the best fish and chips we have ever tasted.Although we had not booked the friendly staff offered us a table barside and in next to no time the food had arrived.It was hot and delicious.The staff were extremely professional and asked us at various times if our meal was ok.The tartare sauce was out of this world!
Delighted to see that the Taverners have now been included in the 2010 Michelin Eating Out in Pubs guide, I must confess that I haven’t sampled their wares myself but from reading the review and comments this is well deserved.
It’s taken me a while to write this review. Whilst on holiday in August we had a fairly dissapointing meal at the Spyglass in Ventnor and I was determined not to get caught out again so I trawled the internet for reviews and found the Taverners. What a treat!
In the main the reviews were excellent and I have to say we weren’t let down. The food was excellent, as someone said the portions are quite large, so once I’d polished off my yummy burger and chips I moved onto my daughters steak, my wifes pie and my daughters pie. Needless because of my now immense size I skipped on the deset but found room to try a taster of the communual lemon maringe pie! Needless to say it was delightful!
Nice friendly staff, lovely locals, a good atmosphere and reasonable prices left me wishing we could have gone again. Oh well, my Mum and Dad are there this week and I’ve told them to go!
We had lunch there yesterday. It was superb.
I had the lamb chops with roasted cherry toms and baked polenta and crisp tender green beans. The perfectly cooked chops were fragrant with rosemary and thyme and the cherry toms perfectly complemented the dish. I liked the golden baked polenta and I’m trying to recreate it at home this morning. The other half had the grilled lamb tongue with potato salad and watercress. It was gorgeous.
What we like about the Taverners is that the chef is constantly changing the menu, so you go back looking forward to tasting something new and always, always brilliantly cooked.
Nah, only the spelling! Sorry, couldn’t resist!
We ate at The Taverners, the evening after Trixie it seems, probably the 10th time we’ve visited, maybe more, we’ve stopped counting now!
And……………. we still love the food as much as the first time we visited!
If maybe, …. there is a complaint to be made, it would be that the portions have got larger, oops no sweet order again, rats !
Ask me for my fave thing ever? It’s gonna Pickled watermelon, which certainly sways my choice from the menu, I’ll have whatever it’s served with!
Wasn’t all bad was it?
My husband and I went to the Taverns last night and after all the positive comments we heard and read our expectations were high. However, I cannot follow the glowing reviews it had. As a starter we shared white bait which was nice. As a main I ordered a special from the daily’s board, ‘pigs plate’, which was badly cooked. The red braised cabbage was greasy and far too sweet, the organic sausage was burned, the gammon with leek was overcooked, very dry and almost crunchy. The pork belly had a nice crackling but lagged seaoning. The sweet potatoe puree was ok, but the amount of pineapple chutney on top was too much and made the hole dish look badly presented. My husbands chicken and duck pie was nice and rich, lots of meat and the chips were nice. The runner beans it came with were fresh but had no seasoning but butter. Overall an average experience and I possibly chose the worst dish of the day.
I’ve been looking for an excuse to go back to what is the best pub for food on the Island…settled for it being a Wednesday
Went mid afternoon a while ago and can only assume the top chef was off as the food can only be described as mediocre pub food. Food and service was slow but they were not busy. No childrens menu offered. Such a shame as I had heard great things from people including one who says it’s the best place on the island at the moment and she’s been numerous times and never had a bad meal there. I believe I must have caught them on a bad day. However the desserts were great!
OK Hands up I have not been in the Griffin so sincere apologies to them however, I have sampled some of the other £3.95 establishments and my experience has not been particularly good, so yes to ME and quite possibly a sweeping generalisation on my behalf these £3.95 signs are off-putting. My goodness how I wanted these meals to be good who doesn’t want to pay £3.95 for a meal? Hey, I have also paid well over £10 for many a bad meal too, my point being it was refreshing to find somewhere providing good food for my hard earned money we eat out regularly and sometimes get fed up with parting with cash for trash.
We paid £8.95 for our roast at the Taveners not hugely expensive and a reasonable price I am prepared to pay for a good, fresh and not mass produced meal, a meal which was most enjoyable and where the meat was not plastic.
Some restaurants/pubs I’m sure will be feeling the pinch at the moment but I think they are doing themselves an injustice by these menus. Maybe I will try the Griffin and will let you know and hope they can prove me wrong …….
Never been in the Taverners so can’t comment but I have been in the Grifin.Why is it offputtinng just because the meals are cheap? Cheap does not nescessari;y mean bad.Sample it yourself before making ill formed judgements. The same comment made about the “stars"on some establishments applies here.Never judge a book by its cover.
Ventured out with the kids on Easter Sunday as heard the good reviews and wanted to try somewhere that went the extra mile and produced good honest food.
Me and the kids had Roast Pork very nice indeed, fresh veg were good and the sprouting brocolli was delicious.
The choice of napkin was interesting still cant make my mind up about the ‘tea-towel’ napkin still think I prefer either a crisp freshly laundered napkin or the disposable napkin, however the tea-towel did prove most useful when the waitress knocked my glass of wine into my lap!!
Even with the unfortunate wine incident overall it was very good and nice to see an effort being made so many places think they can serve what they like and get away with it, we will definetley be back. Note to Roger maybe the tables could get cleared down quicker the waitresses just seemed to walk past and then past again without even noticing anything untoward.
By the way seeing the Griffin offering meals for £3.95 is so off putting, just makes you wonder what they are serving ………..
We would like to sincerely apologise for the poor experience that JA received on bank holiday Monday. We can offer no excuses for failing to meet your expectations and are deeply disappointed with our performance. We have unfortunately become a victim of our own success and the were unable to maintain our usual quality over such a busy Easter weekend. We are quickly reviewing our operating procedures to allow us to serve the quality of food we would wish to be served ourselves regardless of how busy the pub is. We do hope you will give us another chance and would encourage anybody who’s expectations we do not meet to let us know on the day so we may address the concerns immediately.
I would also point out I have never worked for Gordon Ramsay, and unfortunately I did have to step out of the kitchen as a colleague had badly sliced her hand and needed first aid.
I love going somewhere wanting to love it, but this time I feel all the more let down.
Now by no means did I feel this the worst of Island eateries, far (FAR!)from it….. but I did unfortunately find it the most disappointing. What we hoped for tonight was somewhere up to the hype, or at least up to the 20 odd positive reviews here. 1st impressions…… Trading beer for produce, funky, if a little dangerous should your untraceable produce ever poison someone.
If we’d stopped at starters, we’d have forgiven the fact that thin asparagus was steamed with fat asparagus resulting in a limp stiff combination no fluffer could rectify. What I cannot forgive is a 15 minute wait for starter plates to be cleared or near 50 minutes wait for main courses. The underside of my plate was filthy, like Russell Brands memoirs. Luckily I was the only possessor of such a plate. My bland duck, but STUNNING lentils, was replated (I assume the old plate was clean on top!) And we continued. Sharing the dining experience, I traded a morsel or two with my companions, duck for pork. I think. I couldn’t tell the difference. Pork belly should only really be crisp on top, not all the way round.
We did get some corkers for the staff and owners: The replies: “Sorry our plates are a little grainy.” (read filthy) “Our chef worked with Gordon Ramsay” (I’ll continue my comment without MY 3* name dropping) and “Our chef got called away, thats why your food has taken so long.” (Where’d he go!?)
Effort A+: Performance: D- Could do better.
Shame, we could have / SHOULD have…….. loved it.
A must for vegetarians. Something different so don’t expect the usual IOW offering (veg lasange and garlic bread). You are in for s super treat. If you prefer a less crowded pub do check if there is a private function and everyone is crammed in the front of the building
Purely on the basis of the review and comments on this site, we made a last minute booking for lunch for four yesterday, and were all very impressed. Good quality ingredients, imaginative vegetables, a good vegetarian choice, excellent wine list and friendly service - Excellent!
Went along expecting the usual over hyped, over priced ‘gastropub’ fare, and was completely knocked out. Staff were chilled and friendly yet efficient, and the overall ambience unfussy and genuine.
What’s really remarkable about the food is that we should be so surprised to find stuff of this quality at this price - its seems so obvious to select really fresh, seasonal local produce and cook it simply with an obvious care about what ends up on the plate, but so many times one finds pre-cooked, frozen or overdressed fare, usually smothered with oven chips and groaning off the table.
These guys have got it spot on - razor clams with garlic butter worth the trip alone, steak and oyster pie and pork escalope perfect. You could tell just by the side salad that you were on to a winner. Other pubs on The Island should be shamed by what The Taverners have done here, and at prices that are fair (not cheap, just fair.)
Please keep it up - you’re a beacon of hope for anyone who loves real food!
Went for an evening meal a couple of weeks ago - could not fault any of it and then returned for lunch this week and had a bowl of the best mushroom soup ever. Can’t wait to go again
great food, great atmosphere,great beer need I say more
closed for annual holiday until 19th January
it is definately open in the evenings all week. Maybe closed daytimes during the week this time of year
Matt and Cat respond: We went there this evening, in the hope of eating something. It was closed. We asked in ‘The Griffin’ (of which more anon) and they thought the Taverners had been closed all day and all evening in the last few days - perhaps a post-Christmas holiday? Guess they’ve earnt it.
I came past today and it was closed.Is the norm.for out of season?Hope so because I’m supposed to be going there for a meal tomorow.
The Taverners is a real find. Recommended by the chef at the Hambrough (which has to be a great commendation) we went along for a new year’s eve dinner. The food was fantastic (and I am known as being very hard to please) and the service was charming. Great food comes from carefully prepared, high quality ingredients and this reborn pub has to be a fabulous example of how to do this right.
We were at the Red Lion in Freshwater a couple of nights before and the Taverners is at least as good. Keep it up!
My wife and I popped in on Friday for a quick bite at lunchtime when we were down on the Island visiting relatives. She had the bacon sandwich, which she loved, and I had the ‘bucket of chips’. These were actually served in a small metal bucket, and were the best chips I have ever had. (Sorry mum!) All washed down with a very nice pint of Undercliff. If we had been on the Island longer we’d have gone back for an evening meal, but we’ll have to save that for next time.
not that I’m a creature of habit, more that the wife demanded a decent steak, we went back to te Taverners tonight, (2nd time in 4 nights) A lot aparses on the people front, i.e. nobody in the back bar at all, but who cares. Staff are really nice and good at their job and we had a choice of tables. This time we took some friends over from the North Island. I had the (posh) Lamb burger, wife had …steak, friends both had braised lamb.
We are now ringing around our friends to see who wants to come out on Thursday.
Forgot to add, that both times we took our four year old( who is very well behaved) who is expecting to come next time as well
If we ever have a mediocre meal here we’ll let you know
went tonight…nice and busy with no Queues, had Line caught sea bass, 10oz rump and beaf & Ale pie between us and have not had a better meal on the Island EVER
My wife and I were walking the Stenbury Trail from Shide to Ventnor on 25/08 and Godshill was the obvious place for a break. I must say I wasn’t looking forward to lunch much, expecting ordinary stuff for the tourist trade, but we were pleasantly suprised. An interesting menu using local produce where possible -we’ll go for a ‘proper’ meal.
PS - no paper napkins -real linen ones!
Popped in with friends over from the mainland to have a pint and some lunch last week for the first time since ownership changed. I have nothing but praise for the place. The greeting we received on arrival was warm and friendly, the beer was excellent and the food was fresh, home made and tasty. It is in a great position in the center of Godshill and has a really nice feel. Perfect if you want to walk the dog in the local countryside then pop in for a drink. This is a fantastic Pub/restaurant, head and shoulders above the Griffin, and no I do not work there!
We are local to the village and are delighted that after many years our local pub has re-established itself as a place to meet and greet friends and to enjoy an excellent home cooked meal using local produce. Credit to Roger and Lisa our new landlords.
Gammon hot pot! to die for, see this on the specials list, just do it!
Can’t wait to go back there
Although the menu was very meat based the food was tasty, seasonal and clearly home cooked but Mr ghostmoth and I both felt that a dessert was a necessity not an option. I liked the refectory feel of the restaurant including menus on clipboards and bar cloths for napkins, the waiting staff were very friendly and the food reasonably priced.
While we were there we earwigged on another table who asked their waitress if Matt and Cat had reviewed them yet. You’ll have to go out in disguise soon!
We went down for Saturday lunch. I was most inpressed by the use of local produce throughout the menu. I had macaroni cheese and we asked for salad, which was very ‘Bistro’ freshly picked the day before - not an iceberg lettuce in sight - great!
Pete had the shephers pie which he thought was lush : )
The Taveners is doing exactly what I have always dreamed of doing with an island eatery - using locally available produce and changing the menu to suit whatever fresh food is available. No laminated menu that consists of nothing but mass produced food, I don’t care for huge choices of pap, just quality even on a small menu. The sauces and dressings were served in dishes with spoons - not a ketchup pouch in sight, even the napkins were REAL!
If you enjoy fresh, local and good food this is definitely the place to come. The only minus point was the limited availability of vegetarian food on offer.
We had heard on the grapevine that the Taverners had a new London chef, so whilst we were visiting the Island at the weekend we popped in for a bite to eat.
What a great evening…! The place was buzzing, service was excellent and the food was to die for. We had the local duck with cherry salad, which apparently are from the cherry orchard across the road. An excellent dish and well recommended. Cottage pie was superb, simple yet very tasty and the desert of bread and butter pudding was to die for.
We’ll be down from London more often and will be definitely popping in for the food. Unfortunately we were too late for the Sunday roast dinner the next day as it was sold out…!! Gutted!! I’ve heard it does the best one on the Island…!!
Good Luck to the new management, and good on you for providing good quality, local grown food. We’ll be back soon…..!!
We had a fantastic Sunday lunch at the Taverners this weekend. The Island rib of beef was so tempting we all had it, so we didn’t get to sample the diversity of the fairly traditional menu. It was gratifying to see a lot of locally sourced ingredients however. Puddings were absolutely great, my treacle tart had a great crust and a nicely flavoured centre with a hint of lemon. Service was very efficient and friendly. Highly recommended!
I have to say that I have eaten at The Taveners twice in the last three weeks and both times found the food to be different,very well thought out and delicious.
There are so many pubs on the island churning out the same frozen rubbish that it is wonderful to be able to go somewhere as a family and enjoy restaurant quality food.
The children were able to choose from a homecooked menu that suited them instead of having to have ’something’ and chips again!
I would very highly reccommend to anyone who enjoys fresh cooked local food!
simply love it
nothing more to say