The Brasserie, Newport
We took the window seat in the Brasserie’s splendid first floor dining room. It was easy to feel the weight of years in this place as the evening light streamed across the spacious table. A cornerstone of St Thomas’ Square; the ancient Wheatsheaf Inn must have seen so many... Read more
The Duck, Ryde
Last summer we had a superlative supper at the Waxworks in Brading. Our five star review gushed about soft meaty slabs of succulent bacon loin, the playful juxtaposition of ingredients and artfully casual service. To our incredulity, the day after our review was published the restaurant closed. When we saw... Read more
Llama Tree Bistro and Pizzeria, Wellow
Some combinations just seem to make sense, but even so, somebody was the first to try them. Imagine the first person to put mustard on ham, for example. They must have felt pretty pleased with themselves. Or the smart alec who worked out that cheese goes with wine. Really?... Read more
Heima, Brading
“Is chef Max trying to outdo Robert Thompson?” reflected one of our dining companions in amazement during our dinner at Brading’s newest restaurant, the Nordic-influenced Heima. Well, no, he isn’t. As the evening went on it became clear that Heima has very much a style and context all of... Read more
Prego, East Cowes
Much is said these days of gentrification; the process by which overlooked and undervalued areas are upgraded, often by incomers. This has long been going on on the mainland and beyond. Unfashionable boroughs of London and even New York have incrementally been improved by the rising tide of hipsters,... Read more
The Captain’s Table, Ryde
Sometimes the thing you fancy is a decent fry-up, and nothing else will do. Well, if you’re Matt that is. Cat can normally make do with some eggs and mushrooms on toast, so long as there’s some coffee involved too. And in search of these things we found ourselves... Read more
Quay Arts Cafe, Newport
In the olden times, arts funding was as significant as healthcare. You could almost argue that both services were two sides of the same coin; the nation’s physical well-being enriched by cultural stimulation. However these days, like so many other laudable public services, if we like having an arts... Read more
Jolliffes of Cowes
Much is being trumpeted at the moment about the government’s idea of stopping central funding for public services through the ‘liberation’ of selected bits of England from the shackles of Westminster control. This is, on the surface, potentially an appealing prospect. There’s a local Solent Devolution Deal including the... Read more
Seaview Bistro
Sometimes, you pass a stranger in the street and do a double take. “Was that… it couldn’t be. Or is it? It is!” The stranger turns out to be someone you once knew, and underneath the new hairstyle, new spouse, new wrinkles or whatever, it’s the same old friend.... Read more
Archive: Waxworks, Brading
Archive review: The Waxworks has now closed Where could you have found George Bernard Shaw on his trusty tricycle, Queen Victoria forever tapping her toe and an angelic cat with wings? No, not Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Freshwater salon, but Osborne-Smith’s waxworks in Brading. The candy-coloured museum was quite literally... Read more