Olivo, Newport
We’ve all got one of those mates; the one who insists on calling satirical 1980s puppet show Spitting Image ‘Spitting Images’. Or the relative who every Christmas makes us want to scream as they suggest a game of ‘Trivial Pursuits’. Neither of these things come with a pluralising ‘s’.... Read more
Kynges Well, Brading
Brading was once an essential destination on the clockwise coach tour. For a while, although the town is not quite suffering from the malaise that has hit neighbouring Sandown, its attractions have been somewhat diminished. The twenty mile an hour speed limit enabled drivers crawling through the town to... Read more
One Holyrood, Newport
As is the modern way, Matt and Cat wear several hats. As well as their eating out hobby which takes up considerable time, they also have day jobs. Juggling all of their activities is part of what the neologists call portfolio working. Running a business from a smartphone is... Read more
Bonchurch Inn
Remember the days when pubs were full of character? Not that murmuring old gubber perched at the bar, his gnarly teeth like a rural cemetery. No, the sort of atmospheric character that has accreted over the years with decades of smoking, drinking, laughing and crying. Trendy towns like Brighton... Read more
Pizza Hut, Newport
Social mobility is the thing. These days, we British like to imagine we’ve left the chains of class behind us, but of course, a faint rattling can still be heard. And sometimes not so faint. Take that ubiquitous eating out experience: pizza. You might imagine that the lowest common... Read more
Cantina, Ventnor
Cantina in Ventnor is one of those places that Matt and Cat get asked about a lot, and recommend a lot, too. But those conversations don’t always go to plan. It’s not unreasonable to ask what kind of food they serve at Cantina, but there’s no easy answer, because... Read more
Thompson’s, Newport
Well, what do you know – the boy has done it again. He’s only gone and opened a restaurant right in the middle of Newport. What, Newport? Seriously, the place where there are two Wetherspoons? That’s the one. Not only that, but in a former cafe overlooking the bus... Read more
Ganders, St Helens
The gravy pooled on the plate; it was not piped, spotted or smeared into a comma. There was no danger at all of bread appearing in a cloth cap, nor vegetables in a flowerpot. Even chips in a bucket seemed a little unlikely. Nothing was deconstructed – on the... Read more
Archive Review: Burrgrills, Seaview
Archive review: this pop-up is now closed. Street food, the sort of nosh that you buy from a hatch in a wagon, is so popular that now they’re opening restaurants dedicated to it. No, seriously. And, to prove that it’s not all fuddy-duddies in faded red trews, the poshest... Read more
The Hut, Colwell
It’s a ‘hotly’ contested accolade; the Isle of Wight declares itself the Sunniest Place in Britain™, despite some vigorous but unsuccessful chest-beating from Eastbourne. An old sun recording machine from Shanklin is in Matt’s possession and, although the natural light in his humble dwelling never troubles its sensitive needle,... Read more