Appley Manor Hotel – the Manor Inn Restaurant, Manor Inn or just The Manor? Rather like Kate Cottage this venue seems to have got...
Appley Manor Hotel, Ryde

Appley Manor Hotel – the Manor Inn Restaurant, Manor Inn or just The Manor? Rather like Kate Cottage this venue seems to have got so excited over its publicity that it’s hard to say which it is. Careful study of its website will reveal an answer for those who care – but Matt and Cat went there for food, not logomachy.

The Appley Manor is a grand old pile on the outskirts of Ryde, which has supplemented its hotel trade with a very substantial restaurant in the carvery style. A huge, low-ceilinged extension accommodates acres of space, and a bar so long you could play skittles on it.

Matt and Cat settled themselves at a table, dutifully noted the number and reviewed the fare on offer. The menu was typical for such family-dining venues, with the commendable addition of a substantial vegetarian section focussed on pasta, which did manage to go beyond cheese and omelettes. The specials board was the real revelation: a large range of dishes was chalked on the wall, making the choice actually pretty good – and something for most pockets as well.

She bared her teeth and with a low throaty growl commanded “Meat!”.

Cat was feeling the need to eat a proper meal. Matt insipidly pointed her at the home-made chicken masala, or spinach and ricotta cannelloni, but to no avail. Dismissing his feeble suggestions she bared her teeth and with a low throaty growl commanded “Meat!”. Matt backed away to the food-ordering counter where he swiftly ordered her a char-grilled fillet steak from the grill menu. Sometimes it’s the only thing to do. Scanning the specials he chose for himself beef bourguignon in red wine, garnished with field mushrooms and silverskin onions. En route back to the table carrying the drinks Matt reflected with satisfaction on the fact that although the staff he’d spoken to were young enough to be wearing orthodontics, both were smartly uniformed, charming, professional and engaged him with polite and friendly conversation as well as serving him.

Fillet steak

When Cat’s steak arrived she fell upon it like a woman possessed. Matt looked on nervously – would it be up to the mark? And what if it wasn’t? Fortunately, The Manor passed with flying colours. The red mist slowly receded from Cat’s eyes as the delicious, tender steak worked its magic. Perfectly char-grilled on the outside, and devoid of any fat or gristle, it was an excellent example of the grilled fillet. A modest portion of chips came alongside, and soon Cat was happily chewing with a beatific look of contentment.

Matt’s beef bourguignon proved to be equally enjoyable. A good and faithful rendition of the classic French dish, the simple stew was mostly big chunks of braising steak cooked to perfection. Occasionally what is sold as bourguignon is served with carrots or chopped onions, or even recycled roast beef – but this one avoided all those traps. Not too dry, it was served on a bed of rice to absorb the juices. A few vegetables alongside might not have gone amiss, but Matt had taken the liberty of ordering some extra chips which managed to supplement the carbohydrate element of the meal quite effectively.

Beef Bourguignon

Your reviewers broke with tradition and ordered desserts from the modest but tempting array on offer. Apple pie for Matt, sherry trifle for Cat. Both arrived served in traditional style, and were well-received. On reflection, Matt and Cat realised that the overall cost of their meal and drinks had been pretty good – the Appley Manor seems to keep its prices at the lower end of the market as perhaps one might expect from such a high-volume establishment – yet somehow they manage to also produce good quality food and courteous service. An unexpectedly good place to eat, which Matt and Cat are happy to recommend.

The Manor Inn Restaurant, Appley Manor Hotel, Ryde

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  • Dan

    27th September 2011 #1 Author

    i will never go there again the place has gone down hill , i used this place 3 years ago , and food was great, so i decided to go there for sunday roast ,the meat had no taste , pots was deep fried. Roast had never seen a oven lol. The bar staff who served us was rude from the start. If you want a nice roast i would go to the sloop,

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  • PAUL MULLERY

    8th July 2011 #2 Author

    We went to Appley Manor for fish and chips. I was suspicious when it came to the table within 10 minutes. Our suspicions were confirmed when we examined the fish. It was staight out of a box of frozen stuff you would buy in Iceland. The portion was thin and small (like a child’s portion)and the batter was so thin and even all round it could have been sprayed on. Absolutely tasteless. I suppose at £7.50 each that was the reason for the pre-prepared fish. It’s a pity because the last time we went and had steak pie it was very good.

    Think we will stick with the Folly and the Woodman at Wootton where the fish is thick, meaty and freshly prepared and about a foot long. It’s worth paying the extra two quid for the genuine article.

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  • Jane – Kitchen Stools Direct

    3rd May 2011 #3 Author

    Mixed reviews here, but my experience with the place was nothing but positive. Stayed at the hotel and had a party joining us at the restaurant. The place has an impressive vegetarian fare, something that is usually rare to come by! Service was quick and friendly too.

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  • da yw wyth

    3rd May 2011 #4 Author

    We chose this venue for an event and were totally impressed by the outcome in all aspects. Not only was the food delicious and generously provided, but the staff were unfailingly helpful and attentive, paying meticulous attention to detail. One small thing – it would be handy to put the up-to-date e-mail address on the information given out to enquirers.

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  • Sarah

    13th July 2010 #5 Author

    Very disappointing!
    We visited the Appley after a recommendation by my in-laws, who had a “fantastic” meal there last year. We were not impressed though. The meals took 35 minutes to arrive (apparently there was a notice by the till advising a 30 minute wait, but no-one in my party saw it and it was not pointed out by the staff). The menu is very uninspiring. There appeared to be only 3 meals made at the restaurant, with the rest bought in. My “home-made” lasagne was ok, although quite fatty. The rest of the meals were not great either. If I wanted to eat poor quality, cooked from frozen meals, I could go to Tescos at a third of the cost. If we thought the main meals were bad, worse was to come. The “homemade” sherry trifle was nothing more than a packet mix with a tin of fruit thrown in. The “homemade” crumble would have been ok if it hadn’t have had a layer of gluey mush between the fruit and the crumble where it had been sitting for a long time. As for the custard, it was honestly a health hazard (and I mean that in all seriousness), it was a powder made with water into a lumpy, translucent mix and it tasted absolutely foul. I complained and they gave us a refund, but I wish I had kept some to send to the environmental health people. Needless to say, we will NEVER be returning.

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  • D

    9th November 2009 #6 Author

    Blimey you guys have had a very different experience to my last 2 visits. The second to last visit was a couple of years ago and I vowed never to go back – a vow I had to break when invited to a relative’s birthday meal there. On that initial visit my wife and I ordered starters and mains from a menu that seemed to come straight out of the 70’s and a bottle of wine. 45 minutes later I was served some frozen in the middle breaded mushrooms and my wife was served some frozen in the middle deep fried camembert. Total cr*p that we sent back. We then ordered another bottle of wine. Another 40 minutes later, 2 bottles of wine down and no food we gave up waiting on the main courses, paid for our wine, went home and ordered a pizza. The last time I went – about 6 months ago I must admit the menu was not great but it was better. My meal of beef medallion stroganoff was actually very nice however my wife’s meatballs and spaghetti in what I can only describe as in a sauce tasting like Campbells condensed tomato soup was not so good. There are plenty of good value places on the Island serving great pub grub so… Please friends and relatives DO NOT make me go there again!!!

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  • Mal the Brummy

    31st December 2007 #7 Author

    Had quite a few meals here when we first moved to IW in summer 2007. The home made chilli is excellent. Tried various meals both from the menu and the specials, never disappointed! Great value for money too.

    Mal, Ryde

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  • jon b

    14th December 2007 #8 Author

    it sounds exactly like my wonderful experience i had there several years ago. the food was good old fashioned english food and it was great and always served with a smile. i look forward to going back.

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