Matt and Cat\'s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide
As summer 2009 fades, memories of the carnival, Twestival and Bestival gradually disperse like the seeds of a dandelion clock. Fortunately for the organised...

As summer 2009 fades, memories of the carnival, Twestival and Bestival gradually disperse like the seeds of a dandelion clock.

Breakfast at the Crown Hotel, Ryde

Fortunately for the organised Matt and Cat their impression of a Bank Holiday breakfast at the Crown Hotel, Ryde will not dissipate so easily as it can be recalled with some photographic prompts. Those of you who are avid M and C followers will have read on their twitter feed that they sampled this prominent hotel’s hospitality way back in August and it is nearly six weeks later that the feckless duo have got around to writing about it. Well, what do you lot expect for nothing!

Scrambled egg and bacon

It’s always a bonus to have a Bank Holiday; a free day, if you will, which a lot of people will choose to spend broiling in their motionless car unable to block out the repetitive mithering of children squawking “are we there yet?”. Matt and Cat decided to forego this British tradition because there were no pestering children to hand and also because they were already there. Why go away when you can staycation on the Isle of Wight? Plus the weather was lovely and the town was buzzing with scooterists.

On this day, the Crown Hotel was the perfect place eat. For a start they were still serving breakfast at the embarrassingly tardy time that M and C rolled up. Also the pavement tables benefited from the heat of the early afternoon sun and the location was perfect for watching the mods whizz by. Several of their number were having a drink at the pub, chatting good-naturedly about the previous night’s Madness concert. It was all very congenial.

Crown Hotel, Ryde

The staff at the Crown Hotel were pretty friendly too. The barmaid was happy to reassure Matthew that he could still have breakfast – it wasn’t called ‘all day breakfast’ for nothing! She was also unfazed by Cat’s off-menu request of bacon and scrambled egg with toast. Tea was ordered too and both had the choice of white or brown bread. Although this vast hotel had lots of indoor seating they decided to go for the continental option of eating al fresco; after all it’s only for a few weeks a year that this option is truly viable for the English, even those who enjoy the Island’s temperate climes. Cutlery and a selection of condiments were soon delivered to M and C’s little round table, along with cups of tea. Shortly afterwards the breakfasts arrived.

Matthew’s all day breakfast was a treat to behold: double bacon, double sausages, double eggs and a single tomato halved and fried, plus a side plate of warm toast with butter. The chef was quite clearly an expert in the delicate art of cooking the perfect fried egg. The yolks were runny without being snotty and the bottoms weren’t too crispy. Matt enjoyed every mouthful of his meal and the tea washed it all down satisfactorily. Cat’s two rashers of plump and salty bacon were lovely and the scrambled egg suited her exacting standards. All in all it was a jolly good start to Matt and Cat’s day.

The duo lingered over their tea, chatting about what a great place Ryde is and planning where to have afternoon tea and cakes. The Crown Hotel, which has served Ryde for two hundred years, is in a prime position next to the newly refurbished St Thomas Square. The menu has a good range of light bites and pub grub. Not a particularly adventurous selection but one which certainly suited your reviewers. Recommended.
Crown Hotel, Ryde

  • eric - ryde says:

    We thought we would have a change from the Wetherspoon experience late last Saturday afternoon, so four of us ventured into the Crown Hotel. We were hungry and saw the huge “A-board” outside describing the menu offers. Having been tempted inside we studied the menu and made our choices.

    Just one thing…. the kitchen closes at 4.30pm on a Saturday. So why don’t they advertise food serving times? Annoyed, we drank our pints and moved on…. to just down the road!

    At The Crown the girl serving wasn’t the slightest bit bothered – she didn’t even offer crisps or rolls that we had seen on display. On our way out the menus were still on display on the tables and the board still on the pavement – some 2 hours after the kitchen closed!

    Perhaps another pub on the way down? Certainly our money will go to more-deserving hostelries – what a shame good backstreet bars close (such as the Solent Inn) yet the poor PR and customer service at a town centre bar goes unnoticed, except perhaps by four Ryde residents.

  • shogun says:

    booked in for a couple of nights, luckily for me it was Tuesday ‘Curry-club’ luvly jubly curry & a pint for hardly any money at all, all the trimmings, nan bread, poppadoms, main & rice & of course the mango-chutney, superb,

    Matt and Cat respond: Curry with “all the trimmings”! Nice concept – we know exactly what you mean!

  • Delgado says:

    I agree with all the comments so far, and would add that Angie has a wonderful talent for displaying her Giant Sausages while serving them and presenting them with firmness and warm to the touch. A treat not to be missed!

  • shogun says:

    I wholeheartedly agree, nice simple well laid out menu, good prices, fine food, bar staff pleasantly pleasing & top it all Angie the Chef turns out a decent bit-o-food!!all dun with a smile & charm, usually to the cry of: ‘do you want butter on that’
    gets my vite..

  • Merryman says:

    Oh yes – Angie’s buttered baps are legendary!!!!

  • Trencherman says:

    Agree entirely about The Crown. Nice food served by friendly staff & good for people watching. The chef, Angie, is famous for her baps which she offers with an exciting array of fillings! Also, try her giant bangers – a real mouthfull.

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