Most visitors to the Island travelling through the busy car ferry terminal will pass within metres of the Fishbourne Inn without even realising it. They would be missing out on a small but most picturesque area. Fishbourne has a pretty little green, dominated by a spectacular old oak tree, and the pub is a stone’s throw from the shore.
The Fishbourne Inn was recommended to Matt and Cat by some of their mainland visitors who had stumbled upon the place by chance. On a quiet night (England were playing in the World Cup) your intrepid reviewers thought they’d give the place a visit.
The pub obviously caters for the family food rather than drinking end of the pub market; the vast but well-kept garden has plenty of seating for those balmy summer days. Inside the pub is similarly well provided with many tables, in fact, there’s little else. Although on the outside the place still appears to be full of rustic charm, it’s probably not too harsh to say that the interior is pretty bland and generic in the ‘family dining pub’ style. Despite this, it was comfortable and accessible. Matt and Cat were seated with a view over the garden.
The pub’s menu is not exotic, consisting of the most general fare – plenty of meat, lasagne, baked spuds and sandwiches, and a kids section. Matt and Cat both chose from the rather more interesting specials board; Matt had three-steak platter and Cat chose chicken breast in red wine.
The food arrived promptly and was nice and hot. Matt’s meat platter consisted of three generous steaks – beef, lamb and pork – with chips and fried mushrooms, but no vegetables. The meat was very good, as were the chips.
Cat’s chicken breast came with delicious home-cooked chips and a plate of vegetables (leek, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and new potatoes). The chicken was nice and tender and the sauce was sufficiently thick but did not have the expected tang of red wine – it was more like thick, but pleasant, gravy. The vegetables were obviously pre-prepared and had possibly been microwaved as they were a bit dry around the edges. However, it was a good selection.
Both meals were reasonable value for money (Cat’s chicken was under £9.00). The staff were friendly and the pub was nice and clean. After their meal, your reviewers went for a stroll through the idyllic village green to the shore and skimmed stones watching the ferries whilst waiting for the sun, and their dinners, to go down.