Matt and Cat\'s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide
On an unexpectedly chilly October evening, Matt and Cat fancied a hot meal in a homely pub. Following a friend’s recommendation, they visited the...

On an unexpectedly chilly October evening, Matt and Cat fancied a hot meal in a homely pub. Following a friend’s recommendation, they visited the Fleming Arms – an impressive stone pile on the main road in Binstead.

Conveniently, the pub has a very large car park at the rear. Additionally there is a pleasant little beer garden complete with a rabbit and a guinea-pig inhabiting a cage which appeared strong enough to retain a gorilla! And, although you cannot tell from its roadside facade, this pub has undergone some serious modernisation.

On the inside, the Fleming Arms is set out as a family dining pub, but it also retains a large public bar area at the front where jolly locals laugh, smoke and quaff ale engagingly. The dichotomy between eaters and drinkers can be a delicate balance, but it is one which the Fleming seems to have pulled off. And, although the pub is not in a location that would normally attract the tourist hordes, there would certainly be room for them.

When Matt and Cat visited it was ‘steak night’ enticing diners with a generous BOGOF* offer. The helpful barman explained the deal, and when Cat pertly turned up her nose at a free steak, he even suggested that Matt might manage both steaks himself. The cost was not inconsiderable – the best part of £30 went on two meals and a round of drinks. However, when the food arrived your reviewers concluded that it represented reasonable value for money.

Matt succumbed to the challenge of double fillet steak. The steaks were probably amongst the finest that Matt had ever tried, being freshly and perfectly cooked; served rare (as requested) and very hot and even slightly charred. The chips and vegetables were not quite up to the standard of the meat, being workaday items but they did the job adequately. And, fret not, dear reader, Cat was not going to go hungry as the regular menu was significantly better than one can often expect from a pub, with an emphasis on traditional English fare composed of meat, mash and vegetables. Cat ordered a chicken in garlic and white wine sauce. The bird was lovely and tender and the garlic and white wine sauce was delicious and creamy. It was served with interestingly seasoned (was that mint leaves?) mashed potato with cabbage and sliced carrots. What lovely warming meals!

With its capacious car park, very welcoming and friendly staff and delicious home-cooked English fare you should give the Fleming Arms a visit. The interior of the pub is very neat and clean (if a little generic) and its large dining area has several parts which are no smoking; the toilets especially were impressively well turned out. So, a pleasant venue with some good food on offer – worth the modest extra cost for an enjoyable family meal.

*Buy One Get One Free

  • Steve Williams says:

    Had a nice meal in the Fleming Arms last week, plenty of food, excellent service at the bar, probably my 3rd visit this year.

    Just a couple of issues, not sure if I will be visiting again on a Saturday night, karaoke is not my cup of tea at the weekend, most of the bars in Ryde offer karaoke on a quiet night, tuesday for The Marine and wednesday for The Lud. If this is the normal Saturday night offering, I would deliberately avoid. Most couples are looking for a quiet drink, prior to hitting Ryde town on a Saturday or would prefer a nice meal without the noise of someone singing?

    Buy one get one free meals do offer very good value, although Binstead is equally full of singletons, retirees, widows or widowers, so BOGOF does nothing for someone on their own.

    The current BOGOF deal aside, food on the whole is not that cheap, nor is the drink, shame one or the other is not a little bit cheaper.

    Minor gripes, food is good, well worth checking out if your in the Ryde/Binstead area but maybe not on a saturday or if you are on your own.

  • da yw wyth says:

    Oh dear – bad news! It turns out the breakfasts are only served on those days when there is nothing more important and interesting going on – if something else takes priority – no breakfasts! So don’t arrange to meet up with anyone there for breakfast – you may find yourself dashing elsewhere…!

  • da yw wyth says:

    Found out today that the Fleming has just started doing cooked breakfasts from 9.30 a.m. every day except Sunday. Not as cheap as some, but given the superbness of their lunches, I’d suggest this is more than well worth a try!

  • da yw wyth says:

    Stopped here for lunch a few weeks back, and had a most superb soup – the real Mc.Coy with proper vegetables. And great bread to go with it. Must agree it’s a good atmosphere and still feels like a pub, though comfortable to eat in….

  • Alli B says:

    Ended up at the Flemming Arms by accident as the pub of our choice was full due to a wedding!

    We were pleasantly surprised by both the service and the food. I had a very tasty Brie and Bacon Baguette that was served with chips and salad,The portions were a good size,I didn’t quite finish everything on my plate!
    Everybody else in my party enjoyed their food too,it was served quickly and the staff were friendly and helpful.

    We hope to return to the Flemming Arms in the not to distant future and would recommend to others!

  • Boyd & Fi says:

    Following a recommendation from Matt & Cat we decided to try the Fleming Arms the other evening. Main courses very good with plenty of choice from both menu and specials board. Portion sizes were huge and still very reasonable price wise. Despite portion sizes we decided to have puddings however these were the only disappointment appearing to be mass produced elsewhere (ie not homemade). Service was quick enough without being rushed.
    On the whole very nice atmosphere, good service and really good food with reasonable prices and we would return again in the future.

  • Sandra Toms says:

    I will not be eating here again!! Although the staff, atmosphere, and location are lovely the food is massively over priced for what is basically warmed up frozen food, even though they advertise no pre-packaged food. Also we waited well over half an hour for our meal, even though we were the only one’s in the pub – such a shame!!

  • PAUL MULLERY says:

    We stopped eating in there some time ago. The place has a large dining area and at the time we were the only ones ordering food. it took about 40 minutes before we were served so Heaven knows how long it would take if the place was full.

    The food was OK and just about acceptable on price. I note that they are constantly advertising for chefs. They seem to have an A board outside advertising a vacancy on a permanent basis. Why do they have such a high staff turnover?

  • Becka says:

    We visited the fleming tonight (07/07/11) for my mums birthday meal. There was 11 of us and we all enjoyed our meals, There was quite a long wait of about half an hour which considering there were hardly any customers in the place was quite dissapointing. But what i found most annoting was paying £3.50 for a garlic bread to share with my partner and what got served was the tiniest portion of baguette i have ever seen n my life!! It was a baguette of about 9 inches in lenght, cut in half and cut into 4 very thin slices- im not in any way greedy but feel that for £3.50 i would expect a whole baguette??.Two of us in the group ordered these so we ended up paying £7.00 for one whole baguette and bit of garlic butter! We always have garlic bread wen we go out and have never been served anything so small…they shoul try the fighting cocks at arreton- their garlic bread is deliciious best iv ever had.

  • Neil Walker says:

    Fleming Arms. Our experience seems to have been the same as some other commentators, namely that the food and cooking are excellent, but you have to be prepared for a long wait. We got slightly jittery as we were due to catch a car ferry and time was getting short. However, the meal arrived(after a reminder)just in time for us to have a leisurely enough opportunity to savour it. One of the best lunches we have had at any pub on the Island.

  • Helen says:

    We went to the Fleming on Monday to celebrate a 60th birthday. There were 20 of us so contacted them a few days before and had lots of help from Chrissie who put together a two-course menu (choice of three starters and three mains) for £11 pp. It was all super – if a trifle challenging to get people’s choices in advanced. The starters of prawn cocktail, garlic mushrooms or soup all came promptly and were right! The mains of roast beef or pork, vegetable cannelloni or salmon with prawns were delicious – hot and with fresh veg. Gravy was def homemade and extra was brought without asking.
    Can’t fault it – terrific and friendly service, lovely food. Will go back again as we’d not been there for a while. Thank you Mick and Chrissie for making Buster’s surprise 60th dinner a great surprise

    Matt and Cat respond: Thanks for your comment, Helen. We’re glad that Buster had a jolly party!

  • Carol and Neil says:

    Having failed to realise we were visiting Ryde on the night of Ryde carnival and it was nye on impossible to park, we headed back out of town to the Fleming Arms.
    Our meals of fish cakes, and the chicken with cocunut and garlic came quickly, and the latter in particular was very good. The staff were firendly too.
    We have driven past this pub many times, but never stopped. I think we will in the future.

  • Derek and Gail says:

    Always on the look out for somewhere to go for a meal, we thought we would try the Fleming Arms. We took a friend for a meal, and were surprised by the extensive menu, plus a specials board.

    We then waited, and waited, and waited. It was not busy, but it took 55 minutes before our meal came out. However, it was worth the wait.

    There were also offers such as “2 Rib-eye steak meals for £18”. We decided to dispense with the starters, so Gail opted for the Vegetable Stir Fry with noodles and prawn crackers, I chose the Fresh Ham with salad, chips and peas, and our friend chose the Chicken in White Wine and Garlic sauce. We then waited, and waited, and waited. It was not busy, but it took 55 minutes before our meal came out. However, it was worth the wait. The ham meal was perfect, and the ham just melted in your mouth. Similarly with the chicken, with lashings of white wine and garlic sauce, plus a dish of extra sauce. The vegetables were cooked to perfection. The stir fry vegetables were a bit on the spicy side, but Gail said they were delicious. We then looked at the sweet menu. Gail chose the Luxury Lemon Meringue, I chickened out and had the ice cream, and our friend had a banana split. All were worth it. And the total bill came to under £40.
    Our verdict is that the food was good, the prices were more than reasonable, and despite the initial wait, we will definitely be going back there.

  • Sammy says:

    On our way back from a visit to the ryde farmers market on saturday my husband, son and i descided to visit the fleming arms as we had heard it was nice, my husband was a bit sceptical on looking at the front of it as it did look like it would be dark and smelling of stale smoke (even though the smoking is gone the smell takes awhile in some places to get out of the furnishings) BUT once inside we where very happy at what we saw, it was a lovely fresh, clean pub with serveral dif areas to chose from to eat, the man serving was very helpful and friendly, so our first impressions where that it was very nice. The food didnt take long to arrive, and it was very nice, nice large potions and all hot and tasty, we will definatly go there again.

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