Matt and Cat\'s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide
Jireh Guest House, Yarmouth On a sunny Sunday afternoon working up an appetite looking around the lovely town of Yarmouth, your reviewers stumbled across...
Jireh Guest House, Yarmouth
Jireh Guest House, Yarmouth

On a sunny Sunday afternoon working up an appetite looking around the lovely town of Yarmouth, your reviewers stumbled across the Jireh Tea Rooms in The Square.

The tea rooms exude history. The low-ceilinged building has a compact terrace at the front which is in welcome shade; in the rear garden are sunnier places to sit including a big conservatory. The inside of the tea rooms is decorated in a typical olde worlde style with heavy anaglypta wallpaper and delightful old carpets covering the pattern-tiled floor.

The menu brings the visitor straight back into the 21st century, as it is on rather tatty photocopied paper. Listed is standard tea room fare: sandwiches, baked potatoes, cakes and tea. The Jireh is also licensed if you want a drop of something more uplifting than a cup of Earl Grey. Cat chose egg sandwich and Matt selected tuna jacket potato.

Meal at the Jireh Tea Rooms

The tea was very good. It came in a capacious (if chipped) china tea pot, with real milk. There was plenty for all, plus a generous jug of hot water. The staff were also happy to provide glasses of iced water – which were very welcome on such a hot day.

Egg sandwich
An unusual way to present an egg sandwich

The food came in reasonable time. It was served on tiny oval stainless steel plates and, accordingly was a tiny portion. Cat was stunned into silence (for once!) by her egg sandwich – it was an egg (sliced) between two pieces of thin sliced bread (one white, one brown). No mayonnaise, just an egg. It was accompanied by a meagre garnish and onion-heavy homemade coleslaw. Matt’s appetite was not going to be assuaged by his tiny potato and garnish. Again, the tuna had no mayonnaise – it was just tuna straight out of the tin. You could not say that your reviewers had been misled, the menu made no promises about mayonnaise, however the sandwich and the potato were the poorer for the lack of it.

All in all, despite the quaint location, the attentive staff and the fine tea, the food left something to be desired (mayonnaise, china plates, reasonable cost). For an afternoon pot of tea the Jireh does fairly well. For anything more, it isn’t truly worth the trouble.

  • JB says:

    I visited here a couple of weeks ago and left disappointed. At first the place seems ‘Olde Worlde’ and pleasant, but on closer scrutiny, attention has not been paid to the detail – the very nice wooden chairs needed a thorough polish, the low settees were more suited to a modern interior and my soup …well I didn’t think much of it. It was meant to be Fish Chowder – it was very thin with hardly anything in it. It warmed me up but could never compare to that at The Spyglass – although the last time I went there I was disappointed that it was not on the menu! I’m sorry for the nice lady who seemed in charge, but she hasn’t got it right.

  • De Bazille says:

    we had a light lunch here in May 2011. It was pretty good and the food was far better than that described in the review.

  • Terry Dunne says:

    For many years we have regularly gone to Yarmouth on our day off and always lunched at “Salty’s” cause it was great – but in August on our arrival they had some Yachtys booked in and no room for us – their mistake – when we dine our we often spend over £100.00 – its our day out – so then we found Jireh guest house tearooms who did Lobster Thermador – meal was superb as was the service two bottles later and another visit this week (September 24th 2008) and again a superb lobster and a great Chicken Keiv – all future visits will be to the Jireh for lunch – all the way from Bournemouth – Salty’s has lost us as regular monthly visit and our cash. Keep it up.

  • Anon says:

    My family and I eat her back in July 2008 and it sounds like it has been turned around since the reviewer visted back in 2006.

    The food was fresh, tasty and plentiful. I had the ploughmans and a cream tea and I couldn`t fault it and left satisfied.

    Not cheap nor quick but you get that impression as you walk in anyhow so it’s not really a surprise!

  • Debs says:

    Our family of seven went to this tea room just last week – 8th April 2008- and we all enjoyed what we ordered. Five of us had a cream tea each, one person had a piece of coffee cake and my son ordered cheese and biscuits. While it was not cheap to eat here, everything was plentiful and very tasty. We would definitely go back!

  • Chris Clarke says:

    Our experience in June this year was dire: the Ploughman’s was the most minimal I have ever had, the crab salad was not fresh – to the point where my wife felt it unsafe to eat – and it all took half an hour to arrive.

  • Another Anon says:

    I second te fact that the Creaam Tea and the cakes are great and never dissapoint.
    The Jireh is the highlight of a holiday visit to Yarmouth for the youngsters

  • Anon says:

    I used to work there – can you imagine how shameful it feels to take out food that is REALLY expensive for what it is? I used to run away form the tables sometimes. Should you go back I can reccommend the cream teas much better and the scones are genuinely homemade by a lady who comes in just to do the cakes.

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