Matt and Cat\'s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide
Pendletons, Shanklin Pendletons, Shanklin
Despite the dismal (typical) British summer weather, Matt and Cat made a seasonal visit to Shanklin’s Old Village to mooch around the gifte shoppes... Pendletons, Shanklin

Despite the dismal (typical) British summer weather, Matt and Cat made a seasonal visit to Shanklin’s Old Village to mooch around the gifte shoppes and see what they could find to eat.

Pendletons, Shanklin

Unable to squeeze into Pavarotti’s, ignoring the singular sugary delights of the Rock Shop and the previously reviewed June’s Fish Bar, your reviewers happened upon Pendletons, a restaurant so politely understated that it is almost invisible amongst the blaring high-octane shop fronts of its neighbours. However, on the night that Matt and Cat visited, Pendletons offered that rare commodity in this bustling tourist Mecca – a table for two. So they took it.

Hear the full podcast review:

The menu at Pendletons boasted a good array of local produce. Matt and Cat felt spoilt for choice. An impressive range of pasta dishes with a choice of sauces; a wide selection of salads, and a good list of clearly described main courses, many of which had some local element to them. Your reviewers expansively ordered a plate of antipasto from the list of appetisers; and for the main meal, Matt was immediately drawn to Isle of Wight pan fried pork fillet with a creamy cider and wholegrain mustard sauce. Cat chose the analogous Isle of Wight pan fried chicken breast with garlic, fresh thyme and lemon butter. Both meals came with a choice of veg or salad, and Isle of Wight new potatoes. No, there was no extra charge for these, thank goodness.



There then followed a wait of some forty minutes – not unexpected, nor really unpleasant. It was the height of summer, Matt and Cat had just taken the last vacant table. A word of warning might not have gone amiss, though. Still, it gave M & C time to enjoy the cool interior of Pendletons: bright, clean and modern, it is the antithesis of the chintzy décor of venues elsewhere in Shanklin.

Pan fried Isle of Wight chicken with fresh thyme, Pendletons, Shanklin

Eventually, the pleasingly generous plateful of antipasto rolled up – with an apology for its delayed arrival. It was an enticing range of little pickles and meats to nibble upon. Feeling peckish, the diners soon polished them off, and from there on, the arrival of the food was well-paced, and there were no more delays. The chirpy waiter, coming to remove the remains of the starter, cheerfully enquired “And how did we get on with that?”. After making polite reply, Cat reflected that his previous employment might have been in a care home. “I don’t look that old, do I?” she enquired. Matt replied “Eh, what say?”.

Soon, the main course arrived and Matt and Cat were both very pleased indeed with what they saw. Beautifully presented plates of meat, both with piping hot and steaming sauces, and alongside, satisfying bowls of fresh vegetables and potatoes. Cat rated her chicken highly: it was delightfully tender and garlicky, with the merest hint of tangy lemon butter. The fresh thyme really added to the overall flavour sensation – that was a special dish. Matt’s pork was almost as good – piles of the juiciest pork, generously topped with creamy and mustardy sauce. If only the Isle of Wight spuds had spent a little less time waiting in the kitchen they might have been as perfectly fresh as the accompanying veg.

Matt and Cat’s bill
Antipasti £5.75
Pan fried pork fillet £11.95
Pan fried chicken breast £10.95
Gooseberry & elderflower fool £4.95
2 x coffee £2.70
Beer £3.25
Wine £2.85

Much taken with the meal so far, Matt and Cat bravely summoned the dessert menu, and found it was called ‘Afters’. Matt wondered whether this was a northern affectation – it’s not often that you get offered ‘afters’ south of the Thames. Anyway, the menu proudly proclaimed that all the ‘afters’ were home-made, and there was a very good choice. Matt and Cat shared a gooseberry and elderflower fool that came with a dusting of fresh meringue – delightful.

Pendletons proved to be an unexpectedly sophisticated venue in the middle of touristy Shanklin. What’s more, the prices were keenly competitive, as could be expected from an eaterie situated in a row of rivals. For decent portions of good quality food at good value, Matt and Cat have no hesitation in recommending it.

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  • L Jones

    18th April 2019 #1 Author

    Since you were last there, Matt and Cat, Pendletons has had a make over and has a new Chef (Ashley for the last 4 years). I visited last night … Outstanding, food, wine, service and ambience in this sophisticated restaurant in old Shanklin. I would highly recommend!


  • Derek and Louise

    17th May 2017 #2 Author

    Our experience almost identical to Matt and Cat’s. We had just arrived from London and it was a Friday night and had already been turned away from 2 eateries. Food was delicious, service superb and we only had to wait 30 minutes. I can still taste the mustard mash now and we would happily have paid more for the quality of the meal. Just about to book again now.


  • Tony

    8th October 2013 #3 Author

    Had a lovely meal here last Saturday, really enjoyed my steak and the chocolate torte I had for dessert was amazing!! was out celebrating my birthday with my friends and the staff made it really special, thanks Pendletons!


  • John & Hilary Woodhouse

    24th November 2012 #4 Author

    Restaurant was closed last week. No sign up nor menu at door. Not sure whether a short break or winter closure?

    Black Cat next door operating normally


  • pat

    2nd October 2011 #5 Author

    After an unseasonably warm day (1st of October) having played at being tourists we decided to try out one of the Old Villages many eateries. However we didn’t bank on how the fine weather was going to bring out so many Saturday night diners, several of the places we tried were already fully booked when we happened upon Pendleton’s.
    Looked great from the outside, inside the place was clean, sparkling & had a distinctly bistro feel & yes we were in luck they had one table for two available! Surprising as the place was at this stage vey quite, however this soon changed as the later sittings started to arrive.
    Service was very friendly & attentive, although there were only two front of house staff dealing with 15 to twenty tables.
    We ordered a garlic Ciabatta & the Antipasti platter of cold meats, mozzarella, tomatoes olives etc both served with a pot of thick balsamic vinegar & a separate flask of olive oil. Both starters were excellent, and in particular the Olive Studded Ciabatta which certainly looked & tasted as though it was baked on the premises!
    For mains we both chose the New Barn Farm steaks, one rare & one medium, served with cakes of bubble & squeak. Again faultless, the steaks were perfectly cooked with the bubble & squeak just the right side of under cooked allowing the texture of the vegetables to still stand up to the mashed potato, both Steaks & Bubble & Squeak had the right amount of charring.
    Unfortunately time meant that we weren’t able to stay for deserts although from the menu this looked a shame!
    Overall with drinks our whole meal for two was just over 50 quid, service was excellent & the food was outstanding – we will definitely be visiting again & making time for puddings!


  • Simon Lloyd

    9th September 2011 #6 Author

    After seeing this recommended, we visited it on 31st August. Had a lovely meal with excellent service. We visit the island once or twice a year and will certainly be eating here again on our next visit. We always stay in Shanklin and can’t think why we haven’t been to Pendleton’s before, other than we’ve tended to go for the gastro-pub venues. The cost was very reasonable at around £50 for the two of us – which covered 3 courses plus a bottle of wine.


  • Sarah James

    8th July 2011 #7 Author

    My husband and I first went to Pendletons when it first opened and really enjoyed it. For some reason last night was the first time we’ve been back. It was absolutely lovely. I had grey mullet after a mozzarella and tomato salad. Mr James had fish cakes and then bravely had Spag Bog – brave because he loves Italian food – and we were more than impressed. And very nice NZ Sauvignon blanc


  • E Fitzgerald

    2nd June 2011 #8 Author

    Afraid I cannot agree ate there on 31st May and very disappointed. Overcooked steak, fatty tough lamb and everything lacked seasoning. Would not return I’m afraid.


  • mistyboy

    21st April 2011 #9 Author

    we ate here two nights ago, superb meal , fresh mozarella caprese starters, locally caught grilled cod on a zesty ratatouille, and a bottle of house wine, at £38 the ebst value yet for top quality food on the Island, thoroughy recommended, for ambience and caring staff. Top marks..


  • John Woodhouse

    3rd April 2011 #10 Author

    We revisited the week befor last. Everything well up to standard, no more needs to be said!


  • Paulene Chaney-Blackpool

    11th February 2011 #11 Author

    Thank for update John. We will be in Shanklin 2nd April, 2011 so hopefully Pendletons will be up and running again then, otherwise it will make for a VERY disappointing start to our holiday…!


  • John Woodhouse

    6th February 2011 #12 Author

    I have now heard from Steve who tells me he hopes to reopen probably in March. We look forward to that.

    Matt and Cat respond: as do we! Thanks for the helpful update, John.


  • John Woodhouse

    26th January 2011 #13 Author

    Paulene – we would agree but the place appears to have closed down – very sad. Do you have any contact with the owners to find out what if anything maybe happening? We checked again in January & all closed up


  • Paulene Chaney

    12th January 2011 #14 Author

    We go to Shanklin three times a year, and the only place we will eat is Pendletons… the owners and staff have become good friends over the years. We’ve never been let down with our meals and the ambiance and decor is second to none.

    Please give it a try – you will not be disappointed, after five years we never have been…!


  • John Woodhouse

    21st December 2010 #15 Author

    On our November visit to Shanklin a notice in the window said “Closed until further notice”. In December windows were blanked out & no sign of life. Does anyone know what may have happened?


  • David and Angela

    17th July 2010 #16 Author

    Excellent service, fine food and a good price – and happy to talk about variations to the menu and future plans; a real find!


  • Eric Alcock

    15th May 2010 #17 Author

    May 2010. Had 2 excellent meals at Pendletons last week, great food and very
    good value, do not miss it!!


  • John & Hilary Woodhouse

    26th March 2010 #18 Author

    We revisited both Black Cat & Pendletons on consecutive evenings last week. Once again both provided good food & service and value for money.


  • John & Hilary Woodhouse

    1st March 2010 #19 Author

    We visited for a £10 “winter offer” evening meal recently & were very impressed. Two young men – one front of house, one in the kitchen gave good service & excellent food. Service a little leisurely but we were told they were quite busy that night & everything prepared individually. Definitely earmarked for a return visit


  • Gary

    19th July 2009 #20 Author

    The menu had changed since M & C’s visit, and we were disappointed that the antipasto was no longer on offer so we decided to skip the appetisers and go for a main course and sweet. The meals were excellent, competively priced, and the service smart, friendly and speedy. What with the friendly relaxed atmosphere on a packed out Saturday July evening this was a most enjoyable dining experience.


  • Karina

    23rd March 2009 #21 Author

    Fantastic food, friendly staff, great wine in lovely surroundings… what more could you ask for??

    Had one of the best meals iv had on the Island will definately be returning!!


  • Ian

    10th October 2008 #22 Author

    Four of us had a good meal there on Tuesday evening,nice food and good service.will go there again as Morgans has gone down hill


  • Clare

    28th September 2008 #23 Author

    Wemt to the Isle of wight for a long weekend went to Pendletons the first night and the following 2 nights as it was so good!


  • Laura

    12th September 2008 #24 Author

    Had a yummy meal at Pendletons a few weeks ago – their steak is amazing! Can’t wait to go back. Word of advice – book a table at weekends as they were having to turn people away!


  • Visitor

    11th September 2008 #25 Author

    Visited Pendletons recently whilst on holiday.Lovely atmosphere, great service, good food, Wonderful evening.