Do you regularly fly past The Propeller Inn, that big shed-like pub by Bembridge airfield, and wonder if it would be worth stopping? Well, we’ve landed there for you.
Despite this being a bustling family pub on a busy evening we were immediately greeted on arrival, and taxied to a spot with a nice view across the nearby airstrip. With echoes of lockdown the pub is all table service, offering one of those little electronic buttons which produced a member of staff seemingly instantaneously. A delightful posy of fresh flowers from Bembridge Flower Shop on each table was an impressively top-flight decoration.
Home-made scotch egg is a great test. Just how soft is the egg? Just how crispy is the crust? In this case, this cute little starter was first-class. Soft, dribbly yolk drooled from the piping-hot egg onto the tasty meat. A little pot of apple brandy chutney was an unexpected bonus that elevated this dish to a high altitude of quality.
Top of the menu’s list of ‘Prop Favourites’ was homemade slow-cooked shredded lamb Wellington. This unusual dish showed up on our radar looking like a slice of what Matt described as ‘one of the biggest sausage rolls he’d ever had’. But sausage this was not – copious amounts of shredded lamb were compressed into a puff-pastry ring, and slathered with a thick, rich lamb gravy that soaked enticingly into the accompanying chips. A pot of hot fresh vegetables came alongside. This was not dissimilar from the famous Newchurch Pie served previously at the Pointer Inn and now at the Blacksmiths Arms. By which we mean this is great – you should try it.
Scotch egg £*
Seabass fillet and prawns £18.50
Lamb Wellington £18.50
Fish of the day was a classic seabass fillet, fried well with delightful crispy skin and soft flesh. A handful of garlicky king prawns topped the fish, just in case you wanted more. And we did. Chips and salad were pub-grub standard, plentiful and fresh.
We could also have tried the New Yorker chicken dish from the specials menu: essentially hunter’s chicken, but with less BBQ sauce. We soon found out where that had gone – a jumbo serving of home-cooked pork ribs came out swimming in a delightfully thick and sticky sauce that would have pleased any transatlantic diners.
We shared a dessert from what was splendidly identified as the Puddings menu. Profiteroles filled with salted caramel cream were as good as they sound. Topped with Belgian chocolate sauce this was a high-flying end to our meal.
The Propeller Inn is a warm and welcoming pub with a few enjoyable and unusual things on the menu. Nor do they leave behind those in economy class – you can get classic pub grub standards here at a reasonable price. Service was well above average – we felt like we’d got a free upgrade to business class. We would be happy to recommend you take the Propeller for a spin.
This is the full-length version of the review first published in the Isle of Wight County Press
Propeller Inn 01983 873611