Matt and Cat have eaten some excellent food in all of the far-flung corners of the Isle of Wight. From windswept tea rooms to the most northerly restaurant, they’ve pretty much tried them all. However, sometimes the best things are on your doorstep – as Matt and Cat discovered over the Christmas holidays.
The northern end of Ryde’s Monkton Street is quite the burgeoning community. Having suffered a localised recession over recent years with the loss of the petrol station, post office and hairdressers, it now boasts an upgraded convenience store, the Island’s first Polish supermarket, as well as M&C’s favourite chippy.
Having had too many Quality Street breakfasts over the holidays, Matt and Cat decided to treat themselves to a full English at the Solent Inn. The compulsion to try the food was irresistible. Advertised for the jaw-dropping price of three quid, including a hot drink, who could walk on by? So, dropping the CatMobile off at the nearby ‘5 Star’ car wash for its regular ten quid valet clean, they wandered across the road to the historic pub to see what they would get for their money.
Despite it being one of those purposeless in-between days when the toys have been broken and everyone’s got Christmas fatigue, the pub was positively buzzing. There were a handful of people already tucking into breakfast and some chaps sat at the bar chatting to the friendly barmaid. Matt and Cat, along with a couple of companions, sat at a table in the window having ordered breakfast. If they had been there for a lunchtime bevvy, the round table would have been perfectly adequate to hold four drinks and maybe a splayed bag of crisps. When the barmaid came over with the cutlery and suggested that two tables be pushed together, Matt’s eyes lit up; how big was this breakfast? The drinks arrived. Then a plate piled high with hot buttered toast – at least three triangles each. Then before long, the breakfasts themselves were served.
Two meaty rashers, two plump sausages, two fried eggs (with nice, runny yolks), beans and half a fresh fried tomato made up the dish. The foursome fell on the food, leaving a hush over the table, broken only by chink of cutlery on china and the warblings of local radio. There was plenty of food; the toast was used to mop the tomatoey juices and dribbly yolk and it was all washed down with the big mug of tea (or coffee). How do they do it for the money? Now let’s be frank here, these were not gourmet ingredients, but then neither were they cheap rubbish. This was by any standard an extraordinarily good value meal.
2 x full English breakfast £6
After receiving a Tweet from Matt and Cat follower and Ryde local Minty Mat, Cat enquired as to the availability of vegetarian breakfast. “Oh yes,” said the barmaid, “We do vegetarian sausages and you can have mushrooms too if you want to swap any of the other things”. Excellent. A delicious, generous, bargain-priced breakfast at a homely pub, right in Matt and Cat’s manor. Highly recommended.
Solent Inn, Ryde