Matt and Cat\'s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide
Matt and Cat are always grateful for your suggestions for places to try next. If there’s a food venue you want them to visit,...

Matt and Cat are always grateful for your suggestions for places to try next. If there’s a food venue you want them to visit, just leave a comment here with your suggestion. They check this post regularly and every suggestion is taken on board… although with so many great places to eat on the Island they might take a while to get round to visit each one.

If you’ve got a comment about a particular restaurant they’ve already visited then please comment on the review page, not here.

Please check they haven’t already been to your suggested venue by using the search feature, as otherwise your wisdom might get deleted unread!

They won’t normally respond directly here in this page, but watch out to see whether your suggestion is taken up. To keep the page to a manageable size comments here are deleted once they get old and/or when the review suggested is written.

Latest comments are at the top of the page

  • Hannah says:

    Hi Matt & Cat, will you be trying the new branch of French Frank’s in Ryde?

    Matt and Cat respond: Hi Hannah, thanks for your comment. We popped into French Franks, Ryde shortly after it opened. Cat had a smoked salmon and cream cheese seeded bagel Matt had a baguette. The food and service are of the same standard as the Newport branch. We’ll be bound to write a review in due course 🙂

  • TheOandLizard says:

    Can we suggest Amabi – the new Basque restaurant by the chain ferry in Cowes. Here is our review of what we thought when we went for Easter Sunday lunch. We were impressed!

    We went as a family of 4, 2 weeks after Amabi Cowes opened. We were really impressed. The ambience is fantastic – very Basque and foreign feel, with good music that is not overwhelming. The staff are courteous and knowledgable about the Basque cuisine. The chef is something special – Spanish himself, and his natural feel for his own cuisine really shines through in the excellent cooking and finesse of his dishes. We enjoyed some delicious gambas al ajillo which were perfectly cooked, some excellent croquetas with a delicious filling of cheese and chopped chorizo, tortilla that was still soft and delicious inside and some very fine Jason iberico. The price was very reasonable and we will certainly be revisiting soon, and taking more friends to share the lovely restaurant.

  • da yw wyth says:

    Lifeboat View Cafe:
    Great place and doing a roaring trade at Bank Holiday. Lovely bright setting, with windows all round, and great see views. Prompt friendly service and gorgeous fresh food. Only cloud on the horizon was a none-too clean dog that came in near the end of my visit (in fairness the owner asked first but there seemed to be no problem) Not sure how the hygiene rating can be guaranteed in those circumstances. if that wasn’t bad enough, another one then came in and a barking match ensued. Time for a swift exit…!!!

  • Olivia Adams says:

    Dear Matt and Cat,
    I have just taken over the Union Inn in Cowes and we would love you to come and visit us.
    Our new menu is all homemade and cooked fresh to order for every customer. The pies are fantastic, as is the Spaghetti, but I definitely recommend trying a bowl of our homecut chips. I can’t get enough of them and I’m going to be twice the size if it carries on this way!

    If visiting on the weekend we suggest booking or coming early as we are often sold out of the Specials by 8:30pm due to small stock holding.

    Hope to see you soon!

  • da yw wyth says:

    Could I suggest a visit to the “My Cakery” tearoom if in East Cowes? Very pink and turquoise with aromatic fragrance wafting through. Unusually a glass tea-pot is placed in the centre of each table, just waiting to be charged up with water and tea-bag. Rather nice cakes, as the name suggests! The tea is served in dainty patterned cups – those with less than dainty fingers may be well-advised to accept the offer of a mug when made, to avoid a table-cloth related incident!

    Matt and Cat respond:
    Thanks as always for your comment, da yw wyth. You certainly paint a pretty picture of ‘My Cakery’.

  • kate Dale says:

    we have just visited Carters restaurant (attached to the Bayhouse hotel)in shanklin. New owners and menu. We had the most fantastic meal. And it was responsibly priced. Defiantly the best restaurant in shanklin at the moment, it also has a large outside decking area, so can’t wait for the sun to arrive. You should visit . Kate dale

  • Jules says:

    Costa Coffee in Newport…Yummy….well worth a visit. Chocolate brownies delicious, so is the cappuccino….

  • Paul says:

    Has anyone got anything to say about Salvatore’s In ryde as i keep going past and thinking I need to give it a try and would like to know what anyone thinks.
    Matt & Cat any chance of a review of this place as it is no where to be seen on your site



    Matt and Cat reply: yep, true enough, we’ve yet to review it – no reason why we have not, it looks great, just haven’t got round to it!

  • da yw wyth says:

    Have been to the New China House in Ventnor today, and was intrigued to find it rather a retro dining experience. Any reason why you so not seem to have reviewed it? Only reference I could see was someone suggesting in 2005 that you visit!

    Elsewhere I spotted today that the former Manoel’s in Cowes has now re-opened as a Basque restaurant under a different name That really seems like something unusual – don’t remember seeing one anywhere before….

  • Jules says:

    Would like to know what the Seaview hotel food is like now Alan Staley has been appointed as new head chef.
    Also an update on the Spyglass, Ventnor, please

    Matt & Cat respond: he’s only been there a week! As big Staley fans we are intending to go there, but maybe we’ll give him a short while to settle in. And Spyglass? Yes, we will be going back there too some time. That review is getting a bit old.

  • Local Lass says:

    Popped into Fine Nammet in Shanklin for a coffee (where Mamma Mia’s used to be). Food looked tasty – noticed Island produce mentioned – and 2 or 3 course lunch menu prices reasonable. Hope to eat there soon!

  • Ben Mackett says:

    Surprised to see that you haven’t visited/rated ‘The Woodvale’ in Gurnard – at least it’s not on your map? Definitely recommend. Good atmosphere, excellent food and some refreshingly different draught Ciders…

    Matt and Cat say: voila

  • da yw wyth says:

    Have you considered Adgestone Vineyard? Claims the best cream tea on the IW on its website, and I would be hard-put to disagree. Other delectable choices as well. Has been an orchestrated campaign against this place on Trip-Advisor, wholly unjustified in my view. Whole place was on the market last year, not sure of outcome. Would be interested in your view…

  • Bushy says:

    Roadside Inn is definitely under new ownership and management,

  • PAUL MULLERY says:

    Picked up a leaflet about the Roadside Inn, Nettlestone. There is a grand opening on the 15th December. Canapes provided with a restaurant opening later on. May be the same owner but someone told me it had been taken over by a couple who live in Nettlestone. Will definitely pop in and check it out.

  • PHIL says:

    have you not been to the Hillside Hotel Ventnor

    Matt and Cat respond: Not yet, Phil. But we hear it’s worth the trip.

  • matt says:

    Hi Matt and Cat

    Isn’t it about time for an updated review of the Garlic Farm Café? It’s been a while since your last visit and the cafe has become a popular venue for summer tourists and Island residents. It would be interesting to see if they can impress you more than they did during your last visit now that they have been up and running for a couple of years. I have always enjoyed my meals there although some of the other reviews from other users are mixed. Look forward to hearing your thoughts and keep up the great work!

  • Sean says:

    In Shanklin to visit Theatre and had dinner in Dragon Pearl, been going here on and off for 20 years I reckon, and it really has not changed, which when serving food of tasty high quality is a very good thing!

    2 soups and prawn crackers, 3 mains and 2 rices, 3 beers and a bill for £34, that is very good value, and more importantly every mouthful was lovely. I think this is my favourite ‘traditional’ Chinese Restaurant on the Island! The free 2013 calendar a nice touch too!

  • Chloe says:

    You should go visit Cameron Tearooms at Dimbola Lodge museum. They do the best Sunday Lunch, especially when its chicken! The cakes are also all homemade and are delicious. I noticed a sticker on the window saying you’d been ages ago, but its changed so much! Definitely recommend a re-visit if you havent already, especially after the re-vamp.

    Mat and Cat respond:
    Hi Chloe, thanks for your comment. We think that Dimbola is great. Although our review is quite ancient, we have been many times since – the picture on the front of our Facebook page is of a recent cream tea at the fabulous cafe. Perhaps we should have another though, if the tea room has had a revamp 🙂

  • Tansy and Tony says:

    You must try a new restaurant that has opened on Ventnor seafront called Samphires. During the day they do lighter meals but in the evening that do a full menu of freshly prepared home-made dishes.
    A group of six of us ate there on Satrurday evening and had a fantastic meal together with very friendly service.
    They haven’t been open long and just need to be known as arestaurant offering good food not only during the day but in the evening as well.
    Just try them out and hopefully you will have as good a meal as we did.

  • Neil (Local) says:

    Can I suggest re-visiting the Waterside at the boating lake in Ryde which is now called the Captain’s Table?

  • PeteF says:
    The beach hut on forelands beach… We were looking for the wonky cafe but stumbled across this little gem of a place. One of the few places still open this time of year – and they’re open until December! Fantastic food, the mackerel pate was one of best I’ve had and equally good service.

  • PAUL MULLERY says:

    Sorry to hear that the Windmill in Bembridge is closing next Tuesday. Possibly the proprietors have had enough of the brewery taking all the profit.

  • Please re-visit the Red Duster in Cowes. I have had some excellent food there in the past, but last visit was a bit disappointing. Tripadvisor reviews are likewise erratic.

  • The Isle of Wight Sausage Competition is on Thursday 15 November from 7.30pm in the Dairyman’s Daughter in Arreton Old Village. The competition is open to anyone who wants to make some sausages – butchers, chefs and home cooks.
    This is a fun competition which welcomes homemade bangers made from pork or alternative (any meat or none). Any ingredients are welcome – the judges are looking for the tastiest sausages. Farmer Jack’s can supply sausage skins if you don’t have any!
    Enter your bangers by contacting Farmer Jack’s for an entry form, pop into the shop or call Stuart on 07973 382965.
    Spectators are very welcome on the 15th – there will be the chance to taste a range of sausages as well as watching the judging and enjoying a pint.

  • Georgegm says:

    The Captains Table previously the Waterside Cafe next to the swimming pool on Ryde esplanade.
    Probably the best value breakfast on the Island
    Mini – sausage, egg, bacon,beans,fried bread and toast and butter. £2.50 YES £2.50 !!
    Next one up the same plus hash brown, mushrooms and more beans £4.50
    Well cooked and presented by a friendly and efficient staff.
    Highly recommended.

  • karen says:

    laura janes cafe castle street cowes give them a try , its a new cafe and im sure they would welcome your comments

  • Alex says:

    The Pie House, Sandown Station

    I had a great Full English there on Saturday, good quality ingredients. Lovely doorsteps of toast, the bread was from the Village Bakery in Freshwater – what a welcome change from cheap, white supermarket sliced. There was a good selection of bread available for sale as well.

    As their name suggests, homemade pies are a feature including pie, mash and liquor.

    The staff were very friendly and couldn’t do enough for you – I was even given a sample warm sausage roll!

    Grest stuff – I must try for a pie lunch next time.

  • Josh says:

    I would like Matt and Cat to try The White Lion in Arreton again as there are no current reviews. I went there for the first time in about a year at the suggestion of a friend. We opted for the Buy one Meal and Get one Free as it was a special lunchtime deal. We both chose the fillet of white fish served on a mountain of mashed potatoes and served with a large bowl of vegetables. This amounted to approximately £5 each which was excellent value, but perhaps a little uninspiring but perfectly acceptable. A party of us visited during the evening of the same week and most fared well. However, my Smaller Appetite meal of Fish and Chips and Peas was not good. The chips were fine, but the formed Cod(?)fillet was tasteless. Despite these comments, I would go again.

  • Sean says:

    I see the chinese take away in Mill Hill Rd, Cowes, which used to be Bamboo Garden has re-opened. Popped in for a menu, its Asian Fusion, twinned with Lake!

    Anyone tried it yet? If not I will report soon!

  • Sue Allan says:

    Samphire Coastal Kitchen
    New place on Ventnor Esplanade, was mentioned in IWCP last week. Went along for breakfast on this lovely sunny day. Very nice decor, good quality china and cutlery. Veggie breakfast freshly cooked, and served on hot plates (hooray). Would love it if chefs could give a bit of thought to the veggie option rather than just not including the meat – how about griddled/sauteed courgettes. Anyway, a very nice place, lunch menu looks good, and they are open Friday and Saturday evenings. A good addition to Ventnor Esplanade.

  • mattfromryde says:

    Inspired by Man vs Food me and the rest of the gang are looking for eating challenges on the Island. So far have identified Egons in Cowes, has anybody got a suggestion?

    (Quite excited, the last one I did was as a student in the now defunct Fatty Arbuckle chain. Puked on the pavement afterwards, but got the t-shirt!)

    Matt responds: We would suggest Original Phil’s, The Dark Horse, the White Horse, or The Alamo. All have been known to put on prodigious meals, in some cases with a prize for finishing. Or just have a normal mixed grill at The Pointer. It’s bigger than your head.

  • nancyb says:

    Hey Matt and Cat, you must try the West Bay Country Club. I had a spa day there with my daughters and a friend. This included lunch and use of the facilities. We were so impressed with the place that we are going to have our holiday next year here. The lunch was lovely and staff and service excellent.Also very good value for money.

    I know you dont normally review spa days but you should try this, I have been coming to the IOW for years and this is one of the nicest places we have been to.

    Kind regards

  • Sue Allan says:

    The Beach Hut at Forelands Beach, perfect setting. Delicious, and very reasonably priced lunch. A home-made Goats Cheese Tart (properly cooked) with home-made potato salad and salad leaves – £5.50. Feta, roast cherry tomatoes and herb bruchetta with salad £5.50. Huge pot of tea each, £14 total. Lovely, will be coming back for breakfast next 10.30 to 11.30 am.

    Matt and Cat respond: Thanks for your comment, Sue. It’s always good to hear about places that serve decent vegetarian food.

  • da yw wyth says:

    Glad someone has suggested Sugar Loaf at Freshwater. Beautifully fresh in every way – you get the feel-good factor on entry and as you leave. A great addition to the area…

  • Callum says:

    Eye spy with my little eye something beginning with C… Costa Coffee confirmed for Newport. In old Millets store.

  • Jeanette Davies says:

    Have you tried the Sugar loaf cafe in Freshwater Bay yet? The owner,Howard, was a chef at a Island hotel for many years, and we went to stay just for the sweet trolley! He’s now opened here, and I’m sure he’d love you to pop in for coffee and cake! P.S His dad Harry is a legend in his own right…

  • da yw wyth says:

    How about visiting Rhythmtree Festival next year? A Matt and Cat take on the whole atmoshphere would be well worth reading, I’s sure! As for the food, the Latin American nachos smelt alluring, but I’m afraid the lure of the veggie cafe won out. Spicy chick pea and lentil daal (hang on, I thought lental and daal were the same thing?) – served with a cheery smile. The helpful child who was clearing up and generally assisting gave me hope the next generation is not entirely consumer-focussed. Plenty of rice – no skimping here with some nice flat-bread and all for a reasonable £7. Excellent fresh cake too – a certain place in Cowes could learn from this – no polythene in sight and a proper home-made taste as a result!

  • Laura says:

    The Tuppenny Cafe at Whitecliff Bay. Best beach cafe by miles – great food, atmosphere and lovely cream teas.

  • Jenny says:

    Try the Beach Hut Cafe at the end of Forelands Field Lane in Bembridge, food is delicious & staff friendly

  • David Smith says:

    Just back from my Hols on your wonderful Island.We visited the Boathouse Seaview on two occasions The food is fantastic the service is great this has to be the number one for me.Try the Crab and Prawn cocktail it is amazing I also had the grilled salmon on a bed of asparagus with fresh local veg what a winner.Wish I could find food like this on the mainland.

  • Neil (Local) says:

    Can I suggest the Wheatsheaf in Brading gets a visit? Popped in a few times now and had their breakfast. Mind blowingly good value for money at £3 which includes tea/coffee and 2 rounds of toast. Some places are charging over double that for the same thing. Can’t fault it so deffo worth a look.

  • Dino Karabasic says:

    To Neil Walker

    Re: Seabreeze, East Cowes

    Hi Neil,
    So sorry you had a bad experience, please except our apologies and please make yourself known to me, Dino, should you come in again. I am the owner of Seabreeze and have been since 2002 and still going strong. We have had a change of staff recently so maybe there are a few faces you don’t recognise. We always endeavour to deliver excellent customer service and great food, so I can only hope this was a one off.
    Kind regards

  • Colin says:

    We had lunch at the Essex Cottage in Godshill today. I must say I have been to the two previous incarnations and this was by far the best. I had the meat platter, lovely… Two of the party had New York chicken and they loved it. Three others had various fish dishes which they duly scoffed. I know this may sound trivial but the chips… The chips were amazing as well, they were of the twice or thrice cooked variety.

    Great meal and great service so much so that we have booked Sunday lunch there in a couple of days time. Highly recommended.

    As for your anti-spamming grass colour question, since the arrival of a puppy in the household our grass is no longer as green as it should be!

  • Neil Walker says:

    I’ve read the comment about The Four Seasons in Wroxall. It always looks so clean and begs to be visited: we’ll give it a go. I wonder if it has a garden.
    Seabreeze in East Cowes which we have loved for years seems to have changed hands. Anyone know for sure? Very disappointed when popped in for coffee some weeks ago – dirty cup, lipstick round the edge, perfunctory service. Oh dear….

  • Mattfromryde says:

    Had a perfect meal at the pond cafe,bonchurch. Absolutely faultless in every respect.

  • jane burton says:

    Just had the best cream tea at CHALE BAY FARM. home made scones fab real clotted cream and fab cakes.

  • ghostmoth says:

    We stopped at Jolliffe’s in Shooters Hill, Cowes for refreshment at the weekend. Formerly a shoe shop with the best shop frontage on the Island, it has now opened as a tea room and gallery. A pot of tea and a slice of homemade cake was £3, whilst coffee and cake was £3.20. Very reasonable prices and the owner was really friendly too.

  • Alex says:

    Lifeboat View, Bembridge

    I don’t eat shellfish and hate jacket spuds BUT their veg lasagne is really quite delicious. I stopped going there a few years ago due to a terrible meal and decided to give it a whirl again after learning a new chap was in charge.

    The place is quite a treat for crustacean lovers, the lobster lunches look good.

    The female staff were friendly and attentive, perhaps the chaps could take a leaf out of their books and remember a smile is free.

  • Catwoman says:

    Yes,I agree the cafe at Dunelm is good,the coffee is excellent.
    I must have gone on a busy day though,as the queue at the counter was snail pace.The other issue I had on the day,was one of the toilets was out of paper,and there was no handwash left in dispenser.I did mention this to a young lady at the Cafe,who assured me this would be corrected,but had my suspicions that the message was not being passed on,as said young lady remained at the cafe for the length of my visit.

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