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

  • paul s says:

    Re:Roadside Inn
    In response to Bushy:
    The Roadside Inn had a very experienced “asset stripping owner” who could not generate enough interest to form darts or bridge teams and could only form a pool team formed from out of area players, he then had to sell “assets” to stay in business, due to a lack of support and heavy criticism from several influential local gossips.
    Perhaps the absence of a local accent led to his departure?
    The following owners were local & convinced that success lay in a food led business, which despite some initial positive comments was not supported sufficiently and could not sustain the interest or wages of a young chef.
    Had the trade been sufficient to recruit a replacement, I am sure that they would have done so.
    Irregular opening hours tend to be the result of cost cutting & lack of trade.
    It seems that The “drunks & pool players” that Bushy so despises is all that remained loyal.

  • Bushy says:

    Roadside Inn

    The Roadside had huge support from the locals (including the owner/managers of Vic’s stores) when it first reopened under the last owners. Unfortunately, on the departure of James, the excellent young chef, everything started falling apart, with irregular opening times, unpredictable food service, surly bar staff, and tolerance of a small crowd of noisy drunks and pool players who put the normal drinkers off.

    This was my local, and I would have gone in every day had it been run properly. It is an absolute tragedy that it has been killed off – first by the greed of the pub company that drove successive landlords away, then by an asset-stripping owner who showed no interest in making locals welcome and finally by the scenario outlined above.

  • paul s says:

    Re: Roadside Inn
    It looks like my suspicions were correct!
    Such a shame that the locals (including Vic’s stores) failed to support the last two owners, Another pub lost! At least the village will benefit from a decent grocer with parking facilities.

  • PAUL MULLERY says:


    Heard today that planning permission has been requested for a mini store. Some say Tesco others the Co-op. Vic’s stores opposite must be worried.

  • da yw wyth says:

    Great news – One Holyrood in Newport has broadened its lunchtime menu, and now serves both ciabatta and baked potato in addition to the previous soup and sandwiches. And with a tantalising array of fillings! Looking forward to seeing your review…

  • John Tat says:

    I echo the suggestion to try Lily’s in Seaview. They have been open for 6 months and have attracted new people into the village by offering lovely food at good prices, with locally sourced ingredients where possible (eg sausage rolls, locally ground coffee) homemade cakes, Goddards beers, wine etc.
    Always a friendly welcome and the quiz nights have to be experienced for yourself! Cheers JT

  • da yw wyth says:

    With the sudden spate of mainland venues appearing here, how about trying this one in Hastings – really worthwhile and interesting…

  • Lee Calder says:

    Went back to Lily’s coffee shop-cafe after going there earlier in the year and found that it is still very busy and going strong.
    This place is a must for anyone visiting Seaview or even making the trip just for the delights they make or the best coffee around.
    The decor , staff and atmosphere is superb and would highly recommend you try this place if you have not already.
    Open all year round and is fast becoming the meeting place of choice in the area.

    PS the hot chocolate cream and marshmallows are amazing 😉

    Thanks Lily’s

  • Mark Francis says:

    Lake Fish Bar.
    They don’t need the advertising. They are always busy. Used to do eat in but now only take away. Best fish & chips this side of the Blue Dolphin at Hastings.

  • da yw wyth says:

    Daisy’s Bakery & Tearoom – a fragrant ornament in Sandown!

    An old-style bakery with no pretentions, but spacious, bright and welcoming. A nice cup of tea and always a good choice of bakery products.

    But what made it special on Monday…? the holy grail of a truly Isle-of-Wight food creation was right here! The Isle of Wight doughnut – the subject of legend and fable – was available, and what a treat it was! A morsel of undoubted local provenance, the mixed fruit deliciously complemented by the spicy mixture of the doughnut itself; firm and avoding the sickliness of the jam-based version. Crab on chips move over – here is to be found the true IW national delicacy…

  • Rich Huntley says:

    Hi Matt and Cat

    We here at Pizza Hut would love you to pop back and give us a new review! We changed the managment and staff team last year and undergone a few restaurant changes aswell, so feel free to pop in if your passing!

    Kind regards

    Rich Huntley
    Pizza Hut Isle of Wight Deputy Manager

  • Tim Ellis says:

    The Four Seasons Inn at Wroxall has been in the ownership of Justin and Amber for the last 3 Months. Justin prepares fresh local produce on a daily basis complimented by excellent service in a village pub environment – definitely recommend you visit.

  • sean says:

    Went for dinner at The Winter Gardens using some vouchers to get 2 course for £12 instead of £18. The food was pretty good all round, the service not bad to start, but I did become victim to the staff all stood together in kitchen chatting and joking, which when alone in a large room became quite noisy.

    Food was far better than the surroundings or ambience. But its no The Hamborough…a lot of work to be done. As we left at 20:00 on Saturday the night the place was empty, not a single customer, walking through the town to Perks, all the other restaurants (Hiilside, Tapas, Foggs, Cantina) were pretty much full!

    At £12 for 2 courses the food made the trip worthwhile and was enjoyed by us all.

    Won’t return to pay the full £18.

  • da yw wyth says:

    … and the good news is that: One Holyrood in Newport now also does breakfasts (for non-B&B folk) morning coffees and soup & sandwiches at lunchtime, as well as afternoon tea!

  • da yw wyth says:

    One Holyrood – For a top-notch tea and cake experience!

    Matt and Cat – you really should try “One Holyrood” in Newport! Though primarily a B&B it opens for tea in the afternoon. And what a tea is on offer! The most lovely proper home-made cakes and scones, and in a near-perfect environment. The rear parlour is most beautifully decorated and furnished, with a wonderful view of the garden. It oozes charm and well-being – my recommended cake is the Victoria Sponge with a hint of lavender. Staff are friendly and offer a genuine welcome.

    I don’t think many people realise this gem of a place is here, and serves teas. With various venues closing or not being what they were, this gives a great alternative. It really deserves to prosper!

    M&C reply: Thanks da – we’ll have a look at that. Thought it was looking a bit more than a B&B these days!

  • da yw wyth says:

    One Holyrood – For a top-notch tea and cake experience!

    Matt and Cat – you really should try One Holyrood! Though primarily a B&B it opens for tea in the afternoon. And what a tea is on offer! The most lovely proper home-made cakes and scones, and in a near-perfect environment. The rear parlour is most beautifully decorated and furnished, with a wonderful view of the garden. It oozes charm and well-being – my recommended cake is the Victoria Sponge with a hint of lavender. Staff are friendly and offer a genuine welcome.

    I don’t think many people realise this gem of a place is here, and serves teas. With various venues closing or not being what they were, this gives a great alternative. It really deserves to prosper!

  • PAUL MULLERY says:


    I shall look forward to trying that. Hopefully if those two young whippersnappers Matt and Cat do a survey they will desist from their cheeky comments about pensioners and invalid buggies! It hasn’t been forgotten !

  • da yw wyth says:

    … also a sign outside the Windmill Inn in Bembridge saying it is re-opening next spring, with yet another change of name to “The Spinnaker”. Personally, I thought “The Birdham” was a perfectly adequate name, and less ambigiously confusing than either of its successors…

    Matt and Cat respond: We agree. The Birdham is still what we call it – and if it does reopen, so much the better. But we’ll wait and see.

  • PAUL MULLERY says:


    The “TO LET” signs have now been removed. Perhaps something is afoot for the Roadside.

  • Bushy says:

    Considering the number of very rich people that live in Seaview, it’s amazing how the hint of a free glass of wine brings them out in their hordes. Last night’s reception at Ruby’s to introduce their new autumn menu was packed – as, indeed, the restaurant seems to be most of the time. The problem is that it’s in danger of becoming a victim of its own success – the staff struggled to cope on our last visit. We have booked again for tomorrow night, though…

  • John says:

    Hi ,

    I ate at the Chia Wing in newport and the food is great! 🙂 I think you should give it a try!

  • Suzie Mundell says:

    We tried Scoots on Ryde Esplanade last Friday evening. Slightly ‘day time cafe’ vibe to the decor, but really fantastic pizzas freshly made in their pizza oven. Worth a try at £6.99 for a 12″ margharita.

    Matt and Cat respond: Sounds great Suzie! We had a tour round whilst it was being built and that oven looks very impressive!

  • Kimmi Piggott says:

    Hi Matt and Cat

    Would love for you to visit us at The Piano Cafe at Freshwater Bay sometime soon. We had a lovely review from P.Godden below 🙂

    Best wishes
    Sam and Kimmi

    Matt and Cat respond: many thanks for the invitation; we too have heard positive things about your new venture and we would love to come. We have you on our (rather long) list already. We shan’t be telling you when we’re coming, but we’ll certainly get out to you in the end!

  • Dobar Robinson says:

    Why haven’t you guys tried The Villa Rothsay Hotel yet?! The ambiance and food is amazing!

  • PAUL MULLERY says:


    Went passed it yesterday and three Bull and Porter Estate Agent signs adorn the frontage reading “To Let”
    Interesting times for the Roadside.

  • Joanne Cumberpatch says:

    The Happy Chef .monkton st Ryde .clean. great menu affordable prices .Inc children’s menu. New management all home made food Inc cakes .and colouring sheets to occupy kids whilst food being cooked fresh to order

  • Alex says:

    Stunning meal at the Chine Inn, Shanklin.

    Sea Trout in a herb butter sauce with new potatoes, the veg is always a bit different here, among the selection provided were braised baby yellow beets, I could have eaten a whole dish of those alone as they were so delicious. So much better than the ubiquitous french beans and carrots plonked down almoat as an afterthought in a lot of places.

    The food here is cooked by someone who truly understands and loves food.

    The views over the Chine and beach are terrific too, great place to sit outside on a fine day.

    A must visit place – I can’t wait to go again!

  • Bushy says:

    Ruby’s (in the former Khrua Thai premises in Seaview) has been open less than two weeks, but is attracting rave reviews from the Seaview Glitterati, and seems to be always busy. We went on Friday and were very impressed: friendly and efficient service and very nice (and reasonably priced) food from a French bistro type menu with a few twists like home made pies with very interesting fillings. On Friday we had the added attraction of live music (gypsy jazz), which rounded off the evening perfectly.

  • claire howell says:

    My daughters used to work at the Waterfront in Totland Bay…..but our last meal there 2 years ago was so disappointing..

    Saying I would never revisit, we found no-where to go last week so tried it again. WONDERFUL cant praise it enough, I know the weather is conducive at the moment to sitting lazily gazing out of the open windows at the boats in the bay.. but our lunch was so nice ,fresh produce beautiful sauces,evan the bread was wonderful…highly recommend you give it a visit

  • Stella says:

    Hi, I hope that you will consider trying the food at The Old Corner Bank Restaurant/Bar, 61 High Street, Sandown. It was renovated from a bank and opened May ’13. All the food is cooked fresh and is homemade, they are on facebook and the website is which shows all their menus 🙂

  • Clive Anderson says:

    I work at Chatters Cafe, George Street, Ryde.
    The food is exceptional quality and very good value.
    It is run by 3 paid staff and app. 20 volunteers. Why not pay us a visit

  • PAUL MULERY says:


    If your suspicions are correct, Paul s, then Vic’s stores opposite might be in a spot of bother.

  • paul s says:

    Re: Roadside Inn.
    All the talk about a local pub company buying the pub seems to be a smokescreen, any pub company would be marketing themselves and recruiting. It amazes me that nobody from the parish council has asked any questions about this issue.
    I strongly suspect that the pub/land is being used as a ‘landbank’.
    Let us wait a few months, and hey presto! we may see a new Sainsbury’s local on our doorstep.

  • Lee Calder says:

    Was recommended to go to Lily’s Cafe in Seaview and must say what a fantastic place this is. Was welcomed by a very friendly lady who explained that they have only just opened .
    The place looks amazing and the Coffee is to die for and i do love my Coffee Apparantly island roasted ! Was a great vibe and will definately return and recommend , Well done Lily’s 😉

  • Sean says:

    Have you tried Bradleys in Union St – heard good things and wondered if its worth a try?

  • PAUL MULLERY says:

    I believe the Roadside Inn, Nettlestone, is now closed. Have heard a pub chain will take over at some point. Does anyone have any info?

    Matt and Cat respond: it’s been up and down like a fiddler’s elbow; so much so we’ve given up reporting when it’s serving food or indeed open or not. Our local and very well-informed correspondent Bushy will doubtless tell us soon enough.

  • Rachel says:

    Island Sailing Club (Cowes) Sunday lunch is one of the best (and best value) I have enjoyed. The club is open to non-members, and lots of locals take advantage of the great carvery lunch. Roast beef (rare or well done), lamb or pork (vegetarian and fish options too), plus Yorkshires, roasties and 4 veggie dishes. There are a choice of starters and puddings too if you can manage it! Bar snacks are available if you want to dine on the balcony watching the boats.

  • Sue & Geoff says:

    Lovely breakfast at Tuppenny Cafe on the beach, White Cliff Bay. There was a mention in the IWCP last week about seals being spotted in the bay, and it’s been ages since we went down there. Such a lovely spot, felt almost tropical in the sun this morning. Breakfast freshly cooked, really tasty eggs and tomatoes, veggie sausages and beans, with toast on the side. Lovely friendly people down there, although sadly no seals.

  • P. Godden says:

    Very recently opened, Piano, freshwater bay. Great panini’s and coffee at lunch but please go and try the meze boards in the evenings, thurs to Saturday. Lovely piano playing in a fabulously stylish atmosphere, beautiful locally sourced food, keg beer, much appreciated by the hubby. Locals are taking to this place well, lovely views of Tennyson Down to accompany a lovely glass of Pinot. Really hope this new venture is a success.

  • Eyan & Ruth says:

    Hey Matt long time since we posted here.

    Just got back from another three weeks stay on the Island (that makes nine already this year) and I have to tell you what has prompted this sudden contact!

    Well after doing our usual rounds of eateries, we revisited a cafe that we last visited about three years ago which at that time could only be described as ‘so so’.

    The place is the Captain’s Table on the Esplanade, Ryde. Tucked down beside the swimming pool, The cafe itself, whilst not salubrious is very spacious and clean and the staff are both friendly and attentive.

    As for the food, we just could not believe the portion sizes (huge) and it was delivered piping hot on enormous plates.

    On the first visit I had ribeye steak which whilst probably not a prime cut, was more than you would expect for £9.99?

    Ruth had the lightly battered fried haddock which she described as fantastic and at £6.95 she claims that as an avid fish fan, she has never tasted anything so good.

    Just to check that it was not a one off experience, we returned a few days later. Ruth again ordered the haddock and believe it or not it was just as good as before. This time however, I had one of their special burgers and at £6.95 it was indeed a gut buster and easily the equal of the best I have had anywhere else for a lot more money.

    So the upshot of all this is that Matt and Cat, you need to get your backsides down there and see for yourselves, and anyone else wanting an inexpensive but quality meal for themselves and their children, you ain’t going to better it on the Island.

    In closing we would also add that we tried out Baywatch on the Beach at the Duver, St Helens. A lovely setting, but very expensive in view of the mediocre quality.


  • Sean says:

    Thai Kitchen in Newport

    Visited on Friday night and all 4 of us loved the meal, service and everything. It was great value as well.

    Well worth a try M&C.

    Matt and Cat respond: we love Thai so we’ll take your advice!

  • Tim says:

    Hi Matt & Catt,
    Have to suggest Amabi in Cowes. Our last visit was on Valentine’s last month to enjoy their tasting menu. I have to say one of the most delightful evenings I’ve enjoyed in some time. Everything that was served was sublime and with wonderful presentation. Lasting memory will the beef course that was full of flavour and cooked to perfection, and the avocado mango salad as starter.

    Food and wine were wonderful, and service exceptional in circumstance. A full restaurant, but a lone gentleman worked the front of house seemingly alone, with him highly attentive and professional in service.

    All in all was wonderful evening, with us just leaving in time. The river creeping up the road as we left!

  • Mark Francis says:

    The Breeze at Island Harbour in Binfield gets a lot of good reviews on Tripadvisor.

  • Bob Sinclar says:

    You should try the Villa Rothsay Hotel, it was roast to DIE for.

  • da yw wyth says:

    Cinderella’s Tea Room, Shanklin – homebaked and homely…!

    Conveniently situated on the corner of High Street and Landguard Road, this place cannot help but catch the eye. It may be a bit lavender and doileyish for some people’s taste, but bear with it and the charms of the place may just grow on you! There is a pleasing assortment of old-style furniture, without a self-consciously “retro” theme. Whilst a little cluttered with hand-made needlecraft, look more closely and you will probably see something that would make a nice gift, and things can also be made to order!

    Tea is plenteous here, and served in gleaming and richly decorated chinaware. As for the cakes, I have to say they really are the closest to truly home-baked that I have yet encountered in an Island tea-room. Carefully-judged ingredients, and just that hint of browning round the edge, just like one straight out of your own oven! And a whole cabinet full of them, too…

    A real bonus is that light lunches are served as well as tea and cake. Others (At Sarahs House for instance) could do well to learn from this example – they get round the lack of a kitchen by bringing in home-made soups and materials for fresh sandwiches. This is even more pleasingh given the lack of good soup further south than this in Shanklin these days.

    Ther atmosphere is friendly here, and there is a feeling that a range of people from many walks of life will get a good, warm welcome.

  • da yw wyth says:

    Have you thought about trying the Lifeboat View café at Bembridge. The plays looks unprepossessing, and there is only a tiny paper sign giving the name, so it’s easy to miss! But it’s a fantastic position, and every seat has a brilliant sea view, the whole place having windows on all sides. And all food is super-fresh and presented with courtesy, care and a fluorish. Try one of the crab baguettes and you will not be looking back any time soon! Only thing that could need reviewing is the policy on dogs – there is no limit to the number, and ructions can ensue if two of the canine visitors take against each other!

    Matt and Cat respond: Thanks da, (and thanks for your earlier comment, which we relocated as requested). We definitely have this one on the list.

  • da yw wyth says:

    This comment, posted on 31.3.13 should relate to Lifeboat View Café, not the Beach Hut

    Great place and doing a roaring trade at Easter Bank Holiday. Lovely bright setting, with windows all round, and great sea 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. As if that wasn’t bad enough, another one then came in and a barking match ensued. Time for a swift exit…!!!

  • Loren and Jim says:

    Have you tried Fine Nammet yet?
    It is fantastic! we have been a few times and everytime it has been brilliant…can’t wait to go back for ‘posh fish and chips.’

    Matt and Cat respond, enigmatically: watch this space Loren!

  • da yw wyth says:

    Ryde Thai – Union Street, Ryde. About to open in the erstwhile premises of Cinnamon/Island Spice. This is a mouthwatering prospect for Ryde residents, as it is a branch of the unsurpassed Khrua Thai at Seaview. A definite plus for those who’d prefer not to venture to the far east of the Island, or who are happier above ground than in a basement…

    Matt and Cat respond: now open, and we agree with you entirely (as we almost always do!)

  • Sean says:

    Tried AMABI in Cowes on Friday, just fantastic.

    The decor, service and food all 10 out of 10 (would mark the delicous Rioja maybe even 11 out of 10)

    Booking to go again before Christmas.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.