Matt and Cat\'s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide
Another sunny afternoon; another farm café. Yes, friends, it’s hard enough work reviewing the Island’s food at the best of times, but summer is a particularly strenuous season for diligent Matt and Cat, as they dash from one end of the Island to the other in an attempt to... Read more
Going to Totland Bay at midsummer must be like going to the moon. Matt and Cat blasted off from Newport and headed in a near-straight trajectory. Reaching jowl-bothering speeds of nearly 40mph (except through Shalfleet), they went west towards the setting sun. The light from our brightest star was... Read more
The Loaves and Fishes is now closed. Matt and Cat have a good friend from the West Wight who’s a bit of a bon viveur, and who enjoys exchanging notes with them on the latest Island eateries, preferably over a glass of some appropriate quaffage. Over the years they’ve... Read more
Update July 2011: the Volcanic Steakhouse has closed. The essence of eating out, it might seem, is to employ an expert to cook your food and present it to you. Indeed, it’s a well-established concept, exemplified in almost every other review Matt and Cat have undertaken – the sorry... Read more
Lakeside Park Hotel, Wootton Bridge
The heroes swaggered through the huge glass doors and entered the gleaming, modernist palace. Spectacular lamps – several feet long – hung over the polished bar. Smartly dressed flunkies shimmered into view and escorted the reviewers to a table with views over the shallow lake, reflecting the twinkle from a... Read more
ARCHIVE: Monsoon, Ryde High Street
ARCHIVE POST: Monsoon is still trading (Jan 2020), but as a takeaway only.  Ryde is a curious town in layout – a long, thin chain of shops, pubs and restaurants snakes its way uphill from the esplanade – where the visitor arrives fresh from the ferry – thence up... Read more
Late on a wet Sunday evening on the last day of the summer season, Matt and Cat imagined they’d be lucky to find anywhere to eat in Sandown that wasn’t closed or nearly empty. So the bright lights of the Royal China were a welcome sight. Even when much... Read more
NB Dillangreli’s Cafe is now closed Matt, all-day breakfast connoisseur, has never known a time of day when a good fry-up should not be consumed. In fact, with his tardy rising, he often eschews the traditional pattern of mealtimes. So, having built up an appetite coughing up his lungs... Read more
Yelf’s Hotel, Ryde
There’s something quite satisfying about an establishment that has not succumbed to the refurbishment fashions of stripped wooden floors, strategically placed ‘objets’ and sunken lighting. Yelf’s Hotel in Ryde retains its old skool charm – demonstrating that carpets, a staff dress code and crooning Tony Bennett piped through the... Read more
If you were to visit East Cowes marina and its Lifeboat Inn by boat, it would be easy to imagine that you were in a cosmopolitan waterside town, wealthy from development money. However, approaching the marina from the east, through streets of red brick terraced houses, past tall factories... Read more