Matt and Cat\'s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide
The Buddle Inn is in a delightful spot, a characterful old inn nestling in the undercliff and with southerly sea views. The new terraced...

The Buddle Inn is in a delightful spot, a characterful old inn nestling in the undercliff and with southerly sea views. The new terraced patio takes full advantage of the vista and is a glorious evening sun trap.

Buddle Inn, Niton

Matt and Cat took the opportunity of a friend’s birthday party at the pub to try out the food. No birthday cake, but none was required after your reviewers stuffed themselves on the Buddle’s fine fare.

The menu has a better than average choice for a pub and with slightly higher than average prices. There was plenty to choose from the specials board including the intriguing Buddle Pie. Matt chose traditional haddock and chips and, when compared to the plates of their ten dining companions, Matt won the Biggest Dinner of the Night prize. Not one, but two, pieces of haddock were served up with plenty of home cooked chips and fresh petit pois, washed down with some very well-kept local beer.

Cat’s chicken supreme was restaurant-worthy fare. A delightful chicken breast cooked in a white wine and tarragon sauce served with sauteed potatoes and tiny whole carrots, with asparagus spears draped artfully across the meat. It was sublime. Matt and Cat’s companions were equally delighted with their food and all were impressed with the speed and friendliness of the service.

Cat’s eyes were drawn to the array of delicious looking sweets and, once the chicken supreme had had time to settle, she chose a slice of exquisite lemon and lime cheesecake. A generous helping served with ice-cream, the cheesecake could not have been faulted. None of your usual crusty-edged yellowing cake here – it was deliciously fresh and tangy.

The Buddle Inn is a proper pub that is not pretending to be a posh restaurant – and yet serving up food that more than does justice to the setting. A lovely spot to have a lovely meal.

UPDATE: Matt and Cat revisited the Buddle Inn recently as part of a large party, looking forward to their pre-ordered Christmas lunch. Once again, the food was excellent; Matt’s roast beef was one of the best he had ever tasted and was accompanied by plenty of fresh vegetables. Cat’s starter of beef tomato stuffed with goat’s cheese served on a bed of young spinach leaves and drizzled with balsamic vinegar was delicious. However, despite the quality of the food and the fact that they had given the pub their menu choices a week in advance, the service was very slow. Also, three scoops of vanilla ice cream served without even a wafer, let alone sauce, is usually the sort of sweet offered to children in the most unimaginative of venues; the Buddle could have done better with both their timing and their pudding.

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  • Richard

    7th August 2016 #1 Author

    We think you should try again, mussels 5 not open no comment from waiter, some broken shells and shards of shells in sauce, lamb cuttlet was a chop and tough, sent back only to bring it back to the table saying this is how we cook it would you like a sharper knife, restaurant prices should be restaurant food.


  • Jan Fran

    5th April 2013 #2 Author

    Thanks da yw wyth for your update on the Buddle. It has always been one of my favourite pubs on the island and I knew it had changed hands a year or so ago. I fondly remember the previous owners had a friendly cat called Daisy. It’s good to know it is doing well and I shall look forward to visiting in the summer after a walk around St Catherine’s Point.


  • da yw wyth

    4th April 2013 #3 Author

    Glad to report that the atmosphere is as good as ever, with obliging friendly staff. Ordering process is a little lengthy and the food does not arrive promptly, BUT any wait is very well worth it as the food is succulent, tasty and superb! Beautifully judged flavours and textures, and everything has the hallmark of quality. The vegetables are cooked perfectly, the potatoes – that acid test of any pub meal – were done to a turn and melted in the mouth. Desserts – exquisite!

    All-in-all the place just oozed the feel-good factor from every pore – and a full programme of live entertainment to add to the warmth of the venue.


  • The Royals

    25th August 2012 #4 Author

    Took our son and d-in-law to the Buddle for lunch last week.
    Son described gammon as ‘not very nice’ Daughter in law’s crab salad was 99 % salad with a small spoon of crab on the side. Husband’s pie was ‘ok’ My ham,eggs and chips was horrible.Chips edible. Eggs tiny. Ham was slimy , slightly green in colour and obviously dumped straight out of a pack of cellophaned supermarket (basics level) v thin cut ham.The slices were still all stuck together.
    On pointing this out I was told that the ham was maybe a funny colour because of the heat in the kitchen.
    When going to pay my husband brought this matter up again he was told he could have a free half pint. Resisting this he was eventually grudgingly given a £5 refund.
    We are residents and will not be returning.
    I should add we were warned !


  • Local Lass

    11th July 2012 #5 Author

    Apparently the managers from the Plough & Barleycorn in Shanklin took over the Buddle from this Monday and someone from the Buddle has gone to the Plough…


  • Janet and John

    10th July 2012 #6 Author

    Had lunch here, very disappointed with just about every aspect of our visit. Not pleasant at all.


  • John Woodhouse

    15th July 2011 #7 Author

    we lunched at the Buddle yesterday & were not impressed. Prawn jacket potato & crab sandwiches were delivered as tuna jacket potato & prawn sandwiches. When corrected potato was nearly cold, wrapped butter was underneath!

    We got a distinct impression the place is relying on its’ so called reputation & recent exposure on Clare Balding TV cycle programme. We will not be returning


  • the tigers who came to tea

    6th February 2011 #8 Author

    Visited the Buddle Inn for an evening meal last week. The pub was warm and welcoming. Choose the staple steak and ale pie and chips. All served hot and in a timely fashion. Pie was great but there was a lack of chips and different vegetables!! Appears only peas were on the menu. The only issue with the pie was also the variety in cut size across the table. One large, a medium and aslightly smaller than medium. The fella with the small pie looked longingly to the other end of the table at the big pie. Generally a good pub meal.


  • FinchyVentnor

    25th November 2010 #9 Author

    Went there recently for Sunday lunch. Had duck and my friends had steak and roast beef. Although the food looked like the usual sort of stuff your mum would serve up if she worked in a pub, I have to say we all finished our plates and found our meals very tasty. The food was cooked correctly- the requested rare steak was actually rare, the vegetables weren’t overcooked or crunchy, and I found the staff very friendly and attentive. Definitely worth a visit now and again.


  • catherine watling

    31st January 2010 #10 Author

    we visited the Buddle inn last October to meet the famous Marc Tuckey for a ghost walk down to the lighthouse.We were very impressed with the service and found the staff polite and friendly.We are hoping to visit again on valentines day to have a meal there as we were so enchanted with the pub and it’s surroundings.


  • Bushy

    1st November 2009 #11 Author

    Our in-laws went last Sunday having liked it on a previous visit, and while the food was OK the service was slow and chaotic. Still a decent pub but they need to smarten up their act on the food side of the business.


  • Lee

    1st November 2009 #12 Author

    For years and years we have been going to The Buddle Inn and it’s always been our favourite pub on the island, mainly due to the location and it is a lovely building.
    I must say the food is no longer like it use to be I had fresh fillet of Haddock and Chips but to be honest with you I have had better box jobs. £9.25 I would expect a decent bit of fish for that also the Mrs had a jug of Prawns they were tasteless they must have been frozen for ages.
    The only good thing I can say is that the pub was decorated the best for Halloween
    unlike most other places which did not seem to do much for Halloween.
    We will return because of the setting of The lovely Buddle Inn but it would be nice
    if the food could improve, we may only return for drinks in the future and crisps.


  • Norfolk Nick

    19th August 2009 #13 Author

    Hi Neil,

    My legs in shorts are such a sight that people have been known to loose the power of speech!!!

    My local here in sunny Norfolk has been an inn since the 14h century & is very “Traditional” with small windows & little natural light but the landlord has invested in really good lighting which really adds to the general atmosphere of the place. When I visited the Buddle last week it really was very dim – not sure if any lighting was on, but it seems to me that the natural light is just not enough especially on a cloudy day.

    As you know we really wanted to eat here but when I saw dirty tables & grubby floors with bits of food (crisps?) scattered around, it did put us off……………may be we caught them on a bad day.



  • Neil (local)

    19th August 2009 #14 Author

    Sorry Norfolk Nick but from my experience of the Buddle I have to disagree. The pub is not ‘dark & grubby’ as you put it… it’s simply an old traditional pub which obviously has a ‘traditional’ atmosphere. I’m not sure what you mean about your comment about ‘legs in shorts’ so you must please enlighten us.


  • Norfolk Nick

    18th August 2009 #15 Author

    Walked in & walked virtually straight back out.

    The pub was dark & looked grubby. We asked if children were welcome in the bar area & despite us being the only people at the bar, we were totally ignored……now I know that my legs in shorts can be distracting but manners please!!!

    Even the front beer garden looked untidy with weeds growing at the side of the pavement.

    Maybe the new owners need a little time to sort things out…….

    Will try again next year on my 19th Wedding Anniversary (see previous comment)


  • Norfolk Nick

    16th July 2009 #16 Author

    Thanks for the info Neil.

    18 years ago, this was the first pub my wife & I dined at whilst on honeymoon.

    I would like to take her again but is it any good?


  • Neil (local)

    16th July 2009 #17 Author

    Yes, it changed hands a couple of months ago.


  • Norfolk Nick

    15th July 2009 #18 Author

    Does anyone know if this place is under new management?

    Saw this review on Beer In The Evening


  • Mike

    7th April 2009 #19 Author

    What an arrogant pompous person Pompey Frigate is. Typical southerner who thinks anyone living north of Watford is a neothandral. I know some very ignorant southerners who take pleasure in fleecing old people…but thats another story.

    My own experience (I am a northerner and proud of it) of the Buddle is that although the food is passable the staff can’t handle the amount of people who want food. We waited 50 minutes to be served and another hour until we got our food. Can you blame people being a little irate?


  • Pompeyfrigate

    5th April 2009 #20 Author

    A nice little country pub. Gets full of tourists though, its quite funny to listen to them with their agressive Newcastle and Liverpool accents, asking why theres no ‘real food’ on the menu, like triple offal burgers, slabs of chocolate for their numerous government funded children, lard fried chips, mushy peas and pork scratchings etc. They always go ‘ its all so’vern poncy muk in ‘ere’. And of course ‘it cost ‘undred quid to get here an its rained every day’
    Its a good thig the ferry prices are high with this crew around.


  • The Bakers

    9th July 2008 #21 Author

    Wasn’t impressed at all with our meal or the atmosphere of the place, although it looked lovely from the outside.

    We were so disappointed with the main course that we didn’t bother staying for desert.

    We were there on a Tuesday for dinner and the place was so quiet we were really self conscious talking as the few diners were seated very closely.
    I ordered the lemon sole and it was inedible, the fish on the top was wet and the underneath looked like tripe! which put me right off, so I left it and filled up on my friends left over scampi. My husband had a crab salad which he said was ‘ok but not great’. The plus points were the nice chunks of fresh bread and the starters of whitebait and garlic mushrooms were quite tasty. We were so disappointed with the main course that we didn’t bother staying for desert.
    Service was friendly but uninterested.


  • Jon & Kim

    12th May 2006 #22 Author

    Hi The Virtual Ranger,

    While sitting on the patio supping on our ales (Kim was surprised to see Foster’s even though she was 10,000 miles from home – she’s a delectable Aussie babe!) and looking out to sea, we saw a chap park up, walk across to the Inn and enter by a side door. We saw him again while waiting for the ferry back to the mainland -he was one of the car passengers waiting in line to get on. He was so interesting looking that we knew we had to give him a similarly unique name so my partner Kim settled on Cicero Treacletops!!!! And that’s how that came about. Good eh?

    All the best,

    Jon & Kim 🙂


  • Matt

    11th May 2006 #23 Author

    Glad you liked it too! You certainly got our attention with your Cicero Treacletops. Other than our very own Googlewhack, whatever is it?


  • Jon & Kim

    11th May 2006 #24 Author

    Actually, The Buddle Inn is featured on our site:-

    All the very best,

    Kim & Jon aka The Onion & The Cabbage


  • Jon & Kim

    11th May 2006 #25 Author

    The Buddle Inn is where we first met Cicero Treacletops! The Buddle Inn is a charming place, the beer is good, the locals friendly and the patio looks out over the bay. We intend to go back at some point, that’s how impressed we were with it.