Matt and Cat\'s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide
It was way back in 2005 when Matt and Cat first reviewed Whippingham’s Folly Inn. Entreaties to revisit prompted this 2010 update. The original...

It was way back in 2005 when Matt and Cat first reviewed Whippingham’s Folly Inn. Entreaties to revisit prompted this 2010 update. The original review is below.

Chicken in red wine and Portobello mushroom sauce

Matt and Cat were very impressed by the Folly, back in the day. It was a regular lunchtime haunt of theirs and they were never disappointed by the location, food or service. However, reports that things were Not Quite Right had made their way down the intertubes; and, as luck would have it, Cat and some gal-pals from work were looking for a venue to eat, drink and make mischief. Clutching two-for-one vouchers in their eager mitts, Cat and three friends rendezvoused at this waterfront watering hole.

If a packed car park is an indicator of a quality venue then The Folly Inn must rank as one of the finest places on the Isle of Wight. Even on this damp mid-week mid-winter evening there was barely room for a modestly-sized car. It was ‘one in, one out’ but soon a space became available. As she approached the door, Cat noted a welcoming blackboard with confidently chalked picture of the pub. Scratching her nesty mane, she knew she’d seen that somewhere before. Why of course, it was the day before outside Shanklin’s Crab Inn. Closer inspection revealed the tell-tale Greene King livery; The Cat looked forward to comparing these sibling venues.

Trotting into the warm and crowded bar, Cat and friends scanned the venue for a table. For a moment it wasn’t looking good as those which weren’t occupied had ‘reserved’ signs on them. However, there were a couple free, one with the previous occupants’ plates waiting to be cleared away and a nice empty one under a retina-burning spotlight in the middle of the room. It was the most unflattering lighting this side of an operating theatre and Cat, for one, found herself leaning out of its punishing glare whenever there was a rare lull in the conversation.

Hake special

It’s a good job that Cat and her pals didn’t have to make any proper decisions as they fussed and procrastinated over the menu, which was identical to the Shanklin branch. There were a few differences to be had on the specials board; no sign of the goats cheese filo parcels but there was a tempting-sounding tomato and basil soup. However, it was the two-for-one offer that had lured them to the pub so Cat and friends chose from the list of mains, which included quite a variety of dishes: fish, meat and even a vegetarian curry. Cat was keen to have chicken and considered the roasted farm-assured chicken breast on a bacon, leek and field mushroom risotto. She was curious about the rather nebulous ‘farm-assured’ tag. What did this mean exactly? A quick online search did not elicit any firm definition. This term, although similar in name to the Assured Chicken Production (ACP) initiative, was not labelled clearly enough for the avoidance of doubt. Cat chose the other poultry dish, chicken in red wine and Portobello mushroom sauce with new potatoes.

It was here The Folly really started to lose points as Cat was required to pay extra for vegetables. The lady at the till seemed embarrassed to point this fact out and said that there was nothing they could do to change the set up of the meals. This was where the pub’s franchise roots were clearly on display. Admittedly Cat was allowed to exchange her new potatoes for chips but there was no sign of veg without further payment. What had promised to be a reasonably priced meal, even without the two-for-one offer, suddenly did not seem such good value.

Although the service was friendly and the atmosphere jolly, if a little scrutinised under the bright lighting, Cat couldn’t muster much enthusiasm for her bowl of chicken bits. It was moderately tasty, if a bit salty, and the basin of veg included a good mix of peas and root vegetables but the food was not a patch on the previous incarnation of the pub. One of her colleagues had the butternut squash, spinach, lentil and spicy coconut curry but this was also reported to be a bit underwhelming. However, the hake and salad looked great and the grilled field mushroom with Shropshire blue cheese and salad which the gang had shared as a starter was very tasty.

The most interesting aspect about The Folly was, as busy as it had been at 7pm, by 9pm it was almost empty. From being a drinking and eating pub, its character had changed into a conveyor-belt eatery and everyone had cleared off once their cutlery clattered to a halt. However, Cat and her colleagues were in for the long haul and were soon the only customers. Some rather conspicuous sweeping-up started at about 10pm and at 10.30pm the barmaid had her coat on and thumped her handbag on a nearby table. Realising that they had overstayed their welcome, the quartet left.

The Isle of Wight’s Greene King franchises are a mixed bunch. Enough has been said about the Ryde Castle; The Crab Inn had the most exemplary service and The Folly is in a great location. However, in all three cases, the food could be better but it’s possible that the managers don’t have much control over what they serve. Because of the bad lighting and the mass-produced food, Matt and Cat felt compelled to downgrade The Folly from ‘we love’ to ‘we like’.

First review dated 10 November 2005

Like many waterfront taverns, the Folly Inn attracts a crowd of yachting types throughout the year – excessively so in the summer; presumably the sailors are attracted by the adjacent moorings and the excellent food and beer.

Matt and Cat are not afraid to join in the summer throng as there are plenty of tables outside and the food is worth the (short) wait. In the winter the bar is cosy and welcoming with a real fire roaring away.

The menu changes regularly and is very reasonably priced. The food really is excellent and there is a great variety. You vegetarians will not have to suffer the tedium of cheese omelettes – try the spinach parcels with a balsamic glaze. For the omnivores there is plenty to choose, from Aberdeen Angus in red wine to chicken baked with a dusting of garlic and paprika. The puddings are of unusually high quality too, and this is one location where Matt and Cat usually break from tradition and have a dessert. The traditional rhubarb crumble and custard is sublime (and, unlike the pubgrub chains, not microwaved).

A wilfully characterful feature is the table names – each table is named after a boat. No doubt this was not deliberately designed to confuse the customer, but it can embarrass them into saying things like “I’m sitting on the Lively Lady of Cowes”. Luckily, the bar staff are wise to this game and there is a chart of the tables pinned up next to the till, where you can mutely point at your location if you are too slow to have memorised your table name, or, indeed, if you can’t pronounce it. Look out for Matt and Cat’s favourite table, “Boss Cat”!

A great place for an intimate winter meal or a sunny lunchtime snack with a spectacular view of the Medina estuary.
The Folly, Whippingham

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  • IW Regular

    22nd October 2016 #1 Author

    First review in a few years as we haven’t been to the island for a while. Guess I should change my name! My previous reviews have caused much debate as I give genuine feedback, good or bad and some people don’t like that. I shall continue to do so, as to avoid balanced criticism, when due, renders a review site completely worthless. Matt and Cat clearly agree as they emailed me a few years back to say how good my reviews were! So here goes….

    The Folly is our favourite pub on the island and has been for over 20 years. When we last visited (a few years back), we had a good meal but poor service (no review submitted at that time). This time it was back on form.

    I had an ultimate fish and chips. Plaice, scampi, prawns and a scallop with chips, tartare sauce and mushy peas. Cooked to perfection. Fantastic presentation. Really enjoyable and worth the £11.95 price. Mrs IW Regular had a sea bass risotto which she also enjoyed immensely.

    Service was impeccable and the Green King IPA served at the right temperature (I.e. Not icy cold).

    So, sorry if this disappoints those waiting to pounce, but I have nothing negative to say. 10/10.

    Reply

  • Cat Woman

    19th May 2014 #2 Author

    The Folly Inn is one of our regulars,especially during the winter,when the ‘two for one’ offer is in place.Food is good value,and waiting time is minimal.The set menu can be varied if requested.Since watching my weight,I always request fish,no chips,but salad.This request causes no problem.Staff are so friendly,especially Harvey,who is so personable,he ought to run a pub of his own.You also get to see some great sunsets.Only downer I have,is the awful road leading to it,full of potholes that were,at some point,filled in.

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  • IW Regular

    22nd April 2014 #3 Author

    We had 2 meals at The Folly Inn during our annual break on the island last week, making up for the fact that we were unable to visit last year due to it being closed for refurbishment.

    As this was our favourite pub on the island (food and location), we were delighted to see that it had barely changed.

    All members of our party had different meals and all declared them to be excellent. Service was friendly and efficient.

    The mid-week value menu offers very good value.

    Although we prefer to dine indoors, we were pleased to see that the outdoor dining area is designated ‘No Smoking’. One negative aspect of the otherwise excellent smoking ban is that outdoor areas at pubs have become ‘cancer corners’ with smokers congregating there, making it unusable for those of us who find the habit revolting and don’t want to smell cigarette smoke at any time, let alone when eating a meal. Other pubs should follow this lead.

    I shall continue to recommend the Folly Inn to anyone I speak to who is visiting the island.

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  • PAUL MULLERY

    9th June 2012 #4 Author

    We went to the Folly on Thursday and the place was packed out. There must have been 150+ diners in there and I had to queue for 15 minutes to order the food. I heard no complaints and our food was excellent. If the food is that bad, why isn’t the place deserted? Why do the same people keep returning?

    I obviously can’t comment on your experience,but I have always been pleased with the food and the prices are not expensive. The more who stay away, the less wait for food and better choice of table. I agree that there could be a better choice of beers but that’s only a minor problem.

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  • The Jazz Man

    9th June 2012 #5 Author

    Great venue, mediocre selection of beers, uninspiring food. Having been there a few times, we took friends there over the weekend and were actually shocked at what was presented to us. The tatin was built on a base of stone, and the ‘award winning’ fish was shrivelled and hiding in several acres of very overcooked batter. We complained and to make amends were given a round of rather bland coffee. It’s almost as if they’ve ditched any semblance of quality food now the tourists are coming in.

    It’s quite unfortunate that the food was so bad as the staff were fantastic, eager to help and very chatty. Unfortunately there are better places for food, nearer to home that charge less. We won’t be going back.

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  • afterthesungoesdown

    19th May 2012 #6 Author

    just returned from a meal at the folly, all i can say is i won’t be going back! unhelpful chef refusing to do a simple sauce, lasagne with hardly any pasta in it (it also had that ‘fridge’ taste to it), overdone chips etc etc, i am a chef myself and was shocked at what was served up! unacceptable i did not complain as i feel it should be right the first time i just simply won’t go back!

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  • Neil (Local)

    30th April 2012 #7 Author

    @ ilovefoodido, I don’t think there is any need for a site dedicated to people complaining about dogs. The issue about dogs is a very important factor when deciding on where to (or not) eat for a lot of people. Personally I don’t have a problem with dogs in pubs providing they are not in the areas where people are eating. As I have mentioned elsewhere, I had an unpleasant experience in the Crab & Lobster (Bembridge)a few years ago when a very wet dog which had obviously just came off the beach with it’s owner, shook itself all over the place. No one seemed to bat an eyelid but fortunately our meals hadn’t arrived. It’s simply un-hygienic to have dogs in dining areas and places where children play. I think it is quite appropriate for people to comment about dogs being in pubs. For example, I was once planning to visit the Blacksmith Arms with my 8 year old son but decided against it when I saw a post on here saying that there was dog mess in the beer garden and play area. Obviously it’s not the dogs fault… its the dog owners and management at the establishments concerned.

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  • Dave Wilson

    30th April 2012 #8 Author

    the food has been on a constant decline.

    Agreed, I’ve been going to the Folly for 10 plus years. Saturday night dancing on tables with Danny Bianco is always fun.
    However, the food has been on a constant decline. Went for Sunday lunch in January, the beef was almost inedible, overcooked, fatty, gristle etc.
    The place is run by Andy and Cheryl who have been there ever since I can remember. I talked him about the food some time ago, he said the menu was controlled by Greene King (The parent chain)
    I have decided to stay away until their food improves.

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  • da yw wyth

    29th April 2012 #9 Author

    Unfortuatley the lax attitude towards dogs tends to reflect a lax attitude elsewhere though. Take the Blacksmiths Arms as a prime example. As for the Folly, reports after November 2010 seemed to show a sharp move downhill. The fact that it’s part of the same group as the Ryde Castle and the Hare and Hounds didn’t help raise confidence. (someone was praising H&H to the skies not long ago). I’d love to go back to the Folly if the quality was equal to that pre 2010, but the signs are not good….

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  • ilovefoodido

    29th April 2012 #10 Author

    I can honestly say I have been to the Folly many times, because every time I have enjoyed the good food especially the roasts, the surroundings are relaxing, the staff are exceptionally friendly and the atmosphere is great especially on a Saturday night with the live music and table dancing that is fun both to join in and as a spectator watching others enjoying themselves…. Please someone set up a review site for people complaining about dogs in establishments as its taking the focus away from all the main points of what is right about the Folly and other dog friendly places.

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  • da yw wyth

    13th April 2012 #11 Author

    But this is cultrually-specific, isn’t it? If one bone were to be found in any fish portion served above a line drawn between the Mersey and the Humber, this would be a source of immediate draconian punishment! Hereabouts, it must be accepted with a weary smile, it seems, along with wet dogs….

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  • IW Regular

    13th April 2012 #12 Author

    Of course, if four out of four fish meals contain bones, then I am not ‘entirely satisfied’, but mentioning it within a balanced write up is what should be expected of a credible review site. Not to do so would make the review (and the website) completely pointless.

    I would strongly suggest that those who take such offence to constructive criticism should stop themselves from reading balanced reviews where mentioning anything other than perfection is labelled as ‘complaining’.

    That’s all I have to say on the matter.

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  • PAUL MULLERY

    12th April 2012 #13 Author

    Apologies if I offended you IW but in your post you state “all four of us had bones in the fish which was a shame as otherwise it was excellent”

    1 If you were not bothered about the bones why mention it?

    2 Why use the expression “… a ahame as otherwise…?”

    Most people reading your post could only draw the conclusion that you were not entirely satisfied.

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  • IW Regular

    12th April 2012 #14 Author

    For goodness sake, why is everyone (Matt and Cat excepted) so sensitive to constructive criticism?

    There is no point whatsoever in a ‘review’ site if all you can say without people jumping down your throat is that it was all perfect? It makes the reviews worthless (unless, of course, it truly was perfect). I am no Michael Winner (read his reviews if you want ‘complaints’) but I refuse to contribute a review unless it is fair and accurate – which all of mine have been and will continue to be so.

    Read my review again Paul. I wasn’t ‘complaining’ about the bones in the fish, merely stating that four out of four had bones in them. Fact. The Folly is my favourite pub on the Island for food and service and remains so.

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  • PAUL MULLERY

    12th April 2012 #15 Author

    We eat in the folly every week. We have no complaints about the food or staff. Always good value. I think complaining about bones in fish is a little harsh as this should be expected from time to time. I have to agree about the dogs though. I will make a point of mentioning this to the manager on my next visit.

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  • IW Regular

    12th April 2012 #16 Author

    Second visit this week to the Folly Inn today – lunch for six of us.

    As per the comments in my last review, I wanted to check out the 2 for £9.95 offer, which is promoted on a sign at the side of the main East Cowes road. Sure enough, it was nowhere to be seen in the pub! Nothing on the tables (other than a Thursday only special offer) but I managed to find one card with the £9.95 offer that had been left at the food order point. The Area Manager of Greene King obviously doesn’t visit the Island often, as he/she should be picking up that they are not buying-in to their corporate promotions!

    Four oof us ordered the fish and chips from the 2 for £9.95 menu. All four of us had bones in the fish, which was a shame as it was otherwise an excellent value meal. The other two main menu items were fine.

    Service was fantastic. An extremely personable lady taking the orders and an even more personable young man serving the meals.

    Thankfuly no dogs to be seen this time, with the only animals being where they should be – on the plates – but a very large party indeed, all with the volume switch set to ‘maximum’. We couldn’t hear each other speaking on our table! When we left I noticed that they all had black ties and were obviously having a wake! I hope that mourners are a little less excitable when I pop my clogs!

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  • IW Regular

    11th April 2012 #17 Author

    The Folly is always our first port of call each time we visit the Island, so we arrived there Saturday lunchtime direct from the car ferry.

    This is our favourite pub on the Island, in spite of the exhaust wrecking speed humps along the very long approach road. A great outlook and riverside setting with a wide menu.

    I think I saw the 2 for £10 offer on an A-frame board at the top of Folly Lane (alongside the main road) but didn’t notice the offer at all in the pub so forgot about it. That’s poor. If the offer is on, promote it.

    Food qualty and service was good, but we were somewhat put off by a panting dog sitting on someone’s lap at a nearby table. I don’t think it’s acceptable to have dogs inside any eating establishments whatsoever, as they tend to naturally dribble and that’s not at all hygienic and makes we wonder what has been dribbled on that I am using!

    We are returning again later this week. I am going to look for the 2 for £10 menu as I’m now curious about it and wonder if its just a scam to get people to turn off the main road! I hope it will be dog free as this one thing could well put us off our favourite pub on the island, which would be a great shame.

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  • Lester

    27th March 2012 #18 Author

    No you can’t not catch your dog or cats cold nor can they catch yours. Does not stop them breathing all over your chips does it!

    I guess in a recession proprietors would not want to refuse any custom so dog walkers are welcome? In fact they are encouraged, some places provide free drinks laid out for the dogs, seems they would rather have dogs than humans, when did you last go into a pub and get a free drink, and a stroke on the belly from the landlady!

    Its a bit like other peoples children, when your eating in a pub, they are ok if kept on a lead and trained to keep quiet!

    Reply

  • Neil (Local)

    27th March 2012 #19 Author

    I am a dog/animal lover. I would not dream of taking my dog into an establishment where I knew people would be eating. Years ago I used to frequent the Crab & Lobster in Bembridge to eat so spending a little bit of money there until one day someone bought a very wet dog in (obviously had just come off the beach) which then proceeded to shake itself vigorously spraying droplets of dirty water every where. The owners didn’t even bat an eye lid never mind apologize! Fortunately for us, our food had not arrived but i still demanded a refund and went elsewhere. No way will I go somewhere to eat where dogs are allowed. The two just don’t mix.
    And sorry Alex, I don’t believe that you cannot catch a virus (cold or otherwise) from licking….

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  • Alex

    27th March 2012 #20 Author

    Annex II Chapter IX requires food businesses operators to have adequate procedures in place to prevent domestic animals from having access to places where food is prepared, handled or stored, or in special cases to prevent such access from resulting in contamination.

    Decisions to allow animals in public areas rests with the proprietor of the establishment.

    FYI, cold virus is spread by aerosol (sneezing) not licking.

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  • da yw wyth

    26th March 2012 #21 Author

    I most certainly do avoid France and Spain – for this amongst many other reasons.

    I do not find that humans with colds come and lick me – this seems quite acceptable from a dog – as do a lot of other behaviours, regularly observed.

    “Live and let live” is what used to be said about smoking in pubs. I’m amazed that environmental health is happy to hound proprieters of an excllent delicattesen out of business, but think nothing of dogs in pubs.

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  • Alex

    26th March 2012 #22 Author

    “some places are quite happy to let these disease vectors have free reign”

    I agree, someone was coughing and spluttering near me while I was having my meal on Saturday (Fisherman’s Cottage since you ask). Germ ridden people should stay home and stop infecting everyone else. (Tongue in cheek).

    Unlikely that you would ever catch anything from a dog, please don’t go to France or Spain, dogs are allowed in most places there.

    Live and let live.

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  • Sean

    26th March 2012 #23 Author

    I think D.A.B.T.P. makes a good point, if you go to The Folly or the Blacksmiths Arms there are dogs, so if you dont like them avoid these places, rightly or wrongly, dogs will be there and as the weather gets better the amount of dogs will increase. I have never seen dogs in the better eating establishemnts that are Bisto’s or Restaurants just in pubs.

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  • dogs are better than most people

    26th March 2012 #24 Author

    In reply to comments I work in catering and in similar places, if its not Brakes Bros it will be very similar. Using your logic the best place in the world to eat is McDonalds as I did a survey and they served 1000’s of people a day?

    All I said was is if you go somewhere cheap like the Folly, or a lot of pubs, you will get owners bringing in their dogs, and if you dont like this go somewhere decent, like a restaurant, which will be dog free. What do you expect for 2 meals for under a tenner! You get what you pay for!

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  • PAUL MULLERY

    26th March 2012 #25 Author

    I agree with the comments re dogs in the eating area. How does D.A.B.T.M.P. know that the pub buys “cheap Brakes Bros stuff”? When we go, we usually have the steak, which presumably doesn’t come pre-prepared as well done, medium or rare. As I mentioned in a previous post, the same people are seen eating there week in week out. After the last comment about the food, I counted the number of diners on my next visit. I stopped counting at 50. Clearly, the above comments are not endorsed by those ordering food.

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  • da yw wyth

    25th March 2012 #26 Author

    So much seems to have gone downhill here, since a very satisfactory visit in November 2009. How wierd that dogs are banned from food shops where at least you can wash stuff before eating, yet some places are quite happy to let these disease vectors have free reign.

    The Folly, The Hare & Hounds, and the Ryde Castle – all run by the same group. That must say something!!!

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  • dogs are better than most people

    21st March 2012 #27 Author

    The views are amazing but the food at The Folly is ok, just ok, pretty cheap brakes bros stuff in microwaves, so for a special occasion knock yourself out and go somewhere nice, a restaurant, no dogs allowed.

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  • Peter

    21st March 2012 #28 Author

    I dined at the Folly yesterday lunchtime.My wife and I had the provencale chicken with goats cheese,main course,standard menu.
    It looked lovely,but was rather cold.It tasted nice.3 out 0f 5,I’d say.
    What did annoy us both was the prescence of dogs in the place.Customers bring in their pets,and sit anywhere.The dog at the table next to me was well behaved,but I am unsettled at the situation of dining out on a special occasion,and having a panting dog eyeing my meal as I eat it.The thing was 4 feet away from me,and I felt it an infringement of my right to enjoyment.I do not blame the dog owners,if they will enforce their hobbies on others,I think the proprietor should have an area for dogs,or an area for people who don’t want to sit near an animal that may just have been sniffing/doing something unsavoury outside.
    I shall steer clear of this establishment.

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  • PAUL MULLERY

    22nd February 2012 #29 Author

    I am a little suprised at the above comments. My wife and I go every week and have not been disappointed. On our last occasion we had the steak which was most acceptable, particularly as the two for one offer meant that we only paid £10 in total.

    The pub is always busy with diners, many of whom are the same people we see each week so they clearly are not disappointed. I don’t wish to cast aspersions on anyone or defend the pub, but I wonder if these negative comments are coincidental with the 2 for 1 offer?

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  • John spink

    22nd February 2012 #30 Author

    A jack of all trades but an expert of none

    Fish slimy and tasteless, cheap maybe, but quality it was not

    Nice atmosphere but food was unfortunately lacking

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  • Sophie

    30th January 2012 #31 Author

    Went recently and was very disappointed with the food. I opted for the curry that was on the Specials Board rather than the menu and it was tasteless and the chicken was like rubber. My partner had the fajitas and it was tiny portion. The place seemed to be run by teenagers. Won’t be going again to eat but will probably go in the summer for a drink.

    Reply

  • Julie Watson

    31st July 2011 #32 Author

    Visited the Folly for a meal two weeks ago whilst on holiday. In previous years we have always enjoyed the food here but to our dismay it was diabolical. Me and my son had the Beef Burgers, which were edible, just. With side orders of (Burnt) Garlic Bread and (Burnt) Onion Rings. Not impressed.

    We also ordered the Pork Gristle Strips. Sorry, Pork Belly Strips. Every part of them was either hard, chewy fat, or gristle. The mash was stone cold, and tasted like Smash or another type of instant mash. The only redeeming factor was the gravy, but with nothing edible to put it with, just doesn’t make up for it in the slightest.

    The chap who cleared our table offered us a pudding, which was the Profiteroles, which were served in a huge, elegant bowl, however, only getting 5 of them made the bowl seem a bit empty and disappointing.

    Unfortunately, won’t be visiting The Folly again for a meal, or at least not until Greene King stops destroying it as a business.

    Such a shame.

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  • jlp

    16th July 2011 #33 Author

    This used to be our favourite place to go from 2005 to 2009. However last year 2010 we were put off by the changes in food and atmosphere. We were served fish that has been so badly microwaved that the tail had curled up and was brown. It was totally inedible. The Veg’ etc again was reheated, and of a low standard. I asked for a refund which was given. We sat through our time there with a member of the young staff sitting drinking at the bar, then popping back to work and then witnessing an argument with a visiting boyfriend and one of the girl staff. It felt like the place was being run by youngsters that were acting badly because there was no one there supervising them. Horrible experience. Disgusting food. Has put us right off. Sad as this is where we had our wedding reception.

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  • PAUL MULLERY

    2nd March 2011 #34 Author

    We are currently using the Folly every week while they are doing the 2 for 1 deal and usually have the fish and chips. This is excellent value. The fish is about 1 foot long and all white meat (other places serving equally large portions turn out to be half batter – a case of find the fish). I notice other diners having the fish and chips often telling the waiter they cannot finish it – too much. Two portions of belly- busting food for less than £9.00 can’t be bad.

    On one occasion we tried two steak meals for under £10 in total. Brilliant! No wonder the place is packed out. We never have to wait long irrespective of how many are in. I suggest the White Hart might do a 2 for 1 deal sometime

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  • da yw wyth

    19th December 2010 #35 Author

    Oh, it looks horribly like the change was after Nov 2009, and that this is no longer the gem it used to be. Can anyone correct this?

    Matt and Cat reply: Thanks for all of your comments, da yw wyth. Cat revisited The Folly in March 2010 and things had indeed changed; it is now under Greene King management.

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  • Sniggup

    20th November 2010 #36 Author

    For a rare treat to follow our Waitrose Shopping Trip we went to one of my favourite island pubs, The Folly last week. Had heard that although the two for a tenner menu is always available and advertised you have to actually ask for it. Can understand why people don’t though as it does make you look a bit tight! Understand that most people would be lured by the offer then just order from the overpriced regular menu!
    Ordered Breaded Mushrooms and Tom Soup as starters , and Ham, Egg and Chips (safe bet) and the Haddock, Spinach, Cheese Dish (£2.5o supplement) for our Mains. Breaded Mushrooms, although deep fried were frozen in the middle. Haddock Dish was made from one of those nasty frozen haddock blocks people buy for their cats, with frozen spinach and cheese on top. Understand that food on this menu, by nature, needs to be cheap and easy to produce but the haddock was actually served in its block form, and had been over microwaved to the point of being inedible and the spinach was full of water. Think its a bit of a cheek to charge a supplement for such a dish! Waitress who cleared our mushrooms said “Oh.” when we pointed out they were frozen, and the second waitress who cleared the mains did not notice haddock dish had not been eaten, and did not ask if everything was okay. To summarise, a real shame, The Folly has always been a cracking pub in a cracking location with fab landlords, we won’t be going back to eat, total dissappointment, grim food, grim service.

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  • da yw wyth

    14th August 2010 #37 Author

    Comfusing – all the reviews up till 2009 are great – all those dated 2010 are damning. When did the change of approach happen? Went there last in November and it seemed fine – was it since then? If so I’d think twice about returning – if not (and I may just be easily satisfied) I’d be quite happy to…

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  • Joy Marshall

    16th May 2010 #38 Author

    Have been going to the Folly regularly for the past 17 years,so off we trundled for the first time since it’s re decoration, couldn’t see much change inside although outside looked very inviting.My mum just lives up the road so a regular haunt of ours especailly when family visit from the mainland.Never a complaint, dogs and children very welsome.Staff always more than willing to find us a table even when busy(10 or more of us normally when the whole family invade!!) But what a dissapontment i had last week.Food was not the usual standard,veg was cold and well the pie was just thick pastry.I left most of it.Friend had fish & chips that was ok.Come on Folly, family arriving soon for the Festival, don’t let us down,.Must admit though staff still as friendly as ever always a cheery smile and the location is just fantastic.Just the food wasn’t as good as it has been in the past.

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  • Bunty

    2nd April 2010 #39 Author

    First visit to the Folly since its reincarnation – not terribly impressed. Had to ask for the ‘two mains for £9.95’ menu as not on display (despite being advertised in the CP. Two had meals from this and two had steaks. The garlic bread we ordered as a starter arrived at the same time as the mains – which arrived in breathtaking time. Butternut lentil curry was enjoyed as ere the fish and chips and rib eye steak but although the rump was rae as requested, it was tough and gristly. Waited ages for plates to be cleared in spite of neighbouring tables being cleared and spray-wiped. In the end, put all our plates on empty table next to us – which obviously didn’t make us popular as when we ordered dessert, previous smiley service disappeared. This dessert was the dark choc and walnut brownie with mint ice-cream. ‘Wow – a cowpat’ was the unflattering comment as it appeared on the table – that was what it looked like. A tiny thin piece of ‘brownie’ with hoc choc sauce and said ice-cream. Hugely disappointing to the person who’d beenlooking forward to her chocolate ‘hit’ – and a fairly stonking £4.45. When we ‘gently’ complained about it, were told it shrinks when the hot choc sauce merges with the brownie! And they would mention it to the manager. When we got the bill, we’d been charged full price for the ‘two for £9.95’.
    The soul has gone out of the Folly and I hope they get their act together before the season starts. It was like food by numbers and all the individuality it had has gone. So disappointing

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  • anon

    24th March 2010 #40 Author

    The reviews on this site always make me giggle. You’ve had nothing but negative things to say about this place – my favourite was the fact the barmaid had her coat and bag ready before you left – and yet you still keep them in the ‘we like’ group. Strange.

    Matt and Cat respond: Thanks for your comment, anon. As you will see, we downgraded the Folly Inn from ‘we love’ to ‘we like’. To have the ‘we don’t like’ tag a venue has to be seriously lacking.

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  • ghostmoth

    24th March 2010 #41 Author

    I also used the tempting 2 for 1 voucher a couple of weeks ago for a quick meal before going to the cinema. Nothing caught my fancy on the main menu but the first item on the specials board was paella so I chose that. Unfortunately, it was a relatively small portion of overcooked long grain rice with a few mussels and a couple of pieces of chorizo – very disappointing. It seems that the better the view from the pub, the less they feel the need to produce good food.

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  • Sean

    24th March 2010 #42 Author

    I have to agree with this review as ‘back in the day’ the food matched this wonderful setting; which has to be one of the best locations for a pub on the Island, if you can get a table to take advantage of the river views. Last time we visited to dine with friends the starters were good but there was just nothing particularly great with the mains we ordered, including the chicken risotto which lacked flavour and was a bit stodgy, and having to pay extra for vegetables to go with the chicken in mushroom sauce, as in your review, and the pan fried duck. Although I must say the cheese board is very good with a great selection of cheeses (Shropshire Blue, Wensleydale & Tickler) but it’s the apple and date chutney I particularly liked and I thought it was excellent value. However we left thinking the bill had come to nearly the same as dining for a 3 course lunch at The Hamborough, and more than we spent at The Taverners which I am afraid just does not compare! We have since popped in for drinks and either visiting evening or daytime the place is always busy, so The Folly must appeal to a lot of people.

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  • JP

    28th September 2009 #43 Author

    Would happily recommend the Folly. I like the regular change in menu and on the whole we’ve really enjoyed our meals. The choices are usually inspiring and more often than not live up to our expectations.
    We’ve only had a couple of disapointing meals when we have felt that our sauces may have come out of jars and our pompadoms soft and plainly microwaved.
    The setting on the river takes some beating and I am in no doubt that we will be back at the folly many times.

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  • Oliver Cramer

    22nd September 2008 #44 Author

    Decided to go back there after not have eaten there for a year ot two (as it is allway so busy when the weather is nice)
    In summary it was an excellent meal with probably some of the nicest scallops i have ever eaten but there are some little details which could be improved to make them truly outsatnding, the duck was very good but could have been crispier and the custard on the excellent apple pie did not taste exactly homemade

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