Matt and Cat love Culver Down. The views from the top are magnificent, whether looking across to Sussex or lying on your back on...

Matt and Cat love Culver Down. The views from the top are magnificent, whether looking across to Sussex or lying on your back on a summer?s evening watching the Perseids meteor shower overhead. Culver’s pretty good at the base too; the Bembridge side has a family-friendly sandy beach with rockpools to explore, coloured cliffs, plus the Wonky Café.

Cheeseburger and chips

The southern side of the chalky promontory has equally interesting geology; the red and white cliffs tower above and the beach is littered with fossils. If Matt and Cat have guests they often take them to this end of the Island and, on the day The Cat’s Mother deigned to visit they took her and the accompanying entourage to this easterly point. However, before they could explore the area they chose to have a hearty lunch at Yaverland Kiosk.

“…the finest rock cakes on the Isle of Wight”
Bacon and egg soft bap

The kiosk used to be a bit of a shack but has since been reconstructed and is now a sturdy café; its double-glazed windows are snug enough to keep out the coastal draughts and there is plenty of outside seating for more clement days. As it was an unexpectedly hot afternoon, Matt and Cat’s party ate outside with a view of the sandy beach and the bay beyond. There was plenty of maritime activity on the sea; yachts, jet skis and intrepid bathers in the foreground and the usual tankers parked on the horizon.

Turning their attention to matters more close at hand, the group studied the menu. A range of classic café fare was on offer: burgers, jacket spuds, sarnies and cooked breakfasts. Cat chose bacon and egg-filled soft bap and Matthew, who was going to be climbing to the top of the down, decided to fortify himself with cheeseburger and chips. The rest of the party had filled baps too, plus a couple of rock cakes and teas all round.

Matt and Cat’s bill
Bacon & egg bap £2.60
Cheeseburger & chips £2.80
Tea @ 80p per cup £1.60

It wasn’t long before the cook brought out the lunches. They looked great. Cat, who’s a fussy mare when it comes to fried eggs, was delighted to see that hers was a perfect example of the genre. Runny yolk, properly cooked white and no brown crunchy stuff on the base. The bacon, too, was nicely done and not too fatty.

Matt’s burger and chips was a simple but palatable meal, with onions and a big hunk of real cheddar cheese – none of that sloppy processed gunk. All in all a decent lunch, quickly served in a picturesque spot.

The finest rock cakes on the Isle of Wight

The rest of the party nodded their approval at their lunches. The Cat’s Mother was particularly impressed with the rock cake. This is a woman who knows her home baking, proclaiming the cakes to be better than those sold at her local WI market. Praise indeed!

Having scoffed up, the party divided. Matt walked the Old Soldier up to the top of Culver Down to check out the view from the Culver Haven. Cat, Mother and Tim took the horizontal route to the foot of Culver Cliff where they found some spectacular fossils, including a bit of prehistoric coral.

On the way back to the rendezvous point The Cat’s Mother made a return visit to the kiosk and bought two more rock cakes. ?Tell them they’re the finest rock cakes on the Isle of Wight? she crowed. Now that’s endorsement!

NB: Open March to November annually

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  • Dawn

    3rd December 2014 #1 Author

    [Comment removed by moderator. Reason: false email address}

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  • Dawn

    1st December 2014 #2 Author

    Visit this kiosk on several occasions and mostly it is a pleasant experience but during our recent visits mainly on the weekend we have been disappointed. It’s ok if you like drinking coloured water for tea or coffee.

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  • Tee

    5th September 2014 #3 Author

    Disgusting. Visited the zoo with my wife and 4 year old twins and 5 other in our party. Went to the kiosk to eat. Sat everyone down and chose meals. Went up to order and one of my twins shouted excitedly. At this point he was shouted at even louder and told to shut up by the chef who was taking a break at a nearby table who then stated that if he did it again we would have to leave. Safe to say we cancelled all orders and left. Will never visit IOW again. Tainted the whole holiday and left a 4 year old asking what he had done wrong.

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  • Roger (Holiday maker)

    10th September 2013 #4 Author

    An excellent café with value for money food. Recommend the breakfast, but be hungry!!! Ideal for a meal or simply a tea or coffee. Enjoy the views across the bay.

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  • Steve Williams

    5th May 2013 #5 Author

    @ HungryPeter

    We always park up in Meadow Way or Culver Way opposite the sailing club and car park in Yaverland.

    Just a 4 minute walk and free parking all day, therefore avoiding the tourist car parking charges.

    Reply

  • HungryPeter

    4th May 2013 #6 Author

    SUPERB!
    Good old fashioned value for money and well cooked food in a clean cafe!
    I have eaten here many times and the only negative thing I have found is having to pay for parking in the nearby car park! Good old Council! Winter time as well!

    Reply

  • Sue & Geoff Allan (The Veggies)

    28th October 2011 #7 Author

    Yaverland Cafe (it doesn’t seem to have a name)
    Just had a lovely, freshly cooked Veggie All Day Breakfast. No veggie “pretend sausages” just the full works without meat. Very hearty. Geoff had the full version, 2 eggs, loads of mushrooms, tomatoes, hash browns and beans plus 2 rounds of toast and coffee all for £5. I just had 2 eggs on toast for £2.80 and pinched some beans and tomatoes from his plate (just to help out!). Excellent value, excellent location, right on the water’s edge, and a lovely sunny day to boot. Couldn’t be better!

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  • Jef

    17th August 2011 #8 Author

    I think you will find that there is a requirement to provide hand washing facilities for staff preparing food but not for customers.
    If they had customer toilets they would have to provide hand wash facilities but as there are no toilets and no legal requirement to have them they are fine and their 5* rating clearly reflects that.

    Reply

  • Neil (Local)

    17th August 2011 #9 Author

    Thanks David for pointing out how good the public toilets are! However, I would disagree that the Kiosk is just a ‘kiosk’ now. As in Mat & Cat’s review, it’s now a sturdy cafe with seating inside and out. As far as I was aware, such an establishment which is serving food to be eaten on the premises, must have facilities for the washing of hands ect. As the kiosk has a ‘5’ rating in respect of the new hygiene standards, perhaps that is no longer the case although it would be interesting for others to comment. As for McDonalds, yes I believe they do do a children’s menu but we were not visiting there, we were visiting the Kiosk for the first time and was surprised that there is no children’s menu available. My 7 year old cannot manage an adult portion so it seems to be a waste of food if that is the only option available.

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  • David Smith

    17th August 2011 #10 Author

    In response to Neil ( local) The Public toilets about 50 yrds away are by far the best I have visited also providing showers for male and female. The kiosk – because that all it is – would never have room for these facilities. It as been open for three years now and my wife and I use it when on holiday.As for child menu they serve fast food have they got a child menu in Mcdonalds.A happy holiday maker

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  • Neil (Local)

    16th August 2011 #11 Author

    Visited today with my young son and was a tad surprised they don’t have a children’s menu. I was also surprised they have no toilet/hand washing facilities and when these are requested, they direct you to the public toilets on the adjacent car park. I didn’t think that complied with the relevant food hygiene regs. Having said that I noted their ‘5’ rating on the new hygiene standards.
    As for the food; it was adequate but my son could’nt manage his ‘adult’ size portion so most of it went to waste. Great location though.

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  • Ann & Steve

    20th June 2011 #12 Author

    Returned again for our annual Rock cake fix!Just as fresh & good as last years!Keep them coming!

    Reply

  • Gill

    20th October 2010 #13 Author

    Well done Matt & Cat! We would never have gone here without your recommendation and we would have missed out on the best breakfast on the Island! Fantastic view, friendly service and beautifully cooked food. Can’t wait for our next visit…

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  • ANN & STEVE

    10th October 2010 #14 Author

    We second the comments on the rock cakes!They are the best we’ve ever tasted!
    Everything is also very reasonably priced so going there regularly doesn’t break the bank unlike some places on the Island!Lovely views looking out over the beaches.

    Reply

  • Piwakawaka

    6th October 2010 #15 Author

    Food for meat eaters at lunch sounds good but would not recommend for vegetarians wanting a cooked breakfast. Serving staff were nice but not sure that quality customer service extends to kitchen. Bit of a computer says no scenario.
    And it wasn’t the height of summer; more like blustery Fri morning in October.

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