We know how much our customers look forward to savouring the food and drink of the Isle of Wight. We’ve partnered with a range of local suppliers to bring you fresh, delicious and local produce from the very beginning of your journey to the very end with our Wight Taste shops and cafes.
So whether it’s for a gift to take home or to tuck into during your journey, there’s plenty to get your taste buds tingling…
Allow us to introduce you to some of the producers behind the products found in Wight Taste:
The family business was born from a lack of support for the speciality coffee industry, when husband and wife Dan and Viviana, started out in event catering nearly 20 years ago. They began roasting their own and today, many of the local coffee shops and cafés that you frequent on your visit to the Island will be serving up a blend of Dan’s speciality roasts. You could always pop into his own café ‘Caffe Isola’ or his new store in Newport, and chat to the man himself – over a cup of coffee of course!
Our pick – Mocha Blend. A great all-rounder, smooth and full bodied, just as good in milk drinks or espresso/Americano.
The oldest brewery on the Isle of Wight and one of the first independent craft beer producers in the UK, Goddards has been brewing fine real ales in the beautiful surroundings of Barnsley Farm since 1993. Its barley is grown here on the Island and the water supply to the brewery comes via a fresh water spring just a few miles down the road.
Our pick – Fuggle-Dee-Dum. A chestnut, tawny red premium ale. Brewed with roasted malts and English Fuggle hops, to give a smoky, spicy hoppiness on the nose, leading to a molasses, nutty palate with a light fruity hop dryness.
The Isle of Wight Biscuit Company
Our pick – Original Butter Crunch. This biscuit excels as a mouth-watering combination of butter and golden syrup. Dip in your tea and jobs a goodun!
You can’t go wrong with cake, it goes hand in hand with a cup of tea and always makes everything better, the girls at Calbourne Classics know this for sure! Sisters Louise and Jenny based at Three Gates Farm, a traditional 400 acre dairy farm where 200 cows live, with over 70 being used to produce milk for the extensive range of award-winning ice creams, cakes, yogurts, clotted cream and much more.
Our pick – Lemon Drizzle Cake. A light zesty cake, the perfect blend between sweet and sharp.
The Garlic Farm
Set in the picturesque village of Newchurch, you can smell The Garlic Farm before you can see it and that is no bad thing. Home to everything garlic, the family behind the pungent bulb have been growing garlic in our fertile soils for over 40 years. A true family business, headed up by father Colin Boswell, daughter Natasha – who has written several books on cooking with garlic – son Hugo and daughter Jo who head up the ‘Field Kitchen’. A trip here is a treat for the tastebuds.
Our pick – Pear and Date Chutney. Rich, deep fruit flavours with a spiced garlic base. From cheese to curries, the perfect accompaniment for your winter cheese board.
An artisan brand with an ethos steeped in history and tradition, based in beautiful Merstone. Revived by owner Fiona Pink, after her great grandfather Thomas sold the company in 1920, it now wins numerous Great Taste Awards year after year. The range includes jellies, chutneys, pestos, peanut butters and most recently, jams, all produced in small batches and all vegetarian.
Our pick – Chocolate Peanut Butter. Delicious and indulgent, stick to the roof of your mouth, hand milled peanut butter. Spread thickly on warm toast.
A true family business, with father and son at the helm, Yates are constantly experimenting with flavours to find the next new classic. The latest brew is the aptly named ‘Islander’ and has fast become the brewery’s bestseller, it can barely be brewed fast enough to keep up with the Island pub’s demands.
Our pick – Islander. The most recent addition – a nice light refreshing drink with fruity after tones and a subtle bitter finish.
Wight Crystal Water
All water you see carrying the Wight Crystal logo has been drawn locally on the Island at Knighton Spring. Not only is it good for you, but by drinking this water you are actually supporting an Island charity, as all profits help to fund care services, employment and life-enhancing opportunities for people with a range of disabilities. As well as still or sparkling water, Wight Crystal also produce traditional lemonade and ginger beer.
Our pick – Traditional lemonade from our chiller cabinet. The perfect way to enjoy our sundecks this summer.
Full Spread Sandwiches
A range of sandwiches, wraps and baguettes can be found on board. All are made by Sue and Tony from Full Spread who have been filling hungry tummies for over 18 years. A range of sandwiches can be found including favourite flavours such as tuna, egg, ham and cheese as well as changing specials including lemon chicken, sweet chilli chicken and brie, plus some gluten free options.
Our pick – Tuna Mayo. A classic sandwich freshly made on the Isle of Wight.
With names such as Wight Gold, Wight Knight and Yachtsman’s Ale, you can guarantee a true taste of the Isle of Wight. Island Ales have recently extended its range available on board. Brewed by Island people, Head Brewer Chris Coleman ensures that its beers represent some of the finest available anywhere.
Our pick – Wight Knight. As the name suggests, strong, refreshing and full of body.
Isle of Wight Distillery
Founded by friends Xavier Baker and Conrad Gauntlett, they laid down their first barrel of whisky in 2015, following it up with Mermaid Gin, a smooth, elegant and complex gin made with locally foraged rock samphire and Boadicea hops. Their Rock Sea Vodka and HMS Victory-branded Navy Strength barrel-aged gin – incorporating real oak from the famous warship – are worth a tipple, too. (Please note, Isle of Wight Distillery products are currently only available at our Camber Café at Portsmouth Gunwharf).
Our pick – Mermaid Gin. Smooth, easy drinking and refreshing with vibrant citrus, warm peppery spice and a hint of sea air.
Where to find Wight Taste
Our Wight Taste stores can currently be found on board St Clare, St Faith, St Cecilia, Wight Sun, Wight Light and Wight Sky. You’ll also find vending machines and a full range in our new Camber Café at Portsmouth Gunwharf car ferry terminal.
Whether it’s a gift to take home, or just something to whet your appetite now, make sure to take a big bite out of the Island’s local produce scene this winter. Our Wight Taste teams look forward to seeing you soon.
A version of this article first appeared in the Winter edition of Wightlife Magazine.
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