Fine dining on the Isle of Wight

Our guide to the best restaurants on the Island

Maybe it’s the sea (we’re surrounded by it.) Or the sunshine (we regularly top the list of the sunniest place in Britain). Or all that fresh air.

There’s something about the Isle of Wight that results in food and drink of the highest quality– whether it’s from our farms, in our restaurants or in the kitchens, breweries and distilleries of the award-winning producers that pepper this Island.

The Isle of Wight foodie scene has exploded in recent years – you’re rarely ten minutes from somewhere selling fabulous food and because we’re just 40 minutes by car ferry from Lymington and 45 minutes from Portsmouth, (22 if you take the FastCat), that means your next tasty moment is closer than you think.

Love fine dining? We’ve got that covered.

Travel to the Island’s south coast and you’ll find a foodie paradise in Ventnor.

The Michelin Guide has recommended The Royal Hotel in Ventnor every year since 1911. Its dining room can be relied upon for dishes of exquisiteness but more so now that Chef Matt Egan has created a new seven course dining experience. At se7en you can enjoy an exclusive, vibrant tasting menu curated which highlights the finest ingredients and innovative combinations. Or treat yourself to their Royal afternoon tea, an extravaganza of delectable finger sandwiches, warm scones and miniature pastries and cakes.

You’ll also find The Hambrough here, headed up by Chef Matthew Tomkinson – a Roux Scholar and Michelin Star holder at two of his previous restaurants. The Hambrough’s menus change regularly and there’s a different offering for lunch and dinner, giving you good reason to return again and again. Recent dishes featured include Arreton Valley Asparagus Velouté, Roast Rump of Briddlesford Farm Veal and a selection of local cheeses. Many ingredients travelling no more than 10 miles across the Island!

And the newest addition to this gorgeous seaside town is the Terrace Rooms & Wine. Here, alongside a 300-bottle wine cave, you can enjoy set menus of Isle of Wight dishes in the intimate restaurant from November – March. Visiting in the warmer months? Enjoy wine on the terrace with simple home-baked breads, cheeses & meat plates – it’s all about the view.

A stone’s throw from Wightlink’s FastCat port in Ryde you’ll find Heron, one of the town’s newest restaurants which has achieved a double AA Rosette. Put yourself in the hands chef Alex Kimber with a stunning blind tasting menu, or choose your own locally-sourced dishes from the menu.

Not far from Ryde is the Seaview Hotel. Their Aquitania restaurant has been awarded 2 AA Rosettes over five consecutive years and has been described by The Times newspaper as ‘a class act’. The style is Modern British with a regional Isle of Wight twist, with star dishes like their Green Barn Farm goats cheese souffle with a watercress veloute.

Dining in a glasshouse pod at the Terrace Restaurant Isle of Wight

Heading to the west of the Isle of Wight? There are several decent restaurants just seconds away from our Yarmouth port.

The Terrace is a harbour-side restaurant sitting right above our ferry port building. Two Bridgman-furnished outdoor terraces and enclosed shelters offer views across the harbour, while the bright, contemporary dining room is a celebration of local art and design. From tomatoes to garlic, crab to lobster, and cheeses made minutes from their door, the Terrace’s kitchen showcases quality produce in accessible dishes. A lunchtime set menu and a la carte dinner menu change daily to showcase the best seasonal produce.

The 17th century George Hotel & Beach Club in Yarmouth is right on the beach, tucked between a castle and a small pier. The Conservatory, a brasserie style restaurant with a light airy interior and views of the Solent serves unfussy food using the Isle of Wight’s natural larder.

Grade II listed Foresters Hall (formerly known as North House) is in the heart of Cowes Old Town and offers seven or nine course tasting menus and a la carte meals in the Restaurant. Or sample their FH Tapas, where the team have expanded the traditional Spanish offering to make the best of seasonal produce.

Robert Thompson, once the youngest UK chef to be awarded a Michelin Star, heads up Thompson’s in Newport. This contemporary ‘open kitchen’ restaurant offers a modern British menu inspired by the flavours of the island. For a true culinary journey, try the 7-course tasting menu. Thompson’s is open for lunch and dinner on Fridays and Saturday, and for Sunday lunch on Sundays.

With more ferries on more routes going more often, we’re your link to experiencing the foodie delights of the Isle of Wight. Book your ferry – and your table – today.

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