The Isle of Wight is a particularly brilliant spot for anybody who considers themselves a bit of a foodie. The island, complete with its own micro-climate, boasts numerous local specialities across a whole spectrum of cuisines. But it’s not all about sitting in a restaurant.
From specialist drinks to everybody’s favourite – ice cream – here are some top foodie activities to check out on your visit.
Live off the land
Sourcing your own food is many people’s dream. Living the good life and working from the land. So, if you’ve ever wondered how to reduce the journey onto your plate then why not book onto an Isle of Wight foraging walk?
Paul, who runs regular tours, is an Islander born and bred and has the lowdown on the best spots to pick up natural ingredients. As well as supplying some of the Island’s top restaurants he also holds foraging walks in and around St Helens.
In your two-and-a-half-hour stroll, he’ll show you what’s good to eat, how to pick it and – most importantly – what to avoid.
The town of Ryde, on the north of the Island, has a weekly farmer’s market every Saturday. Here you can browse the smells and tastes of local producers all in one spot. One stall you must check out is the Isle of Wight Cheese Company. Creating local cheeses such as Gallybagger, Isle of Wight Blue and Borthwood, you can take a little taste of the Isle of Wight back with you.
Alternatively, if you fancy having a bit more of a hands-on experience, be sure to visit The Green Barn in Yarmouth, where they have the Isle of Wight Dairy Goats. Whilst here you can take a tour of the dairy and even buy local goat’s cheese and goat’s milk fudge.
Have a cheeky one
No foodie tour would be complete without taking a nose around a distillery. At the the Isle of Wight Distillery in Seaview, they create vodka, gin, rum and even whisky. Highlights include their famous Mermaid Gin, flavoured with botanicals such as rock samphire and elderflower, and their Rock Sea Vodka, flavoured with tiny dash of rock sea salt to give it that seaside vibe. As well as offering a distillery tour they have their very own pub, The Mermaid, where you can try the drinks for yourself.
Follow your nose
The Garlic Farm is famous on the Island, and off, for their absolute devotion to the humble garlic bulb. Make sure you visit their restaurant, café and shop – here you can take a look around the grounds of the farm and discover what goes into growing this pungent ingredient. They also sell a huge range of products including Black Garlic Beer, Black Garlic Vodka as well as more typical chutneys and sauces.
If you like your condiments a bit spicy then close by is the House of Chilli. Whether you are a total hot-head that can handle a naga ghost chilli or prefer something a little less piquant, you’ll be able to pick something for every taste. Make sure you take a look at Bloody Hell hot sauce – created on the Island, it comes in a suitably impressive glass skull.
Give it a lick
Not only are there some top producers here but Crave Ice Cream in Ventnor can boast the title of “Best ice cream parlour in the UK” following traveller feedback on TripAdvisor for 2018. This spot, run by husband and wife team Chris & Tracy, have an ever-changing menu of frosted treats, gluten-free options (including cones) and they even take requests by email if you’re planning on being in the vicinity.
Make sure to grab a scoop (or three!) and relax as you enjoy your food adventure on the beautiful Isle of Wight.
Book your ferry for your foodie adventure today.
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