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Thompson's chef Robert Thompson

Isle of Wight Food Scene

Over the last 5 years, the Isle of Wight’s food scene has dramatically changed. A lot of people will tell you that visiting the Isle of Wight is a bit like going back in time but the second you scratch the surface and look beyond its bygone charm you will find a treasure trove of fantastic producers, chefs and artisans making the Isle of Wight an incredible place to eat and drink in the UK, unknown to many, until now.

In a recent survey by Great British Chefs, 68% of committed UK foodies agreed that they travel domestically for great food. Great British Chefs along with top Island chef Robert Thompson from Thompson’s have uncovered the Island’s movers and shakers in the food scene with an in-depth guide to some of the favourite products and places leading brand Isle of Wight’s charge as a top UK foodie destination.

Foodie destination

The guide highlights how the Isle of Wight makes the most of its reputation as the sunniest place in the UK with the success story of The Tomato Stall and their incredible variety of tomatoes beyond the salad variety. The guide reveals important updates for the Isle of Wight Cheese Company who have launched their fifth product and continue to expand. There are mentions to The Green Barn Goats Cheese, Isle of Wight distillery and the surprising yet outstanding career of Island Baker’s John and Helen Fahy who continue to raise the quality of artisan bread. You will also find new places to visit such as The Smoking Lobster in Ventnor and read about the game-changing project by the Blue Marine Foundation who are attempting to bring back over 1 Million oysters to the Solent by 2021.

It's easy to get to the Isle of Wight

Robert says: ‘I’ve heard people ask whether you need a passport to visit the Island before – it’s crazy how isolated some think it is when it isn’t at all,’ he says. ‘It’s just twenty minutes from Portsmouth on the fast foot passenger boat or around forty-five minutes if you’re bringing your car from Portsmouth Gunwharf. The food scene here has really grown in the past few years, and a lot of chefs are now gunning for recognition in the Michelin Guide and things like that. The produce is incredible too – not many people know we grow great asparagus here, for instance, and the tomatoes are next level. There’s still a way to go, and I think in five years we’ll have become a really big food destination, a lot like the South West.’

What’s next for the Island’s food scene? We can’t wait to find out. Read the full guide here. You can also re-create Robert Thompson’s easy to make, crispy poached egg recipe inspired by Island produce on Great British Chefs here.

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  1. Yum Yum
    There are lots of really good places to eat now, I think the Restaurant at the Seaview Hotel deserves a mention for having not only a Michelin Bib Gourmand but 2 AA Rosettes. There's a delightful authentic Italian restaurant recommended by AA Gill call Michelangelos in Ryde - the service is lovely there. There's also The Taverners in Godshill - no foodie trip to the Isle should miss that one and for great sunsets and food then be sure to head over to the Little Gloster in Gurnard. Oh and if you can't wait to have dinner, afternoon tea at the Royal will definitely fill the gap :)

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