Whether it be kings and queens or the rock royalty who have graced our shores over the past 50 years, the Isle of Wight is not short of historic sites.

Whatever part of our Island’s story takes your fancy, there is a place you can Say Yes to. Get ready to embark on a scrumptious adventure filled with mouthwatering dishes and fascinating stories that will transport you back in time. From hearty pub grub to seaside seafood delights, come and explore the Island's rich gastronomic heritage.

The George Hotel, Yarmouth

Historic Hotel Dining on the Isle of Wight

If you like a little fine dining on your holiday, with a sprig of history tossed into the recipe, then some of the Isle of Wight’s best hotels have some of the finest stories of a rich heritage.

For instance, The George Hotel, in Yarmouth, was in recent years co-owned by one member of Dire Straits but look further back in time and you will find this 17th Century townhouse was once home to Isle of Wight governor Sir Robert Holmes, who often entertained King Charles II overlooking The Solent. Today it is renowned for its great cuisine and lovely Italianate gardens with views to the mainland.

Or, how about the Royal Hotel, in Ventnor. This haute cuisine establishment was once a favourite spot of Queen Victoria when she visited her beloved Isle of Wight and crowned head of Europe have stayed in the sun-kissed south facing hotel, built in 1832.

If you are staying in Ryde, then the Ryde Castle Hotel offers great dining overlooking The Solent. Although the current building might not be the Tudor castle that once stood on the site, it is nonetheless interesting as a former private home constructed nearly 200 years ago.

Albert Cottage, East Cowes

Historic restaurants on the Isle of Wight

Off The Rails in Yarmouth gives you a real taste of the golden age of steam trains. Housed in the original Yarmouth Station on what was the Newport to Freshwater line, it has been transformed into a top-class eating establishment while never losing a sense of where it came from. From the railway-style signage to the choo-choo themed treats on offer, train fans will have a historically great time here.

The term God’s Providence House can be found around the country (it means a house spared from the Plague) but in Newport, a well-loved Isle of Wight restaurant can be found in the local version. The site was first built on in 1588 and a few remnants of the original remain. The bakery there was destroyed by fire in 1699 but rebuilt to resemble what is there today. Hearty home-cooked meals, breakfasts and afternoon teas can all be taken inside or outside, overlooking Newport Minster.

If you are looking to dine at a restaurant with real royal pedigree, then look no further than Albert Cottage in East Cowes. This former residence of Princess Beatrice, Queen Victoria’s youngest daughter, adjoins the Queen’s favourite residence, Osborne House. Albert Cottage has two dining rooms, one of which contains amazing portraits of Victoria and Albert, and also operates as a hotel and events venue.

Fisherman's Cottage, Shanklin

Historic pubs on the Isle of Wight

One thing the Isle of Wight is not short of is very, very old pubs.

We can’t quite claim to have the oldest inn in the country but some date back more than 500 years!

Number one in the Island’s chart of historic hostelries has to be the White Horse Inn in the charming village of Whitwell. What today is a well-loved dining pub with great real ales and a kids’ play area, has been around in many guises for nearly 600 years and even its name is one of the oldest pub names in England.

Running it a close second is Newport’s The Castle Inn. This cosy pub in the heart of the county town has been a meeting place and watering hole since at least 1550. Its biggest (and some say tallest) story is that somewhere hidden in those ancient walls is the start of a secret tunnel leading to Carisbrooke Castle. True or not, you get the feeling of a real old-fashioned pub at The Castle Inn.

Also in the county town is J. D. Wetherspoons’ Man In The Moon. A converted 19th century church that still shows its origins. In between being a place of worship and a drinking hole, it also had a spell as a nightclub, cheekily called Temptation!

Away from Newport, there are some lovely pubs with stories to tell.

Head to The Anchor in Cowes and you will be standing in the spot where royal princes William and Harry drank the night away at their cousin Peter Phillips’s stag night in 2008, making national headlines as the heirs to the throne let their hair down.

Down in the deep south of the Isle of Wight, there are some equally historic pubs. Shanklin’s Fisherman’s Cottage is right on the beach and dates from the 1800s, while Ventnor’s Volunteer Inn is similarly ancient and is definitely one of the smallest pubs you will have been in!

Osborne House, East Cowes

Historic tea rooms on the Isle of Wight

As we have now established, the Isle of Wight has powerful royal links, but none are stronger than at Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s Italianate villa in East Cowes. Here you can take tea in the house itself or outside on the terrace. Nothing could be more perfect.

If you want to step further back in history then a slice of cake and a cuppa in the hallowed tea room of Carisbrooke Castle could be right up your royal street. It was here that King Charles I was held before being transported to London for execution by the Roundhead forces.

And delving even deeper into the Isle of Wight history books. How about breaking bread in Brading Roman Villa and its Forum Café?

Last but not least in our whistle-stop tour of Isle of Wight historic tearooms, it is well worth visiting Dimbola Lodge, the one-time home of Victorian pioneer photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. Early-days paparazzo photographed all the beautiful people of the age, including near neighbour Alfred Lord Tennyson, who lived at Farringford. These days, the story of the iconic 1970 Isle of Wight Festival, which saw Jimi Hendrix and The Who play at nearby Afton Down, is told in the museum as well.

How to get to the Isle of Wight

Getting Here

Whatever you decide to do and however you’re travelling, it couldn’t be easier to get to the Isle of Wight via LymingtonSouthamptonSouthsea or Portsmouth. There are regular rail connections to the south coast via SWR.

Travelling as a foot passenger is simple due to our excellent transport links with trains, buses, foot passenger ferries and our hovercraft service.