In FoodIdeas

The Isle of Wight is renowned for local produce and its vibrant food and drink scene. From quaint coastal villages to bustling towns, the Island offers an array of dining experiences and gastronomic delights that can be found in all manner of eateries.

In this blog, we're shining the spotlight on restaurants and hotels - read on to discover your new favourite fine-dining favourite...

Heron restaurant, in Ryde, Isle of Wight

North Wight

The north coast of the Island covers towns including Ryde and the historic sailing town of Cowes, as well as the pretty villages of Seaview and Wootton.

Heron, in Ryde and a new soon-to-be open second restaurant in Cowes, is the brainchild of chef and owner Alex and head chef Liam. They are passionate about crafting memorable dining experiences with the freshest and finest ingredients. Offering a menu that is ever-evolving to reflect the changing seasons and the offerings of the Island’s local producers, the Ryde restaurant proudly holds two AA Rosettes and is a firm favourite on the foodie map.

The Aquitania Restaurant at The Seaview Hotel & Restaurant is a real hidden gem nestled within the quaint village of Seaview. This boutique hotel restaurant prides itself on its commitment to sustainability, with a menu that showcases the best of seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. Diners can enjoy freshly caught seafood straight from the nearby shores, alongside inventive vegetarian dishes and decadent desserts. With its laid-back coastal ambience and warm hospitality, dining at The Seaview Hotel is a memorable experience.

Number 3 is a local favourite. Hidden away in a quiet corner in Cowes Old Town, the intimate restaurant serves up a simple yet classic menu of locally caught seafood, fresh fish, meat and game, as well as some of the most delicious desserts in Cowes.

Staying in Cowes, be sure to visit the Smoking Lobster Brasserie at Foresters Hall, and credited in the 2024 Michelin Guide, who said 'this simply styled restaurant with a hint of the rustic about it. While not pitched as a seafood restaurant, the dishes showcasing locally caught fish are the way to go, as options like BBQ monkfish with harissa are finely crafted and bursting with both colour and flavour.

The setting of The Brasserie at the Lakeside Park Hotel is truly special with 17 acres of countryside and 20 acres of lake to enjoy. The restaurant overlooks the picturesque lake and benefits from an open environment with contemporary decor providing a unique space to enjoy relaxed dining with top-quality cuisine using seasonal local produce. Al Fresco dining on the outside elevated decks is a highlight during the summer months.

The Duck, situated in front of a picturesque canoe lake with resident swans, serves up uncomplicated, yet exceptional food and drink in an elegant and relaxed atmosphere. The ever-changing menu is designed by owner and Head Chef Charlie Bartlett and is inspired by local Isle of Wight produce through the micro-seasons, from coast to country and offers an eclectic mix of modern British comfort food and exciting international creations.

Smoking Lobster in Ventnor, Isle of Wight

South Wight

Covering Ventnor and the surrounds, dining here makes the most of the proximity to the sea and stunning unique microclimate that this seaside town enjoys. 

The Smoking Lobster in Ventnor first opened in 2015 and has fast become a favourite with locals and visitors alike. Making the most of its beachfront location, with stunning panoramic views and light airey decor, it's the perfect place for any occasion.

The menu has a pan-Asian influence, using local ingredients where possible, such as exquisite local lobster and wild sea bass. Enjoy the range of Asian-inspired cocktails as well as many of the classics. The extensive wine list has been carefully selected and includes quality sakes alongside new and old-world reds, whites and, of course, fizz.

Recognised in the Michelin Guide, The Hambrough Restaurant is a must-visit spot. Perched high above the fishing harbour in Ventnor, it has views to die for. Multi-award-winning Executive Chef Matthew Tomkinson’s classical training features in the modern British and wholly seasonal menu, which showcases the fantastic Island produce right on the doorstep.

For those seeking a truly indulgent dining experience, The Geranium Restaurant at The Royal Hotel offers a culinary journey fit for royalty. Set within a Victorian-era hotel overlooking Ventnor Bay, the award-winning restaurant combines elegant surroundings with exquisite cuisine. The menu features innovative dishes that celebrate the Island's rich culinary heritage and is a favourite with food critics, having achieved two AA Rosettes for over 25 consecutive years. 

The Terrace Rooms & Wine occupies an enviable spot overlooking Ventnor Harbour and beach. From Thursday to Sunday, they serve hot soups, toasties, cheese, breads, hummus & charcuterie to enjoy alongside a glass or bottle. From October to March, Head Chef Tom cooks a unique multi-course set menu on Friday and Saturday in the Wine Room. Dinner is a social affair with all diners eating together around the wine room table with menus created using unique, small-batch Isle of Wight produce. Enjoy a  wine pairing to match the dishes, or choose from the 700+ bottle cellar.

The Bistro, situated in Ventnor town just yards from the cascade gardens and the seafront is an intimate restaurant with a relaxed, contemporary atmosphere. The open kitchen adds to the experience, as you watch the chef prepare and cook your meal. Using the best of locally sourced seasonal produce and ingredients, the food is cooked fresh and can be adapted to suit specific dietary requirements. There are daily specials, including vegetarian dishes and locally caught fish. 

True Food Kitchen, Ventnor is situated in the heart of the Victorian town and is considered as one of the Isle of Wight’s most prestigious food destinations. The food menu is a high-class affair of locally sourced seafood, meats and vegetables and maximalist flavours that appeal to all senses. With a combination of Korean, Japanese, and Thai dishes with meat, vegetarian and vegan options, there is something to suit all tastebuds. 

Food being prepared at The Garlic Farm, Isle of Wight

East Wight

The picturesque east of the Island covers towns including Sandown and Shanklin, as well as villages such as St Helens, Bembridge and Newchurch. 

Established in 1998, Ganders is a family business with a small and friendly team. The restaurant is in an idyllic setting overlooking St Helens Green, just a ten-minute walk from Bembridge Harbour and St Helens Duver. The restaurant is open for lunch and evening meals Tuesday through to Sunday, serving popular traditional roasts on a Sunday. The à la Carte menu is varied and the daily specials board places an emphasis on seasonal, local produce and you can finish the evening with a tasty selection of homemade desserts 

The award-winning Garlic Farm Restaurant offers an array of gourmet dishes all with a good hint of garlic and uses locally sourced ingredients wherever possible. You’ll often Garlic Farm's very own reared highland beef used in delicious dishes too. As well as the food, the restaurant is a great spot for nature watching and it is not uncommon to see a family of red squirrels darting back and forth collecting nuts. Also, chickens, peacocks, guinea fowl, doves and Eric the dog usually make an appearance too! 

Bowl of food at The Hut at Colwell Bay, Isle of Wight

West Wight

The ruggard and unspoilt west coast of the Island boats more than its fair share of fine dining options, across Freshwater, Yarmouth and Colwell. 

The George Hotel & Restaurant is situated in the heart of the historic market town of Yarmouth. Housed within an elegant building dating back to the 17th century, this restaurant exudes old-world charm. Boasting uninterrupted views of The Solent, diners are treated tounfussy yet beautifully crafted dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients.Make the most of the warmer months with a table  at the Beach kitchen serving delicious pizza’s, a glass of rose whilst listening to some tunes from the resident DJ.

One of the Island’s most iconic restaurants, The Hut located on the north-west coast of the Isle of Wight at Colwell Bay, positioned just beyond the sea wall and a stones throw from the beach, providing uninterrupted and stunning sea views. The team deliver quality dishes using the best and freshest local and regional produce available as well as a lively atmosphere, perfect for celebrations. You’ll find a varied plant based menu too, as well as a children's menu providing a variety of dishes for picky eaters. 

Located between Yarmouth Harbour and Yarmouth Castle with views out across The Solent, The Terrace is a fun, friendly restaurant with great service and excellent dining. Listed in the Michelin Guide and recommended by The Good Food Guide, The Sunday Times, Forbes and The Guardian, the popular restaurant is open seven days a week, all year round. In spring and summer you can be spontaneous with the no-bookings Castle Terrace offering small plates of seafood and drinks, while in the off season you can enjoy private dining in one of the three clear and heated shelters.

Hewitts Restaurant, Isle of Wight

Central Wight

The heart of the Island, and where all roads lead to, Newport offers an array of dining options for all tastes.

Hewitts has gained a well-deserved reputation for great food in a lovely setting in the heart of Newport Town Centre. The menu is simple and classic, offering few choices so you can guarantee the taste and freshness of all dishes. On warmer days, you can sit in the secret walled garden, a true oasis from the hustle and bustle of the town. 

Burrs has to be one of the Island’s best kept secrets. Tucked away in the backstreets of Newport, Burrs has hosted many a visitors, including some Royal ones! Established in 1997, Burrs Restaurant has built up an excellent reputation for good locally sourced food and attentive service. Everything is made on-site, from the homemade bread and butter, to the chocolate fudge with your coffee. With crisp white linen and a wide range of culinary dishes, it makes the perfect relaxed fine dining experience.

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