Barney and Chris recommend . . .
With so much to choose from and sometimes not enough days, we thought it might be helpful to share with our visitors some of our favourite places. We regularly take part in all of the following activities and visit the recommended places and cafes/pubs/restaurants on our days off. We have started close to home and then moved further afield……
SWIMMING AT FRESHWATER BAY
- Walk or cycle from the Studio Apartment
- Use the steps for ease of entry if there is a swell
- Join the locals in the mornings and evenings for this invigorating exercise
+ on your doorstep
+ invigorating way to start the day
+ support the local lifeboat
- not advised in a big sea or swell
WATCHING THE SUNSET AT TOTLAND BAY
- Take your own picnic/BBQ
- Ideal for swimming/canoeing ( Mon eve swimming club practise)
- Fish & Chips from Totland Pier Café
- The Waterfront offers a safe menu selection
- Totland Bay is also good for swimming especially at high tide
+ Great for wheelchair access
+ Good fishing
BREAKFAST AT THE PIANO
- walk from the Studio Apartment
- turn right at Freshwater Bay along the Alum Bay Road
- Sit outside and watch the World go by
- Good range of breakfasts including Full English
- They also do really good lunches Wednesday to Sunday and evening meals Thursday to Saturday
+ Chilled out atmosphere
+ Good for breakfast, lunch and dinner
+ OK for kids and dogs
- Odd opening times
- Can be a bit echoy inside when it's busy
EATING AT THE RED LION, FRESHWATER OLD VILLAGE
Wonderful pub food in an atmospheric setting
- Best Pub Food Award many times
- Walk/Cycle from the Studio Apartment
- Best to always book as very popular
+ Great portions
+ Overseas visitors love its quirky Britishness
- Take a torch if walking as Causeway is a dark country lane
- Not brill for kids, though there is plenty of space outside
CREAM TEAS AT THE WARREN TEA ROOMS
Traditional tea rooms at the foot of Tennyson Down
- A fantastic afternoon's walk out towards The Needles
- Has won many awards for its cream teas
- Newly opened gift shop
- You can catch the Needles Cruiser home
+ All produce home-made and fresh
+ Cream teas a must
- Choose a good day as the walk is quite exposed
- Closed on Mondays
LOCAL HISTORY AT DIMBOLA TEAM ROOMS
Iconic photographic museum with fantastic exhibitions only 15 minutes from the Apartment
- Regular visiting displays
- Pleasant tea rooms
- Wide range of creative courses offered
+ Atmospheric period setting with world-class exhibitors e.g. Koo Stark, David Bailey
+ Reasonably-priced themed evenings/open Mic
+ IOW Festival display and memorabilia incl. Jimi Hendrix Statue
- No regular evening opening
- Limited vegetarian menu
OFF THE RAILS CAFÉ
Good cafe fayre at a genuine, restored railway station a 45 minute walk along the river path in Yarmouth.
- A nice out and return walk or cycle from the Studio Apartment
- Really interesting building and great decore
- Close to Yarmouth town
+ Good in wet weather
+ Good parking
+ Great start/finishing point for the Yarmouth circular walk/cycle route
CAPTAINS CABIN, COLWELL
Beach side cafe on the slipway at Colwell Bay
+ Under new enthusiastic ownership
+ Straight off the beach
+ Good for children and disabled access to beach
- Make sure you have a parking ticket
- Crowded in the school holidays
A good collection of eateries for all pockets from the michelin star, George Hotel ( lunches are quite reasonable) to gastro pubs, restaurants and cafes.
- Gossips Cafe on the pier is cheap and cheerful with fast service and great views.
- The Blue Crab is good for sea food and the Foresters has a great gallery/local arts shop underneath it.
- There is also a local Deli, Chocolatiere and some great IOW ice cream from Minghellas, plus a great chandlery, craft and gift shops to peruse.
+ A great walk/cycle from the Studio Apartment
+ Lots to see and do from forts, shopping or just boat watching
+ departure point for boat trips to Needles, Lymington & Needles cruiser Bus dept
+ Old Gaffers Festival, Carnival days are particular highlights
- Avoid the place when a large number of coaches have arrived
- Parking tickets are a must – very vigilant car park attendants!
Brook: The Sun Inn, Hulverstone Good after a stroll over the downs with great sunset views
Brighstone: Seven - sit out on their deck after a stroll around this pretty village, popular with cyclists and walkers as a good stopping point
Ventnor: Is becoming a bit of a ‘foodie’mecca: Top of the list is The Hamborough Hotel, The Royal, but there are lots to choose from along the sea front including Tapas, The Met Bar, Gastro pubs and the Seafood Cafes, The Spyglass Inn is also very popular.
Ventnor Botanic Gardens: a wonderful free venue ( at the moment) for all you plant lovers. The Café is under new stewardship from the folks up at The Royal
Steephill Cove: Crab sandwiches a must, approach through Ventnor Botanic Gardens, next to the Cricket club. Good food and views rewards the steep climb down. The Boathouse for a more quirky laid back vibe
Bonchurch:The Pond Café. Eat here after exploring this quintessential Victorian wonderland of a village. Mega popular so book!
Godshill: Racked out with ye olde tea shoppes but our stand out favourite is The Taverners, fresh seasonal inspired menu with creative re-workings of British specialities
Newport: Quay Arts Café, arts themed café by the Quay with a great shop, galleries and creative atmosphere. Good food too! Lugleys in Lugley street is another favourite. Great courtyard garden. Olivos serves reasonably priced, Mediterranean style food with great service and outdoor seating in the square for those warm days. Further out of town is the newly opened Boundary Restaurant at Seaclose Cricket Ground. Good food at a reasonable price, exceptional professional service and wonderful cricketing pictures with views over the grounds.
Wootton: Bluebells Café. An absolute peach of a place. On a working farm with its own farmshop – the best in island, local, fresh produce and a great creative menu. One of our favourites.
Cowes: As you might expect of the yachting capital of the IOW there is loads of choice here. Thai, Indian, Chinese, Italian, contemporary – have a stroll and take your pick.
Gurnard: we prefer the less hectic pace of Gurnard and enjoy the Boathouse by the Dinghy Club, The Woodvale for traditional pub grub and the newly opened Little Gloster which is attracting attention at the moment.