When we visited the Isle of Wight over Easter we stayed in the amazing Dylan from the Isle of Wight campervan holidays exploring and making the most of all the family friendly activities the Island has to offer, and joining in with the special events and celebrations in place to celebrate the Island's 175th year of family fun – you can read all about everything that is going on here.
In this post I wanted to share some of the amazing places we ate and our favourite beach spots.
First off, because it was our favourite, was the lunch we had at The Cow Co Restaurant & Bar in Yamouth. This restaurant is located on the site of Tapnell Farm (which is a brilliant day out and you can read about here). The restaurant was busy with a fantastic atmosphere, it was light and airy and the menu left us so spoiled for choice we ordered and gorged leaving us very grateful there was a fantastic soft play next door for the girls whilst we recovered.
I had the baked camembert to start, Roy had the Ham Hock. They brought out some crudities and garlic bread for the girls too which they loved. We both ordered steak for main which were cooked to perfection to our differing tastes, but when I go back I will be ordering a burger. They looked like the tastiest burgers I have ever seen.
One night we ate at the Piano Café and Mezze bar in Freshwater Bay and ordered a couple of sharing boards that we all tucked into. The café was actually hosting a quiz night that night so it was packed and lively but the service was still really good. The mezze boards were plentiful and delicious and we always find this type of food a really easy way to introduce new flavours to the girls.
One evening we went to The Waterfront, Totland Bay just for a drink. We arrived just as the sun was setting over the water and it was incredibly beautiful. The staff were so kind to the girls - we forgot to take a bottle for Penny and they brought over warm milk in a glass with some colouring bits and bobs and a little biscuit for her. There was loads of space for Penny to roam, wifi for some Peppa Pig so Roy and I could have a glass of vino together uninterrupted, and friendly staff. We liked it so much we booked in for dinner the next night and reserved a window table perfect for seeing the sun set over the water again.
We had afternoon tea at Marconi’s at The Needles. I needed a hot sweet cup of tea following our adventures on the chairlift and then Penny slipping and cutting her lip open. Bella’s hot chocolate was massive and topped with all the goodies, and again there was no hesitation bringing Penny some warm milk and a straw which they brought straight away before the rest of order was ready as they could see was still very teary following her fall.
I would also recommend the Bandstand Restaurant overlooking the beautiful Sandown Bay. The restoration of the original bandstand is charming, the views are lovely and the food is yummy. The loaded fries were delicious!
Just before we caught the ferry we had a big fat breakfast at the The Fishbourne in Ryde. Apart from the fact they had run out of cups so served us our coffee in paper ones, the full English was just the ticket before we packed up and headed home. The waitress didn’t even blink when we requested breakfast variations for the little ones that weren’t on the menu either.
They were our favourites and I think it’s safe to say we did eat out more than we planned because of the couple of rainy days we had ruling out any camp side BBQ’s next to Dylan. (not ruling out for the hard core campers surrounding us I have to say… but for the novices who didn’t want to get wet it certainly did) but as eating out is one of my favourite things to do I wasn’t disappointed, especially as every place we stepped foot into cheerily welcomed us even with the rambunctious toddler.
A lot of the places above we picked because they were either beach side or had been recommended because of the views. The isle of Wight is certainly not short of beautiful beaches – with 57 miles of varied coastlines and miles upon miles of award winning sand and shingle beaches, rugged cliffs, hidden coves and clear waters. Exploring the beaches was one of many things we loved about the Isle of Wight.
Our favourite was probably Shanklin, not just because of the beautiful beaches, but because we also visited Old Town Shanklin which is like a little village from a fairytail. Candyfloss shops, strawberry teahouses and oink cottages. It was gorgeous. Shanklin beach itself is a perfect bucket and spade spot with miles of golden sand.
Our visit to The Needles and our time at the bottom following our chairlift down may have been fleeting (as it was pretty chilly) but the couple of hours we spent enjoying the fun of the pier made this another favourite (until Penny slipped, cut her lip and aged me by 10 years).
I would also recommend Sandown and Ventnor, all with a great selection of cafés and shops and a family friendly vibe.
We stumbled across so many other gorgeous viewpoints, coastal walks and places to breathe in the sea air but the names got a bit confused. Safe to say we didn’t spend any longer than 10 minutes driving along the coast before I asked Roy to pull Dylan over so I could take a few more pictures. The Isle of Wight is perfectly petite, meaning that you never have to drive very far at all before you can spy coastlines and water again.
If you didn’t catch our last post, this shares all about the many family friendly activities you can do on the island which you can read here, and our last Isle of Wight post will be all about our thoughts on Dylan and our first campervan holiday experience.