Mild winters and long summers encourage a huge variety of crops to thrive, and sheep, cattle, chickens and turkeys prosper in its lush countryside. Crab and lobster are caught all along the Eastern coastline, from Ventnor to Bembridge, with local prawns available in season. Other treats from the surrounding sea include black bream, sea bass, sole, grey mullet, mackerel and plaice, although Island fishermen often land fish from the ocean’s elite too, including squid, skate and turbot. For those with foraging tendencies, wild garlic leaves, mushrooms and hedgerow fruits can be picked on woodland walks; or head to the beach to find razor clams, seaweed and samphire.
THE ISLE OF WIGHT’S SUNNY CLIMATE, FERTILE COUNTRYSIDE AND ABUNDANT SEASHORE MAKE IT SOMETHING OF A PARADISE FOR FARMERS, FISHERMEN AND FOODIES.
This bountiful island is particularly well known for its home-grown tomatoes, garlic and asparagus, which are sold at Farmer’s Markets and supermarkets all over the country. Isle of Wight cheese has also become a much sought-after gourmet delicacy, appearing on the menus of many world-class restaurants. Island cheesemaker Richard Hodgson uses milk from a local Guernsey herd to make three very different, but equally delicious, cheeses, which have garnered a slew of national and international awards. You can even find locally brewed beer, wine and vodka - in fact, it’s hard to think of a foodstuff that Island producers do not excel at!
Embracing the Island’s prolific food scene with enthusiasm, we hope that dining at The Royal will be the highlight of your stay with us. Founded on strong hospitality values, we always aim for superlative food, impeccable service, and to constantly exceed our guests expectations, especially when it comes to dining! The hotel owns the rare privilege of being one of only thirty establishments in the world to be listed in every Michelin Guide since it was first published in 1911, and was the first hotel on the Isle of Wight to be awarded a four star rating. We are also proud to have held the accolade of two rosettes for food excellence from the Automobile Association for over eighteen consecutive years - a remarkable feat for a restaurant of our size, and one we constantly strive to maintain.
Head chef Jon-Paul Charlo and his team enjoy taking the very best seasonal produce to create food that looks every bit as good as it tastes.
The spectacular Royal Afternoon Tea...
is as much a feast for the eyes as for the mouth, but every plate that comes out of The Royal kitchens is a visual delight. We regularly update our menus to reflect whatever ingredients are freshly available locally, but perennial favourites with our guests include the Gallybagger cheese soufflé with caramelised cauliflower, hand-dived scallops with foraged sea herbs, and our roast Sunday lunch. There are four beautiful dining venues at the hotel in which to enjoy our different menus. The grand surroundings of The Appuldurcombe Restaurant make a splendid setting for dinner, with its crystal chandeliers, parquet flooring and elegant decor.
A tasting menu (tabled’hote)...
typically features dishes like smoked haddock scotch egg, crab and brown shrimp gratin, tikka-spiced monkfish or sirloin of veal, vanilla custard with poached rhubarb or Earl Grey ice cream, with Isle of Wight cheeses and oat biscuits to finish. Wines and champagne can also be matched to each course if desired.
Lunch is available from midday...
in our comfortable Brasserie, or our bar where there's a roaring fire in the winter months, and French windows are open during the summer for diners to spill out onto our sunny terrace. Our set lunch menu might include a seafood risotto with langoustine bisque to start, followed by Isle of Wight beef, roast lamb or pan-fried pollock, and sticky toffee pudding or crème brûlée as dessert.
Or for a lighter lunch...
go for favourites like Ventnor Bay crab sandwiches, beer-battered fish and triple cooked chips, or roast chicken breast with mustard mash from the A La Carte menu. A delicious vegetarian option is our hand-rolled linguini with Isle of Wight mushrooms, blue cheese and broccoli.
Our popular Afternoon Tea...
can be enjoyed in the airy Colonial -style conservatory, or eaten outside on the Geranium Terrace or amongst our stunning gardens. The imaginative and accomplished patisseries, freshly baked scones and dainty finger sandwiches are still fit for royalty, long after Queen Victoria enjoyed this traditional treat at the hotel, and can be accompanied by a celebratory glass of champagne. In the summer, jam for our scones is made with strawberries from our own kitchen garden.
Whichever dining venue you choose, and whatever meal you join us for, you can be assured of the most outstanding experience both in the food you are served and the exemplary hospitality you will receive.
COME AND ENJOY THE ROYAL EXPERIENCE, AND TASTE THE VERY BEST THAT WE AND THE ISLE OF WIGHT CAN OFFER YOU.