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Drink, Drink, Drink and be Merry
Pubs in Isle of Wight in general
Member Name: newby2
Pubs in Isle of Wight in general
Advantages: Good food, drink and atmosphere
Pubs on the Isle of Wight in General....
Having grown up on the Isle of Wight and now being in my mid twenties, I should think I have a good knowledge on the pubs across the island. Lately however I am somewhat out of the scene having had a child makes afternoon drinking in the pubs a thing of the past. However I do still have the occasional night out and when this happens I try to have at least one drink in as many different pubs as possible!!
There are many different sorts of pubs on the Island, depending on what you are wanting, to have a nice family meal with the kids, a nice drink outside in the summer or a heavy drinking session, there literally are pubs to suit most needs.
Sandown has a wide variety of pubs and many fit all of the above criteria. The Caulkheads, Avenue Road, is the most popular pub in Sandown and this is most certainly a family style pub. It has an indoor large ball play area for the little ones and lots to do for the kids outside in the large garden. They serve food all day everyday and have a rather extensive menu for both adults and children. The prices are fairly reasonable though there are cheaper places to drink in Sandown but these places would not have the children's facilities that The Caulkheads does.
Other public houses in Sandown include "The Tap", Avenue Road, where you can have a really good weekend as they usually have special party nights where all different sorts of live music will be played. The drinks are cheaper in here than most places in Sandown and the atmosphere, although a little dodgy at times, makes for a good evening. You will find other pubs which are more off the beaten track which although are good for locals are not so great for tourists.
Flanagan's which is located on Pier Street has wonderful views in the summer (in the winter too but frost bite might set in if you were to sit out in the outer area). The pub serves good food and drinks at a reasonable price although this pub is not really suitable for families.
You would also get a rather good drink in the relaxed and slightly upper class feeling that "The Kings" wine bar has. In the summer there are truly wonderful views from the balcony which has a great seating area. The winter is lovely in the bar too when they have the open fires going and you are able to snuggle up on the oversized sofas or indeed watch the ships pass by from the large conservatory windows. The drinks are slightly higher priced in here but you are most likely paying for the great atmosphere and this place has this by the bucket load.
Moving away from the Sandown area and on to the next best place for pubs, in my opinion, which is the costal town of Ryde. There is a great nightlife scene here (well great for the island) and the place really sees a lot of action on a Friday or Saturday night. There are many pubs scattered all the way down the main "Union Street". None of the pubs in the main area I would say are for families but the one that comes closest for being suitable for a family is Weatherspoons. Most towns have one of these it seems but they do severe both cheap food and drink. I have tried lots of the meals from Weatherspoons and have never been disappointed.
"The Crown Inn" is a rather large pub with rooms to stay in and this is where most of the drinking begins on a night out in Ryde. The drinks are priced reasonably and the atmosphere is usually pretty good. There is a small courtyard out the back or they do have a few tables and chairs positioned outside the front in the summer. The music is okay but because this is usually a place to start the atmosphere is pretty mellowed.
There are a fair few "rough" pubs in Ryde which have a bad reputation for fights and general rowdiness of a weekend, these I try to stay well clear of because I am merely out to have a good night. "The Royal Squadron" is one of those with a bad reputation but because of this I have stayed well clear and cannot deny or confirm these allegations!!!
However "Liquid Lounge" has a brilliant atmosphere and is the last pub I usually go into before heading off to a night club. They have a good sized dance floor and drinks at a reasonable price. There is not much seating in this bar though and it borders on being a club itself as it is open until the early hours of the morning.
It would take me ages to work my way all over the Island naming al the pubs in each village because there are so many different pubs in each town. However there are so really good ones that I would often go to have a meal on a Sunday. The Wight Mouse Inn is particularly good and its location in Chale is rather out of the way but well worth the trip. This is a family pub which welcomes children and has an outside area where they have built a outhouse type building especially for the kids. The prices are reasonable and the food is very tasty.
Shanklin has a rather nice pub located down in the old village called "The Crab" which although not overly aimed at families with children is still a place to take the family for a good meal at a good price. This is more of an eating pub rather than a drinking pub.
Bembridge has a couple of nice places to eat and they are "The Windmill" where you could also rent a room for a week or two. This is a more of an upper class place to eat and although it is good for a drink or two, the prices are rather steep. It has all been refurbished in the last few years and has now been done up to a rather high spec and feels very nice to sit either inside or outside. The other good pub/restaurant is "The Crab and Lobster" and this is a pub which specialises in sea food fresh from the boats in Bembridge (Bembridge is a harbour village). The prices in here are again a little steeper but the atmosphere is great and although not overly child friendly does except children and cater for them pretty well.
Newport which is the main town on the Isle of Wight has a fair few pubs but none that I find particularly brilliant or enjoyable. The best of a bad bunch is probably Joe Daflos if you are wanting a more sophisticated bite to eat and glass of wine. No children allowed in here but I think it suits the place well. Another place is "The Hogs Head" which really comes alive at the weekend with good music and a lively atmosphere. Generally however I don't really spend much time in Newport either drinking on a weekend or taking the family out for lunch as I feel there are far better places to go.
So to conclude, there are many public houses on the Isle of Wight offering a great range of things. From good music to great food there is pretty much something for everyone's different tastes. There are pubs which are cheaper and some which you pay that little bit more for because of the great atmosphere or surroundings but this is I expect the same as most areas around the country. I do however think living on the Island is brilliant because you have all these different areas so close to you and never have to travel very far. Plus I feel safe enough to walk home from a night out and not have to worry too much about being mugged or things like that.
The Islands pubs are pretty good and although may not be up to mainland standard are just what we need here and severe their purpose well. A 5 star rating is very fitting for the standard of pubs in general across the Isle of Wight.
Summary: worth a visit
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