By Michael Melis
One Saturday morning a few weeks ago, the sun was shining so we hopped on a train from London Waterloo to Portsmouth and just 3 hours, one catamaran, a vintage London Underground train journey and a stunning coastal walk later, we were enjoying a gorgeous alfresco lunch on the Isle of Wight, at the Pond Café in Bonchurch – our favourite new gastro-find of the season!
Set in the picturesque village of Bonchurch, this gorgeous little restaurant is owned by chef Robert Thompson, who also runs the Isle of Wight’s only Michelin starred restaurant, the Hamrough, in nearby Ventnor. Opposite the village pond, you couldn’t get a lovelier setting for a sunny autumnal lunch. Or you could stay for a romantic dinner too. And for all you serious foodies out there, Robert also hosts some really cool events here. Like a fantastic pasta-making experience, including lunch (10 October; £30 per person) or a wine-tasting evening, including dinner and Prosecco; £45 per person)
But if, like us, you just fancy getting away from it all for a lovely day out and a fabulous lunch, this is where you need to be. With beautiful fresh produce, local seafood, fresh pasta dishes, risottos, amazing cheeses and puddings, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Oh, and did we mention the best rosé wine we’ve tasted in ages (the Cape Bleue)?
Basically, I guess what we’re trying to say is, you need to book a table now! But shhhh – don’t tell the whole world about it. Let’s just keep it our little secret. Cos this really is a hidden gem we’d rather keep to ourselves!