Eating at the source of the produce is a huge trend that is only seems to be growing for 2018. Here on the Isle of Wight, we are lucky to have several places that enable you to eat or drink where the produce is being ‘created’.
One of the early pioneers of this movement is The Garlic Farm. Here, you can enjoy a meal in the restaurant and café, with garlic playing the starring role.
Enjoy a seafood platter at The Best Dressed Crab, the floating café where you will find the freshest shellfish landed straight from the boat.
Set on a working dairy farm, Bluebells Café at Briddlesford Lodge Farm is a great place to enjoy produce that has travelled mere metres rather than miles. Whether it is the milk in your latte (choose from skimmed, semi-skimmed or whole); the butter on your crumpet; the cream on your scone or even the cheese on your cheese board (they have Gouda, Cheddar, Caerphilly, Feta-style and Halloumi style) you can see exactly where the produce has come from. Take a trip on one of the ‘Welly Wednesday’s’ during the holidays for a farm tour, including inside the dairy, where all the magic happens.
Quarr Abbey Tea Room has an abundance of produce growing in its own allotment, much of which is served up on the menu or available to purchase from the farm shop. Freshly laid eggs, honey, jams and chutneys are just some of what you can expect to find. It even has its own ale. Quarr Abbey Ale is made by local brewery Goddards and uses coriander and sweet gale grown in the abbey’s own gardens.
As well as eating, drinking at the source is also possible on the Island. Caffe Isola in Newport have recently expanded with a stunning café in a converted church lecture hall. This now allows a space large enough to roast their own Island Roasted Coffee on site, as well as offer barista training to the self-confessed coffee-geeks.
Adgestone Vineyard has an on-site café where you can enjoy a glass of the wine whilst looking over the vineyard towards the sea.
The latest addition is The Mermaid, which recently opened in Pondwell. Home to the Isle of Wight Distillery and the Mermaid Gin, Rock Sea Vodka and soon, whiskey.