Tumbling down… Get the drinks in
Working your way down ‘the strip’ – as Union Street’s rich offering of local pubs and bars is affectionately known by locals – just a short walk from the top of the hill on the left, you will come across the Blacksheep Bar & Club Lounge. Here you will find a busy but welcoming atmosphere with a nice outside seating area, nestled between the buildings. Known for its cocktails and varied drinks list, on Friday and Saturday nights they offer 2 for 1 on cocktails between 5-8pm making it an ideal place to start your evening, before heading down the hill to the next stop.
Blacksheep Bar & Club Lounge
If you are after something to please all of your group, then Artisan Bar & Kitchen, Sat slap bang in the middle of the Union Street, is a great bet. With its elegant interior featuring stylish reclaimed materials, there’s a definite relaxed and welcoming vibe. They offer a wide range of high quality beers on draught, bottled craft beers, a large list of quality wines, as well as a huge range of spirits and liqueurs. Upstairs you will find their glamorously decadent gin and cocktail lounge, where at the weekends you’ll be greeted by their resident mixologist who’ll be serving you from a selection of over 80 gins and a range of cocktails, including bespoke creations as well as the classics. The Kitchen is open until 9pm if you fancy a bite to eat, offering relaxed but opulent dining with a great range of small plates and sharing platters for a tapas style affair.
Artisan Bar & Kitchen
Harry’s Bar at the Royal Esplanade Hotel is classically styled – reminiscent of the golden age of Bogarde and Casablanca. Over the scooter weekend (as with everywhere in Ryde) it will be bustling with a fun friendly atmosphere. They have a full cocktail bar offering a range of traditional cocktails including their famous Bellini. The bar also has a separate ‘snug’ room – where you can relax with friends. A great place to get an evening drink or two before heading over to The Balcony Bars for the main Scooter Rally entertainment.
Harry’s Bar at the Royal Esplanade Hotel
The specials… Where to line the stomach
Ryde Pier Café itself may be small, but it is certainly mighty and with it’s large outside seating area, it’s the perfect place to soak up the action of the rally while enjoying something from their menu. You’ll find them serving food all-day (weather permitting but the forecast is looking good so far ?) enjoy a range of super tasty breakfast, lunch and dinner options as well as ice-cream – because what beachside café would complete without it? If all that is not enough they are also licensed, meaning you can kick back with a beer or a nice glass of wine. A lot of the scooters congregate on the green opposite, making it an excellent place to enjoy the array of classics in their multi-coloured glory.
Ryde Pier Café
Fish’n’chips on the seawall is a right of passage for any trip to the seaside. The Codfather serves up an extensive traditional seaside ‘chippy’ menu with an ever-changing offering of extra battered goodies with vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options available too. Conveniently located opposite the bus station and the pier, grab your food before heading down, enjoy them by the beach and marvel at the iconic view of the golden sands stretching down to Appley.
For more of a sit down affair, Ristorante Michelangelo is a great choice – an authentic family-run Italian restaurant perched at the bottom of Union Street, with views out to the pier and Portsmouth beyond. Expect a mouthwatering menu featuring classic dishes, served in the true Italian style with a delicious range of pizza and tantalising pasta dishes as well as, of course, a great selection of Italian wines available to. In the evenings it’s a smarter atmosphere, we know you Mod’s like to dress snappy, so don your glad rags for a special meal here before you head out for the evening entertainment.
Succumb to the beat surrender… Dance the evenings away
The official entertainment for the Isle of Wight Scooter Rally is taking place at The Balcony Bars on Ryde Esplanade, hosting live music and DJs from 8pm each evening. Across the weekend there will be a programme of live music and DJs playing mod and northern soul as well as 80s mod revival classics. Friday night will see headliners mod revival act The Style Councillors acclaimed Style Council Tribute act. Northern soul band The Signatures are billed on Saturday playing all the Northern Soul classics, and then lastly, on the Sunday music from indie/mod/soul band The Sha La La’s. Get suited and booted to have a dance to iconic mod, northern soul, motown, r&b and 80s mod revival classics. Tickets are £12.50 per evening event or £32.50 for the whole weekend.
The Balcony Bars
On the Saturday night make sure you head to the Wight Rock, a great place to get your dance on and get in the party atmosphere. There’ll be a Scooter Rally themed soundtrack playing 60s, northern soul and mod classics for you to enjoy. Located just down the steps on the corner of Lind Street, the basement bar is known for its intimate charm with low ceilings and cool booths to relax in. Doors are open from 7.30pm until late and it’s free to get in!
Boiler Room from Painless Parties take-over Kasbah on Friday night with their alternative party vibe – dubbed a tattooed and pierced, adrenaline fueled, musical roller-coaster. Resident DJ Nick Painless will be spinning a selection of soul, funk, motown, ska, 2 tone and rock ‘n’ roll. There will be no ‘Ibiza Anthems’, just pure unadulterated music that you can dance to from the likes of Edwin Star, The Specials, Marvin Gaye, Isley Brothers, Martha Reeves, Bad Manners, The Beat, Rolling Stones, The Contours, James Brown, Wild Cherry and many more. Proceedings start at 9pm and it’s free entry.