Tucked away in Shanklin, the Auckland House Hotel is a real hidden gem amidst a row of traditional seaside hotels and B&Bs.
With a range of 25 en-suite bedrooms, the hotel also has a bright, modern onsite restaurant – The Table – serving breakfast, lunch and delicious three-course suppers using the finest locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. The decor is elegant yet opulent (extra points given for comfy chairs), with a stylish bar and outside area to enjoy when the weather is warmer.
Open to both residents and non-residents, we were lucky enough to be invited along to sample their dinner menu. Although small, the menu is perfectly formed and is packed full of modern British meals with an inventive twist using Island produce where possible, and is accompanied by an extensive wine menu.
After ordering our starters and main courses, we were brought a plate of warm homemade bread, complete with a choice of both lightly whipped salted butter and vivid green parsley oil with balsamic vinegar.
To start, we ordered the mackerel with beetroot mooli and wasabi, and the monkfish with chorizo, succotash and pickled mushrooms.
Main course we sampled the pork belly, with red cabbage, apple and squash – which was finished with some lighter-than-air pork crackling and drizzled with a pork jus causing it to audibly snap and crackle! We also had to try the Auckland Burger with IOW Tomato, foie gras, horseradish cream and chips.
Never ones to shy away from overindulging in order to give our readers a full description, we couldn’t resist delving into the dessert menu and ordered the hazelnut parfait with gingerbread ice cream and the sticky toffee pudding, which came with a pool of caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.
We then finished off with a coffee, which was delivered with a trio of homemade petit fours – a fruity flapjack, a pineapple polenta cake, and our personal favourite, a Halloween themed Batman logo shaped apple and cinnamon shortbread.
Overall, The Table at the Auckland House Hotel definitely delivered a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds and with the stylish decor and attentive yet relaxed service from our knowledgeable waiter, we could have been in any cosmopolitan city rather than in the heart of Shanklin! If you’re looking for somewhere special to eat this weekend, we’d recommend giving them a try.