Little Gems






Recipes and tips

A  seven day eating holiday on the Isle of Wight

2013/14 reviews

2012/13 reviews

2015-16 reviews

2016/17 reviews

2017-18 reviews

2018-19 reviews


PC  proprietor/chef

HR  Highly recommended


Links:- and Hewitt's Restaurant


Best of Wight


Now in its 13th year

The TOP 5

in no particular order

(please note this is about the cooking not

in-vogue eateries)

As a life-long gourmet who took up cooking because I liked eating nice food, I have spent more years than I can remember eating out and cooking for other gourmets. My work now takes me away from home and I find myself eating out alone, a lot. Being alone makes me fussy and I have certain requirements, most of which I have applied to selecting the entries for the Wight Good Food Guide. My major criteria is would I recommend this eatery to my gourmet friend who is on a budget. For instance they are happy to pay high prices for the best providing it is the best. Their budget will not allow for a waste of their taste buds either - let alone their money!

In addition to these requirements,  I look for cooking skills, ingenuity without it being ridiculous and a person who cooks from the heart - the rarest attribute of all.

Being a small island it is impossible to be anonymous. However, this matters little because a talent-less chef is not going to miraculously become a talented one the minute I walk through the door.

I believe that all publicity is good publicity even bad publicity, which is why I only recommend eateries that are worth the expense. If I write critical reviews people will only flock to mock thereby giving inadequate cooks the wrong impression.

This year I have noticed that Chef/owned eateries are coming to the fore and are a safer bet for consistency and heart-felt cooking ( I mean cooking from the heart not for the heart).

Finally - Chefs move around a lot on the island - I put this down to poor wages or poor working conditions. But also poor job prospects for the ambitious. This could change if the island became renowned as a gourmet Island with many fine places to eat. Sadly still a long way to go. I firmly believe that if you look after your staff with good pay they will look after your business.



Red Lion - Freshwater

A small touch of the traditional pub remains and consistent cooking

Bonchurch Inn - Bonchurch

Excellent Italian cuisine in an old traditional coaching house

Off the Rails - Yarmouth

Now they know, how to make a sandwich

Harbour Kitchen - Cowes

If you want a good burger go to somewhere that specialises in them

Smoking Lobster - Ventnor

Top notch ingredients

Top 3 Little Gems Ventnor Fisheries - Isle of Wight Crab

Old Smithy - Godshill. Cream cakes

Calbourne Classics natural yogurt



Why do some eateries refuse to take credit/debit cards if a customer spends less than 5 in some cases 10. It's is a kind of punishment for not spending enough. In some cases they even make a profit on this customer by making a surcharge of 1.00. When all cards are based on around 0.58 - 1.5 %  interest The charge say on a cup of coffee of 2.25 of a pound is a bit steep. I very rarely have cash on me so often where I eat lunch is dependent upon who will fine me for not spending enough. With an increasing number of solo diners it's about time these places reassessed their customer service policy.

NB. I have frequently walked out of a place after ordering soup and being told that instead of 4.25 it will cost me 5.25 if I pay by card

Padmore Lodge, Beatrice Avenue, East Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO32 6LP