23 July 2014

The Royal Hotel

Belgrave Road, Ventnor, Isle of Wight PO38 1JJ

British Isle of Wight
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  • Dinner: ££50 for six courses

Square Meal Review of The Royal Hotel ?

This is the Isle of Wight’s venerable grande dame, a wonderfully atmospheric pile with echoes of a glittering bygone era – you can almost hear the voluminous Victorian crêpe dresses swishing along the polished wood floors while you sip your tea. But there’s plenty of life in the old girl yet, as demonstrated by the bright and breezy food served in the more formal Appuldurcombe restaurant. The kitchen makes admirable use of island ingredients for dishes such as Gallybagger cheese soufflé, sea bass with fennel risotto, tasting plates of locally reared pork, and dark chocolate tart with caramel oranges. However, it’s the famous Royal afternoon tea that currently packing ‘em in (book well ahead) – thanks to a top pastry chef who crafts sweet treats ranging from generous pistachio and cinnamon macaroons to dainty milk chocolate and orange madeleines, all crammed impressively onto a three-tiered cake stand.

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