The Hambrough

Hambrough Road , Ventnor, PO38 1SQ

SquareMeal Review of The Hambrough

Situated above Ventnor Bay on the southern reaches of the Isle of Wight, The Hambrough looks every inch the imposing Victorian stone villa, but the interior is bang up to date with boutique stylings and tremendous sea views from the windows of the dining room. Following the departure of chef/proprietor Robert Thompson, the hotel is now in new hands and the owners have brought in Darren Beevers (ex-Club Gascon) to head up the kitchen. Expect high-end contemporary cooking inspired by produce from the island and beyond: to start you might go for white and green asparagus with pork crackling, black garlic and sorrel Chantilly, before sampling seared loin of lamb with seaweed carrots, confit lemon, cauliflower and oyster ice cream or a plate of roasted turbot, broccoli, quinoa, sea herbs and pickled cockles dressed with crab bisque. Well-chosen wines too.

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Food & Drink: 9.0

Service: 9.0

Atmosphere: 7.0

Value: 9.5

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 5.0

Foodess platinum reviewer 28 September 2009

Ventnor is not the most beautiful resort, but up and away from the brash seafront, in contrast sits the Hambrough where the cooking goes hand in hand with the elevated position. Highly pleasant muted designer surroundings are harmonised from exterior through to well appointed rooms, where an Espresso machine could be the highlight for some. Aside from Square Meal, Good Food Guide and Michelin accolades, upon sampling, it is easy to understand why the food has to be the most exciting on the island. A pretty good wine choice was usefully categorised by style. Helpful and fairly knowledgeable staff were friendly, which seemed to accord with the island atmosphere. They seem to be forging not just a good local reputation but probably a wider foodie one too. Little to add to the succinct food comments of previous reviewer except to rate the full English breakfast as one of the best. All done with restrained panache, the delightful Robert T and his team deserve to flourish as The Hambrough seems set to leave the competition in its wake.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

robert b. platinum reviewer 01 September 2009

Now comfortably offering the best food on the island, Michelin starred and deservedly so. Down the road from the much more established Royal Hotel, The Hanborough has arguablydone more than any other establishment to put the Isle of Wight well and truely on the hospitality map, boutique contemporary hotel, that I havent stayed in only because I have a house no more than five miles down the road, it looks like it caters for a demanding crowd. The current Head Chef, whose name escapes me, has been in situ for a little over a year, has taken the restaurant on to new heights. Very imaginative menu using mostly local ingrediants, incredibly skillfully cooked, plus a sea view, what more could you ask for! The atmostphere is a little quiet, not sure what they can do about that and not a place for children. Very good wine menu, lots of variety and value. Service was efficient and friendly.