The Isle of Wight is famous for music festivals, sailing and sandy beaches – but did you know it is among Britain’s leading regional food centres? And now you can eat your way round the island with the help of Wightlink’s Wight Taste Trail.
The trail in a 44-page colour booklet (cover below), which can be downloaded at www.wightlink.co.uk/wighttastetrail, traces the short path from field to fork and sea to shore, spotlighting the best food producers and showcasing restaurants, pubs, delicatessens and farm shops dedicated to local produce. The new 2013 guide introduces ferry-inclusive Taste Trail Breaks at hotels, B&Bs and self-catering cottages.
There are eight to choose from including Priory Bay, the leading country house hotel where ex-Noma chef Oliver Stephens serves foods foraged from Priory’s beach and woodlands; The Little Gloster a Scandinavian-style B&B with food to match, Mersley Farm, where local garlic and asparagus grow in the surrounding fields with the Garlic Farm shop next door and Stables Cottages at Chessell Pottery, whose cream teas have been voted the Isle of Wight’s best for the past three years.
Wightlink’s Steven Spilsbury said: “It would be hard to think of a time when there has been such a strong appetite to find out where the food we eat comes from and how long it has taken to reach the plate. That makes it the ideal time to launch our new Wight Taste Trail, which celebrates the very best of local produce and provides a great reason for foodies to visit.”
All packages include Wightlink ferry crossings from Portsmouth to Fishbourne or from Lymington to Yarmouth.
Priory Bay Hotel: Two nights in July from £235 per person (two sharing).
The Little Gloster: Two-nights B&B in July or August from £160 per person (two sharing).
Mersley Farm: Three-night weekend in Paddock Cottage at Mersley Farm costs from £115 per person (based on two sharing a cottage) for departures September 27.
Little Stables: Starting on June 29, a seven-night break costs from £170 per person for four sharing and from £340 per person for two sharing.