Without doubt one of the islands top restaurant. The hotel is set in what was a 17th century water-front town house, next to the little castle, and the town has grown around it. The wood-panelled dining room has heavy curtains giving it an air of opulence.
The cooking is ambitious, and flavours and combinations generally work well. Possibly start with 'Quail joints with Crumbed Veal Sweetbreads and wedges of Oyster Mushrooms'; 'Seared Scallops with toasted Rice Broth'; 'Tuna Carpaccio with Tomato and Coriander Salsa' or Foie Gras in various guises.
Follow with the likes of 'Braised Pork Belly (again with seared Scallops) and Carrot purée', 'Pan-fried Aberdeen Angus Rib Eye with Cottage Pie and Red Wine Jus' or 'Fillet of Halibut with Puntette and a 'Risotto' of rice-sized Pasta and a Shellfish Sauce'.
A pre-dessert is served and afterwards the main event is of a high standard - Chocolate figuring heavily, but in the spring, 'Rhubarb and Cardamom Trifle' is a particular favourite. They also have British and French cheeses in peak condition.
The dining room has splendid views over the Solent.
- Food Style: Modern British
- Lunch: all week 12.00-14.30 £17.95 (2 courses), £22.95 (3 courses); mains about £16 to £24
- Dinner: all week 19.00-22.00; set Tasting Menu £59.95; mains about £16 to £24
- Seats: 65, plus 100 outside
- Wine: A carefully-chosen wine list has modest mark-ups
- Children's portions: No, and children under 10, in main restaurant
- Wheelchair access: Yes
- Directions: Near to the fort - see the map on this page
- Parking: Pay & Display
- Air conditioned
- Rooms available