We finally did it! On the last weekend in August after a few months of cycling withdrawal, we were craving some new outdoor adventures, and that plan was…. to cycle The Isle of Wight!
First there is the fun part of researching the route, the island, and the accommodation, then the more serious part of planning our food for 3 days (as all we had were the bags on our backs). Now, I wouldn’t say we are too fussy with food, we just like to eat quite healthy options, and fast food, candy and sodas are definitely not our thing, especially seeing as we would need good food and energy for the 70 miles of cycling we needed to complete.
Generally, I love planning trips and holidays, and as for food, it might be challenging, but always great fun and hopefully sharing my tips will help others enjoy the beautiful Isle of Wight as much as we did. Below is a simple breakdown (foodwise) of how we tackled those 3 days. I also planned to have enough healthy snacks at hand while cycling, these included apples, small boxes of mixed nuts with raisins, homemade batch of peanut butter oat cookies, dark chocolate nut protein balls, and dried mango and pineapple pieces.
Breakfast - On the first day before we set off we had a banana, peanut butter protein smoothie, made with flax meal, almond milk, Rawsport protein shake, avocado and cinnamon. This smoothie is delicious and filling, but not too heavy and would give us energy as we started our journey.
Snack – Enjoyed some protein balls and fruit pieces near a peaceful wetland with just the sound of birds and wind in the trees. Later on, once we had set up camp and rested for a half hour, we had apples, nuts and raisins, before heading off again to the explore the Needles.
Dinner – On our way cycling back to camp we stopped in at an The Highdown Inn for a delicious meal. Just near Stoats Farm and Caravanning, this very spacious, comfortable Inn actually had the largest fresh seafood menu I have seen in a long time! We shared a mixed vegetable platter to start with carrots, celery, couscous, olive tapenade, humus, bread and salad, as well as a plate each of fresh fish which came with a selection of warm cooked veggies and any choice of potatoes. It was such delicious food, while sitting in the peaceful, spacious garden, relaxing after a long day of 40miles of cycling.
Breakfast - A simple breakfast of apples and nuts, along with a coffee from a small pub nearby, then we were off, onto the next leg to explore the beautiful island, although that day was particularly hard as we were cycling against rain and heavy wind for 3 hours, it was both mentally and physically challenging!
Lunch - Happy to say we finally ended up at our target restaurant location for lunch, known as the Wight Mouse Inn, a very popular place with friendly staff and a massive outdoor seating area, panoramic views and large garden. The food there was amazing, and just what we needed after the constant wet and cold of the storm we had just cycled through. We chose a mixed bean chilli and fresh fish with potatoes, veggies and salad, all cooked perfectly and not too rich or salty.
Dinner – We were staying in the very characterful village of Shanklin, which had a well-known place called The House of Spice, known as a fresh food family run Indian restaurant. I stopped eating Indian food because it always ended up too sweet, salty and sickly, but we decided to give this place a try. We ordered a range of dairy free, slightly spicy vegetable and prawn dishes, which were very enjoyable on that cold rainy evening.
The last day on the island we cycled the western edge of the island back to the ferry at Fishbourne. We still had some cookies and nuts to snack on throughout the day while admiring stunning coastal and landscape views, the sun was out and we were loving our adventure. Although sadly it was coming to an end, but not before we had one more delicious meal, to top it all off. This amazing restaurant was called Three Buoys, between Seaview and Ryde, it offered so many choices of vegetable dishes, full of different flavours, rather than the typical pub food which were not particularly looking for. We sat upstairs on the balcony overlooking the bustling seafront, the ocean and the view to Portsmouth. Our food choices this time were 4 different plates, as we wanted to try everything; a dish of roasted sweet potatoes, with lentils and spinach; pak choi with soy and sesame, hariisa chickpeas with carrots and almonds, and finally grilled white fish with herbs and tomatoes. They do sound like quite odd dishes if you do not usually eat this type of food, but the flavours we amazing, if only we had larger stomachs to try all the dishes on offer! And also to keep in mind that we still had half an hour to cycle to the ferry, they another 45 minutes on the other side to get back to the car, so we couldn’t stuff ourselves too much.
Once we reached the car, back in Portsmouth, with our hearts full of adventure, our legs full of aches and tiredness and our stomachs full of joy, definitely a great way to end another adventure. I will definitely plan to go back to visit again and I do know there are many other food places we should try, but I would definitely be drawn back to these three again for more great food.