The George Hotel has for decades been a reliable stalwart of Yarmouth, now reimagined as a hotel and beach club, with the Island's very own celebrity chef Robert Thompson in executive role, and Tom Axford (formerly of Kynges Well) as head chef.

A spring starter was perfect local asparagus, with soft-boiled soy egg, and a good dollop of sesame and ginger mayonnaise.Our friends were slightly puzzled by some resilient cuttlefish crackers, but Matt cracked on with a promising smoked haddock carpaccio. A liberal handful of bright green peas and oodles of fresh pea shoots were shot through with slivers of delicious smoked fish.

Isle of Wight County Press:

A whole sea bass was presented simply, with seared lemon and salty capers. A little too simply; with no carbs nor veg. A fish and chip supper anyone would be delighted with, though at a cost of over £30, including a side order of chips and peas, it should have been eased into Cat's mouth by a succession of hummingbirds. Matt's mild buttermilk-fried chicken wrap required reconstruction before being eaten with his hands. Whilst yes, that is how wraps work, the streetfood vibe felt incongruous.

A fabulous dark chocolate and salted caramel mousse was thick and rich, even if its plate did look like an ironed brain.Goddards Fuggle de Dum Sponge proved to be a take on tiramisu. A powerful syruppy sauce must have been the Goddards - a clever trick and a stunningly successful one.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Has The George embraced its young fresh look, or it is trying too hard, like your uncle with an ill-advised skullet and cowboy boots? Top marks for our food, but the prices added up. Matt's £11 starter was a shocker, and that £24 sea bass was eye-opening. We say if your main course needs a side dish, it ought to be included, even with great food like this.

We really enjoyed our dinner at The George. The lively transformation has worked. The hotel's new kitchen is turning out impressive work, and the informal service created an upbeat environment. Our advice is to choose carefully from the menu as some of these dishes are better than others, but the best ones are so good it's worth it. Oh, and do take a big pile of money. You're going to need it.

Matt and Cat's bill

Asparagus and soy egg starter £10

Smoked haddock starter £11

Day boat catch £24

Chicken wrap £13

French peas side £3.95

Truffle chips £3.95

Broccoli side £3.95

Chocolate mousse £10

Goddards sponge £9

Total: £88.85

Read a longer version of this review, and others, at Matt and Cat's Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide.

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