WE HAVE experienced all kinds of dining trends: industrial chic, QR code menus and the pervasive chips in buckets, but stepping into Appley Manor was like entering a portal to the early days of Matt and Cat.

And, to be honest, it was rather refreshing not being assailed by someone with a neck tattoo, calling us 'guys' and jive talking how to download the ordering app.

We were greeted and shown to a corner table by a window. The oldest of the group looked around favourably, declaring, "This is the kind of place I like."

And it was easy to see - and hear - why. Unlike a lot of eateries, Appley Manor has retained its soft furnishings, ignoring the modish metals, bare floorboards and exposed brickwork of so many cafes and bars.

Isle of Wight County Press: The batter was crisp and there were plenty of chips too.The batter was crisp and there were plenty of chips too.

As chic as these interiors look, they sound terrible. Noise reverberates around the hard surfaces, making dining out less of a social event more a shouting competition; voices necessarily elevated to be heard above the cacophony.

Not at Appley Manor. Here in our booth, the upholstered chairs, wall-to-wall carpeting and swagged drapes helped keep the ambient noise on the down-low, meaning we could have an intimate chat without our octogenarian guest's hearing aids whistling like a shepherd at a sheepdog trial.

Was there food? Oh yes. The menu was laid out simply with easy-to-follow categories and decent explanations of what diners could expect.

Cheese might be grated, melted, or coated in breadcrumbs. Nothing
was left to chance.

Being a Friday, fish and chips was the obvious choice. The hand-battered cod fillet was excellent; plenty of it - with crispy batter, not soggy. Chips likewise.

How can one wax lyrical about peas? Peas are good.

Isle of Wight County Press: Cat's salmon had plenty of creamy sauce.Cat's salmon had plenty of creamy sauce.

Cat's salmon fillet was succulent and tasty; enveloped in a mild creamy sauce speckled with gentle dill. The seasoned new potatoes kept their shape and were buttery-soft when cut into. Peas again; 'nuff said.

In this review we've written more about the venue than the food, but the two are inextricably linked.

As anyone will know, a decent meal in a miserable environment can leave a bad taste in the mouth.

At Appley Manor, you'll get an acceptable dinner in an unpretentious place, with wholesome food and friendly, attentive service.


Fish and chips £12.20
Salmon supreme £14.55
TOTAL: £26.75

RATING: Three stars. A decent place that we’d recommend.


Appley Manor Hotel, Appley Road, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 1PH.
T: 01983 564777
W: appley-manor.co.uk

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