A FRIEND recommended The Old Fort in Seaview.

Would their eulogising be valid or, like a Yorkshire pudding, be simply a load of hot air and not much substance?

The cheery venue was imbued with a yacht club/seaside cottage aesthetic — all bleached wood and sailcloth — with most of the tables having a view of The Solent and the eponymous fort.

Isle of Wight County Press:

As well as the roast options of lamb, Isle of Wight sirloin of beef and nut, it was also possible to choose from the regular menu, plus the specials board.

With plenty of fish options, this vast array floated our particular boat.

Also, some dishes were available in both small and large portions — with prices to match — suiting customers with reduced appetites and budgets.

We chose the small lamb roast, which was undoubtedly the equivalent of a big platter in other restaurants.

It was of great quality. The roast potatoes were crisp and the accompanying vegetables were decently cooked.

Alas, no cauliflower cheese, but there was enough variety with carrots, parsnips and broccoli.

There was no scrimping on the meat either and the portion of lamb was succulent, yet not fatty.

The 'Yorkie' was standard, but, with a bit of charm, we managed to procure some extra gravy and one or two additional roast potatoes.

Everything about the meal was terrific and, for the price, it was hard to beat.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Cat's salmon fillet only came in one size and, for £19.95, was one of the venue's more expensive dishes.

The pan-fried fish was a generous portion — thick and moist, with tender flesh which flaked nicely.

The pink slice lounged across a bed of crushed new potatoes and perky tenderstem broccoli.

It was topped with caper and butter sauce, which was quite acidic, providing a pleasant contrast to the richly-fried fish — a delicious creation.

Although we didn't have room for pudding, we were given time to finish our drinks and conversation without being hustled out for the next sitting.

The Old Fort is a charming venue for relaxed seaside dining, with plenty of choice, polite and attentive service, plus very decent food — and, when the sun finally has its hat on, the waterside tables will be very much in demand.

We are happy to recommend this coastal pub.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Isle of Wight County Press: