Famished after the train and ferry ride, we headed to the first restaurant we spotted, Michaelangelos, on Ryde pier. Maybe we were just hungry, but the food was amazing. I had a simple parmesan-aubergine bake. Parmesan can make anything taste like heaven I suppose.
lunch at Michaelangelos
Shanklin is a more popular and populated part of the island, which we realised later, and has all the 'touristy' attractions around it. It totally depends on what you want to do, visit the botanical gardens, parks, sanctuaries or chill by the beach. From golfing to dinosaur expeditions, there are enough activities, tours and treks to keep you busy for a week at least.
We realised it was impossible to do the touristy stuff, as traveling within the island can get quite tiring. The Southern Vectis buses are not as frequent as the buses in London, and traveling from one end of the island to the other takes a couple of hours at a minimum.
We visited the Adgestone vineyard in Brading. The audio guided tour nicely captured the story and history of English wine, and also explained the process of wine making and what makes English wine and sparkling wine, different from the rest of Europe. The tour ended with the sampling of the house wines. It was interesting to note that just 10 acres of land, can produce about 13,000 bottles of wine. We followed it up with lunch in the vineyard cafe, fresh basil soup and bread was divine.
Back in Ventnor, we discovered the most amazing spanish restaurant. El Toro Contento. It's always crowded and bustling, so we had to book a tables way in advance. The menu is typically tapas style. Ram tripped on the wild boar stew and chorizo. My humble vegetables and lentils was surprisingly so flavourful. We had our dinner here on both nights.
Getting there: London Waterloo- Portsmouth by South Western trains (1.5 hours)
Portsmouth- Ryde pier by Wightlink Ferry (about 20 mins)
London- South Hampton by train
South Hampton to East Cowes by Red Funnel ferry
In and around the Island:
Souther Vectis unlimited bus pass for 2 days- 15£ per person
Where to stay: Shanklin/ Sandown/ Ryde/ Cowes (touristy, good location if you don't mind the crowds)
Ventnor, Totland (quieter but far)