For the final instalment of our complete guide to sailing on the Solent, we take a look at one of the most important things on every sailors mind…food! Here, we share our top restaurants to visit in along the south coast – but beware, we can’t guarantee that you won’t be craving some of the delicious dishes on offer once you’ve finished reading…
Top restaurants to visit on the south coast of England
Head into Hamble for a delicious meal at The Bugle. The beautiful Grade-II listed building is the perfect place to come in the autumn and winter, where you’ll be greeted by a toasty open log fire, a good range of wines, ales and spirits and a mouthwatering menu to suit all tastes. In the summer, take a seat on the outside terrace overlooking the River Hamble and enjoy a cold beer or a cocktail.
The menu is changed regularly to ensure the restaurant serves only the freshest produce, with seasonal flavours at its heart. During the day, choose from a selection of deep filled sandwiches and in the evening, we recommend the mushrooms on toast and braised pork belly served with garlic mash. Yum!
The restaurant is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. To avoid disappointment, we recommend making a reservation.
Head down to the Beaulieu River to Buckler’s Hard and enjoy an afternoon at the Riverview Restaurant located on the quayside. The new refurbished AA Rosette awarded restaurant is the perfect place to sit back, relax and watch the world go by.
The menu is an homage to great British cuisine combined with locally sourced produce and features meat, fish and veggie options. Our favourites are the seared scallops followed by the saddle of venison or the assiette of seafood.
The main restaurant is open daily and reservations are recommended for dinner service between 6:30pm and 9pm.
If you’re heading over to the Isle of Wight and are planning on spending an afternoon or evening moored in Cowes, head to Coast on Shooters Hill for a culinary treat that will leave your taste buds tingling! Open seven days a week, this quaint establishment welcomes guests throughout the day, for breakfast, tea and cake, lunch and dinner – so whatever time of day you fancy a visit, there’ll be something for you.
For lunch or dinner, take a pick from the extensive menu, featuring a selection of locally sourced, seasonal produce. We like the panko coated rosary goats cheese followed by the Gressingham duck breast or the beetroot, red onion and thyme tarte tatin – delicious!
Open seven days a week from 9am – late. Reservations are recommended for evening dining.
Eclectic wines, stunning sea views and a varied menu to suit all tastes,The Jetty is a must visit restaurant while sailing the Solent. Located on the ground floor of the Harbour Hotel in Southampton, the food is sourced locally, from the freshest seafood from the nearby waters to the seasonal ingredients from the New Forest.
Our favourites include the Soufflé Arnold Bennett, a traditional cheese soufflé with smoked haddock, chicken truffle and wild mushroom boudin, slow cooked medallions of veal and the monkfish tandoori.
Open for dinner Monday – Saturday from 6pm – 9:45pm, reservations are recommended.
Head west from Hamble towards the delightful village of Milford-on-Sea, full of charm and home to La Perle restaurant. If you’re a fan of Masterchef, you may be familiar with Chef Patron, Sam Hughes, who featured on the Professionals version of the BBC hit in 2015. Trained under catering royalty, Raymond Blanc, the food served up by Sam and the team at La Perle is exactly what you would expect – simply outstanding!
Locally sourced produce from the New Forest and surrounding waters are at the heart of Sam’s menu and include grilled gambas, Lymington lobster and wild sea bass with a crayfish beurre blanc.
The restaurant is open for dinner Wednesday – Saturday from 6pm with a specialist French Tasting Tuesday option also available. Reservations recommended to avoid disappointment.
Perfect winter one pot meals
One pot meals are the ideal dinner choice after a day’s sailing along the Solent. As well as being easy to make, the flavours are always exceptional, with all ingredients blending perfectly together during the cooking process.
Here’s our guide to cooking up one of our all time favourites…
Slow braised pork shoulder with cider and parsnips
A delicious one pot meal that will warm your cockles after a long autumn day sailing around the beautiful Solent. Serve with a creamy mash and selection of fresh vegetables.
- 1kg diced pork shoulder, diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 x onions, sliced
- 2 x celery sticks, roughly chopped
- 3 x parsnips, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 1 pint of good quality dry cider
- 2 x bay leaves
- 850ml chicken stock
- Pre heat on board oven to 180°C.
- On the stove, add the olive oil to a large, oven proof pan and heat. Add the diced pork shoulder and brown off. Set aside
- Add the onions, celery, parsnips and bay leaves to the pan and fry off for approximately 5 minutes, until softened
- Add the flour to the onion mix, stir, then add the pork back to the pan
- Add the cider and stock mixture, ensuring all of the ingredients are covered. Bring to the boil then cover and put in the oven
- Cook for two hours
- Serve with mash and veg.
Perfect for chilly autumn nights moored in the Solent, the bramble cocktail is a traditional English drink comprising two of the UK’s much loved ingredients – blackberries and gin!
- 25ml pink gin (we recommend Salcombe Gin Rosé Sainte Marie)
- 25ml lemon juice
- 25ml sugar syrup
- 25ml creme de mure
- Blackberries to garnish
- Fill an old fashioned tumbler glass with ice
- Add the gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously
- Strain the contents into the glass containing the ice
- Drizzle over the creme de mure and add blackberries to garnish