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10 brilliant coastal eateries

Make the most of the summer sun at one of these fab pubs and restaurants on the water's edge around Hampshire and Isle of Wight.

Phew – things are really starting to heat up again! Time to head to the coast for food food, ice-cold G&Ts and sundowner cocktails. Here’s our pick of some of the best places around Hampshire and Isle of Wight to while away a long balmy afternoon in the sun and soak up a few of our splendid sea vistas. Cheers!

Southsea Beach Cafe, Southsea

Southsea beach cafe best coastal restaurants Hampshire Isle of Wight sea view

Come rain or shine The Southsea Beach Cafe, slap-bang right on Southsea seafront, always comes up trumps for a beachside scoff. The menu is stuffed with fab fare, including plenty of seafood, vegan picks and more locally-sourced grub than you can shake a bucket and spade at. And food aside, the VIEW! From here you can see South Parade Pier, Solent Forts and the Isle of Wight. Special mention for the retractable roof, which makes it perfect for sunny days and super snuggly in less clement weather.

The George, Yarmouth

Burger and chips at The George Yarmouth best coastal restaurants Isle of Wight

Right on the waters edge, The George is handily located right beside the Lymington ferry dock, the shortest crossing over to the Island. Head straight for the Italian-inspired beachfront garden – complete with historic olive trees and reclaimed driftwood beach bar – and order fresh pizza, mega George burgers and fresh seafood. When the sun’s got his hat on, bottles of AIX Provence rosé are always free-flowing.

The Haven, Lymington

Located in Lymington Yacht Haven, The Haven is an absolute favourite with Lymington locals (who kind of want to keep it a secret, sorry!). As well as being known for its excellent food (complete with freshly-caught local fish) it has a wonderfully chilled vibe and makes a fantastic viewpoint for a sunny day. Pull up a pew to go fantasy yacht shopping, scoff shucked oysters and nurse a giant G&T as the sun goes down.

Osborne View, Hill Head, Fareham

Pub beer garden the Osbourne View Hill Head

As the only pub on Hill Head Beach, The Osborne View arguably has this stretch of coast covered, but its definitely not rested on its laurels. Whether you choose to sit in the huge outdoor space (there’s a garden AND sun deck) or tuck yourself away indoors, the sea views are breathtaking. And there’s plenty to please on the menu, from summery salads to hearty fish ‘n’ chips.

The Old Fort, Seaview

The Old Fort Seaview

Lifelong friends Justin and Will took over landmark Isle of Wight pub, The Old Fort, in 2020, giving it a bright new look with large windows looking out over sweeping panoramic sea views and a new gastro menu.

Whatever your poison, there’s a drink to suit here, from local ales to signature cocktails like the East Wight Martini and Seaview Spritz. Not surprisingly, locals and visitors have love it, which helped the duo scoop a TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Award – and Best Destination Pub in the 2021 Muddy Awards.

36 on the Quay, Emsworth

36 on the Quay coastal restaurant

Sitting prettily on the Hants/Sussex border, the fine-dining 36 on the Quay coastal restaurant with rooms at Emsworth has an amazing view across Chichester Harbour.

People come from far and wide for local head chef Gary Pearce’s cuisine – he’s worked in one, two and even three Michelin Star restaurants from across the world before settling back in the coastal town as proprietor. And while it hasn’t reclaimed a star, the quayside eatery continues to feature in the Michelin guide.

Master Builders, Bucklers Hard

Buckler's Hard

Ok, so it’s *technically* overlooking the Beaulieu River, rather than the sea, but the gorgeous olde worlde vibe, tranquil setting and seriously gorgeous sunsets here make The Master Builders at Bucklers Hard more than worthy of a mention among our favourite coastal restaurants.

Grab a drink in the Yachtsman’s Bar or alfresco Crew Garden then head inside to The Riverview Restaurant for a slap-up meal, from catch of the day to small plates, burgers and steaks.

The Spyglass Inn, Ventnor

The Spyglass Inn Ventnor

Tough competition but when it comes to spectacular sea views, The Spyglass Inn is definitely up there. Right on the water’s edge in Ventnor Bay on the Isle of Wight inside the historic 1830s building, the fabulously quirky maritime décor is a nod to the piratey heritage here.

If you can find one, snag a seat on the terrace and look out over miles of English channel while tucking into platters of fresh, locally-caught seafood. No guarantees you’ll spot a mermaid, but a glass of the Island-distilled namesake gin will make for a pretty good sundowner.

The Cliff House, Barton on Sea

The Cliff House Barton on Sea coastal restaurants Hampshire

The Cliff House is located, unsurprisingly, on top of a cliff at Barton on Sea. As well as having an amazing outdoor area where you can soak up some Vitamin D overlooking the Solent, it also has the most fabulous interior –  think Scandi-cool meets Beachside surfer chic. Get here early to snag a table outdoors – and look out for regular live music and BBQs.

The Hut, Colwell Bay

The Hut Colwell Bay Isle of Wight coastal restaurants

Beloved by Islanders as well as the rich and famous, The Hut in Colwell Bay is a spot unlike any other. Although you can carefully toddle along the slipway to get here (best leave the stilettos at home for this one), you can also jump in a rib and anchor up, or make use of one the five large helicopter spaces. Yep, helicopters. If you’re hopping off the Lymington ferry or getting here by yacht, there’s a fun jeep to whizz you the short distance from Yarmouth harbour.

Fancy transportation aside, this seasonal coastal restaurant offers an amazing array of fresh seafood, a wonderfully relaxed beachy atmosphere and the chance to crane your neck and spot some celebs.

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