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Places to Eat and Drink at the Isle of Wight Chess Congress in Ryde

Thank you so much for coming to play chess on the Isle of Wight, we can’t wait to host you. Ryde is a beautiful seaside town with a long golden beach that stretches out right along the front. If we get the weather, which we should, it’s going to be a fantastic weekend by the sea.

The Harbour House Ryde
The Harbour House

As an adopted local (a mainlander who moved here, also known locally as a "Grockle"), I’d like to share my tips on places to eat and drink over the weekend. There’s a huge array of places available, from Union Street, where the main shops and bars are, right along the beach out to the next town, Seaview.

Firstly, the playing venue The Ryde Castle Hotel, this is a Greene King hotel and has a great range of pub classics and a Sunday Roast. They have a signature menu if you fancy something a bit special in the evening.

Directly opposite is the boat Marina and the Harbour House, this is a gem on a sunny day. Enjoy a wide range of cocktails and an amazing menu ranging from tapas, burgers and their speciality, mussels. The food here is fantastic and it’s a great spot to enjoy the sun and watch the boats and the world go by. There’s also a small cafe here where you can grab a bacon butty and there's an Ice Cream parlour too!

Pictures: Harbour House tapas, drinks and Thai Seafood Broth.

It would be wrong not to have fish and chips while you are here, there are three excellent chippies very near to the venue. You can’t beat grabbing a box and heading to the beach to enjoy it with a view (but watch out for Seagulls!). The nearest is Chipmunks, just behind the playing venue. Then you have two more, both equally fantastic 2 mins away on the seafront, The Codfather and the Esplanade Fish bar directly next door.

For the evening, Paseo Tapas Restaurant is a new edition to the thriving food scene. This is a charming small location on the seafront directly opposite the pier. Be warned it does get busy, so booking ahead is advised. The Tapas is superb and you will not be disappointed even if you are a diehard Barcelona or Malaga visitor. They also have excellent taste in wine and I highly recommend the house Rioja. Try the Jamon croquettes! 

Paseo Tapas Ryde
Paseo Tapas - Patatas Bravas

If you are looking for glam, Heron is show stopping fine dining and has excellent offers on the tasting menu. This could be a special treat on Saturday night. It's popular, you will need to book well in advance.


If you are all about the meat, you can’t beat a good steak in The Alamo. This Western themed bar is exactly what it looks like it’s going to be, a great grill. Check out their selection of prime cuts and don’t forget to add on a side of wings! 

The Alamo

Directly opposite the venue and hard to miss is the architecturally stunning Ryde Pavilion. This is a bar and Bowling Alley. A great one to keep kids occupied between rounds and the food is also excellent. They serve a range of American style comfort food like hotdogs and burgers, The Chicken Burger is one of my favourites, two patties, one spicy and one not, what’s not to love. This is also a good place to catch the final bit of sun and you can sit outside on the picnic tables.

The Pavilion Bar

If you fancy stretching your pins, walk east along the beach, there's a couple of nice cafes to stop off at along the way. A great shout for breakfast before the 11am game. The Appley Beach Cafe is a good spot for a cuppa and a cake, with a range of gluten free cakes too. 

There’s also an excellent restaurant above this, Catch which has great views on a sunny day. If you don’t get a selfie with the massive castle tower on Appley beach, you are doing it wrong!

Pictures from Catch: Tapas, Oysters and the view!

Just behind and along from here you have Puckpool Park, where there’s an old Napoleonic Fort and see the gun emplacements that were installed to ward off French ships. Here you have a spot to eat fresh pizza and burgers in The Old Barracks. Grab a pizza and head back to the beach!?

One of my favourite spots in the summer is also here, The Dell Cafe, which has a stunning view across the Solent and a diverse fusion menu, with everything from Katsu Curry to fresh fish and Poke bowls. A G&T, sun, a sea view, hard to beat.

Pictures from the Dell Cafe: Steak, Tempura Veg, Katsu Curry.

There's so much to choose from, along the front and up Union Street you also have every kind of food you can imagine,  Mediterranean, Chinese, Thai, Indian and yes….. you guessed it, there is even a Wetherspoons. Hopefully this helps a little, who’s hungry?



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