A Can Opener of a Weekend and Regurgitated Pig Sick   Leave a comment

After being evicted from my lovely house by my husband due to a friend’s stag weekend – and no we do not usually take stags and hens, so don’t even think about it – I found myself in Ryde for the weekend with my sister.

Friday afternoon was an eye opener, Saturday afternoon was a can opener! After cheese board and Charcuterie  at Michaelangelos – epic goats’ cheese, we spent the afternoon walking up the right hand side of Union Street ‘shopping’ which is rather amusing because my sister doesn’t do shopping! I was pleased to find – very much like Shanklin the shops are all very individual and really pretty cool. We went into the very cold Arcade and I found some second hand bottles. I know how this sounds and on informing Gareth he thought I was off me trolley – he hasn’t seen them yet. They also had a £75 IOW travel companion from the 1800s – if you could put that on my birthday list I would be ever so grateful. We also discovered a leaflet about the Ryde museum, which my sister did cartwheels over because she’s a history buff. She’d never been to Framers before, so she spent hours looking at the photos, old mostly Victorian and Steve Gascoigne’s colourful delights. Old photos aren’t really the decor of our guest house, but decided on one showing the old iron cliff lift, which might go up or might not. It took a whole afternoon to do just one side! Smith & Stephenson, Crocus – they usually run a mile when they see me coming – I always need five of everything! – and a little American style shop. All very groovy.  Then we crossed to Olivos for a coffee and discussed the evening’s food, which is incredibly important to us.

We had already booked a table at the new restaurant/bistro at Bembridge, Lockslane.  We decided to take advantage of the ‘Night Rider’ ticket £5 from 7 pm – 7 am. Before that we had a quickie in the Kasbar, which was very quiet, but I was very pleased to hear some ‘young’ music! Mumford and Sons and Lady Antibellum – OK I do have musical guilty pleasures.

So dinner at Lockslane – what a lovely place – it had a real Antipodean feel. Relaxed, small, friendly and really good food. I had black pudding with apples, croutons and wholegrain mustard and sis had a Vietnamese chicken salad – we hearted both, then she (the cat’s mother) had Pheasant Confit with leek, chestnut, and celeriac mash (I said she’s be farting all night, but she insists she never ever farts!!) I had chicken tagine, which was scrummy. I have a lot of experience with couscous though and know that as soon as you feel your insides expanding it’s time to stop, because it only gets worse! There was – as you will come to discover – no chance of dessert. It’s a very rare occasion for me to have dessert. It spoils the taste of the savoury.

On our home coming (the bus was only 2 minutes late and it was about -3 degrees) we drunkenly asked the bus driver how much it costs to get to Bembridge – £2.50. So the Night Rider was a waste of time, but if we call it Knight Rider it was well worth every penny!

After a freezing cold night in our undisclosed accommodation and a breakfast fit for the establishment we went to the Ryde museum. Bit of a revelation. Did you know the man who invented those old fashioned tin openers that look a bit like a Y was none other that Henry Knight – you know the fella, Henry Knight (obviously the Knight Rider ticket was also named after him). He bought Ryde arcade in 1856 for £3000. Sounds like a lot of money to me. He then sold the patent to Crosse and Blackwell. ‘Huff’ I said, ‘well what do ya know?’ We met some lovely ladies from Ryde District Historical Society who were incredibly helpful in a local Shanklin issue, which I am not at liberty to discuss. But suffice to say I am seriously considering joining the Society as they were so lovely and helpful. It’s only £15 you know. So my sister (the history buff and secretary of Bexley Historical Ass) exchanged pleasantries on what each of their Societies were projecting at the moment. We discussed the frustration of local volunteer groups and the Jubilee celebrations coming to Appley. By this time we were even more freezing cold than we had been at 4am that morning and decided to get warm in Olivo’s for lunch. Just ciabatta and wraps, but very nice and hit the right spot.

We then ventured by car to Quarr Abbey. I hadn’t been for about a year and since then they have built the cafe, shop and all sorts. What busy monks they are. We had a wander into the Abbey and sis just had to go and see the ruins (broken stones). Again with the history buffiness! The cafe a shop were more interesting to me. The monk’s art gallery wasn’t open. Seasonal apparently. But you can get Free guided walks on the first Tuesday of the month and weekly in the summer. Definitely going on the guest info. I might even put it on the ‘Hidden Gems’ on the Island website. I keep trying to put our guest house on, but whoever is approving it (or not) is either not bothering or smarter than I thought!

We had a bit of time left until I could park the car back in Ryde for free, so we had a drive to the Boathouse in Springvale (apparently not Seaview??) with my Matt and Cat Dining Club card and got a discount off our rather pricey glasses of wine, but I don’t mind paying for the atmosphere. We discussed my blog and argued over whose fault it was that we were staying in our chosen accommodation – even after seeing bad Trip Advisor reports – and not at the Boathouse. We decided to blame Gareth for a number of reason – 1. he wasn’t there to defend himself and 2. he said he might need the car. Oh well we had told the lady we were cold and although didn’t give us the blankets we asked for she did give us a dusty De Longhi electric heater, which we had to turn on and go out of the room to burn the dust off first! Pooey! We then drove over to St Helens Duver to watch the sunset, which was very romantic for 2 sisters!

After going round and round the houses (like a Teddy bear) we decided on Michaelangelos, which was very close and I had to consider that my hair was slightly damp and our radiator in our room hadn’t come on! I had forgotten how nice it was. I know we’d had lunch there yesterday, but the evening restaurant is different. When we had discussed the menu (of which we had in the room because I took some to put in Old Shanklin) I thought it was a little pricey for Italian, but I take it back. Even with 2 bottles of wine it was very reasonable indeed. I think we paid £67 (I say think – this was after 2 bottles of wine). It was Saturday night before Valentines and it was packed to the rafters, but they soon found us a wee table. It seems to be the place where the families of Ryde go for birthdays, weddings, funerals and bar mitzvahs. Also the young men of Ryde take their new girlfriends! Ah, how sweet! Yes I was young once and my boyfriend did take me to grown up restaurants. And usually Italian – and still Italian after 16 years. We had 2 different Bruschetta and then I had the pumpkin Tortelli and ‘she’ had Duck Pappardelle. Both extremely happy with our choices. I had to leave 2 pieces and sis helped me with 2 as well. Again, you guessed it, no dessert.

And again, you guessed it, no heating. We slept in our fleeces! Breakfast was ming – 1 Lincolnshire sausage – as per yesterday, which was the only decent part of it and 1 what can only be described as regurgitated pig sick in a plastic bag. All I could think was Phileas Fogg family were having breakfast at Bluebells and I was sat here paying for this shit and no heating. And no I didn’t tell her I had a guest house! To top off the morning I had eaten so much over the weekend I couldn’t get my walking trousers to stay done up – bloody poppers!

Excellent shopping in Ryde
Excellent Ryde museum and Abbey
Fab food except breakfast

What did we learn?
Can openers were invented in the IOW
Always believe Trip Advisor
Matt & Cat Dining Club Card is a winner

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