Our most recent weekend trip brought us to the Isle of Wight. This is a beautiful place and one I would definitely recommend. The island's very easy to get to (only a 30-minute ferry ride) and, once you're there, there's lots to see.
The island's a particularly great destination for those bringing a four-legged friend—dogs are extremely welcome—or those on a gluten-free diet. Or, in our case, both. Who would've thought that a small rustic island in the Atlantic would offer significant gluten-free options? But, the options are plentiful. Restaurants on the island are very familiar with gluten-free options plus, as a bonus, many are also dog-friendly! We had multiple dog-friendly restaurants to choose from at each meal, all with something gluten-free on offer.
When time permits I like to do a little pre-research before heading to a new destination. This research includes tracking down sightseeing destinations, options for accommodation, dog-friendly suitability, and restaurants. As the Isle of Wight was completely mysterious to us at that point, I thought I'd better do some research. I wanted to make sure we knew where we could eat once we arrived. I made a list of gluten-free restaurants, cafes, and pubs and made note of the address of each.
The first restaurant on my list was located in Yarmouth, the town where the Wightlink ferry arrives. First of all, I love Yarmouth. It's a charming seaside town with a beautiful pier, sweet cottages in pretty pastel hues, and local businesses. One such business was The Blue Crab.
I was quite eager to stop here for lunch once we disembarked our ferry. This was due to the fact that, according to its website, the restaurant offered gluten-free fish and chips! As a London resident of seven months, I feel a bit ashamed to say I've never tried fish and chips. The dish is adored in the UK and I have been wanting to try it but I haven't seen any gluten-free ones nearby. To be honest, I haven't really searched them out, either. There are so many amazing places to eat in London, it's seriously difficult to choose sometimes.
Gluten-Free Fish and Chips
Something about this historic island town, though, struck me as a great place to try my first fish and chips. I wasn't disappointed. Arriving at The Blue Crab for lunch, we went inside a small room decorated with nautical decor and booths tucked into little nooks along the wall. In addition to its gluten-free fare, the restaurant is also dog-friendly, which was important as Spark was accompanying us on this adventure.
With a fairly extensive menu—mostly concentrating on local seafood—The Blue Crab isn't touristy or fancy. It feels like an authentic seaside café. The fish and chips are available in three sizes and you can get either traditional cod or haddock. David had the large cod and chips while I ordered the medium gluten-free version of the same dish. As usual, the fried fish was accompanied by traditional wide potato fries (chips) and mushy or garden peas. David's cousin Stephen had a crab sandwich, which came with a side salad.
The food came quickly and was delicious. The portions were generous and very affordable. My fish and chips did not disappoint. Our waitress was extremely friendly and chatted with us about living in Yarmouth, the Isle of Wight, and such. Spark, as usual, won over many staff members.
If you're headed to the Isle of Wight, make sure to stop in at The Blue Crab, whether you're gluten-free or not.