Newtown – Isle of Wight

Newtown church.

Newtown is a fascinating little village that has been settled since before the Norman conquest. It is now overseen by the National Trust and is definitely worth a visit.

Looking out over the marshes to the natural harbour at Newtown

Samphire in it’s natural habitat!  Samphire (also known as glasswort) is a succulent plant that grows in salty estuary areas. It is lovely eaten raw (although salty!) or cooked in a stir fry or steamed.

Newtown harbour

Cashew nut and vegetable paella at the New Inn, Shalfleet. An old favourite of ours and only a few minutes drive from Newtown. The perfect watering hole for lunch.

Roast beef and gravy.

Children’s serve of fresh cod and chips. This was so tender!


Mid Summer

England is having what is described as a heatwave. Day after glorious day of temperatures north of 28 degrees, some even hitting 30. Even I, a natual Australian, am finding this weather to be warm. It is glorious, and even more precious because it is so rare. Just three eeks* until the summer holidays, but there are no guarantees this will last and so we are trying to make the most of it while we can.

The above photo was the view of the harbour from our house at 5 .20 am this morning.

And taken 20 minutes later.

Returning home on the morning school run on the new chain ferry that crosses the river joining East and West Cowes.

A post-school run breakfast of apricots and prunes cooked in a little butter and honey with Greek yoghurt and pumpkin seeds.

Lunch was baked lamb with salad.

This is my preferred marinade or crust for a leg or rack of lamb. I mix a chopped onion, a big handful of chopped rosemary and parsley, some breadcrumbs and a tablespoon of sticky orange marmalade. The sugars in the marmalade caramelise and the result is a little hard to describe; herby, sweet and bitter.

The lamb ready to go into the oven.

Served with a salad.




  • eeks was a typos of weeks.However, when I think of how little of the school year there is left I do, indeed, go ‘eek’!!

Isle of Wight weekend

Saturday evening we spent some time with a friend on her boat. The sailing season has started so the marina was full.

A late supper at home of cod in parsley sauce and grilled tomatoes.

A visit to Godshill and the Model Village

Followed by a Sunday Carvery lunch of roast turkey, yorkshire pudding, and vegetables

So a much lighter supper of vegetable soup and fresh melon.

I bought this beautiful fossil at the gem shop in Godshill

It is an Otodus tooth, which is an extinct shark from the Paleocene-Miocene periods.




Shalfleet is one of our favourite villages on the Island, and The New Inn,  it’s pub is one of our favourite pubs. We went there this week just for a lazy mid-week treat.




Shared a smoked mackerel pate starter with homemade piccalilli.


Then steak with red peppercorn sauce and a wild mushroom risotto



Then a wander around the church and churchyard. On a foggy and wintry day it was very atmospheric and I hoped there might be ghosts…… it certainly felt very ghosty!!

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The inside of the church is austere and lovely.

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Three Buoys -Ryde


The school Christmas term finished at noon on Friday and so Husband-Gusto and I took Baby-Gusto out for lunch. We chose the Three Buoys in Ryde, a small restaurant down on Appley Beach in Ryde. It was a beautiful setting overlooking the sea.


It was a blustery day and so comfort food was the order of the day.


The fish fingers and chips from the children’s menu. The fingers were fresh fish fillets and the batter was speckled with seaweed which was a lovely touch.


Moules Marinieres with garlic chiabatta

But the standout meal was the butterflied fresh mackerel with a butternut squash risotto. Truly excellent.


Following this it was time for ic-ecreams and a stroll along the beach. Appley tower is always a pretty view.



This was a lovely way to mark the end of the school term and the start of the Christmas break. We all really enjoyed our lunch. The restaurant staff were relaxed and chilled, and the food was extremely good and fresh. Husband-Gusto had never been to the Three Buoys before, and he was very enthusiastic about a return. A win!

Merry Christmas!!