Ok I’ll admit it. I have written about this place before. I apologise (but it is a good’un).
Way back at the beginning of summer a company called Wight Locations asked me to do a guest blog post for their website. Grenson and I compiled our top 6 cafe/restaurants on the Isle of Wight for dogs …. well not quite for dogs, more for hoomans that are with dogs, but you know what I mean.
If you look hard enough you may be able to still find it somewhere out there on the world wide web.
Anyway, as I was looking through old piccies I came across the ones that I had taken for that blog post and quite frankly it made me nostalgic for those heady days of summer. (Listen, Christmas is over, all I’ve got immediately ahead of me is never ending months of darkness. I need something to look forward to!)
One of the places we visited jumped out at me as we had recently been back there after a nice long Christmas walk (to the pub). On that occasion I had a delicious coffee and walnut cake with a top quality flat white to wash it down. (Which reminds me, I also have lots of trips to the gym to schedule in during this season of gloom).
However, I don’t want to talk about cosy winter walks and warming coffee and cake (not today anyway), I want to take us all back to the days of crickets in the long grass, of swallows dive bombing in the blue skies, and of ice cubes slowly melting in late evening drinks. Let’s all go back to summertime!
(Cue: wavy fade back to the past).
I mean!! Look at us!! I’m wearing shorts and t-shirt and jauntily hanging shades around my neck. Grenson is panting from the heat. There is even a hint of colour on my face rather than my current deathly pallor.
Good times. Hot summer good times.
And where are we enjoying this glorious sunny afternoon? Why, the wonderful ‘Off the Rails‘ cafe in Yarmouth, of course.
This place pretty much has everything.
Its location is a dream for dog walkers. Grenson and I are particularly fond of the trek along the old railway line from Yarmouth to Freshwater. Keep the river on your right and head away from Yarmouth car park, keeping an eye out for kingfishers along the way. This path eventually leads you to a bridge, at which point if you turn right you’ll come across the Red Lion pub. A perfect place for a refreshment stop (and another place I wrote about for Wight Locations that I may need to revisit in the future for this blog too).
If you then retrace your steps and take a right before the old mill building, you’ll end up back at Off the Rails for further refreshments. After all, it’s always important to stay refreshed when on a walk.
Arriving at this cafe via the old railway path is most fitting, as this place is situated in the old Yarmouth railway station (Off the Rails, see what they did there? Clever).
From the outside it seems like the station has remained untouched since the steam trains were regularly pulling up outside. Indeed, you’ll still find the platform out front, but instead of commuters and tourists hurriedly disembarking, you’ll find diners leisurely munching on cakes and sandwiches.
Inside, the retro railway feel continues with seating booths styled like 1950s carriages complete with luggage racks overhead.
The booths are great in the winter but as we’re time travelling back to summer in this post, take a look below at the seats on the platform. What an idyllic view to enjoy your lunch beside!
Oh, and as if great walks, quirky historic surroundings, delicious coffee, cakes and lunches, all enjoyed beside beautiful countryside views weren’t enough to confirm my assertion that this place has everything, then take a look below. They even have a menu for your pooch!
Of course, with this place open all year round (closed Mondays & Tuesdays except bank holidays) and even open until 10pm on a Friday and Saturday (bookings necessary) there is no reason not to enjoy this special little place any time of the year.
So don’t wait around for the sun to shine (it may be on holiday for sometime yet); head there as soon as you can…you can always make another visit when it’s shorts and T-shirt weather again!
The Man and the Dog..