If you’re looking for a high quality breakfast this half-term (or for the rest of the year round depending on when you read this!) then look no further than The Duck here in my home-town of Ryde.
Run By Charlie (Chaz) Bartlett and his wife Helen, they are also helped by their daughters Molly and Amy, the latter who runs the media and advertising side of the business. Add this to Charlie’s many years on the island (he attended Swanmore middle school, has been head chef at The Garlic Farm as well as The Waxworks in Brading) and you get the feel of a very local, very family-friendly restaurant.
The interior is clean and smart-looking, with large windows all the way around the dining area, giving it a bright and unique feel. The views of the ducks and swans on the canoe lake can soothe anyone’s mind, especially if it’s first thing in the morning and you’re looking to ease yourself into the day.
And what a breakfast it is! Two fried eggs on toast, a sausage pinned beneath sweet potato fries, bacon, beans, cherry tomatoes, and the best mushrooms I’ve tasted in a long time. At £7.95 it’s great value for money, and the food is island-sourced as much as it can be. It’s a great way to start your day. so if you’re an early worker such as a builder, scaffolder, taxi driver (like myself) it fills the hole all the way up until lunch. And if you’re a parent with kids, get them in there for breakfast and then buy a bag of duck-feed (£1) from The Duck itself and feed the birds on the canoe lake!
If you’re driving down for your breakfast, it’s free parking around the canoe lake until 10am. Breakfast is from 9-11, lunch from 12-2.30pm, then The Duck closes its doors until 6.30pm when you’ll find you need to call and book a table for dinner as it’s always busy in the evenings, and rightly so.
Last food orders are around 9pm, but the bar is open longer, so—at this time of year—you can sit by one of the massive windows and watch the sun set, or the cruise liners crossing the Solent, or simply people-watch those walking along the seafront.
The downstairs capacity is approximately 45 people; ideal for a small wedding, birthday celebration, or even a high school reunion (one of which they are hosting soon!). Upstairs is currently being renovated, but once finished The Duck will double its capacity, although there is a fully working bar upstairs. It’s a perfectly situated venue for anything you need.
So, one morning over this half-term, get yourself down The Duck and treat yourself to some breakfast. You won’t be disappointed.