Standing in the queue for an ice cream on a baking hot day at Robin Hill country park, was the last place I’d expect to get a great tip for gluten free fish and chips on the Isle of Wight. Particularly since the tip I received was for somewhere I’d eaten at plenty of times before.
Truly, I do love the random conversations with strangers (in supermarkets, airplanes, ice cream queues…) who are part of the coeliac community. In this case, a woman and her son standing behind me in the queue were discussing whether the ice creams on sale at Robin Hill were safe for coeliacs this year (they are not). It would be rude not to strike up a conversation in these circumstances so we exchanged our top tips (her daughter was coeliac) for eating out on the Isle of Wight.
Somewhat incredulously for me, her top recommendation for gluten free fish and chips was The Boathouse in Seaview. I have been here plenty of times over the years and they’ve never had gluten free fish and chips on the menu, or indeed much in the way of gluten free food choices.
However, the menu at The Boathouse now offers a great deal of gluten free options.
Still not quite believing this menu change, I called to check whether they had a shared or dedicated fryer. I was advised that ALL of the battered fish are now made with gluten free flour and that the gluten free items are cooked in a dedicated fryer making them safe for coeliacs.
Our entire party of 6 ordered the fish and chips, although I was the only one who is gluten free. Not one of them could notice any difference in the batter and everyone thought it was delicious.
I thought the batter was light, crispy and not greasy. It came served with mushy peas which on this particular occasion I wasn’t very fussed about.
However, just because they happened to be on the menu, I ordered the gluten free onion rings. Again the batter was light and crispy. I should have ordered more than one portion of these. My son (not known for his adventurous eating) devoured them and I had a job to wrestle any of the onion rings from his mitts.
For dessert there were several interesting looking dessert options which are specifically labelled as gluten free on The Boathouse menu including:
– After Eight parfait: Served with mint jellies and a pistachio crumb
– Creme brûlée on summer berries served with a honeycomb crumb
– Strawberry shortbread cheesecake
On this visit we decided to skip ordering dessert in favour of stretching our legs in the glorious Easter sunshine to the nearby ice cream stall.
Where to find gluten free fish and chips on the Isle of Wight:
Location: The Boathouse, Springvale Road, Seaview, Isle of Wight PO34 5AW
Website: The Boathouse
Cost: Fish and chips cost a very reasonable £12.95 or £7.95 for a smaller portion
Would I Go Back? Absolutely, and I’ll be making sure I order extra onion rings for everyone next time!
Tip for those visiting with younger children – there’s a good public playground in Puckpool Park which is adjacent to the Boathouse.
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