INNS AROUND THE ISLAND
The Sloop, Wootton Bridge
Written and drawn by AWR Caws
First Published August/September 1973
When we walked into 'The Sloop' in Wootton Bridge, we realised that here was something a bit special. Since we had last visited the inn some years ago a great transformation had taken place, both in appearance and character.
Although the original building remains the waterside pub as we knew it had gone. In its place is an attractive roadhouse, its white wells gleaming in the sunshine. The old mill which had. stood for many years on the Quay beside the inn had been demolished and houses erected on the site.
Considerable alterations have been carried out inside the building, the old public bar and snug no longer existed the captain's cabin has been extended, with a large picture window Installed at its north end. This gives an unimpeded view of thecreek looking out towards Spithead.
On your port beam as you enter the inn there is a dining room and during the summer months a riverside bar is also open.
It is apparent that much thought has been given to the general decor of the place. Everything is what used to be called 'in keeping'. 'The captain's cabin' is fitted with portholes (they really work) and 'midships' there are two very fine models of considerable age and exquisite craftsmanship, replicas of famous old selling vessels The Victory' and The Endeavour'.A picture of 'Brittania entering Portsmouth Harbour' and several small prints of maritime subjects decorate the walls. The dining room which provides seating for from 30 to 36 people looked most inviting with its shining silver and immaculate white table linen. There is seven day catering with a fresh menu daily offering a wide range of dishes. This would seem to be an ideal place in which to' hold small dinner parties.
Bar lunches, at around 40p, represent good value and are available on weekdays. Toasted sandwiches and home made vegetable soup.are the well-established favourites.
Cream teas on the terrace are a proposed new attraction which will most probably have started by the time this goes into print.
'The Sloop', situated as it is on Wootton Bridge astride the creek and just off the Ryde to Newport Road, attracts many members of the yachting fraternity. Not only is Wootton and nearby Fishbourne a notable sailing area in its own right, but it is mid-distance between Cowes and the East Wight Yachting Centres of Seaview and Bembridge.
The brewers have no doubt been responsible for many of the alterations, but much credit must go to John and Joy Woollerton who have been running 'The Sloop' for two and a half years. They are both from the Chichester area of Sussex and this is their first venture as innkeepers. John was previously a business executive with an international company and in this capacity he travelled exclusively in many parts of the world.
This inn with its country-club atmosphere is an excellent spot for a meal or drink in most pleasant surroundings where one can look out on the natural beauty and watch theactivities of the creek whilst enjoying the courteous service provided by management and staff.
This Sloop, in our opinion Al at Lloyds, is popular with residents from many parts of the Wight and with holiday makers looking for the kind of amenities offered here.