Robert Thompson

Robert Thompson

Robert Thompson

Robert's next move took him to the Isle of Wight, where he led the kitchen at The Hambrough. Only four months after taking over as head chef he had won the second Michelin star of his career, making his the only such restaurant on the island. The Hambrough was also named twenty-sixth best restaurant in Britain in the Good Food Guide. In addition, he ran the hotel’s two AA rosette sister restaurant, The Pond Café.

His menus at The Hambrough were rich with local fish and seafood. Such dishes included delicate canapés like Citrus-cured sea bass on blinis with ossetra caviar and crème fraiche, accomplished signature dishes of Pressed smoked eel with foie gras, roast pork belly and caramelised Granny Smith apple and delicately flavoured mains like Pan-roasted turbot cooked on the bone with fennel croquettes and Pernod velouté. Meat and game were also featured, as with his Roasted loin of New Forest venison with snails, roasted chervil root and field mushroom purée, and Slow-cooked island pork belly with local lobster and cep cannelloni. And to finish, his Banana and caramel parfait with peanut ice cream and kalamansi citrus purée, and his Baked pineapple and ginger cake with muscovado sugar and mascarpone sorbet was said to be particularly mouth-watering.

In 2014 he took another hotel position at The George, also on the island, keen to gain further experience and explore other parts of the industry. Not quite ready to open his own restaurant, a long-standing ambition, he continued to produce the seasonal delights that made him famous.

It was in August 2015 that Thompson's, his first solo restaurant, became ready for business in Newport. Still on the island he has made his home, he says that his forty-eight-seat enterprise 'bridges the gap between bistro and overly exclusive restaurants. As a chef who just loves to cook and be creative it has always been my dream to have my own place and now it’s here and happening. I am absolutely buzzing!'

His individual cooking style now firmly developed – reflecting both his training in classical kitchens and the lightness and freshness of modern dining – Robert’s inventive dishes and intense flavours are now a favourite on the Isle of Wight. 'I love the island and love cooking for my customers and friends.'

Three things you should know

Robert makes the most of the Isle of Wight's incredible produce, including its famous tomatoes, asparagus and cheese.

The restaurant has been refurbished and updated over the years, with the building's original beams and features put centre stage.

The pass at Thompson's is open to the downstairs dining room, allowing diners to watch the chefs at work.