Eating out in Cowes Week is cheaper in 2012 than it was in 2011 – that’s the unexpected conclusion of a price survey by Matt and Cat’s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide.
Despite popular wisdom suggesting that food prices in the famous sailing town only ever go up, a recent survey of some of the more popular foods – including a portion of chips, an all-day breakfast and a burger – has suggested the opposite.
Food reviewer Matt explained, “We are frustrated when we hear people say that it’s too expensive to eat out in Cowes during Cowes Week, because our experience is that many local businesses are pricing competitively, even putting on special summer deals. Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week asked us to survey a selection of Cowes high street prices in 2011 just before the start of regatta week, and we repeated the survey this year. Although some prices had indeed gone up, most had stayed the same and many had even dropped. In particular we found that, on average, food prices had gone down.”
The survey compared advertised prices for common items at a range of venues in Cowes and Gurnard. A portion of chips at the Anchor has gone up 25p since 2011 to £3 – making it jointly the most expensive portion of chips surveyed in Cowes this year, alongside the Coast Bar. Yet the average price for chips across the town has dropped 7p since 2011. The humble burger has shown the most surprising price change, with the average Cowes burger costing 42p less than last year at only £6.59, and price reductions seen at Lugley’s, the Fountain and the Duke of York. The cheapest burger in Cowes was found at Totties Fish and Chips, costing only £2.60. The most expensive is again at Coast costing £10.95 – although unlike Totties this includes an entire meal. A sailing crew favourite is the all-day breakfast, and this staple of Cowes dining has also gone down in price by an average of 28p, to £6.14. The cheapest breakfast surveyed was at Cowes Combined Services and Social Club and costs only £4.50.
However, tea and coffee drinkers will have to dig a little deeper this year as there have been some price increases, albeit modest ones. Retaining its crown for the most expensive coffee in Cowes is the Steam outlet in Fountain Yard which is selling coffee for £2.70. By contrast the cheapest cup can be found at Eegon’s, costing half Steam’s price, at only £1.35 – exactly the same as last year. But overall the average cost of a cup of coffee has gone up by 16p to £1.85; whereas the average cost of tea has gone up by only 9p to £1.50. The priciest tea costs £2.20 for a pot at Brawn’s.
Michelle Warner, Sales and Marketing Director at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week said “We spend a lot of time gathering feedback from our race competitors and visitors to the event to identify areas for improvement. In the current economic climate, cost reduction is one key area that we have been looking to address with all the partner organisations we work with. I’m therefore really pleased to learn that the cost of eating out in Cowes is decreasing year-on-year during regatta week!”
Food reviewer Cat added “Given that we know the cost of ingredients has gone up, these price reductions can mean really good value for those who want to eat out during Cowes Week. Sure, if you want to eat expensive food there will be plenty on offer. But the local cafes, pubs and restaurants in Cowes are quite clearly doing their bit to offer good food at affordable prices”.
Further information: and regular food reviews can be found on www.mattandcat.co.uk external website link.
All Images: Island Pulse Cowes Week Photo Galleries click here: Isle of Wight Photo Agency.
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