Viv’s Cooking is a traditional English cafe with a Caribbean twist on Sandown High Street.

The cafe is run by Viv and her husband Paul who create a welcoming and warm atmosphere from the moment you enter.

The authentic Caribbean cuisine found in Viv’s Cooking makes this cafe unique and brings exciting diversity to the Island’s food culture.

As well as enriching our Island with Caribbean culture the cafe also works to bring our community together with events that owner Viv organises with people in need of company in mind. 

Owners Viv and Paul opened their cafe in 2022, deciding to incorporate parts of both their culture's foods - Viv having grown up in Jamaica and Paul in England.

Isle of Wight County Press: Viv's Cooking in SandownViv's Cooking in Sandown (Image: Willow Samuel)

Viv said: ‘The British do absolutely superb puddings, how could I not incorporate them?’. 

Within their cafe, the pair host an array of different events that aim to help build a stronger sense of community around their business.

"When we decided we were moving we knew we were going to start our own business but we also knew that we wanted to be a part of the community," Viv said. 

The events also aim to encourage those in the community who are alone or single to overcome the sometimes daunting prospect of going out to eat alone.

When you book to go to one of Viv’s Cooking’s events instead of booking a table you book spaces.

Viv takes care to do this so that no one attending is sitting on their own. This unique approach to social events means that customers can meet new people and creates a comfortable place to eat. 

Viv organises her events this way because she knows what it feels like wanting to go out to eat but being on your own holding you back.

She explained why this is a problem worth solving: "If lockdown has proved anything it’s proved that we need each other. People need companionship."

Viv grew up cooking traditional Caribbean food with her mother in Jamaica. She began cooking at ten years old and said: "Before long empty plates became my joy." 

With Viv’s Cooking, Viv brings a small part of her Island life in Jamaica to ours.

She thinks that diversifying the Island's food culture is important because in her words: "With a little bit of diversity they [tourists] get to try different cultures and it’s very unexpected on the Island so it's a very, very pleasant surprise for most people."

The cafe has a warm and welcoming atmosphere and has something for everyone with a delicious spread of various cakes and treats, authentic Jamaican flavours, and familiar traditional English foods. 

Currently, Viv’s Cooking is hosting ‘Fish Fridays’ every Friday in March and April where you can enjoy classic battered fish or Jamaican Escovitch Fish, and a Caribbean comedy night including a two-course meal with comedienne ‘Sis Shirley Goodness’ on April 6.  

The next time you’re in Sandown and hungry I urge you to stop by, the charming friendly atmosphere, bubbly owner Viv, and the flavoursome food are sure to win you over.