If there is one thing that the Isle of Wight is renowned for – apart from coloured sand and the Needles – it is amazing locally grown seasonal produce. So we’ve pulled together a quickfire guide to the top gastro retreats on the Island, perfect for pampering your taste buds whilst staying in some of our finest hotels.
Here’s our take on the top 5 places for a staytaste-ion…
The Royal Hotel is Ventnor’s Ritz, it’s one of the Island’s oldest (built in 1832), biggest (53 bedrooms), and most distinguished hotels (it’s one of only 30 to be listed in every Michelin Guide since it was first published in 1911).
Tasteful and elegant, and unashamedly old fashioned, the Royal is like stepping back in time, whilst still benefiting from all the luxuries you’d except of an AA 4 star hotel. On the food front you will not be disappointed – the hotel made it into the 2012 Good Food Guide for its ‘refined dining in an elegant setting’. Make sure you sample their high tea too – tiny delicious sandwiches, delectable cakes and of course scones.
Checkout The Royal Hotel for accommodation offers.
The George in Yarmouth has been welcoming visitors from across the Solent for over 200 years. Built in 1668 this stunning 17 bedroom hotel is co-owned by John Illsley of Dire Straits.
With classic decor and furnishings on the inside – this hotel is all about location – with stunning views looking out over the Solent towards the New Forest. The rooms are all individually decorated and full of warmth and character – enjoy the sumptuous 4 poster bed in room 17, or if you’re off shooting all rooms some with their own gun safes. Downstairs guests can curl up in a comfy chair infront of the fire in the bar or have a delicious meal in the modern and chic Brasserie where the by-words are definitely local, seasonal and organic.
Checkout The George Hotel for accommodation offers.
Clandestine – The Hillside
Hidden in the hills at St Boniface Down, this 18th centaury grade 11 listed country house is built of mellow stone and thatch. With panoramic sea views this place has the reputation as a true clandestine retreat.
Set within 5 acres – the Hillside offers minimalist Scandinavian interiors, with 12 contemporary rooms reflecting their coastal environment. With first class service and hospitality, food plays an important role at Hillside, with menus using fresh local produce simply cooked. Booking at the Hillside is essential as it is difficult to get a table – always a good sign.
Checkout The Hillside for accommodation offers.
Set within 60 acres of woodland with its own private beach to stroll along, this ‘Country House Hotel by the Sea’ dates back as early as 1100.
On arrival you enter under an imposing 14th century portal, before checking in and being shown to your room, all of which have their own distinctive character and are superbly decorated with a mix of styles and eclectic furniture; both antique and new. For the ultimate experience opt for a one of the beachside yurts, complete with roll top free standing bath, or if you are visiting with children, family rooms are available and a babysitter can be arranged to allow you to escape down to the restaurant for dinner.
Dining is an absolute must when visiting the Priory Bay with all tastes catered for, from dining in the Regency-muralled Island Room with gastronomic tasting menu, to a light lunch outside on the terrace in the Priory Oyster restaurant or BBQ down at The Boathouse on the beach. The ethos is local, seasonal and most food is grown or foraged on the hotel’s 60 acre estate and beach.
Checkout The Priory Bay Hotel for accommodation offers.
If you’re in to minimalist chic this is the place for you. Perched on the side of the hill in Ventnor the restaurant looks straight out high over the sea almost like an infinity pool for diners. The seven bedrooms are all 5 AA star standard and each is individually styled to make you feel instantly at home.
But the true allure of the Hambrough is the food. For those who are wowed by accolades, this little Ventnor hotel, has two Michelin starred Chef Patron John Campbell at the helm. Boasting 3 Rosettes and ranked 20 in the Good Food Guide – try the seven course Tasting Menu with Sommelier recommendations for a real treat.
Checkout The Hambrough for accommodation offers.