Cowes - An Award Winners Haven

So January was the myisleofwight Awards – a great night out for all involved – over 300 Island businesses were nominated and the top 3 nominees from each of the 26 categories attended the awards evening at Northwood House.

And it seems to me that there were a lot of these nominees & winners all coming from one place - Cowes. Obviously this has become a centre for Island excellence and the place to go - so when next the opportunity presented itself I grabbed the Wife and the girls and decide to head over and checkout what’s hot and what's not for myself.

Parking in the centre of town (near MooCow - great for cocktails and very dog friendly!), we passed Coast (Best Homemade Burger 2013), then Corries Cabin (winner 2 years in a row for Best Fish and Chips in your Hand), then on along the high street until we reached Live like This (winner Best Shop to Pick Up That Something Special 2012,2013 & 2104!).

This fab shop run by the lovely Tracy is perfect for picking something special up for the girls or the Wife (Orly Kiely bags are a particular favourite), and for guys there is Buff and now for the little ones there is Little Live Like This too – a veritable emporium of cool stuff. A bit further along you pass the Mess Canteen – nominated this year and renowned for serving cocktails in jam jars!

By now the sun was past the yard arm and the girls were getting grizzly due to rumbling tummies so we decided to stop for lunch at this years double award winner – the Union Inn. This homely olde worldy pub is nestled on a cobbled lane up from the Island Sailing Club, with the water a few metres way and this year scooped the award for Most Comfy Bed and Hearty Breakfast and also Best Homemade Burger.

The gauntlet had been thrown – we needed to check out this claim ourselves. So in we trooped and grabbed the menu and found a seat out the back.  Conveniently a beer festival was taking place at the time and lots of barrels of beer were outside for ready use - and beer tokens available from the bar. What a splendid idea. Inside the walls were festooned with boards and notices on special offers and the days Specials and the main menu looked great too. It offers a wide range of homemade burgers – with a no carbs option perfect for the Wife (think a burger on a massive salad with no bun or fries). The fries were great and the portions big and there was also a great selection of home made pies including rabbit and spring vegetable – yum! Now on Mondays all food is 50% off – so definitely worth a visit!

We ordered some burgers and a pie and enjoyed a pint (or two) of real ale while we waited (not the kids obviously) and then the food arrived and was really good. As I went up to pay at the end I was pleased to see the two myisleofwight awards in pride of place on the shelf behind the bar – well deserved in my opinion.

I’ll have to come back and stay to sample the delights of the B&B at a later date….