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North House, Cowes, Isle of Wight
We think this restored Georgian townhouse has to be the most stylish address in the Isle of Wight. It sits in a prime spot in West Cowes old town and oozes Farrow and Ball style with bespoke wallpaper in the bijou bar, rows of Hunter wellies in the hall, free-standing baths in the gorgeous ensuite bedrooms and leather banquettes in the restaurant.
We loved picking through the charity shops on the high street before taking a buffeting stroll along the seafront.
North House is perfectly placed on a quiet residential street in the heart of Cowes Old Town.
By car: car ferries run regularly from Southampton to East Cowes, Lymington to Yarmouth and Portsmouth to Ryde and Fishbourne. There is no parking on-site, but there's a long-stay car park a five-minute walk from the hotel. redfunnel.com; wightlink.co.uk
By train: trains run regularly from London Victoria and Waterloo to both Southampton and Portsmouth, which are also well-served by trains from Bristol, Oxford and Manchester. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
North House suits the well-heeled city-dweller looking for a seaside escape. The entire hotel smells divine. You can buy the room scent at Staples and Green on the High Street, an interiors shop run by the owners.
Service & Facilities
We love the live jazz on a Sunday evening with nibbles and sharing plates from the kitchen.
- Swimming pool
- Tennis court (offsite)
- Free Wi-Fi
- Walled garden
- Sun terrace
Rooms 1 and 3 both have working fireplaces. Overall we prefer Room 3 because it features a beautiful bespoke Farrow and Ball wallpaper. We also love the spacious bathrooms with Jack and Jill sinks and enormous walk-in showers - and the retro radios and silver tea tins.
Cosy, Comfy, Spacious
Facilities include: king-sized beds, free Wi-Fi, coffee and tea facilities, in-room pantry, hairdryer
Food & Drink
The well-mixed Aperol spritz and the dark chocolate and sea salt tart were highlights. The pan-roasted duck breast with cauliflower puree, dauphinoise potatoes and a red wine reduction was also divine.
The Restaurant: specialises on local produce and fresh seafood. Mains from £13-£23. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.