Every year we celebrate Christmas at home in London followed by a relaxing few days on the Isle of Wight with my finance’s whole family. We pack up the car and drive over to Southampton to catch the ferry across to the Island. A little side story: Last year was my first year visiting the Isle of Wight and when we got to the ferry port, Ciaran’s family asked me if I had my passport to show the toll booth lady before we drove on. I was mortified, thinking I had ruined the entire trip, a hysteric no, I said – to which they all burst out laughing and couldn’t go on with the joke any further.
Anyways, the ferry ride is always fun – if the weather is lovely you can look out to the ocean on the deck or stay warm inside with pastys, bacon baps and lattes – we went for the latter this time around. It only takes about 45 minutes to sail over to the Island – it’s a breeze.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Isle of Wight, it holds a significant place in history. Ciaran’s grandad always tells me tales of how he was sent off to the Isle of Wight during World War II to stay safe when he was younger. I always deemed it to be a safe place to seek refuge based on his stories, but it was in fact one of the most dangerous places to seek refuge. It was on route for German bombers and was attacked 125 times. This year, we went up on the Ventnor Downs and saw the massive pillboxes used for protection during the war. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me at the time, but we’ll be heading there in a few weeks and planning to explore more so stay tuned.
Besides being a significant part of British history, the Isle of Wight is picturesque and proves to be one of the most peaceful retreats. It’s like stepping back in time to a place where time stands still. Buildings that are far older than the US as a country, remain over looking the ocean. Cottages that look like they leapt off the page of your favourite story book exist here. We always stay in Ventnor, but the surrounding areas are lovely as well. The village is filled with independently owned shops and friendly faces and the seafood is out of this world because it’s caught fresh everyday. For a most relaxing and serene weekend getaway, I can’t recommend the Isle of Wight enough. Check out some of my favourite photos from our Wight Christmas that will make you fall in love with this laid back and charming seaside town.
Every morning, we take a walk over to Steephill Cove. The sky was so blue on this particular morning, it was beautiful and a welcome change to the endless downpour we had been experiencing in London. Ciaran always tells me how they get fresh lobster from Steephill Cove in the summertime and its the best he’s ever had. I can’t wait to visit this summer to try more of the restaurants as a lot of them have closed down for the winter and will re-open in the Spring.
The past few years, we’ve picked up crab and lobster meat from Ventnor Haven fishery to take home and make sandwiches. In the summer, I want to get the legendary takeaway fish and chips, packaged up in newspaper, to eat on the beach.
Our weather the second day we were on the Island wasn’t as great as the first, but still beautiful nonetheless.
Whenever I spend a few days by the ocean, I feel compelled to eat as many crab and lobster sandwiches as I can to tide me over to the next trip. This crab sandwich from Betsy & Spinkys was pretty amazing – packed with crab meat, a little lobster meat, and just the right amount of mayo to coat it all in a warm toasted baguette – I can’t say I had any qualms with it, other than the fact I wanted another.
Ciaran’s Nonna’s home overlooking the sea is like a storybook cottage. If I could wake up to that view every morning, I would in a heartbeat.
Even our dog Rosie loves the Isle of Wight (had to throw this one in for good measure).
Our Wight Christmas consisted of a lot of eating, drinking copious amounts of champagne, playing card games, cozying up by the fire, taking long walks on the beach and sleeping. What could be better? We’ll be back again in a few week’s for Ciaran’s Nonna’s 90th birthday! So stay tuned for more IOW updates.
What’s your favourite part of the Isle of Wight? I’d love to hear any tips on where to visit or things to see!
Thanks for reading x