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An idyllic retreat on the Isle of Wight

19th April 2013 Print
Priory Bay Hotel

Surrounded by 60 acres of beautiful coastal estate on the Isle of Wight, Priory Bay Hotel offers the perfect UK escape.  The charming period property, steeped in history and rich in flora and fauna, comprises eighteen distinctively designed bedrooms which retain many of their original 14th Century features and offers stunning views. Whether you are seeking an activity filled break or just want to relax and enjoy beautiful scenery, visitors are spoilt for choice: Priory Bay offers more activities and facilities than almost anywhere else in the UK.

Dining options at Priory Bay include The Island Room restaurant, an elegant room decorated with fine Regency murals which offers a seasonal menu featuring ingredients from the grounds of the hotel and The Priory Oyster (with alfresco terrace), a relaxed, yet stylish, restaurant specialising in seafood. Head Chef Oliver Stephens recently returned to Priory Bay having spent the last few years working in Michelin-starred restaurants across the globe, including two years at Noma, Copenhagen. A keen forager, Oliver grew up on the Island and is passionate about using local suppliers and producers. His dishes include: cured and grilled sea bass with salty herbs and cuttlefish; barbeque whole wild duck with bitter and sweet herbs; grilled onions with island truffle and wild garlic. Desserts include hazelnut ice cream with thyme; and apple and blackcurrant crumble bread with bread ice cream. 

Working closely with Oliver is his childhood friend James Trevaskis (Gauthier Soho), restaurant manager and head sommelier. Also a local boy originally from the island, James' wine list has an emphasis on biodynamic and organic wines. With a number of other esteemed chefs having recently taken up residence on the island, Oliver is in good company as the Isle of Wight is fast becoming one of the UK’s most exciting foodie destinations.

Adventurous visitors to Priory Bay can enjoy an abundance of thrilling activities ranging from kayaking to adventure tree climbing or sports such as outdoor swimming, tennis or golf. The team are also on hand to arrange excellent boating and yachting trips, due to the hotel’s location positioned between the famous sailing towns of Bembridge and Seaview and its vicinity to Portsmouth and Cowes. Try sailing Infanta, a classic sailing yacht, or pound the waves on Blue Lady, the hotel’s very own RIB.

Quieter days can be spent participating in a falconry course, or indulging in holistic beauty therapies and massage treatments in the comfort of your own room, (great for wellbeing escapes). The beautiful grounds are also perfect for exploring and visitors can enjoy the Isle of Wight’s microclimate, while spotting a red squirrel or two. Guests can go fishing or foraging for wild mushrooms, herbs and berries around the diverse surrounding grasslands with chef Oliver (whose findings will appear in a dish later that day).  Priory Bay also has its very own beach, great for enjoying a long walk along the stunning coastline, beachcombing, or wandering along on horseback. Complete with wedding license, the beach is perfect for couples looking for a unique and romantic setting to make their vows. The hotel and estate is also available for exclusive hire for wedding parties.

In addition to the main house, Priory Bay offers a selection of alternative accommodation options including two Tithe Barns, self-catering houses and cottages perfect for groups of friends and families or for those with dogs (the estate sleeps approximately 110 guests in total). The yurts, located above the beach and in the woods, are also a popular option for guests and offer en-suite bathrooms and private terraces with spectacular views. Guests and non-residents can also take advantage of The Boathouse on the Beach (a pop-up summer eatery) and take over the whole restaurant.

For visitors looking to venture away from the hotel and to explore the Isle of Wight, there are a multitude of activities on the island including visits to Osborne House, the Isle of Wight Zoo, Carisbrooke Castle, Brading Downs and Brading Roman Villa.

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Priory Bay Hotel