If you follow us on Instagram, you may have spotted that I recently spent a weekend on the Isle of Wight - thank you so much for all the suggestions of places to visit, they came in very handy! More on that later...
The trip came about as the lovely folk of Tiny Home Holidays invited us to come and spend a couple of nights in one of their sustainable cabin-style homes set in lush countryside near Newport.
After a speedy crossing with Wightlink from Portsmouth, and a quick drive across the island, we were greeted by a serene meadow setting and these three compact structures, hidden away from the road.
Stepping inside our cabin - Hygge - we discover how well thought out the space is. Clever storage solutions and spatial planning mean that while it is certainly compact it doesn't feel cramped. There is a living space with a sofa that converts into a comfy bed, as well as a desk area and a wood-burning stove. The kitchen has everything you need to cook a meal as well as a BBQ out the front of the cabin. A sliding door hides the bathroom with a shower, sink and composting toilet. Climb the ladder, and you'll find another sleeping area with a double bed as well as a storage area for hanging clothes and stowing bags.
The eco-credentials encourage mindfulness in terms of how you use the space and it's amenities. They are solar-powered and you must conserve water as much as possible. But it's clear that owners Helen and Frazer have not neglected making their tiny homes welcoming and homely too - they have put lots of thought into the decor also. The wood cladding made the space feel cosy and cabin-like, and lots of contemporary and vintage touches create a real home-from-home feel. We were also provided with a few essentials such as tea, coffee and milk and a lovely treat of homemade chocolate brownies - not something you'll receive in a faceless chain hotel that's for sure!
Our evenings were spent out on the deck, chatting over a bottle of wine, listening to the sounds of nature and simply appreciating those precious moments spent with family.
With just two days to explore the island and a recommendation list as long as my arm, we wasted no time and headed first to Cowes for a spot of lunch at The Harbour Kitchen and a perusal of lifestyle store PHG Interiors. This store really stood out amongst the other coastal/island-inspired shops we came across, mixing contemporary, utilitarian and vintage looks as well as stocking a selection of clothing and skincare products.
Visiting the island during a heatwave inevitably means gravitating towards the coastline and it's many beautiful beaches and we managed to spend time on a few - The Needles (great for kids as there is also amusements and a sweet factory which offers demonstrations), Compton Bay (a vast sandy beach) and Steephill Cove (a small yet perfectly quaint spot). We also visited Ventnor briefly before heading home, where my daughter enjoyed the paddling pool and we all enjoyed an ice cream from Crave, who serve an ever-changing menu of intriguing flavours. My daughter devoured her Lego ice cream!
No trip to the Isle of Wight could be complete without a visit to stunning jewellery store, Rust. If you've got the latest issue of 91, then it's likely you have already been swooning over this gorgeous shop, and the home of owner Artemis Russell. I can report it is equally as lovely in person as it is in print, and Artemis and her husband Nao's talent for both jewellery making and product design is second to none. Save up your pennies and get over to the island and treat yourself to a lovely piece of jewellery - I, for one, didn't leave empty-handed!