Bestival HQ have enjoyed our musings, reviews and reports so much in the run up to Bestival, that they asked us to compile a VentnorBlog guide to the Island for all Bestival goers.
We’re sure that many Bestival goers will be so wowed by the beauty of the Island, that they’ll decide to stay on for a few hours after the camp closes on Monday, and if you’re one of those people, why not take the opportunity to follow our guide and tour around our fair Isle, or even head back sometime?
It’s hard to find the best bits of the Island – that’s why exploring it can be so rewarding. We aim to give you some short cuts.
First off, given the title of this blog, it’s not surprising that we’d urge you to head straight down to Ventnor (fantastic shot of the Cascade courtesy of VentnorGraphic).
Of course, we’re biased, but Ventnor Beach is an oft undiscovered jewel of the Island, made all the better for the slight effort you have to make to get there. We all know that the best things always take a little effort don’t they?
When you reach the town, don’t be fooled by the odd bit of flaking paint – this is beyond that tired phrase, shabby chic.
Ventnor’s a town that under going a quiet revolution, Shh … don’t tell everyone, we have a couple of antique shops, and our fair share of estate agents (every town has its share of problems doesn’t it?), but over the past year or so, there have been some excellent additions to Ventnor.
Take the authentic Tapas bar, El Toro Contento which can be found in Pier Street (opposite Somerfields). Here you’ll find excellent tapas and a great atmosphere.
A few doors down the road is Suzes Room, stuffed full of vintage dresses, jewellery, pictures, mirrors, tea sets and loads more. It’s open at the weekends and sometimes on Fridays too, but if you see anything you fancy in the window, you can call the number on the door and Debs or Trace will pop down to let you in.
Up the hill and round the corner to the left at the lights, you’ll find Sophie Honeybourne Jewellery. If you’re lucky you might find Sophie behind the workbench creating one of her fantastic necklaces or trinkets.
Opposite the central car park is the excellent Ventnorian. In a previous life, the premises was a butchers shop and the owner has sensibly left the interior as it once was. Now it is packed full of all things green, ethical and interesting. Pick up organic food, beautiful wooden toys, interesting appliances for energy saving and lots of lovely smelly things (good smelly, not bad).
If you’re looking for the best fry up in town, head down to the esplanade and make sure you order yours at the Ventnor Bay Cafe. As we’ve found after extensive research :), it’s the cleanest fry up on the seafront.
If you’re not in the mood for a fry up, walk further along the esplanade to Tides Cafe – they serve healthy Mediterranean food and great coffee, all with a smile.
Of course, you can’t go to the seaside without having an ice cream, and Minghellas ice cream can be found in the middle of the esplanade. Chocolate flavour always a winner.