Priory Bay Hotel is a beautiful old ruin set in delightful manicured gardens that roll down through some woods to a private bay. There is also a pool and barns for family accommodation which is a clever idea to keep the ankle biters away from the grown ups. The public rooms are faded regency in style with views across the lawn, quiet classical music plays and it is relaxing, all in all the setting is superb.
The rate I got was very good for last minute and the room was OK, a little worn but a decent size, with a good sized bathroom and large balcony overlooking the entrance. The disappointment for me came when I went for dinner. After hearing the staff asking each other where I was, I volunteered my presence and The Maitre d' marched me off to the Oyster which is the casual of the 2 dining rooms. There has been a lot of hype about this restaurant and it features in every magazine on the island. It is situated in a good sized conservatory area. The tables, which look like they'v been made from railway sleepers, have little drawers from where you take your cutlery and the menu is limited with lots of emphasis on homegrown herbs. I ordered fish that was extremely bland and came covered with fresh herbs. Well we all grow herbs these days, and most of us know that they are best served chopped and in a sauce, or with mash, served in the salad or even in the fish. Not just bunged on top. I had also mentioned I did not want fish on the bone. This came on the bone. A tiny boring little fish. I quickly ordered some potatoes. Absolutely nothing appealing on the menu for desert at all, but what was funny was the smug, supercilious air adopted by the young man who seemed to run the restaurant. When he eventually asked if I enjoyed my meal and I had to respond that no it was very bland he did not offer an apology or explanation but just stood there looking blank. Next morning breakfast was in the same room, and while the staff were all quite charming and helpful it was all a bit haphazard with barely cooked through bacon and a few fried eggs that must have been made at least 40minutes previously. However, I asked for scrambled and a big bowl of excellent scrambled eggs soon arrived. There were also plenty of croissants, jams etc. But I would not eat there again, and I have to compare the hotel to The Royal at Ventnor where I'd stayed the day before and who's restaurant was absolutely spectacular as was the service.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Priory Bay is the Isle of Wight's leading country house hotel. Set within a 60-acre estate, it's period buildings have spectacular views out to sea, with gardens and woodland running down to the bay. It inspires our chefs to use the finest seasonal ingredients, whether foraged, farmed or fished we are passionate about local produce. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Priory Bay Seaview
- Hotel Priory Bay
- Priory Bay Hotel Seaview, Isle Of Wight