Last week, Robin and I were asked by the The Hut a popular beachside restaurant on the Isle of Wight to come along and shoot some food photography and a few portraits for the owners, George and Matt Adams. I hadn’t been over to the Isle for a couple of years, but I had heard about The Hut from a few friends who had enjoyed some spectacular, (boozy) lunches beside the sea. I was expecting great things, but I have to say that I was absolutely blown away by the location of this restaurant, nestled beside colourful beach huts in Colwell Bay with fabulous views across the Solent.
Over the last 15 years, I’ve visited the Isle of Wight regularly for festivals – mainly the legendary Isle of Wight Festival, but also Bestival when it used to be on the Isle in a massive mud bowl at Robin Hill Country Park. Aside from the island’s famous festivals which have always been cool (ever since Jimi Hendrix played IOW Festi in 1970) I never really considered the IOW to be a hip destination until recently. It was of course totally cool when Queen Victoria used to holiday at Osborne House and so it's great to see that the Isle of Wight is happening again with The Hut very clearly leading the way. On top of their game, I would go as far as saying these guys run THE best beach restaurant in the UK at the moment. Certainly the best outside of Cornwall.
The Hut is a destination restaurant and I would definitely recommend a trip to the IOW just so that you can visit. It’s that good. The Isle of Wight is easy to get to from Portsmouth via Wightlink car ferry (the crossing is just 45mins) and a day trip to the Isle is easy. You might also fancy sailing in on your own yacht? Ancorage is very good and there are very few rocks. The guys have tenders and can bring you in to shore from your own boat to the restaurant. Just give them a wave and they'll come and collect you. Now, that is cool.
The Hut menu is on point – it's a seafood lovers dream. The lively kitchen headed up by their talented and creative head chef Ben Chamberlain sent out monkfish tacos, ceviche, grilled octopus, tuna poke bowl, cod fillet and Amalfi tart for us to shoot. The dream! This summer, book yourself in for a sunny Sunday lunch and try a few local 'Mermaid' gin and tonics. You’ll love it. Here are a few more of my photos from this fab photo shoot.
Andie Moore is a London based destination and lifestyle photographer writing about travel, hotels and destination weddings.