For more than 180 years, Cowes has been a beguiling, playful jewel in the British Social Sailing Calendar, and the discreet summer playground of the jet set. Now there is a new, unmissable reason to visit Cowes this summer.
Robert Thompson, chef patron of The Hambrough in Ventnor – the Island’s only Michelin starred restaurant – is setting up a ‘pop-up’ outpost at Northwood House throughout July and August 2010, by kind permission of the Management Trustees of Northwood House.
Thompson’s objective is to showcase a ‘delicious, light as air summer menu’ – bursting with vibrant, seasonal ingredients and surprises from the island farmers, fishermen and artisan producer in the rare and lovely setting of a Victorian Grade II listed jewel. Thompson hopes that the opportunity to dine at Northwood House, at such a glorious time of year, will help highlight the Trustees’ cause of ensuring a prosperous future for the much loved building.
Funds to help save Northwood House will be raised in various ways throughout the summer, thanks to the support offered by Thompson and his team. Diners will have the opportunity to show their support for the Trustees and the huge task they face in trying to save this lovely house by adding a donation to their bill which will go direct to the Northwood House Charitable Trust. In addition, a Gala Charity Opening Night will be held on 15th July. A ticket for this event offers an opportunity to sample a showcase of canapés by Thompson and a ‘Northwood Sunset’ cocktail as well as a ticket for the summer fundraising raffle.
Northwood House was the rather grand vision of one man, George Ward, who commissioned John Nash to redesign the original 18th-century building. In 1837 a new house rose out of the shell and grew to become a magnet for all of glittering social and political Europe.
From Thompson you can expect youthful, laidback glamour, culinary zeal and some cherished Thompson concepts. The stars of the menu will include salad of local lobster with island tomatoes, marjoram and olive oil; oven roasted veal tenderloin, with pink fir apple potatoes, lemon and rosemary; island organic eggs, with watercress, girolles and summer truffles, and to finish, strawberries from Arreton with mascarpone, lemon and mint.
Thompson says “Throughout July and August my menus will be taking inspiration from the incredible Island larder, and the intriguing history of Northwood. It’s going to be all about the flavours of a perfect Isle of Wight summer.”
“Here is my invitation: come and dine on vibrant, local food amid the charm and splendour of Victorian Northwood and witness the house come back to life.’