Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Isle of Wight vs Bembridge

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Isle of Wight vs Bembridge

Article excerpt

The Isle of Wight is a mix of sailors and socialites. Every summer wholesome London families decamp in their SUVs to drink iced white wine at the yacht club. Yet it is also the home of serious, million-pound sailors such as Ellen MacArthur and King Juan Carlos of Spain. Across the Solent, North and East battle it out for the supremacy of the season


Nestling on the easternmost point of the Island is the old-money hamlet of Bembridge. Like its neighbour Seaview, this is a traditional bucket-and-spade holiday destination, where hearty young Londoners learn to sail, Jet Ski and kitesurf before bouncing off to St Tropez. Getting there is easy: Bembridge has its own airport - although you have to charter a plane or, better still, borrow a friend's Cessna. At the social centre is the Bembridge Sailing Club, where mothers butter baps while their cooks prepare extravagant crab salads for the grownups' dinner.

Bicycles are the transport of choice, the older and rustier the better.

Word of warning: Bembridgers don't really do new and shiny. The club hosts two balls in the summer for grownups and kids. Dressing up is the key: this year the adults' theme was James Bond and the Salamander ball for teenagers was Bohemian Rhapsody, an excuse for glam meets punk.

WHERE TO GO The Bembridge Sailing Club is Bembridge's heartbeat. During cadet week in July, hundreds of youngsters and their parents descend to sail, have barbecues and generally muck in. The Crab and Lobster for a pint or two of prawns and lager. The Priory Bay Hotel - where Ernest Bevan wrote his speech proposing the foundation of NATO - for something a little smarter. You might bump into Sacha Distel or Jools Holland

WHAT TO WEAR Docksiders, Oakleys, crew shirts by day, fancy dress by night - there's always a party to go to

DRINK Pimm's or Macon Lugny

MUST-DO Pier jumping

MUST-HAVE Sailing boat


At the north end of the island is the flashier Cowes. …

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