The Alverbank Hotel
Formerly a seaside villa for British gentry, a royal host, a pilot training school, and now a country house hotel, The Alverbank oozes historical charm. Its sweeping staircase, open fireplaces and dining room are some of the Victorian features under restoration by local entrepreneurs David Thomson, Abby Thomson and Fiona Gibbins. The trio’s vision is simple: to enhance the property’s natural character with fresh coastal styling. Future plans to add a conservatory will emphasise the breathtaking vista across Stokes Bay Beach and the Solent, stretching as far as the Isle of Wight.
The menu champions traditional and seasonal British fare, and the beautiful garden is perfect for al fresco dining. Generous starters such as cod and prawn fishcakes, wild mushroom bruschetta and silky-smooth pâté are all perfectly balanced. To follow, there’s hearty pub fare like scampi or sausage and mash. My friend’s homemade wagyu beefburger was packed with flavour, while my moules marinières was equally gratifying and came with gorgeous homemade sourdough.
All of the devilish desserts are impossible to resist. With such a great selection on offer it was difficult to choose. I pondered over peanut parfait with shards of meringue, as well as Eton Mess, but my love of chocolate won out and I plumped for a brownie paired with intense coffee ice cream.