There are a good number of friendly pubs and cafes’ in Cowes and Gurnard which are reasonably priced. Nearest to Oak Cottage are the Union, the Globe and the Yachtsman, both of the latter being close to the Waterfront. There are numerous other pubs along the High Street including the Fountain, The Pier View and The Anchor. Several of the pubs have live music regularly in the evenings.
Cowes has a variety of excellent restaurants with a wide price range. Closest to Oak Cottage, just 2 mins away at the foot of Bars Hill is ‘Number 3’ which has excellent English/French Cuisine, a superb wine list and a pleasant ‘cosy’ atmosphere. Just along the High Street from there is ‘Mess Canteen’ which is ‘cheap and cheerful’ serving fresh basic food and wine. It is extremely popular with young people, does not take bookings and is often full. Next door to that is NOMAD (formerly Brawns) which serves high quality International Street food and good wines. Upstairs at THE GLOBE is another restaurant which has a fabulous view across the Solent.
At the other end of the High Street outside Shephards Wharf Marina & close to the Floating Bridge is our favourite restaurant, AMABI, serving fantastic Basque Tapas, excellent wine (especially Rioja) and superb local steaks.
For visiting yachtsmen there are 5 yacht clubs, all within a few minutes walk of Oak Cottage- 3 of these RORC (formerly RCYC), the Island Sailing Club and the Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club. The Royal London requires visitors to have reciprocal membership and the Royal Yacht Squadron does not admit visitors except by invitation.
Eating outside of Cowes: All around the island are restaurants and pubs with a reputation for producing good food at competitive prices.
There are numerous small shops in West Cowes including an excellent butcher and fishmonger and two small supermarkets: Marks & Spencers Foodhall and Sainsburys.
Waitrose in East Cowes can be reached on foot or in a car via Cowes Floating Bridge.
A small Co-op and Aldi are on the outskirts of Cowes, 15 minutes walk or 3 minutes by car.
There is a bus every 15 minutes to Newport, the Island capital, which is 15 minutes away and has, a wide variety of shops restaurants, cafes and a 10 screen cinema.