The location of The George could not be more stunning: right on the water’s edge between the castle and the pier in the bustling little harbour town of Yarmouth. In the panelled, generously proportioned hall hangs a portrait of Admiral Holmes, the island’s governor for whom the house was built in 1670. In contrast, the elegant contemporary restaurant, opening on to a grassy lawn that runs down to the water, has a distinctly Mediterranean feel, especially in summer. Menus are seasonal and the food, strong on locally caught fish, is contemporary, brasserie-style with a European influence that perfectly suits the mood.
The 17 bedrooms are a delight, with the prettiest of patterned fabrics, comfortable beds, Oka furniture and charming touches – a sailboat, a bowl of shells, a scented candle – that make all the difference. Two have wide iroko wood terraces, from where you can soak up the view: a canon on a grassy battlement, the charming wooden pier (perfect for a stroll after dinner) and The Solent stretching across to the Lymington River, with its needle-like forest of masts bunched in the distance.
Doubles from £190