A few weeks ago my partner celebrated his birthday, and I wanted to do something neither of us had done before – which on an Island he’s lived on for 10 years, during a lockdown, is rather a challenge. It took a bit of doing, but I managed to find something rather different that turned out to be an excellent day – a picnic at the picturesque Fairytale Cottage in Niton on the Isle of Wight.
Fairytale Cottage is a simply gorgeous house in Niton. It’s a New England style log cabin built near the well known Enchanted Manor – in fact if you walk around the gardens of the cottage there’s a beautiful archway into the gardens of the manor. The venue is often used for romantic weddings, and just a few of the pictures will show you why. We were only there for a picnic, and as it turned out it was a dreadfully wet and dreary July day, but the hosts, Ric and Maggie were absolutely lovely and welcoming. They created a space for us outside away from the rain, and left us to have a wander around the gardens. We were there for a family picnic, and they brought a magic that outshined the weather.
Ric and Maggy have over 30 years of experience in hospitality and it showed from our first interaction. I had messaged them to ask whether they had reopened for picnics, and they responded quickly. I was slow in paying, and they were polite and helpful about it. Even more – they have a set picnic menu, but one of us follows a Keto diet (no grains, no sugars) and one of us is a vegetarian, and one very picky child and another who’ll eat almost anything. Our hosts were so gracious and went out of their way to make up picnic boxes to our requirements, and they completely overshot our expectations. We ended up ordering one vegetarian box and one regular box, and there was more than enough food for the four of us – and it was excellent too, and enough that we all had something fantastic.
After eating we walked around the garden, looking at the huge collection of fairy houses and garden visitors. We also walked through to the enchanted manor garden, where we were able to take a few sweet and romantic photos – not as many as we’d have liked, since my battery was almost flat, and by this stage it was raining pretty hard, but we’ll certainly be back again in the future.
My favourite part of the garden is the Alice in Wonderland wall and garden – I have a bit of an Alice fettish, so this excited me immensely.
If you’re looking for a lovely spot for a fantastic picnic – the best boxed picnic I’ve ever had – then you can’t go wrong with Fairytale Cottage Picnics. Find them on Facebook, visit their website and follow them on Instagram. We’ll certainly go again, and now that they’re refurbishing the Enchanted Manor we’re keeping a keen eye out for news of an opening there too!