Winter on the Isle of Man. Surfing, fresh juice, flat whites…WHAT?
What has the island become? What happened to the full English breakfasts, Guinness and a carvery on a blustery Sunday? Well, they’re still around but the island has so much to offer to keep us cosy, including watching surfers at Gansey Bay (there’s something about someone else being active and cold that warms me up), juice on the beach under a warm knitted blanket or a flat white from any number of countless amazing cafes on the Isle of Man.
As a “foreigner” to this island I think I have a unique perspective of what the island has to offer. First and foremost when I want to be somewhere cosy, the atmosphere has to be warm and possibly twinkly. This could mean candles, fairy lights or just general mood lighting. This is imperative because we all know the sun starts setting just after lunch mid-day so we need some more light in our lives.
The second thing that makes somewhere cosy for me is that there needs to be some sort of view out to the elements while being totally warm and totally enclosed inside.
The third requirement for a cosy resto or cafe is that it has to be kind of small and force people to bump elbows, get closer when sitting together and lean into the person they are with.
The Shore – Gansey Bay
The Shore has it all. The elements are right outside the window, candles and twinkly lights. The evening I was there was a bump elbows night with your neighbour, (the sign of a great pub and resto in my opinion) and busy as well. The Shore also has the added benefit of being located on Gansey Bay, where you can watch surfers catching the Irish Sea’s waves if you’re lucky.
Cregneash Cafe – Cregneash
I forgot to mention the trump card, which this cafe has…a wood fireplace! I get so many cosy vibes when I visit Cregneash Cafe. The traditional cottage, the short ceilings, the FIRE, the lush baked goods, the ancient village just on your doorstep…the list goes on and on really.
The Shed – Laxey Beach
The Shed has a few things that make it cosy and a few more that make it just a unique and special place on the Isle of Man.
First of all located on Laxey Beach, The Shed provides warm knit blankets on the patio outside for you to cosy underneath (check). They have candles on the tables, great coffee (shoutout to Coffeeman!) and other local goodies including Paula’s Granola and The Dairy Shed yoghurt and even artisan ice-cream (check).
They also have fresh juices and healthy options including daily soup and sandwich offerings. The most amazing part of the shed is the gorgeous Laxey Beach setting. The day I arrived there were fishermen on the beach casting out while I was tucked up under a blanket, drinking my flat white and decorating a rock to add to the large stack outside the cafe. Cosy perfection.
Alpine Cafe – Douglas
A staple of cosiness (and delicious food) in Douglas, Alpine Cafe seduces you in with their cosy fogged up windows and delicious fresh baked cakes, salads, bread. The upstairs is even cosier in a“ski chalet’ setting.
Walking into Alpine Cafe is a feast for your senses. A large mural of a yodeller on your left-hand side with bustling pine tables, then as you walk to the back of the cafe a spread of delicious and fresh salads, quiches, cakes, cookies and daily offerings. The open kitchen is filled with lovely and hardworking staff.
My favourite thing to order at Alpine is a mix of all of their salads with homemade bread and hummus. They stock local favourites such as Roots Bev. Co and juices from the Apple Orphanage, and for the ultimate cosy experience take the red spiral staircase (um how cool is it?!) upstairs for more seating with skylights that make it feel like a warm cosy…alpine cafe.
For ultimate cosiness head to a pop-up event that they put on. Think candles on the table, BYOB and the most delicious evening meal sure to be creative and delicious.
Cosy Nook – Port Erin
Possibly the cosiest place on the Isle of Man because it’s right on the beach in Port Erin. After being almost blown away I made my way down to the Cosy Cafe at the far end of the beach and was delighted to find a warm cafe with low ceilings, white walls and wood beams. The menu is in English and Manx (cute!) and I ordered a coffee and carrot cake which was luscious and delicious. The cafe has been there for yonks and has become a staple of Port Erin and the South. The walls are covered with artwork of the Cafe, lovingly painted by loyal fans of Cosy Nook. Bundle up and head down to Port Erin and enjoy a cuppa.