Island Life Magazine Ltd December 2008/January 2009 - Page 108

life FOOD & DRINK CASATI HOUSE– Expect the Unexpected Unique to the Isle of Wight is a new concept in premier entertainment. Casati House is a bijou luxury 18th century style boutique bed & breakfast in central Ryde. It is the essence of a welcoming private residence. Launched as a luxurious members’ establishment for discerning ladies and gentlemen who demand quality, service and somewhere harmonious when it comes to relaxation. Casati House offers individual Rooms or exclusive Salon Rooms set in an atmosphere of a bygone era. Antique furnishings and exquisite decoration make any one of these rooms a romantic home from home. The venue occupies what once was the Mayor of Ryde’s official residence from a long forgotten age. The house, more akin to one of the familiar Island villas is beautifully proportioned and extends through several entertainment rooms, through a bright conservatory and out to the walled Italian style garden, boasting a central fountain and surrounded by classical and neo-classical statuary and architectural relics – gryphons, nymphs and deities. The conservatory itself is dominated by an impressive twisted grape vine, reputed to be some 200 years old, which in summer with its dense foliage and fruit becomes a natural centrepiece, bringing the outside world within. As a bespoke boutique bed and breakfast venue which also combines a fine dining room with atmospheric and well appointed drawing rooms, Casati offers members 108 a definitive alternative to other venues. Explore the delights of Jo Jo’s Drawing Room filled with antiques, paintings and a grand piano taking centre stage. Festooned with crystal, lit by countless candles and warmed by a roaring fire, the bar offers all the traditional drinks and a discerning wine list as well as the special House Cocktail selection featuring such unusual tipples as A Max Mara Moment and The Hex. The natural conviviality and intimacy of this drawing room is the ideal setting for the beginning of an evening, a relaxing venue for members and their guests or the perfect end to a perfect supper. Throughout Casati, opulent and immaculate interior design, featuring sumptuous swags in silk-velvet, damasks and unusual weaves decorate the windows, some with far reaching views over the Solent and others balancing the busts, figurines and objects d’arts, Venetian masks and enormous, ornate mirrors with the unifying influence of a colour scheme predominantly aubergine, gold and black, echoing perhaps, Stendhal’s famous nineteenth century novel, ‘Le Rouge et Le Noir.’ Casati is the ideal location for a celebration – whether for birthdays, intimate gatherings, send-offs or as the occasion demands. A designated ‘quiet room’ devoid of music is aptly named. The Nook takes its place at Casati as an ideal and intimate space for reading, conversation and contemplation – again decorated in heavy drapes and filled with intriguing objects. Above are two further entertainment rooms – one principally for atmospheric invitation only suppers by candlelight hosted by the Head of House with an imaginatively designed table which can be varied to the organizer’s demands and another room which may be reserved at no charge to members for business meetings and the like. An opulent double suite, lavishly appointed can be hired by members for overnight stays, either for themselves or visiting friends and relatives. Added to this is the balcony where breath taking views of the Solent can be enjoyed. Casati often hosts special evenings of costume parties, impromptu cabaret and poetry recitals by the Head of House or a Casati host. Members, if they so wish, are invited to participate, as the Muse guides. It may well be worth remembering that Casati is named in honour of the striking and elegant Marchesa Luisa Casati who ruled European chic society in the early twentieth century. Her sense of aesthetics, surprise and grace embody the quintessential spirit of the Casati House today and will appeal to all those who understand that to be unique is elegance itself. Casati is open only to members and their guests. Limited memberships are currently available for 2009. www.lecasati.co.uk or Telephone; 01983 565691 for enquiries. The Island's new funky radio station www.wightfm.com