Eco Pod, Isle of Wight

We stayed at Toms eco-lodge for one night whilst in Isle of Wight for a rugby tour… and none of us wanted to leave!
There were three of us, two adults and one child (age 11) and more than enough room in the small wooden lodge.

As you approach the venue, you pull up a gravel drive, passing some somewhat futuristic golf balls that I later found out were Geodesic Domes that you can hire.
For each type of accommodation, there are designated parking spots. These parking bays are not located near the pods; however, ample wheelbarrows are provided so you can transport all your luggage along the well lit meandering pathways through the trees. The area where the eco-lodges are situated is the furthest away from the central car park. Still, the casual walk is only a few minutes away.

There’s also a little shop with an honesty box. Here, you can purchase a wide variety of food and drinks, and you can even pop in to borrow games and books throughout your stay.

As you approach the eco-lodges, there’s a giant chicken coup where you can get fresh eggs and some great looking Safari Tents. Being the nosy sods that we are, we had a good look at one through the window, and it was huuuge – complete with a hot tub! Certainly worth a look if you are considering a trip here.

The attention to detail is exceptional – Beard noticed instantly and was extremely pleased to see a Worcester boiler and stellar radiators; apparently, according to the heating engineer, this is a sign that there hasn’t been any scrimping on the interior of the lodges. The shortbread biscuits, milk in the fridge and flowers on the small dining table were lovely additions. We very much enjoyed spotting the towel elephants dotted around – very creative!

Despite its size, the accommodation is exceptionally light, airy and spacious, with ample storage. A big plus for me is the kitchen. It was really well equipped, and you could easily cook a family meal with the hob and utensils provided.

Outside, a private decking area is complete with an outdoor bench on the grass, deck chairs, a fire pit, and a BBQ overlooking the rolling hills of Tapnell Farm and sea views. Internally, the way it has been designed utilises every inch of space. Everything has been thoughtfully considered, from hanging up coats, storing shoes and serving meals.

But if cooking meals isn’t for you, you should certainly check out the onsite restaurant, The Cow (booking recommended at peak times). There are lots of cows dotted around to no surprise, and when you get inside, it becomes a kids dream! We perched on the bar sipping a delicious Rioja while our son went upstairs into “the fun room”. There was a pool table, football table and a huge TV (where the kids have control of the remote – parental restrictions on which was good). As well as being equipped with an “epic sound system and banging bass” so an 11-year-old told me!
In fact, it was so good we actually held our table reservation off for an hour so we could have some fun in there as well.

We were seated upstairs as on Fridays, the restaurant is hugely popular due to the infamous quiz night. I can confirm we were crap! However, the food was far from our abysmal efforts at the quiz; it was absolutely divine. A perfect balance of fine dining and the most delicious gastro style with a price tag of pub grub. The wine was paired perfectly, and the children’s portions were ample for even the biggest of eaters.

After a lovely evening, we returned to our snuggly eco-pod. We relaxed around the fire pit, looking out across the rolling hills. Toms eco-lodges situated on Tapnell Farm are excellent, plus there are plenty of other accommodation types if you fancy something a bit different. It’s well worth a look and set in the most idyllic of settings. We thoroughly recommend this place!