You know when you stumble across one of those brilliant places that, unusually, keeps EVERYONE happy? The Cow restaurant at Tapnell Farm on the Isle of Wight is one of those places. Aside from the delicious food, the kids’ play area upstairs and the friendly staff, it also features some exceptionally creative interiors spaces. This is the kind of place where the parents are just as happy to hang out as the kids.
If “farm style” isn’t a thing, then it should be. This place takes industrial chic and blends it with a bit of eclectic rustic accessorising for good measure. With a restaurant set on the grounds of a working farm, soon-to-be farm park and eco lodge destination, it’s perhaps not surprising the owners went for the rough and ready vibe. But rather than feeling hashed out, over-played or too try-hard, the interior space at The Cow sits just the right side of authentic with a dash of fun.
The main lesson I took away from this place was that you can never have too much faux fur or sheepskin if you’re looking to cosy up an industrial space. Customers sit on wooden benches, which are strewn with rugs and sheepskin cushions. These sit alongside the polished concrete flooring, exposed metal beams and huge high ceilings of the formerly unused straw barn. The space is open and light, but it retains an element of warmth and comfort with the clever use of textiles and wood panelling.
The decor of this quirky restaurant/cafe was dreamed up by the family who’ve run the farm it sits on for the past 30 years. “Where did you get the idea for the coloured cows?” I asked the owner. “From my head!” he told me. It’s the kind of thing that Pinterest dreams are made of.
Everywhere you look there are nods to the industrial farming theme. From the coloured cow heads on the walls to the bespoke lighting hanging from the ceiling – old farm gates repurposed into light fixtures. There are even cow decals in the toilets!
It’s not cartoony though. This feels like a proper grown-up space, stylish and comfortable, with plenty of interesting things for the kids to look at too. From the vintage milk bottles on the shelves to the kilner jars dotted around the place and the huge cow-shaped chalk board for kids to draw on in the playroom, you can see there’s a real attention to detail.
And what of the food? Well I know we’re an interiors site, but obviously we couldn’t leave without telling you that, as you’d imagine, the food is pretty damn tasty too…
Thanks to the team at Tapnell Farm for inviting us along as part of our Blue Chip Holiday experience on the Isle of Wight. We’ll be showing you more of our finds later this week both here and over at Roost TV. In the meantime, check out our Instagram feed for more interiors inspiration we discovered on our adventures last week.