Nothing beats a secret hideaway. After I was requested to go to an unique personal island the place the likes of Rihanna, Kate Moss and Sienna Miller have partied, my ideas flew to the Caribbean. Osea? In all probability some billionaire’s bolthole within the Bahamas or the British Virgin Islands.
Discovering that it was off the Essex coast, within the Blackwater estuary, was each deflating and thrilling.
Farewell, desires of sunshine and hammocks slung between palm bushes. Nonetheless, there needed to be one thing luring celebs from London up the A12, and I used to be eager to search out out what it was.
Max Davidson explores Osea Island off the Essex coast, which has been changed into a ‘high-end staycation venue’
Osea covers barely a sq. mile and is accessible solely at low tide, through a causeway (pictured) that dates again to Roman instances
In response to Max, Osea Island is ‘most likely the closest Britain has to Necker Island (pictured), Sir Richard Branson’s gaff within the Caribbean’
Osea Island is owned by the report producer Nigel Frieda
Osea covers barely a sq. mile and is accessible solely at low tide, through a causeway courting again to Roman instances.
It’s steeped in historical past, having been a navy base, a TV set, and the positioning of a rehab centre for substance abusers.
Now owned by the report producer Nigel Frieda, Osea has reinvented itself but once more, this time as a high-end staycation venue.
Costs begin from £300 per room per night time — steep however not completely ridiculous.
It’s also possible to rent the island for particular occasions. It’s most likely the closest Britain has to Necker Island, Sir Richard Branson’s gaff within the Caribbean.
Costs for rooms within the homes and cottages on Osea Island begin from £300 per room per night time
‘I used to be visiting low season, so I had the island largely to myself,’ writes Max
Above is the lounge space in one of many island’s vacation leases – you possibly can rent the island for particular occasions, Max reveals
‘I felt as if I had been transported to an English summer time vacation circa 1955, the age of Enid Blyton,’ Max says of his time on the island
I used to be visiting low season, so I had the island largely to myself.
There was a log hearth burning after I arrived, and my little seaside cottage may hardly have been extra luxurious, with a four-poster mattress, work of gun canine and crusing ships, and a modern trendy kitchen.
Better of all had been the well-stocked bookshelves, which echoed the studying habits of a bygone age. I discovered nothing newer than a 1972 Whitaker’s Almanack. Bibliophile heaven.
Nostalgia for the previous is intrinsic to the Osea expertise. Exploring the subsequent morning, I felt as if I had been transported to an English summer time vacation circa 1955, the age of Enid Blyton.
Max observes: ‘Osea Island is just not concentrating on holidaymakers on a funds. However, in its understated manner, it’s a pleasant spot.’ Above is the island’s heated out of doors pool
Osea is described as ‘quintessentially English in each its surroundings and its atmosphere’
Island luxurious: Osea attracts stars resembling Sienna Miller, Max reveals
Seagulls swooped. Hens clucked. A hare chased a pheasant alongside a hedgerow.
Two plump donkeys plodded throughout a paddock ringed by picket fences.
The cluster of outdated buildings within the centre of the island included a village corridor, a few timber-framed homes, a pre-war main college and a homely pub known as The Puffin.
Even the actions on provide, from croquet and garden tennis to pitch-and-putt golf, had an old school really feel.
After exploring the village, I took a protracted, lazy stroll alongside the shingly seashore that rings the island.
The setting was ethereal, with the solar dipping in the direction of the ocean, the mists of the Essex marshes within the distance, and so many species of seabird that I misplaced depend.
Osea Island is just not concentrating on holidaymakers on a funds. However, in its understated manner, it’s a pleasant spot — quintessentially English in each its surroundings and its atmosphere. Essex won’t ever appear fairly the identical once more.
Costs begin at £300 per night time for a one-bedroom property, and a ten-bedroom property, sleeping 20, prices £3,200 per night time. For extra info, go to oseaisland.co.uk.