For the London-centric of you, a quick geography lesson: The Isle of Man is nowhere near the Isle of Bestival. You’ll find it smack bang in the middle of the Irish Sea – left at Liverpool or right at Belfast.
And the Manx folk? They’re white, 4-horned-sheep-eating, tailless-cat-owning, tax-avoiding, Martin Clunes-haters. Oh, and their 3-leg-logo looks somewhat like a Swastika.
But they sure know how to smoke a kipper.
I found myself in the Wild West of the windy Isle last week, alone in the honeymoon suite of a seaside guesthouse advertising an organic breakfast with a ‘Victoriana ethos’.
Welcome to the living museum that is Aaron House. All decor is period. Patterned wallpaper. Bone china tea sets. Chequered black and white floor. Check. What’s more, the relentlessly jolly proprietors Reggie and Kath dress in Victorian attire at all times. It’s Upstairs Downstairs fetishism by day and lord-knows-what by night.
Kath ‘knows her place’, pummelling away at her homemade breads. I’m not entirely convinced of the Victorian historical authenticity of a full fry-up inclusive of Buck Rarebit and kippers, but she stews her own fruit and makes her own jam. What a woman! What is it well-known philosopher/ feminist Jerry Hall said about being “a maid in the living room, a cook in the kitchen and a…”?
Well, if the Victorians were opium-smoking sex-mad hippies, then there were only two things missing from my dish. Or were they? The lure of the grub and Kath’s mumsy, large apron-ed breasts proved addictive. I never get up at 7am, but managed five days in a row.
Did I mention Reg loves showing visitors his telescope? I bet if you ding that little bell with a certain rhythm, you could get more that just a fruit tart.