On an island full of pastoral inns, the Islington stands out like a bold Rothko painting in a gallery of Norman Rockwells. The 11-room Regency-era building is filled with art and antiques from the private collection of the husband-and-wife owners, Amy and Nicholas Parkinson-Bates: sketches by Picasso and Australian artist Brett Whiteley, a chaise longue swathed in leopard-print Thai silk, Persian carpets, and lacquered Japanese furniture. Islington’s centerpiece is a glass-enclosed conservatory, where guests can dine while contemplating mist-shrouded Mount Wellington. The innkeepers act more like hosts than managers: they’ll arrange a chauffeured tour of the nearby Cole River Valley vineyards and share a brandy with you in the drawing room when you return.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.