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about us

The Little Gloster

Previously awarded ‘Restaurant of the Year’ in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and featured in the Michelin Guide and Good Food Guide 2018, The Little Gloster is a family-run restaurant with rooms offering panoramic sea views of the Solent, in Gurnard, just five minutes west of Cowes.

Presenting simple seasonal food in relaxed Scandinavian-influenced surroundings, we offer high-quality service, locally sourced produce, and a passion for great food, wine, music and cocktails.

The Little Gloster is the perfect place for a quiet meal, to celebrate a special occasion or simply unwind with a glass of wine whilst taking in the spectacular sunsets that contribute to making this location so unique.


The venture of Ben Cooke, The Little Gloster name honours his grandparents, who owned the now sadly departed Gloster Hotel – once one of the most prestigious hotels on the island and former home of the Royal Yacht Squadron.

Ben’s experience lends to an eclectic offering – a mixture of dishes inspired by his travels across the world and simple yet delicious recipes taught to him by his Danish grandmother.

The Team

Ben Cooke 

Ben was born on the Isle of Wight.

Having started his life in kitchens as a kitchen porter from the age of 12 and working his way up formally through college whilst working full-time, Ben trained with classical French and English chefs and went on to work with Michelin chefs from around the world including New Zealand and Sweden.  His recent years were spent sailing the globe cooking on some of the largest superyachts in the world. He has now come home and turned his childhood dream into reality.

Holly Cooke

A true family effort, Ben’s wife Holly manages the office, rooms and events at The Little Gloster and ensures the smooth running of all aspects of The Little Gloster. Holly’s successful background in public relations means that customer satisfaction is at the forefront of everything she does. Generally found in the restaurant for breakfast service and in the office during the day, Holly will be your first point of contact when booking a room or event at The Little Gloster.

Jay Santiago / Head Chef

Head Chef Jay Amado Santiago is originally from the Philippines and was brought up in Blackburn.  After meeting Ben when they were both working as private chefs in ski resorts, Jay has been a chef for over 10 years and has been with The Little Gloster since its opening in 2010. Jay and his team create interesting and seasonal menus and they are constantly bringing new ingredients, methods and producers to the table. Despite an unbeatable palette for fusion food, he is equally happy cooking classic French dishes learnt from years working in a French bistro.  Having recently traded in his snowboard for a kayak, you will often find him paddling off on his break from the shore at The Little Gloster.

Eileen Cooke

Ben’s mother Eileen manages the books and keeps The Little Gloster’s garden looking beautiful, on top of a full-time career working for a private shipping company in Cowes. Always the first one up and last one to bed, Eileen is The Little Gloster’s saviour.

Lilian Bateman/Mormor

Ben’s Danish grandmother Lilian Bateman, known fondly to all as Mormor (mother’s mother in Danish), will often be seen at the The Little Gloster, ensuring the restaurant is always filled with fresh flowers as well as giving tips on all things hospitality. An ex-power boat racer and naturally elegant ex-hotelier and restaurateur, if you need to know anything, just ask Mormor.