Despite only having a landmass of 45 square miles, Jersey is an island that has it all – sun, sea and sustenance. The Channel Island has one of the best climates in the British Isles with warm summers and temperate winters. It’s hardly a surprise when you google Jersey, high on the list of questions people ask is ‘Is Jersey island a good place to live?’. Whilst moving there might take more planning, a holiday there is easier than ever, with flights from London taking less than an hour to reach this paradise.
Whilst St Helier might be the capital, if you want to experience the real island experience, I would recommend staying somewhere like Gorey Pier. You’ll get the most iconic image of the island from there with the scenic harbour at the front with the imposing Mont Orgueil Castle in the backdrop. The castle has been overlooking the island for over 800 years and as well as being a great sightseeing spot, you’ll find numerous splendid art installations throughout the castle.
The recently renovated, family-run Moorings Hotel is the place to stay in this area. Back in its heyday, this hotel was the place to see and be seen for the rich and famous. New owners Matt and Iselin Jones have revamped the hotel offering Scandinavian modernity whilst respecting the traditions of the hotel. There are no terrible rooms at this boutique hotel; nine face Gorey Harbour and you can admire the stunning sunset, whilst five face the iconic Gorey Castle.
Things do run on island time in Gorey Pier. You can enjoy a leisurely Scandi-breakfast platter at the hotel with Jarlsberg cheese and Knekkebrød or finish off the day with their signature, Goodnight Kiss cocktail which contains Jersey apple brandy and advocaat.
Their food has an international slant from vegan-friendly Khao Soi to their award-winning, Cape Malva sponge pudding (their head chef is from South Africa). Other venues with fantastic beach views include the Jersey Crab Shack at St. Brelade’s Bay and El Tico at St. Ouen’s Bay. The former offers eye-catching jumbo-sized Jersey crabs with unrivalled views of the popular sunbathing spot, whilst the latter is great for breakfast and catching surfers in action.
The island, however, is also more than capable of serving up the high life with gastronomic delights galore. At the top of your list of must-visit restaurants should be Bohemia. They’ve held a Michelin star continuously for 17 years and are one of the very few Michelin-starred restaurants in the British Isles to offer a vegetarian and a pescatarian tasting menu.
They champion local produce with the likes of Jersey white crab meat and Brittany turbot frequently making an appearance on the menu. Their black garlic purée is so addictively moreish, especially when served with braised barbecue neck of lamb, it should be bottled up and sold as a national treasure at their airport.
Oysters and Champagne
For a unique, bucket-list experience, you can go on a Champagne and oyster tour with Seymour Oyster. Sturdy shoes are required, but they take you out on a scenic tour into the depths of the sea to see first-hand how oysters are grown and harvested.
You’ll learn why the island is the biggest supplier of oysters in the British Isles and how one of the largest and fastest tidal ranges in the world has made their oysters world-beating. It’s a tour that has been enticing to even non-oyster lovers because you get a unique perspective of the island, you get to admire the local wildlife like oystercatchers and sip on Champagne whilst bonding with friends.
Bohemia offers a very professional wine pairing menu to go along with their tasting menu. However, wine connoisseurs should head out to La Mare Wine Estate for the ultimate wine experience, from seeing their immaculately manicured vineyards to their knowledgeable wine-tasting tours.
They don’t have an extensive range of wines but they are carefully crafted including red, white, rosé, sparkling and rosé sparkling wine. What was particularly impressive was the sheer quantity of other products they create on-site, including spirits, cider, liqueurs, black butter, confectionery and chocolate.
If you wanted to buy some souvenirs for friends and family, this is the place to purchase them. Black butter is very much a local delicacy you should consider buying. It is typically a blend of harvested apples, cider, lemons, spices, sugar and liquorice. And their Jersey apple brandy is luxuriously velvety and works an absolute charm over ice or coffee or both.
In a nutshell
Whether you are looking for an off-the-beaten-track relaxing island vacation or enjoy the most sumptuous of gastronomic treats with oysters, sparkling wine and Michelin star dining, Jersey truly has something for everyone. And the great thing is it’s generally less than an hour away by plane from the UK and you don’t even need to go through passport control.
For the most up-to-date information on travelling to Jersey, visit jersey.com