WHAT TO DO
With some of the most pristine beaches in the UK, it would be tempting just to spend a holiday in Jersey lapping up the surf and making sandcastles. And while this would be fine, there is plenty else for everyone to enjoy. Ramblers will enjoy walking on one of the many routes on the island – as less experienced walkers we enjoyed the gentle pace of the Grève de Lecq to Plemont route, which ends on a stunning hill overlooking the sea. History buffs should make the trip to the medieval fortress Mont Orgeuil Castle, one of the standout attractions in Jersey. Make a morning of it and stop by one of the pretty restaurants in the harbour for lunch after hiking up through the castle, which rewards those who make it to the top with impressive views.
WHERE TO STAY
St Helier, the capital, makes the perfect base from which to explore the rest of Jersey, and after a day of walking or visiting the sites, you will want to relax.
This makes The Club Hotel and Spa an excellent choice, as alongside the spa, there is an outside pool to lounge around in the sunny weather. Those wanting a glass of something refreshing can also hit The Terrace for a drink outside.
Rooms are stylishly designed and offer every comfort, with plenty of space if you are planning a quiet evening in. Breakfast is a highlight – delicious hot food can be ordered, and there is a generous buffet selection.
Friendly staff are happy to help with anything you need (including helping me when I embarrassingly struggled to park in their handy onsite carpark!).
WHERE TO EAT
Jersey is known for its selection of excellent fine dining restaurants, as well as plenty of tasty casual options.
We spent our first night in Bohemia, the Michelin starred restaurant in The Club Hotel. Every course was a delight – with my companion so impressed with the presentation, she took photos of every dish to send to envious friends back home – and treats from the chef were peppered throughout the meal. As would be expected on an island, the fish options are outstanding (I’m still thinking about the turbot I enjoyed for my main course), but the meat choices are also not to be missed. Don’t skip the wine, which has some tasty options by the glass.
Wherever you are staying in Jersey, make sure you book dinner at award-winning Michelin starred restaurant Mark Jordan at the Beach, which makes for a truly special night. Ask for a table overlooking the sea, and enjoy a view of the sun setting over the water while enjoying your meal. The atmosphere is friendly rather than formal, making it perfect for family celebrations – there were several tables with well-behaved children when we were there. And the food! It took me an embarrassingly long time to make a choice, as everything sounded heavenly. I finally settled on smoked salmon with tarragon butter and crab mayonnaise to start, followed by Jersey brill with crab tortellini and asparagus in a lobster bisque – and yes, it was as good as it sounds.
In the daytime, there are a couple of places worth seeking out. Take a trip to pretty Rozel Bay and stop at iconic spot The Hungry Man for a gourmet burger. St Aubin is a quaint port town and home to one of three outposts of Nude Food, which offers whole foods and healthy options right on the beach and has a blissed out Ibiza vibe.
THE FINAL WORD
Jersey may be small, but it packs a punch. With plenty to see and do, gorgeous weather for much of the year, and food worth travelling for, the island should be top of the list for a getaway this year.
Discover more about Jersey at: www.jersey.com. To book a stay at The Club Hotel & Spa, click here.
By air: Fly to Jersey from numerous UK airports in around an hour including London City, Gatwick, Luton, Liverpool, Leeds, Southampton, Newcastle and Manchester with British Airways, EasyJet and Flybe.
By sea: Jersey is accessible by sea from Poole and Portsmouth with Condor Ferries. Visit to www.condorferries.co.uk
On island: All inclusive weekend car hire is available with Hertz, at the airport prices start from £72.29. Visit www.hertzci.com for more information.
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