This month I teamed up with Visit Jersey and spent a weekend on the gorgeous Channel island, exploring the stunning coastline, the tastiest restaurants and all the insta worthy hotspots that Jersey has to offer. Jersey = somewhere close to home, somewhere I had never expected to visit anytime soon & somewhere just that little bit different, so I was super excited to jump on the plane and check it out. This time my all-time babe of a friend Jodie got the call up to come create some content with me. 🙂
So…the Channel Islands. This past few months I’ve spent time chilling with elephants in Botswana, exploring the magical city of Marrakech and planning my trip to South America (which is where I’m writing this now – oh hey Cusco) however admittedly I’ve looked past destinations that are much closer to home. In truth I’ve never thought about the Channel Islands as a holiday destination. And now I’m wondering why I never have…
Jersey is so convenient (literally a 45 minute flight – by the time the seatbelt signs were off, the captain was preparing us for landing), cheap at £68 return (errrr no brainer) and the perfect place to escape busy city life. It has an absolutely gorgeous coastline, the purest / freshest air and…dolphins! Yes you heard me right (I’ll get to where you can spot those in a min).
After touching down at Jersey airport (and literally walking off the plane and out of the airport exit – no security or passport queues hereeee) we picked up our hire car and set off for our hotel. We were booked into the Grand Hotel, which is a pretty hotel right on the sea front and only a 15 min drive from the airport (yeah, Jerseys not big guys, no lengthy 3 hour transfers here either).
We were in a sea view room facing west so we had perfect view of the sun setting over the ocean each evening. The hotel has two restaurants, a bar area, a spa, indoor pool and jacuzzi and outdoor terrace.
Once we arrived we were whisked off for dinner at Tassili, the Grand’s fine dining restaurant for a ‘Chef’s Surprise’ tasting menu with wine pairing. Now I’m not someone that knows about fancy food (gimme a packet of prawn cocktail and I’m happy), but was this was beauutttiful. 7 courses of healthy vegetarian heaven for me; organic ingredients, plants from the sea, intense flavours, strong aromas. Mum would have been proud. To give you an idea, the following delights graced my plate:
- Beetroot, goat’s cheese and truffle curd, fritters, heritage beetroot sorbet
- Foraging, Jersey sea vegetables, purple sprouting, red quinoa salad, piemonte hazelnut, sea water foam
- Violet artichoke, artichoke puree, girolle mushroom, tarragon gel potato and truffle noisette
- Hen egg, local organic egg “cocotte”, Jersey spring vegetable, walnut soil, watercress velouté
Although I don’t eat meat it was obvi that Jodie’s courses were perfect for any carnivore, and what some of my foodie friends would DIE for; lobster croquettes, hand dived scallops, pork belly, braised cheek, black pudding…you get the idea. <3
Nothing was ordinary…truffled goats cheese lolly pops, tomato water poured over burrata foam and butter salted from seaweed from San Malo, a little french town reached by a 40 minute ferry. DIVINE.
So let me get right to it. How would I recommend spending a weekend in Jersey? N.B. you defos need a car…
1. Central market
Wander around Saint Helier and check out Central & Beresford Markets for organic goods, flower stalls, wines, cheeses & antiques. Make sure to check out Molloy’s old school stall for organic fruit & lots of yummy veg that was mostly handpicked that morning.
Swing by Flour, a cute little shopfront selling vegan and gluten free cupcakes that are mesmerisingly beautiful and hand crafted that day…(oh my!)
and by the flower markets of course…
2. Mont Orgueil Castle
Drive the 15 minutes to Gorey, a gorgeous little fishing village overlooked by the beautiful Mont Orgueil castle. Here you’ll find boutique shops, cafes, restaurants as well as the harbour and pier. You can explore the castle if you fancy, and if you do make sure you take your camera as you’ll be rewarded with incredible views of the French coast.
3. Hungry man @ Rozel Bay
If you’re into your insta like me you probably want to get to The Hungry Man. This cute little shack opened in 1947 as a snack stop for local fishermen and has now evolved into this beauty. Even if you’re not up for supposedly one of the best crab sandwiches on the island, it’s worth a trip just to chat to the guys running the place. They had us laughing within 2 minutes of pulling up!
The Hungry Man overlooks Rozel Bay, and dining is al fresco. But if you fancy a little more comfort, Rozel Pub is a only stone’s throw away. If you want my advice, I would recommend eating at the Hungry Man and then heading to Rozel pub for a drink afterwards. Views always win!
If you’re looking for a relaxing weekend in Jersey, spend an afternoon at a spa. There are plenty around the island to choose from, but we decided to check out the Grand’s own spa & indoor pool.
After our initial consultation with our therapists, we were each given a neck, shoulder and back massage with different oils that tailored to our individual needs. The spa also featured a sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and a relaxation room complete with chaise longues, zen lighting, relaxing music. Oh, and all the Elemis products in the shower were delightful. <3
5. Dinner at Salty Dog
Head to dinner at the Salty Dog Bistro, a cute little restaurant tucked away in the picturesque harbour of St Aubin. If you like sea front settings & harbour views you’ve got yourself a winner with this one. The interior is earthy, quirky & unassuming, with fisherman style decor like porthole mirrors, fisherman net designs and wooden walls. If you’re a fussy eater PLUS a vegetarian like me then this is perf, as the menu is super extensive with asian & seafood inspired dishes and loads of veggie options plus all your classics. We were naughty and shared a Gooey Jersey Black Butter & Banana Toffee Pudding for dessert….woooooow. I’m not really a dessert person but I would have ordered that ten times over. Totally calorific but totally worth it, my mouth is watering just thinking about it…. <3
6. Drinks at Project 52
For after dinner drinks, the exclusive Project 52 is ideal. So exclusive that the locals we asked for directions from on two separate occasions had no idea it even existed. It’s found via an unnasuming door half way down a small cobbled lane just off the main street. Buzz to enter! Definitely something you would find right in the heart of Soho in London.
If you’re into gin and up for a drinking adventure, go for the gin tasting flight club. Order tiny tasting gins in apothecary bottles and spend the evening adding your own botanicals and choice of tonics to each gin. Cris will also give a short presentation on the world of gin & flight pairings. 🙂 Not only is this little gin adventure pretty cool, but the place is pretty cool too, with stylish decor and classy members rooms upstairs. Do it.
Hangover or no hangover, no weekend in Jersey is complete without a road trip around the coast of the island, so spend today ogling the stunning scenery, quirky houses and all the insane views. Oh plus all the Jersey cows…
Places I recommend visiting include the following (however I’m sure you’ll also find plenty of your own hidden bays and beaches):
- St Brelade’s Bay
- Beauport beach
- La Corbière
- Rozel Bay
- Plemont Point
- St Ouen
- Bonne Nuit Beach
- Grouville Beach
On our drive around the island we found beautiful beaches, stunning view points, fields of Jersey cows, lots of sea side cafes, people walking and hiking along the coast, and pods of dolphins at Plemont point (although I’m sure you can see these all around)…we were so excited!
In short, if you’re looking to escape busy life for a weekend, Jersey is the one. The little things like a minuscule flight time, cheap flights and max 30 min drive to your hotel just make the journey so pleasant…we really were surprised at how easy and quick it was. Oh plus incredible views of tonnes of tiny islands from the plane.
Thank you to Visit Jersey for having us on your beautiful island. We’ll definitely be back soon! x
This post was brought to you in collaboration with Visit Jersey & One Green Bean. Thank you to Project 52 for the cheeky photos of the bar. 🙂