Where can you go in just 55 minutes? A trip to the shops perhaps? Or you might want to consider packing a bag and taking yourself off to the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands.
Jersey is a beautifully sculpted island with its own government and traditions, but still retains proud links with the United Kingdom. The beaches on Jersey are just sublime. They’re almost clinically clean, with sand that looks and feel likes sand. Not like some beaches I could mention where you get a ‘builders yard’ or something akin to a moonscape with seaweed. Jersey is an island that’s small on size, but big on personality, where country lanes open to cliff top views and the sea is never more than ten minutes away. It’s a place that’s played many roles including a Viking stronghold and a valuable outpost, fought for by the English and French, as well as being occupied by German forces during World War II. Being so close to France, Jersey has a large slice of French influence.
The standard of cuisine and service on Jersey is second to none. Being stuck for choice won’t be an option, as there’s something for everyone; fine dining, casual al fresco or great gastro pubs. It’s a pure melange of everything that’s good in food. ‘The Blonde’ and I stayed at the L’Horizon Beach Hotel and Spa on St Brelades Bay, which is about 20 minutes from the airport. This is how all hotels should be run by providing a personal service which is warming without being clawing. The variety of rooms on offer at The L’Horizon vary from luxurious through to simply stunning. Being able to gasp in the briny, salty sea air from your balcony is a huge treat and this hotel delivers it in spades. Overall this property is on the up side of upmarket. The relaxing spa with its swimming pool offers an array of pampering treatments to help you unwind. The elegant cocktail bar is a must before lapsing into a sumptuous dinner in their 2 AA Rosette Grill Restaurant. Whether it’s line-caught sea bass, Jersey lobster or tender scallops, L’Horizon’s daily menu is often inspired by the fisherman’s morning catch. ‘The Blonde’ had the squid ink tortellini and I scoffed the scarred beef. Both dishes were prepared by a light, talented hand that showed respect to the local ingredients delivering an eating experience worthy of plaudits.
For a hotel nearer the capital St Helier try the Radisson Blu Waterfront which sits on the harbour just adjacent to the town centre. It’s a larger ‘affair’ with a more ‘corporate’ feel to it. The rooms are spacious, and the modern restaurant serves a delightful buffet. Getting around Jersey couldn’t be easier. I would plump for the island’s local bus service. For just £8 you can get a ‘roving ticket’ which allows you off and on as many buses and routes as you like all day. It’s a wonderful way to see the island and of course enjoy a libation along the way. There’s plenty do to including the brilliant Jersey Zoo, The Jersey War Tunnels, together with St Mathews church which boasts a unique collection of Lalique crystal. Whether it’s for the weekend, or a longer stay, with a Jersey visit you’ll really feel as if you’ve been on a proper holiday. Travelling to Jersey couldn’t be easier. I chose regional airline Flybe. All I want from an airline is good prices and please be on time. Well, Flybe have got that nailed.
Getting there/staying there/what to do
Flybe operates flights to Jersey from East Midlands Airport and Southampton, with prices starting from £34.99 including taxes and charges. Book now at flybe.com
For more information on Jersey: www.visitjersey.com