When you hear the phrase island paradise, which location first springs to mind? The sun-kissed beaches of Thailand or the hedonism of Ibiza?
Well the surprising news is, is that there’s a little slice of beach heaven just a 40-minute plane ride from London.
With its picturesque coves, tan-ready microclimate and rich history, Jersey is the perfect destination for fans of sun, sea and savouring. My stay on the island began with a luxurious start as I was whisked by taxi to one of the Jersey’s most opulent hotels. Pulling up to the AA Five Red Star Longueville Manor hotel, with its wisteria lined entrance and Roman style stone fountain, I knew I was in for a treat. After checking in, I was lead to the plush Tower Suite complete with it’s own living room, terrace and no less than three flatscreen TVs…including one in the bathroom!
After a quick rest and refresh, I caught a local bus to the picturesque Gorey Coast where I fuelled up on local delicacies at Jersey deli chain The Works before taking in a leisurely stroll along the coastline. Sadly I was too late to visit the imposing Mont Orgueil castle, but I’m told it offers spectacular views of the island.
Back at Longueville I got some much needed R & R in my haven-like room, before a quick outfit change for dinner at the hotel’s on-site restaurant. Tucking into a main of roasted Mediterranean veg in a variety of sauces, accompanied by tasty Jersey royals and a finished off with a piña colada inspired dessert of roasted pineapple and coconut sorbet – I couldn’t help but feel spoilt. And after a glass of La Chevaliere Merlot, I was ready to dive into my generous double bed.
Day 2 started with the central focus of any weekend getaway – a gorgeous buffet breakfast! Securing a spot by the window to afford a view of Longueville’s pretty grounds I prepared myself for a full hour of early morning indulgence. And I was in for a treat. The breakfast table was laden with all manner of goodies including honey made from Longueville’s own hives and salmon smoked in the in-house smokery. And to kick things off waiting staff presented me with a smoothie of the day shot – delicious!
I then loaded up my plate with French cheeses, seed topped bread, thick Jersey yoghurt, fresh fruit and much more. With a full belly I was fit for nothing more than a hour or two of lounging. Luckily that’s exactly what was on the menu, as I headed off for a REN Bespoke body massage at The Cottage garden spa.
Feeling blissfully relaxed, I could have happily wiled away an hour or two at the on-site jacuzzi. However, a shopping trip to Saint Helier – the largest parish in the Channel Islands – was calling. After browsing around popular high street chains including Benetton, H & M and Topshop I headed back to the hotel for the dreamy combination of bed, bath and beyond. And by beyond I mean room service delivered to my door, complete with tablecloth, silver wear and two extremely courteous wait staff. Tucking into my butternut squash risotto and pomegranate strewn side salad my Saturday night in couldn’t have got much better. That was until I found out the hotel had DVDs for hire! And in no more than two minutes I was reclining on the sofa giggling away to The Devil Wears Prada – heaven!
After a good night’s sleep, and another round of brekkie it was off to the stunning St Aubins bay for a culture fix. Harbour Gallery is the largest art gallery on the Channel Islands and co-founder Pat was on hand to give me the grand tour. After looking at locally produced arts and crafts ranging from ceramic bowls infused with ‘sea glass’ to paintings of island seascapes, we talked about the gallery’s community projects over a slice of Jersey salted caramel topped banana bread at the Harbour Gallery cafe. The perfect way to round off my trip the island!
BY AIR Fly to Jersey from numerous UK airports in around an hour, with British Airways, EasyJet, Flybe and Blue Islands
BY SEA Jersey is accessibly by sea from Poole and Portsmouth with Condor Ferries. Visit to www.condorferries.co.uk or call 0845 609 1024
ON ISLAND Travel around the island using Liberty Bus, hop on hop off passes available and start from £7.50 for unlimited day travel
So for more information go to Visit Jersey.
Whether it’s wandering down the Champs Elysees, picking up some designer buys in Galeries Lafayette, or exploring the winding streets…
Poldark not included
Fancy staying in a castle, cabin, or even a clock tower?
In addition, why not follow us on Twitter?