If you’re looking for a luxurious island break with fantastic food, blue skies, sandy beaches and top-quality hotels, you really need to look no further than the beautiful island of Jersey. Though Theresa and I were only staying two nights, we were determined to sample the very best experiences on this beautiful rock which is only a short plane ride away from London.
On Saturday morning we were up bright and early and jumped in a taxi from The Atlantic Hotel down to the marina where we would be boarding our ride for the day!
The Fizz Too is the luxurious yacht owned by one of Jersey’s finest hotels, Longueville Manor. A Princess 42, the yacht is British built with a length of 44 feet…
A beautifully plush salon, two bedrooms and flybridge on top to bask in the sunshine!
As you know Mr Silver absolutely loves boats so you can imagine I was sending him lots of photos to make him jealous of our trip aboard a luxurious yacht.
Malcolm and Patricia Lewis, the owners of Longueville Manor, had not only been kind enough as to lend us the boat but they were also coming along for the ride, with Malcolm at the helm steering the ship! It was a real family affair as their son James also came along for the day.
Malcolm fired up the engine and we were away! Speeding towards Elizabeth Castle, a 16th century castle on a small islet in St Aubins Bay. We didn’t have time to visit ourselves but history really comes alive at the Castle as you can witness the cannon firing and meet a regimental surgeon whilst taking in the gorgeous views.
We rounded the side of the island and admired the gorgeous houses, some of which had perfect locations right on the beach. As we sailed through the clear blue Jersey waters, we had a fantastic time getting to know Malcolm and Patricia and finding out the history of Longueville Manor. It’s actually been in Malcolm’s family for three generations, with Malcolm taking over from his parents in 1987. We visited Longueville Manor the following day so I’ll tell you a little more about the history of the hotel in another post but suffice us to say I already knew I was going to love this independent family run property.
There really is a fantastic quality of life in Jersey, and the family take the yacht out most weekends when the weather is fine, heading to beautiful bays and stopping in their favourite restaurants.
In fact that morning Malcolm and Patricia really made Theresa and I feel like part of their family and when the wind started blustering and the waves got a little choppy, they suggested that we head back to the marina for a glass of champagne.
They even had my favourite bottle of fizz, Laurent-Perrier, which Patricia poured into glasses for us to raise a toast to the gorgeous island of Jersey!
And speaking of fizz, we asked Patricia where the name of the boat came from. She told us about the family tradition of naming their boat after their dog, once again a lovely story which just showed how family focussed the owners of Longueville Manor are. Luxury yacht charter is available to guests of Longueville Manor and the skipper can take you over to one of the other Channel Islands or even hop over to France for a couple of hours plus there’s the chance of spotting dolphin and seals. They offer full or half day charter and food, wine and champagne is all included in the cost of hire.
Theresa and I were having such a wonderful time that we really didn’t want to leave, I could have honestly sat at the top of the boat all day drinking bubbles and getting to know everyone. But of course, lunch time called and we had a reservation at Mark Jordan at The Beach.
Mark Jordan at the Beach is a casual seaside bistro, the sister restaurant to Ocean, and owned in partnership by Mark, his wife and the owners of The Atlantic Hotel. I’ll write a more detailed post about our lunch there but we enjoyed some fabulously fresh seafood with very personable and friendly service from the front of house.
The next stop on our day of luxury and foodie indulgence was the La Mare Wine Estate, a gorgeous vineyard in St Mary’s.
Located across 25 acres the vineyard is available for tours and tastings including exploring the beautiful rose gardens and cider apple orchards.
We didn’t have time to have a full tour but the manager sat down in the tasting room with us to tell all about the wines produced on the estate.
Aubrey talked us through the estate’s white, red and rosé wines and told us that the estate also produces apple brandy, creme liquers and cider.
And that’s not all, the estate also makes chocolate, fudge and Jersey black butter, you can even visit the chocolate factory whilst on the tour. Is there anyone else that would assume a chocolate factory would be full of Oompa Loompas? All the produce is available to buy at the gift shop so you can take a little taste of Jersey back to the UK and sip on the wine remembering beautiful island life and stunning blue skies.
For a small island, there’s so much to fit into one day and it was already time to head back to the hotel and get ready for dinner.
The location of our dinner tonight was Ormer Restaurant in St Helier. Having already tried Chef Shaun Rankin’s food at private member’s club 12 Hay Hill in London, I knew I was in for a treat.
With an informal atmosphere, and an interior beautifully designed by Martin Brudnizki, it’s the perfect place for a date night whilst staying in Jersey. Ormer is also one of the three Michelin-starred restaurants in Jersey, the others being the fabulous Ocean at The Atlantic Hotel, and Bohemia which I’ll be keen to try next time. Chef Shaun Rankin actually gained his first Michelin star while working in Bohemia and after honing his cuisine he opened Ormer which received a Michelin star only four months later.
An amuse bouche of an arancini ball was perfectly crisp on the outside and oozing with creamy risotto, that tiny mouthful was one of my favourite things of the trip.
Having tried a similar dish at 12 Hay Hill, I ordered the ravioli filled with Jersey lobster and enhanced with delicious Asian flavours of ginger, on top of a crab and tomato bisque. I just love this dish, the pasta is so perfectly made and fine and the filling is succulent and bursting with flavour. I always love texture contrasts and the puffed black rice was the perfect balance to the soft pasta.
Theresa chose a very perfectly presented dish of scallop carpaccio with rare tuna chunks, avocado puree and the innovative additions of Bloody Mary Jelly and cucumber sorbet.
Both craving light food, we chose the lobster salad on a bed of crab and fennel ceviche. Honestly I think I had more lobster that weekend in Jersey, than I have all year! But the local produce is just so good and such a fine ingredient, it’s also clear to see Shaun’s passion for the island and sourcing from local waters. I loved the clean tastes of the ceviche; Theresa wasn’t quite convinced by the fennel but it is often an acquired taste.
We also very much enjoyed the lobster casserole that came on the side which again included that fantastic pasta made in Shaun’s kitchen and small dollop of thermidor espuma.
Once again our dessert cravings were for something light and we chose a pretty-as-a-picture strawberry plate with basil and lime sorbet and little dollops of cream. I’m not sure what the little cubes were but I love the texture and the bittersweet flavour of the strawberry-flavoured morsels. As I don’t have a sweet tooth, this is my perfect type of dessert.
Honestly, I think I had my perfect day in Jersey, a champagne boat trip, lunch on the beach, wine-tasting and a Michelin-starred lobster dinner. I couldn’t ask for more!
PIN FOR LATER:
I worked in collaboration with Visit Jersey and our activities and meals were complimentary.
La Mare Wine Estate
La Rue de Hogue Mauger
Ormer Restaurant by Shaun Rankin
7 -11 Don Street