2016, for me, was the year of Travel. From Dubai, to NYC, to the South of France.. I discovered parts of the world I knew I’d love, and parts I didn’t even know existed. And parts that I knew existed and didn’t realise I would fall back in love with again, and my favourite of all of those destinations was Jersey.
A fun – lol, definitely not fun but go with it anyway – fact about me and Jersey is that it’s the first place I ever went to on a plane when I was 6 (i.e far too long). Do I remember a thing about it? No. Apart from the fact that generally it was beautiful. And there was a shell garden. So this time I headed back with my Mum in tow to discover the best that Jersey had to offer.
And you know, have all the chill, all the spa treatments, all the food and gain all the weight [insert thumbs up/pig emoji here].
Now I do have to mention that as we went in November, a lot of places we’d originally planned to go to were closed, but I’ll pop up a list at the end of the babe’in places I was recommended but wasn’t able to go to this time.
Starting with a place to stay. The Club hotel and spa Jersey was our port of call and oh sweet baby jesus did we love it there. Firstly, the location is perfect, right near the center of St Helier but not too far from anywhere. The hotel itself was a warm and friendly place, the kinda hotel that feels luxurious but not at all pretentious. Every member of staff neeeearly got packed in my suitcase to bring home with me because they were so.darn.nice… and generally, we just had such a lovely and easy stay. You know when a hotel turns into a second home and somewhere you could easily stay for a long time? That was the Club hotel and spa for me.
So the rooms. We were in a Deluxe suite which actually felt like a mini apartment. I loved the separate sofa/lounge area – oh hey chilling with a glass of wine and X-Factor, how ya doing? – and I blimmin loved the bed which was so comfortable I was almost tempted to stay there for the full 3 days. The bathroom was stunning, like, luxurious and opulent but not too overbearing with the most babein comfy bath that ever existed!
Rooms aside, the rest of the hotel followed the same pattern. Gorgeous but homely, luxurious but friendly and warm… I kinda miss that place a lot! Apart from the dreamy rooms and a restaurant that I’ll tell you about later down the line, other highlights were the bar/library area, perfect for grabbing a coffee and gaining some laptop time. The spa – more on this later too – the outside pool (which was far too cold to go in in November but oh so dreamy looking) and the bar area which was just stunning.
Rooms start from £99 for a standard double and £245 for a suite inclusive of breakfast.
Ahh there are so many recommended places to eat in Jersey and we had such little time but we did stumble across some absolute gems which I cannot wait to tell you about. Firstly, we have Michelin Star Ocean restaurant, part of The Atlantic hotel, and in all honesty… my favourite food experience of the whole trip. From the sensational service, to the stunning laid back and chilled restaurant (think light and airy and minimalistic) to the breathtakingly good food, I honestly savoured every mouthful. Ocean is the place that feels fancy but not pretentious, you can taste that you are somewhere pretty darn lovely but you are never made to feel like you need to be on your best behaviour and like you can’t relax. My personal favourite dishes? The fillet of Salmon and sweetcorn risotto with curry essence which was absolutely divine! My Mum on the other hand absolutely devoured the Mushroom soup and cheeseboard. This was both of our favourite place to dine in Jersey and I think that says a lot.
Dining at Ocean starts from £22.50 per person.
Bohemia. Part of the Club hotel and spa, Bohemia is very fancy. Like, it was nice, really really nice, but I was almost a little overwhelmed with the wasabi ice cream and onion mousse. Here’s the thing, what I love about Bohemia is that it pushes boundaries, it’s kinda like the Heston Blumenthal of restaurants and I was blown away that I found this on the isle of Jersey when I haven’t even been to anywhere quite so unique even in London. It was stunning, it truly was. The food was insanely good and if you’re looking for a complete taste sensation then you absolutely need to go here. But if you’re looking for a classic steak and chips/roast etc., then this place isn’t quite for you.
Lunch at Bohemia is priced from £19 whilst dinner is priced from £59
We also visited Bohemia for Afternoon tea and again, this was definitely up there with my favourite foodie experiences. First of all, what I adored was that the gluten free afternoon tea barely differed from the “normal” one. I love this because it’s so easy to feel segregated and left out when you have coeliac but Bohemia did an incredible job. The scones – forever my favourite part, if they’re not yours, we can’t be friends – were amazing (slightly crumbly but gluten free versions always are), and the gluten free sandwiches were some of the best that I’ve tasted. The cakes deserve all of the heart eye’d emojis and it’s safe to say that I dreamt of that Chocolate beauty for many days to follow.
Now, I’m not sure I can really shove Bean around the world in with my food section but I did want to mention it because not only was the coffee amazing, but it’s also a really cute little place too. We grabbed a quick breakfast there one day when we didn’t have much time and also popped in for a coffee and both times it was absolutely heaving (always a sign of a trusty/recommended place to visit). Bang in the centre of town too, it’s a great pit stop from a day of shopping or exploring.
Now as I mentioned, my things to do list sadly is significantly shorter than I was hoping for as a lot of attractions in Jersey tend to close up around November time, but what we did do, I absolutely loved. One of my favourites was a visit to Durrell Wildlife park, a conservation trust based 4 miles north of St Helier. There is such a huge amount of history and facts about Durrell that within a few minutes we were a little blown away. After having a tour of the park, which is beautiful in itself without the animals, we also had an up close experience with Lemurs – weird, but so interesting – and spied all the cute orangutans and flamingos just chilling and despite not being the biggest animal lover, I came out with the biggest smile on my face!
The baes bays. Now, the bays, for me, are what makes Jersey really special because they honestly make you feel like you are a million miles away from home. We visited Bouley Bay (completely stunning and quite isolated so great for couples/those wanting quiet time) and St Brelades bay which was just so vast, and so breathtaking. I spent quite a lot of time just wandering up and down St Brelades bay nattering away to my Mum, and I think it was the most chilled out and “switched off” from the busy world we live in that I’ve been in a really long time.
If you’re in St Helier, head into the main town for a little wander. Yes, most of the shops we have back in London, but to me it felt a little like Canterbury or Rochester, cute and quaint but with all the best bits to boots. We also headed to the market whilst we was there and really enjoyed moseying around the stalls – no you eye’d up the flower stall just for Instagram – and taking in the local Jersey vibe. I really did fall in love with Jersey and felt so at ease and comfortable… I really can’t wait to head back soon!
Once you’ve got bored of being a tourist for the day, obviously it’s time for a spa date and pamper and for this, you need to head to the Club hotel and spa to check out their beautiful spa treatments. I went for the De-stress muscle massage and I decided about 10 minutes in that it was my favourite one I’ve ever had. I walked/floated out feeling so chilled and so zen that I definitely nearly fell down the stairs (but it was worth it). It was pretty intense and you know when sometimes at times you’re like any minute I’m gonna have to be like omg it hurts! but, my muscles honestly felt so much more relaxed and light afterwards. My Mum, who is not a major spa person at all surprisingly really loved her perfect balance facial and for once managed to relax and chill out for just under an hour. The lovely Nicky did both of our treatments and was a total dream!
So those are a few places that I’d highly recommend you go and check out if you ever visit Jersey (if you do, please can you squeeze me in your case?). A few places that I was recommended and sadly couldn’t go to because they were closed at this time of the year are;
Elizabeth Castle – Accessible by foot in low tide and by castle ferry in high tide, Elizabeth Castle is an amazing place to visit to discover Jersey’s History. Climb the battlements, explore the turrets and bunkers and discover where St Helier is thought to have lived in 55 A.D.
Mont Orgueil, which protected Jersey against the French invasion – sassy little thing – is a stunning medieval castle that has cast a shadow over Gorey for over 800 years, it has the most stunning views of the French Coast.
Jersey War tunnels, these were actually open but we sadly didn’t get a chance to visit in the 2 and a bit days we were there. Described as “spine chilling” I absolutely need to come back and visit these one day.
Jersey Lavender i.e complete Instagram-porn. This place is – surprise surprise – a lavender farm and is absolutely breathtaking. I would’ve loved to have a stroll around here but sadly this was closed as well.
So those are just a few other things that I absolutely would’ve loved to see but hey, makes a great excuse to go back next time, right?
I would love to know if you’ve visited Jersey and if you have any recommendations? Also if you’re planning a trip there? It really is the most gorgeous place that I couldn’t recommend enough.
As always, thanks so much for reading!
Thank you Visit Jersey for working with me on this post. You can fly to Jersey in around an hour with British Airways, Easyjet and Flybe. You can also win a three night winter escape to Jersey (#goals) by entering this competition.