In September, my husband and I spent a weekend exploring the island of Jersey. It was the perfect destination for us: full of culinary hot spots to satisfy a foodie like me; beach walks and coastal driving routes for an outdoors enthusiast like my husband. Whether you are looking for a relaxing holiday or a fun-filled and invigorating island break, Jersey is there to be discovered.
A Culinary Getaway in Jersey
What to See
Jersey is the largest and southernmost of the Channel Islands, located 19 miles off the French coast. It measures nine by five miles long so it doesn’t take long to get around. There is a lot to see and do, more than we could cover in just a weekend.
It’s easy to fall in love with the stunning natural landscape of Jersey: wild coastline, long sandy beaches, breathtaking cliff top views, lush countryside and unforgettable sunsets over the Atlantic ocean.
We spent an afternoon walking at St Ouen’s Bay: the sandy beach is three miles long and a prime spot for surfing.
Further south, La Corbière is a WWII heritage site and a great spot to watch the sun go down.
I wish we had time to go for a walk along the cliff path from La Corbière to Ouaisne Bay. This was the breathtaking view from the starting point.
Ouaisne Bay is one of the most popular beaches in Jersey, together with Portelet Bay and St Brelade’s Bay. These beaches are on the south coast, which is better protected from the weather than in the west / north of the island.
You can find inspiration on what to see and do in Jersey, as well as practical info, here.
We booked a bedroom at Banjo in central Saint Helier, the capital of Jersey.
The lively town is a good starting point to explore the island, but if you are looking for a relaxing break away from the crowds, choose a manor hotel or a bed & breakfast along the coast instead.
Jersey has a reputation for its cuisine and award winning restaurants. More so than typical recipes, the focus here is on local produce.
Naturally, seafood plays an important role. The island can boast some of the biggest tides in the world, which bring in an abundance of fresh shellfish, crabs and lobsters close to the shores.
Lobsters, oysters, Jersey Royals potatoes and dairy are the ‘Big 4’ products that Jersey is famous for. You will find them across the island at local markets, farm shops and restaurants.
The dairy produced from Jersey Cows is rich, delicious and sweet. Don’t miss the chance to taste the quality milk, butter and ice cream in Jersey.
Jersey Royals are a kind of baby potatoes unique to this island. They are PDO (protected designation of origin) and their unique flavour comes from the rich marine minerals contained in the soil of Jersey. You can find them in London supermarkets, particularly around May when they are in season.
Central and Beresford Markets
For the very best of Jersey produce, visit Central Market in Saint Helier, open all year from Monday to Saturday.
For the very best local shellfish and seafood, cross the street to Beresford Street Market.
Both markets are an integral part of Jersey’s heritage and have served the community for over 200 years.
Where to Eat
Banjo – St Helier
Banjo is a brasserie housed in a converted Victorian Gentlemen’s Club. Upstairs are four spacious and tastefully decorated bedrooms where we spent our two nights. We enjoyed a lovely dinner at the restaurant.
I ordered one of the daily specials, a fantastic Sea Bass with tender stem broccoli, samphire, prawn & caper butter sauce with Jersey Royals on the side, while my husband ate a generous portion of Jersey Chancre Crab taglierini ribbon pasta. We shared a delicious Sauvignon Blanc wine which paired beautifully with the fish courses.
Nude Food – St Helier
The Jersey tourism office recommended us to try Nude Food for breakfast and we loved it. The café and bakery serves a selection of healthy, whole foods to eat in or takeaway.
We ordered Poached Egg, Avocado, Spinach, Tomato on Sourdough and Protein Pancakes with Banana, Strawberry, Honey, Yogurt. As a treat, we shared a slice of Chocolate Sourdough with Almond Butter, Banana, Honey And Goji Berries. So tasty!
Bohemia – St Helier
For a special occasion and a meal to remember, book a table at Bohemia Bar & Restaurant. This year, Bohemia was named one of top 50 best restaurants in the UK in The Sunday Times.
It’s not every day that I get to review a 8-course tasting menu prepared by a Michelin starred chef, so naturally I was looking forward to my lunch at Bohemia. We chose the pescatarian menu, which costs £79 (plus £55 for wine pairing).
The ingredients, flavours and presentation of the dishes cooked by Head Chef Steve Smith – such as the Halibut, Onion, Smoked Eel, Samphire, Mustard – definitely met my expectations. The service was friendly and impeccable.
It’s worth mentioning that this is not a place for a quick meal. Our lunch lasted three hours and that’s time we to took away from sightseeing in Jersey. In hindsight, I wish we had booked Bohemia for dinner and made the most of the daylight hours to explore the island instead.
Kismet Cabana – Ouaisne Bay
This food shack located in a car park overlooking Ouaisne Bay serves some of the best comfort foods I’ve had the joy to eat in recent months. Kismet Cabana is owned by Chef Chris, a friendly and talented guy who spends the summer cooking breakfasts, lunches and dinners to locals and tourists, while during winter he travels around the world discovering new cuisines.
We loved the hot dog, the Caribbean jerk chicken curry and the smoked bean and tortilla bowl.
Sumas – Gorey
If I had to choose just one restaurant to go back to in Jersey it would be Sumas. The restaurant (with a beautiful terrace overlooking the harbour of Gorey) is one of the island’s best and most loved restaurants.
The half Lobster Salad with White Crab, Jersey Royals, Mixed Salad, Roast Garlic Aioli was surely the best lobster I’ve ever tasted.
My husband and I have never tasted oysters as good as these Royal Bay oysters poached with white wine sauce, cucumber and herbs. We still talk about them!
The scoops of vanilla ice cream homemade with Jersey cows’ milk were an apparently simple, yet delicious dessert to finish our lovely lunch at Sumas.
Jersey can boasts many culinary hot spots for all tastes and prices – from street food to Michelin starred restaurants. A weekend couldn’t possibly be enough to experience all that the island as to offer, but it gave me a taste and a desire to go back for more.
How to Get There
You can travel to Jersey from UK by airplane (the flight takes approximately 45 minutes from London) or by ferry. The best way to get around Jersey is to hire a car from the airport. Pay attention when parking on-street using pay cards as it’s a little bit tricky to know where to buy them, how to use them and where. We didn’t display the pay cards correctly and were fined with a £60 parking ticket. The good news is that as of November you can now park in Jersey using the PayByPhone app.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Visit Jersey. All opinions are my own.