By: House Magazine on 25/09/2012

Jersey with Condor Ferries

Located 100 miles South of the UK mainland, the Channel island of Jersey is the most southerly island of the British Isles despite only being 16 miles from France; as such it possesses a unique blend of British and French influences. Despite Jersey’s compact size of just 9 miles by 5 miles, it has a varied landscape, ranging from agricultural countryside, coastal cliffs, beaches and harbours and the bustling capital of St. Helier.

Jersey is easily reached from the Uk by air and sea. The compact size of the island means short journey times enabling you to pack lots into a day so we recommend bringing your car to the Island. Condor Ferries operate fast and regular crossings from Poole, Weymouth and Portland to Guernsey and Jersey. Condor Ferries offers the most convenient way to explore the Channel Islands with the added bonus of taking your car with you on holiday. On board there is a variety of seating available from Luxury Club Class (optional extra) to recliners and outdoor benches on the deck for those who like the sea breeze and the chance to spot some sea life! There is good choice of food and drinks available including hot food and a licensed bar but don’t forget to grab some bargains in the duty free shop.

Although there are a multitude of places to stay in Jersey we stayed at the award winning four star Somerville Hotel in St. Aubin. Nestled on the hillside, this luxury hotel has the most breath-taking views overlooking the yachting harbour and village of St. Aubin, and has an excellent reputation with both tourists and locals. There are a variety of different types of rooms for differing requirements; all beautifully fitted and decorated. In particular, the new superior garden suites with private terrace, sun loungers, sea views and added luxuries. The hotel offers a highly regarded restaurant, round the clock (24 hour) food service, swimming pool and outdoor lounge area. The beautifully well-kept building and grounds are an ideal hub from which to explore the island, with all attractions less than a 20 minute journey time. With such a warm welcome and exceptional service from all the staff your not want to leave!

Jersey is re-known for it’s culinary culture and worldly influences with over 190 restaurants and cafes to choose from, including vibrant harbourside bars, al fresco restaurants and exclusive fine-dining eateries. Within the Somerville Hotel the award winning Tides restaurant  is a standout gourmet experience with outstanding food, an extensive wine list and impeccable service. We spoke to Pieter Swanepoel, dedicated and extremely talented Head Chef at Tides, who praised the virtues of sourcing ‘Genuine Jersey’ produce to create fresh, innovative and exciting dishes changing daily to offer an outstanding standard of dining. Tides not only provides for the hotel guests but also has a multitude of returning Jersey locals who fill the restaurant throughout the year- Pieter must be doing something right!

Jersey’s varied landscape allows for a vast number of activities, far too many to even consider cramming into one weekend. Whether it’s windsurfing or kayaking in St. Brelade’s Bay or rock pooling in one of the many rocky shores surrounding the island there is a water based activity for all ages. Join one of many excursions out on a high-speed RIB to Les Minquiers, an offshore reef complex where you can brush up on your bird spotting and maybe even see a dolphin or two (so don’t forget your binoculars)! On the island itself you can explore the magnificent castles, adventure parks, walking routes or maybe even hire a bike and try out one of many picturesque cycle routes throughout the island. If high speed racing is more  your thing then we highly recommend the Formula One Go-Karting at Living Legend Jersey. It is worth noting that you can purchase a Jersey pass which gives you free entry and discounts at many of the top attractions on the island (refer to link below for prices). If you would rather enjoy a relaxing afternoon shopping then the capital St. Helier is the main hub in Jersey and a perfect place to while away the time with a selection of designer boutiques and markets selling clothes, jewellery and local crafts. Alternatively, the King Street precinct offers the familiar high street brands and coffee shops for a light refreshment. After spending only a weekend on the island, there is so much more to see of Jersey that it most certainly warrants a return trip. There is definitely something for everyone, whatever the season and whatever the weather, including romantic retreats for couples, family holidays and those seeking a more adventurous vacation. Until next time!


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