If you fancy a relaxing weekend away without the hassle of long travel times, busy traffic and late arrivals then you should absolutely try visiting Jersey. British Airways flights take around forty minutes (yes, forty) from Gatwick which means you can leave after work and arrive just in time for dinner - amazing! The Channel Islands have an abundance of history and culture, of which Jersey certainly carries its fair share. For an island only nine miles by five, there is a lot packed in. As you drive from the bustling centre of St. Helier through to the East of the island, already you can see the landscape changing from an open stretch of beach or sea (depending on what the infamous tide is doing) through to the more rugged cliff edges as you work your way round.
Where To Stay In Jersey
One of the most spectacular places to stay on Jersey is Longueville Manor. The stately hotel has an elegance throughout yet it remains cosy so that you feel at home from the second you walk in. There is a bar serving champagne, cocktails, beers and soft drinks by the main lobby where you can also eat, play games or enjoy afternoon tea. Stepping through to the rest of the hotel and it is the perfect combination of luxurious comfort throughout. Double rooms start at £145 per night with special pre-Christmas offers available for a limited time only! The stunning grounds feature a heated swimming pool (so no need to be brave, even in October) and a duck pond surrounded by trees and green, while the spa also offers guests a jacuzzi, fitness room and some of the most delightful massages tailored to your tastes.
Longueville Manor’s spectacular grounds include swimming pool, loungers and barbeque area
For groups of two or more you are able to book the cottage which is, quite literally, an entire cottage! Stood beside the main hotel this idyllic building offers guests two bedrooms, both with en-suite; one toilet; a kitchenette; dining room and living room. Equipped with tea and coffee, Sky, board games, magazines and Longueville’s impeccable five star service, I cannot recommend this enough, even if it is just the two of you.
Longueville Manor’s own Cottage Suite has two double en-suite rooms, sitting room and dining room
Where To Eat In Jersey
Food wise, restaurants are in abundance with the locals all very keen to let you know their personal favourites. In particular, one that came up a number of times was Sumas, as featured in the Michelin Guide and The Good Food Guide. Located just beneath Mont Orgueil Castle, Sumas restaurant is a light and bustling space directly overlooking Gorey harbour. The menu featured oysters so fresh you can see the crates from the terrace, as our host Paul pointed out, through to tender steaks and flavourful fish dishes. A small tip: the chocolate fondant pudding may well be the best dessert you’ve ever had. Another favourite is the Oyster box; located on the South West of the island with a spectacular panoramic view of Quasine bay, it really is something special. Choose from their wide range of fish and seafood dishes and some deliciously local (French) wines.
The Oyster Bay restaurant on Jersey has stunning views of Quasine Bay
Back at the hotel, dinner at Longueville Manor is absolutely one to try too. Whether A La Carte or the discovery tasting menu, you will not be disappointed. Executive Head Chef, Andrew Baird, creates an exceptional menu featuring local seafood and produce, and even herbs from the hotel’s own garden. While the extensive wine list (featuring over four hundred bins) could at first seem overwhelming, the staff are more than happy to talk through your tastes and preferences to make sure you choose the right one.
What To Do On Jersey
Where things to do in Jersey are concerned, it would be hard to be disappointed. If the choice of swimming, tennis, or admiring the carefully landscaped hotel gardens or trying the delightful aromatherapy treatments isn’t enough to keep you occupied, the staff at Longueville Manor are more than happy to arrange for you to do a whole range of activities. From horse riding, sailing, recommended walking routes (or kid friendly nature trails) or even renting the hotel’s very own private Princess 42 luxury yacht, Fizz Too, you won’t be getting bored easily!
Jersey Seafaris have two RIB boats to take you on a wildlife tour to see dolphins, seals and local islands
There are also Jersey Seafaris which offer two or three hour tours on their unique RIB boats where you get the chance to see a local pod of bottlenose dolphins and a group of their native seals on your way to the Ecrehous islands which are completely uninhabited for most of the year. In the summer, you can be treated to water as blue as the Maldives until the tide disappears and makes way for long stretches of white sand. Regardless of whether you manage to see the wildlife, the tour is a fantastic experience out at sea with the crew making sure you’re well looked after.