I recently spent a weekend in Guernsey taking in the sea, sights and restaurants. If you have never heard of Guernsey, it is the second largest of the Channel Islands, located in the English Channel between England and France, although a lot closer to France than I thought. A tax haven, Guernsey is not part of the EU or the UK which makes it a kind of anglo-french Switzerland if you will. You can reach Guernsey by ferry or plane. We chose the latter from Gatwick with Aurigny. The flight takes about 40 minutes and is relatively quick and painless. Unless of course you arrive in the middle of a storm and want to jump out of the plane, as I did on the Friday afternoon. (Incidentally, the return flight was fine and much easier.)
Where We Stayed
We stayed in St Peter Port in the absolutely stunning Le Fregate hotel with fabulous views over the harbour where we could watch the cruise ships, ferries and fishing boats come in and out all day long. I loved the stylish nautical decor of the room, the anchor cushions gave a nod to the surroundings, but didn’t go over the top. The artwork in the whole hotel is beautiful and perfect for the setting. Otherwise, everything is super sleek and modern. The bathtub was huge (I’m a fool, a fool I tell you!, for not trying it out). The bed was super luxe, I spent most of Sunday afternoon lounging and blog-writing during another downpour and loved it. Who wouldn’t with a super soft duvet and never-ending views over the harbour? Which, incidentally, are still stunning, even in the rain.
The hotel is in a great location, just a few minutes walk from the port and shops and restaurants. They also boast one of the best fish restaurants in the town. The dining room was buzzing every evening that we were there, as well as Sunday lunchtime. We didn’t actually eat in the hotel though, other than the breakfasts, which were fantastic and included in the room. The menu boasted a full continental menu with a plethora of healthy options plus a variety of hot dishes, from a beautifully grilled Full English to smoked salmon and scrambled eggs and omelettes. Service was polite and efficient and I loved how accommodating they were to my need for honey and lemon water every morning.
What We Did
The purpose of the trip was actually to stake the area out as a possible place to live, so we did a lot of walking around and checking out what amenities there were. We went out for drinks and dancing with some colleagues on Saturday night and of course had to check out the local club and takeaway joint. (It wasn’t quite London, let’s put to that way.) However, on Saturday we did hike a short part of the south coast from St Peter Port to Fremain Bay and back. The views were amazing. I couldn’t believe how close we were to England. We stopped at Fremain Beach Cafe for a coffee and some more fabulous views before hiking back in time for lunch. If we do move there, I will definitely be spending more Saturdays like that!
Where We Ate
We basically ate our way through our long weekend in Guernsey. Mainly because I wanted to try out as many places as possible, but also because I was hungry. Our first stop on Friday afternoon was Christie’s for a big salad and a coffee. Friday night was spent in Le Petit Bistro, Guernsey’s favourite little French restaurant, totally authentic down to the entirely French wait staff and decor. On Saturday lunchtime, post-hike, we headed to The Hook for a huge bottle of water and some pretty special sushi. One to remember. Sunday lunchtime was a bit of a hangover cure and we ended up in The Pickled Pig for a spectacular steak sandwich and a burger (to share.. not each!)
On Sunday night, we booked into China Red, voted one of the best Chinese restaurants in the UK and it didn’t disappoint. Bursting with locals and visitors alike, I loved the atmosphere, the food and the tea at the end. We still had room for more food on Monday, so we actually went to Red, an amazing steakhouse in the centre of St Peter Port. We couldn’t get a reservation in the evening, so we had a pretty decadent lunch, sharing 700g of amazing ribeye steak with some lobster mac and cheese and a glass of wine. I love being freelance and being able to do that on a Monday lunchtime. On Monday evening, we dipped back to Le Petit Bistro, but in their cafe side,aptly named Le Petit Cafe, for a light dinner of grilled fish and vegetables. (And then I didn’t eat for a week…. yeah right!)
I’m sure there’s a lot more to do during a weekend in Guernsey and I hope to do a lot of more it when I next go back. Have you been to Guernsey?