Breathtaking coast and a fusion of Francophone and Anglophone make Jersey irresistibly different yet strangely familiar, with French street names, British money, gorgeous beaches, mild climate, outdoor dining and shared history at every turn.
Jersey is one of the best places in the United Kingdom for a bargain thanks to the absence of VAT (Value Added Tax). Most of the big names are to be found at Liberty Wharf (La Route De La Liberation), a shopping centre just outside St Helier. Along with ubiquitous names such as Marks & Spencer, the mall also has a quirky spa offering fish pedicures. In the capital itself, head to home-grown department stores De Gruchy (46-52 King Street) and Voisins (26-32 King Street) for interesting local finds and niche names, or to St Helier’s two Victorian covered markets. Away from St Helier, try St Brelade, which has lots of interesting little independent boutiques and a couple of excellent surf shops.
Food & Drink
For such a tiny place, Jersey has contributed more than its fair share to the national menu, whether delicious Jersey Royal potatoes or black butter – a delicious alternative to marmalade made from cider apples. In the island’s restaurants though, seafood reigns supreme, and some of the best can be found at the Atlantique Seafood Bar (West Centre) in St Helier. Also worth a try is the wonderful Oysterbox (St Brelade’s Bay), which specialises in local, seasonal fare. For tasty tapas and meze with a view, the Boathouse (1 North Quay) in St Aubin is unbeatable.
Lé Marchi Nouormand
Jersey gets in touch with its French heritage during the month of June, when an old-fashioned Norman market pays it a once-yearly visit. Expect plenty of delicious French fare, as well as lashings of local cider.
Jersey’s answer to Glastonbury attracts some of the biggest names on the planet. Held just outside the capital, this two-day music festival has been running since 2004 and has seen the likes of Primal Scream, Madness and Kasabian take to the stage.
Jersey Beach Polo
Take a picnic and a deckchair and enjoy some top-class beach polo on the golden sands at St Brelade’s Bay. Although you don’t need a ticket to watch, free food and drink and private viewing areas are available to those who cough up.
La Faîs'sie d'Cidre
Jersey’s annual cider festival includes cider and bread-making demonstrations and history displays, as well as plenty of opportunities to taste the local brew.
La Fête dé Noué
An absolutely gorgeous local tradition, La Fête dé Noué sees the capital’s streets twinkle with thousands of bright white lights, while a Christmas market takes centre stage. A parade and street theatre add to the festive feel.
One of the best things about Jersey is that you’re never very far from a beach, so as a result, most hotels come with glorious sea views. For those splashing the cash, nowhere beats the Club Hotel and Spa (Green Street) in St Helier, a luxe affair with its own Michelin-starred restaurant. The less expensive Inn Boutique Hotel (Queens Road) is an insanely stylish place just outside the town. For something more rural, head to the Hotel Cristina (Mont Felard), which boasts a palm-fringed garden and spectacular views of St Aubin's Bay.