Jersey, as well as being a top holiday destination for its beaches, cliff views and British culture with a French twist, is also a food lover’s paradise.
Whilst meandering through the Jersey countryside, you can see where some of the food comes from. Arable land is definitely not wasted here: there are small cultivated fields every which way you look. The main crop is none other than the Jersey Royal, the scrumptious little potato that takes the Sunday roast to the next level. There are potato fields absolutely everywhere, even in the outskirts of town. Some lie at such impossible angles that it makes you wonder how the tractors don’t slide downhill. Other major crops are Brussels sprouts, cabbages, cauliflowers, tomatoes and broccoli. The Jersey cows also deserve a special mention: their milk has a high fat content, which makes for delicious dairy products.
Local growers supply supermarkets but the best place to see, smell, touch and buy these and other freshly picked veggies is the Central Market; an indoor Victorian cast iron market hall which was opened in 1882. The place alone is worth many a visit. Alongside fresh produce, you can find many butchers and flower stalls, another Jersey staple, and have bunches sent worldwide. Also, farmers’ markets are held in almost every parish once or twice a month. The quality of the different kinds of meat, fish and seafood is excellent as well.
There is a great variety of restaurants and cuisines to choose from, you are definitely spoilt for choice. A handful is well below expectation but some raise the bar so high that you’ll be very critical of restaurant food in other latitudes.
Pedro’s in St. Aubin is a go-to restaurant when entertaining guests or celebrating birthdays and anniversaries. The friendly staff and cheerful owner make you feel right at home. They have a reasonable wine list and their daily specials are delicious. You’ll have many a memorable dinner there.
Colleen’s in Greve de Lecq is the perfect beach cafe. It’s open year round so you can enjoy their abundant fry-ups for Sunday brunch, sitting outside in spring and summer, or next to a window in autumn and winter and reading the papers.
Michelin-star Bohemia is a treat. The service there is flawless. Its hushed, elegant atmosphere makes you feel special. The food is consistently good, but you’ll just love it when a waitress comes round with a huge basket with different kinds of bread for you to choose from. And the chocolates that come with the coffee are made by their pastry chef and are, in a word, perfect. (My mouth is watering as I type this.)
The Hungry Man is a beach kiosk located in Rozel Bay, a lovely little bay. It is very popular so be prepared to wait. They make the best hamburgers in the world. And their cream teas are not to be missed. The fantastic view of the bay and the sea make the food taste even better, if that is in any way possible.
Madeira Club is located in an alley in the centre of St. Helier. It is a bit tricky to find. They serve high quality Portuguese and Madeiran fare. Their picadinho (a traditional stew-like dish with meat, lots of garlic and olives cooked in wine) is out of this world, as well as their beef espetadas (beef skewers).
There is a restaurant to suit every occasion and mood. Just jump on a plane, book a table and tie a napkin round your neck.