Where to eat in Jersey
With Jersey Royal season in full swing, you might wonder what other culinary delights Jersey has to offer. You’d be right to ask. For an island just nine miles by five, there’s an extraordinary number of fabulous places to eat, including a surprising density of Michelin-starred restaurants.
The best way to experience them is to do what we did and check in to the Atlantic Hotel for its Michelin Experience package, dining at a different Michelin-starred restaurant each night. Startlingly good value, it includes breakfast and use of the hotel’s indoor and outdoor pools, spa and tennis court, giving you a sporting chance of working up an appetite for the next meal.
The Atlantic is a superb place to stay. Sleek, and modern, it has an ocean view, attentive staff and sunsets that make you forget you’re in the British Isles.
First up was the Atlantic’s own Michelin-starred Ocean restaurant, decorated in a soothing palette of neutral colours, which creates an almost reverent atmosphere. So it should be. The food merits a little worship: imaginative, artistically presented and classy to a fault.
Of the three courses, the highlight was, unexpectedly, a truffle risotto with parmesan foam which was artfully cooked to the perfect al dente and fulsomely flavoured, and my companion’s sea bream which was so fresh it was almost still twitching.
The sommelier chose individual glasses of wine for each dish, which proved sensationally good pairings.
The second of the trio was Ormer, in a quiet side street in the centre of St Helier. Ormer has a contemporary, luxe décor: bold, turquoise velvet chesterfields contrasting with mustard leather chairs.
My meltingly-tender venison with smoked chocolate tortellini was heaven-sent, as was my rhubarb pudding. Its neutral description on the menu as ‘buttermilk panna cotta, ginger beer, lemon’ didn’t prepare me for the explosion of flavours, with sweet, pink, poached rhubarb and silky rhubarb sorbet contrasting with spiky dabs of ginger and gingerbread crumbs.
Back to St Helier for our third dinner, at Bohemia, with a sleek Manhattan-style feel. Its tasting menu was a series of colourful, exquisitely constructed dishes.
The stand-out ones proved the poached oyster with cucumber texture and black caviar – the plump oyster set off by a delicate, dill-laced cucumber foam.
And a foie gras cream with slivers of duck, hiding a kumquat surprise beneath, providing intensely sharp relief to the creaminess.
Even the most avid gourmand can’t manage fine dining morning, noon and night, so we sought out more relaxed options for other meals. El Tico, a beach-front cantina on the island’s glorious surf beach, St Ouen’s Bay, is a brilliant lunch spot. My sea bream taco, ocean-fresh and bursting with spicy flavour, was light enough not to spoil the next dinner and the perfect accompaniment to a lunch-time beer.
The Crab Shack
Rocking a seaside vibe is the Crab Shack. There are two on the island: one on picturesque St Brelade’s Bay and the other on Gorey. Despite the name, it’s not exclusively about fish, though it would feel wrong to pass on the excellent fish and chips or the flavour-popping crab salad. If you’ve room, try to squeeze in the truffle parmesan chips.
Café Firefly, The Durrell Wildlife Park
Durrell Wildlife Park, founded by conservationist and author of ‘My Family and Other Animals’, on which the ITV series The Durrells (the second series of which has just started on ITV), has a strong focus on wildlife conservation. Its café, located just by the entrance, serves excellent coffee and tempting cakes, as well as light lunches that will more than see you through to your next dinner.
It’s worth dropping into the Jersey Lavender Farm in St Brelade. Although the tea room is a touch twee, the shop sells gorgeous culinary lavender products including the highly-addictive lavender fudge, plus traditional Jersey products such as black butter.
How to get there
We flew with Flybe, which has flights to Jersey this summer from Aberdeen, Birmingham, Cardiff, Doncaster, Sheffield, Durham, Dusseldorf, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Guernsey, Humberside, Inverness, Manchester, Norwich and Southampton. Prices start from £29.99 including all taxes and charges.
We hired a car – essential for getting around – from Hertz.