Jersey – Luxury with a French twist and phenomenal food

As we are all navigating our way back into travel, we started our own adventures in June with a location just an hour’s flight away, a place where every road and street has a French name but where English is the common language.

If you haven’t already guessed, we visited Jersey in The Channel Islands.

Like us, you have probably spent the last 18 months dreaming of white sands, warm seas and the heat of a tropical sun. Jersey has all of these in abundance and as we were to discover, is the perfect holiday destination.

The Atlantic Hotel

But let me take you back to the beginning of our journey, we had been invited to stay at the Atlantic Hotel in St Brelade, a beautiful part of the island and we were delighted to find that there are direct flights from Leeds International Airport with Jet2 at very reasonable prices.

We had our dates confirmed, our flights were booked, we were double jabbed (essential to go to Jersey), and there was just the hurdle of booking a PCR Test up to 72 hours before we flew (at a cost of £125 each but as we were to find out – worth every penny), the results of which had to be emailed to the Jersey Government. Thank goodness they were negative!

Everything fell into place and we were on our way. At Jersey airport everyone was required to take another PCR Test and for those who chose not to have one 72 hours prior to flying, they were required to self-isolate until their results came back, this could take up to 48 hours, a large chunk off any holiday. That was £250 well spent as with our negative results we were free to start our holiday straight away.

So let me tell you about the Atlantic Hotel, as staying here was the icing on the cake. Part of Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ (SLH), hotels accepted into SLH are very special. This is the most desirable community of independently minded travellers and independently spirited hotels in the world.

All hotels are personally visited, verified and vetted – each one is anti-chain and anti-same. With just 50 rooms on average, SLH properties can offer secluded, discrete options with the highest standards of luxury and guest wellbeing. We were not disappointed, in fact even though we knew about SLH, our expectations were well and truly exceeded by the Atlantic Hotel.

The hotel is set in a unique position on the island’s west coast – commanding breath-taking views over the five-mile golden stretch of St Ouen’s Bay and the Jersey National Park – and its guests can enjoy some of the finest sunsets in the British Isles.

But it’s the people who transform any stay from good to superb and let me assure you, the people at this hotel were superb in every way.

From the welcome and perfect check in experience to the entertaining and knowledgeable Restaurant Manager and Sommelier, to the cleaning team who always had a smile and a greeting. The Atlantic is one of those rare places that you just don’t want to leave.

Owned by Patrick and Treena Burke, the hotel recently celebrated its 50th anniversary throughout which they have earned many awards. They currently boast four AA red stars and four AA rosettes for the Ocean Restaurant, which leads nicely on to the food. Ah, the food, another reason you will want to stay.

During our visit, we enjoyed the Celebration Tasting Menu with the Wine Flight. The Celebration Menu has been especially created by super talented Executive Chef Will Holland, to commemorate the 50-year milestone. Our dining experience unfolded.

We started with Pan Roasted Foie Gras, pan perdu, raspberry and beetroot puree, potato galette and fresh raspberries. Now I know that foie gras is not for everyone, but this is a stunning dish with the most amazing flavour combination. The fruit cut right through the richness of the foie gras making a perfect harmony of flavours. Accompanied by a glass of Tattinger ‘Folies de la Marquetterie’ Champagne, Brut N/V, this was perfection.

Our second course was an immediate hit as scallops and in fact seafood of any type ticks our boxes. Seared Hand-Dived Scallop, salt cod brandade, sand carrot, crispy capers and carrot tops was not only delightful to look at, but was a light, delicious plate of food and one we would happily have eaten twice over! The glass of Newton Johnson, Family Vineyard, Chardonnay, South Africa, 2014 was an exceptional choice.

The meat course came next. Lamb – roast fillet, braised neck, crispy sweetbread with basil pomme puree, ratatouille flavours, black olive and lamb jus. Oh my! Stunning, we took our time, savouring every mouthful and sipping on the San Biagio, Barolo, ‘Pria Capelot’, Piedmont, Italy, 2012 which was another pairing success.

Dessert was Iced Honey Parfait – white chocolate and yoghurt crumb, crème fraiche snow served with a glass of delicious Contero, Moscato D’Asti, Piemonte, Italy, Moscato Bianco, 2019. A beautiful, refreshing, palate cleansing plate of deliciousness, complimented perfectly by the dessert wine.

The food was of the highest standard, the service was impeccable, and it was an experience we will remember for a very long time. We took coffee and homemade petits fours out on the terrace, listening to the sounds of night-time wildlife and the lapping waves of the sea. Suddenly we were very tired and reluctantly went to bed. But we slept like babies.

Breakfast each morning of our visit was taken on the terrace, looking out over the outdoor pool and the expanse of manicured gardens. But first, we walked the gardens and took the private path down to the beach to work up an appetite for fresh fruit with yoghurt, Eggs Benedict and toasted sourdough with homemade preserves. We were then ready for each day to unfold.

During our visit to Jersey, we packed as much in as possible, there is so much to do and you have a great choice of beaches, walks, museums and of course shopping. We visited the Jersey War Tunnels, Greve de Lecq Beach, La Corbière Lighthouse and walked from Greve de Lecq Beach to Plemont, a beautiful and slightly challenging coastal walk. We had hoped to make it to Jersey Zoo but it was closed at the time, although disappointed this allowed us time to do other activities.

Will we return to Jersey? Absolutely! Will we stay at the Atlantic Hotel again? You bet!

If you are planning your own trip to this fantastic island, we highly recommend that you stay at the Atlantic if you want a perfect memorable trip.

It really doesn’t get any better.

Reader Offer:

Book a three-night stay at The Atlantic and receive a complimentary three course dinner for two in Ocean Restaurant. Offer includes full English breakfast and use of the Palm Club facilities which include an indoor pool, spa pool, sauna and mini gym. Available for stays between 01 October 2021 and 30 April 2022. Exclusion dates apply.

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