Every year or so I try to get away for a luxury or boutique holiday somewhere, and this year I settled on a boutique weekend trip to Guernsey. It was my first time visiting the Island, which is found in the English Channel, and too say I was excited to explore somewhere new is an understatement. I had booked into one of the islands hotels out in the countryside, with an on-site spa and close to the stunning south coast that I had researched. After a short flight from London Gatwick I arrived on Friday morning to begin my weekend of luxury.
My trip had so many highlights its hard to know where to start. But I think for me one experience that stands out from the crowd came on the Sunday, which I spent exploring Guernsey’s rich history and culture. Now this may not sound like the most invigorating activity to some of you, but there is something very unique about exploring the history of Guernsey – in that the entire island is like an outdoor museum, with relics of the past found around every corner.
Dotted across the coast you will find old fortifications and bunkers ranging from the 18th century Martello Towers built for defensive during the Napoleonic Wars to the German bunker built during the islands occupation during WWII. Each of these fortifications has a story to tell, with many having a brief history of the site displayed for visitors to read.
Another location that is worth a visit is Hauteville House. This former home of Victor Hugo, the writer of Les Misérable and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame to name a couple, gives an insight into his eccentric mind. The house has been restored to appear as it would have in the eighteen hundreds and it is just as bold as you would expect, with reds and pinks splashed all over the house.
I also spent an afternoon walking the south coast cliffs that was particularly memorable. There is a great network of cliff paths to navigate and a whole host of hidden bays and undiscovered coves to explore. It was a beautiful outside and the sun was shinning, I rambled my way around Icart, Saints Bay and Bon Port and had a fabulous afternoon – the scenery is just stunning and makes you feel like you are on a rural retreat.
So as mentioned previously I had booked myself into one of the islands boutique style hotels – The Bella Luce. The room was well decorated, the décor was modern and the use of deep browns added to the luxury feel. I opted for the standard room that worked out at £126 per night and the room came with a flat screen TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, toiletries, bathrobes, slippers and bottled water. The staffs at the hotel were extremely courteous and always more than happy to help.
The real reason behind my choice however was the on-site spa, I booked myself in for a morning of pampering on the Saturday and couldn’t wait. As soon as I walked into the spa I felt an air of calm come over me, the candle lit treatment rooms are the perfect place to unwind and reinvigorate. Much like the hotel, the spa was decorated with a luxury and highly indulgent feel. I started with the spa manicure that was £45 for 60 minutes before going for the hour-long Vespers – Drift Away massage for £65, I felt truly relaxed afterwards.
One of the major pulls of Guernsey for me was the food, I love seafood and Guernsey has some fabulous seafood restaurants. I was there for a total of three nights and ate somewhere different every day.
The first evening I decided to eat in the hotel restaurant, I was staying at the Bella Luce and the restaurant was every bit as stunning as the hotel itself. I went for the set menu at £22.95, very reasonable for Guernsey as the quality of the food. The starter came out and I had ordered the Dressed Chancre Crab, it was delicious and the grapefruit, orange and coriander worked wonderfully with it. Next up was my main of Roasted Plaice On The Bone – I told you I love seafood. The plaice was cooked to perfection and I can’t say I had ever had plaice off the bone before; the dish came with confit potatoes and a delightful brown shrimp and butter noisette. By dessert time I was rather full but could just muster the room to try out the Lemon Tart, it was a nice way to round off the meal.
On Saturday I headed into the islands capital, St Peter Port, for the day and stayed for my evening meal. I opted for Pier 17, which was at the end of one of the piers with a fantastic view across the harbor. I went for the Seared Beef Salad at £6.75 to start with followed by the £14.95 Seamus’s Scallops for main – both courses were top notch. Again once the wine is added onto the bill it becomes quite pricy, but hey, I was on holiday!
For my meal on the final day I went for Sunday lunch at the Auberge, the food was again to an exceptional standard – one of the best Sunday lunches I have had for awhile and the reasonable price of £22.95. What made this meal so special though was the location, with sweeping views across Guernsey’s east coast and over to its sister islands of Herm and Sark.
Overall my weekend in Guernsey was fantastic. There was lots of great food, rich culture, indulgent pampering, spectacular views and welcoming people. The weekend was made even more luxurious because of the hotel, spa and the food – each of these was indulgent in there own special way, making for an unforgettable weekend. I would recommend a holiday there to anyone.
Emma is an avid traveller and loves to visit new and exciting places. She works to travel and likes to spend as much time away as possible. Check out her blog at www.travelbagel.com