dimanche 17 août 2014

Jersey Diary

Better later than never, here's my Jersey "city guide", more like island guide ! Jersey's the biggest Channel Islands and it's very close to France. I went right after my quick London trip and met my mom, who was coming from Sweden, at the Gatwick Airport. From Switzerland, there are direct flights to Jersey but they cost 500$ ! If you can plan a weekend in the UK before, you would be able to take a cheap Easyjet flight to Jersey ;)

It was quite an unexpected trip because we planned it very last-minute as I was going through rough stuff in my life but it was the best decision ever. If you have the possibility to go and visit the island, please do because the scenery is like food for your eyes... Since we moved a lot on the island, this will be a rather detailled post, well, because Jersey is worth it.

We arrived at the St-Peter airport and the most amazing thing is that it's the smallest airport I've ever been and never had such a quick security routine. Then you'll quickly realize that in Jersey, the pounds notes and coins are a bit different. So charming and like, collectable. Then we took the Liberty Island coaches to our guesthouse in Beaumont which is right in the middle of St-Aubin and St-Hélier (it's the capital parrish, because yeah, Jersey is composed of parrishes... it sounds just like a fairy tale to me...)

I really liked our location because it's close to lots of places, right in front of the most amazing and moving sea I've ever seen. We stayed at the Ocean Walk Guesthouse which was cute, cozy and comfortable. The breakfasts are to die for and the bus stop is just in front of the hotel ! On our first day, we visited by bus, went to the Wildlife Park in Durrell, then off to Rozel Bay (pictures above) and ate some jacket potatoes at the Tea Room. I really liked Rozel Bay, it's a tiny, tiny fishing port at the north east of the island and the air is so refreshing, so enjoyable...

 Had an awesome fish'n'chips with mashed peas, walked a lot, blown away by this wonderful place.

Then we went to Gorrey, one of the three main harbours of the island, in the St-Martin parrish. It was so beautiful and windy, I had a blast like never before. We walked up to the Mont Orgueil castle and I just felt like... small, useless but in a good way. You know those moments in life when you realize that in fact, things don't matter. What I was going through was eating me from the inside, so it felt great to let things go and just focus on the moment, just being happy to feel alive.

 The next days, we rented bikes and our first ride was to La Corbière in St-Brelade. It's the extreme south-west point of Jersey and it means "a place where crows gather". There's a lighthouse and the spectacle of the sea is litteraly spectacular. The tides... they just make you wonder why on Earth you still care about shitty stuff, why you still overwhelm your brain with negative shit. Seriously, this may seem like emotional because it is. I can't find the words to describe how I felt up there, watching this lighthouse, getting soaked by the history of this place. When the tides are low, you can walk to the lighthouse, my mum who did it once said it's an amazing experience. I just can't wait to go back and try for myself. Also, they sell the best Jersey Dairy ice-cream up there, that's never a small detail to me.

The bike road we took between La Corbière and St-Brelade was one of my fav'. We ate at a small place, and, on this island, the food and the people are just the sweetest thing. You feel good, secure and welcome. That's a great, great feeling.

 We stopped at the Jersey Lavender Farm, just look at this place ! And it's only a small part... there are fields and fields of lavender, chickens running free like crazy... There's just the essence of life, like, everywhere. We watched the "how to make lavender oil" tour in the distillery but it wasn't like big-tourists stuff so we really enjoyed it. You can feel how these people are loving their jobs and it's amazing to discover all the things lavender is good for.

We had some really good times at the Boat House and at Bracewell in St-Aubin. They do simple but amazingly tasteful meals (and they seem into spare ribs to our biggest pleasure!)

On another day, we took our bikes and rode the west side of the island, stopped at the Pulente beach (above right), then off to Plemont Bay (on the north), which is, as they say (and we totally agree) Jersey's best kept secret. Well, it wasn't easy by bike because you have to go up, up, up ; then go down by foot to the Plemont Beach snack which is overlooking the Channel in the most beautiful way... (pictures below)

Yep, that's the view we had while eating our lunch. I've seen many, many beautiful places and seas (like the Caribbean sea which is still to this day the most amazing thing ever) but this ! this is as good. Look at this and tell me you can take it. Because one sure thing is that I can't. I'm so grateful to have witnessed such a magnificent place. Just to watch gives you the chills. When the tide is low, it transforms into the best beach of the island so it's definitely a must-go. Please, do yourself a favor and soak into these pictures for a minute, empty your head of negative bullshit, picture yourself in Plemont Bay and that's it. Feels good right ?

The next day, we rode to St-Mary to visit La Mare Wine Estate, a superb place with fields of vineyards. The place and building is the perfect mix of authenticity and modernism, full of British heritage, such a pleasant place for the Real Housewife I was becoming after having my first wine tasting !!! Yes, I can't drink wine but this was an exception, and the wines... Gosh, they were the shit, for lack of a better word. Our guide, Rex, was so funny and chill, it's a really good memory. On sunny days, you can see the other Channel Islands (because the Estate is situated on the coast) so you can see Guernsey, Sark and Herm.

Still in St-Mary, we rode to the Devil's Hole (from where you can also see the Channel Islands), it's a place that got this name in the 19th century (it was called Le Creux de Vis before) where a ship washed up in the Hole (there's a cave under the cliffs), and as well as the rest of Jersey, this was crazy beautiful.

We stopped in St-John and you can see our bikes in front of the church :)

One of our last location was Bonne Nuit Bay (let just take a second here to say how much I love those Jersey names... I don't know but I can feel the weight of History); it was really calm and quiet, with the kind of weather I'm all about : grey, mysterious and just peaceful. Old people sitting on benches, eating biscuits and reading books, children jumping and swimming... I just felt like, this is how I wanna live my life... I would love to know, if you're as obsessed as I am with everything water, sea, ocean, island, sailors, ships, nature, how you feel when you're at the sea. Because I just feel so good it almost feel like a dream, it transports me, it really makes me feel alive.

PS : I agree this post is not as edited as it could be or would be expected on a fashion blog, but it's my honest raw review from Jersey and I hope my words can translate a bit of the magic of this island. My advice : the world need more raw art, but mostly it needs more raw you. Stop trying to be something you're not, start exploring because once you've started, it never ends and hardly never disappoint. Fucking own who you are and what you love ; and just go for it.

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