Foodies Guide to Jersey in the Channel Islands

There are far more reasons for an avid foodie to book flights to Jersey than creamy milk and new potatoes. The largest of the Channel Islands, sitting just off the Normandy coast, is a gastronome’s dream. Forget eating soggy sandwiches in East Midlands airport; keep your appetite primed for arrival. You’re going to need it.

Tennerfest

Jersey is well known for being quite pricey, (aren’t all islands?) but never fear: visit during October or November and you will be able to dine on the cheap at some truly scrumptious restaurants participating in the annual ‘Tennerfest’, where gourmet meals can be enjoyed for a fixed price of £10.

Island delicacies such as fresh oysters, lobsters and langoustines usually feature quite heavily on these menus: keep an eye on the Tennerfest website during September to find out which restaurants will be taking part and what they will be bringing to the table. Be sure to book ahead, as demand runs high.

Apples

Pomme de terre isn’t the only pomme that has been an important crop on Jersey. For centuries, apples were the most predominant fruit grown on the island. The apple crops began to decline in the late 20th Century but now Jersey is bringing back the apple in a big way.

While you’re visiting Jersey be sure to sample apple dumplings (bourdélots) and the island’s famous black butter (a dark spread made of apples, cider and spices). Cider is very important in Jersey so be sure not to miss La Faîs’sie de Cidre festival towards the end of October, where you can see cider being made and sample the latest batch.

May Food Festival

Although tennerfest and the apple harvest are both scheduled for October, there’s plenty for people who want to visit Jersey in Spring. During May Jersey throws a week long festival dedicated to anything and everything food related, celebrating the island’s most famous crop (the new potato) as well as seafood and dairy produce. The festival also gives you a chance to meet Jersey’s finest chefs, and dine on Michelin quality food.

I’ve personally been to quite a few food festivals and find the ‘master classes’ (aka sitting in a tent being lectured to) fairly dull. The Jersey Food Festival isn’t like that: instead the master classes consist of wading through shallow water searching for mussels, foraging in hedgerows, and trailing through local breweries.

Food Trails

With such a wonderful climate it would be a shame to waste your holiday indoors. Take part in a food walk to really get to grips with where your food is coming from: and to burn some of the calories. You can arrange a guided tour with the locals in advance, but usually tours will take you out by the oyster beds of Grouville, and through the countryside farm shops where you can buy freshly laid free range eggs and deliciously creamy milk and butter from the famous Jersey cattle.

The Market

No foodie tour of Jersey would be complete without visiting the famous markets: the Central Market, St Helier and Beresford Fish Market are all worth a look. The fish market is particularly astounding, with every fish imaginable according to season; from shiny, striped mackerel to writhing conger eels. With produce this good, it would be a sin not to book self catering.

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Comments

  1. Beatrice Astaire says:

    Last year when I was at Bermuda, enjoyed a lot with my wife, we stayed on island for long 10 days, still missing but this time my wife wants to try Jersey island, we are collecting information on jersey restaurants which offer mix varieties of food.

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