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The Club Hotel & Spa and Bohemia Restaurant, Jersey.
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The Club Hotel & Spa and Bohemian Restaurant, Jersey.
Green Street,
St Helier,
Jersey,
JE2 4UH

With Easyjet now flying between Edinburgh and Jersey this sun-kissed Channel Island has become a very accessible destination with many attractions for a weekend break or longer. We stayed at The Club Hotel & Spa also home to the Michelin starred (since 2005) Bohemia restaurant. 

Jersey is a verdant place with continental vegetation and the feel of Southern English seaside resorts. A military history means forts and castles abound and the island was occupied during WW2. A 20 minute bus ride from the airport to St Helier drops us at the Liberty Bus Station and Liberation Ale lubricates our long weekend of walking and eating. 

The lush fertile soil is perfect for livestock and vegetables whilst the 40 mile coastline provides access to plentiful fish and seafood. South of England and west of Normandy you are as likely to see someone strolling down Mulcaster Street with a baguette as sitting down for a cup of tea. 

We start our gastronomic weekend with a Champagne Afternoon Tea in the smart hotel bar. House bubbles de Venogue "Cordon Bleu" Brut N. V.  and local Coopers & Co loose leaf tea refresh us alongside three tiers of sandwiches, scones and cakes which have substance and style. 

Sarnies are freshly made and have colourful traditional fillings, ham and mustard, tuna, salmon and cucumber and salty cheddar with skinned tomato pieces. Large scones come with cream, jam and Jersey black butter, a unique conserve of apples, cider and spices. Delicious with a dollop of fresh cream.

The top tier though contains the pi├Ęce de résistance that is top drawer patisserie. Chef's creative take on lemon meringue tart is pale lemon pastry discs piped with citrus cream and adorned with edible jellies and pearls. Exquisite layered Opera cake and carrot cake iced like a rose complete the star studded line up. 

Our hotel room becomes the perfect place to digest and recuperate. French windows overlook a tiny courtyard pool (the sound of tumbling water is very 'zen') and all your needs are comfortably catered for in classy, thoughtful, well equipped double ensuites. 

Visitor maps say you can cycle round the island in 6.5 hours but we chose a 10 mile walk instead taking in hedgerows, wild flowers, winding lanes, farms, sheltered beaches and driftwood cafes, finally catching the bus home from the famous Durrell Zoo. A single bus trip anywhere on the island costs £2. The scent of wild garlic had filled our nostrils and our Saturday evening meal nodded to our day's walking. 

Scallop-edged peppery green pennywort, a snowy hunk of turbot and burnt orange heritage carrots was my delicious a la carte main course from chef Steve Smith. Mr Bite had spring lamb, with roasted Jerusalem artichokes. Refined seasonal food rooted in the landscape. 

Foie gras with kumquat, crab tart and 'custard', dark chocolate and sour cherry delice, Corsican cheese wrapped in rosemary, and dark bread and seaweed butter are some of the ingredients we devour in what has been ranked the 11th best restaurant in the UK by Good Food Guide 2018. 

The Spa was our final treat before catching flights home. For me a 'replenishing envelopment' comprising body brushing, salt scrub, a warm wrap of mineral clay, facial massage and body lotion. Facilities  include steam and relaxation rooms, salt cabin and pool.

Our reasons for booking a return trip would be a visits to the fish market, the zoo which is more accurately a conservation trust protecting endangered species and cycling. Others may be attracted by the offshore reefs for scuba diving, surfing, or a special collection of rare orchids. 

Jersey really does have something for everyone. (S. Wilson)

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