The Jersey Diary, Day 6: Charm & Gentility
It was a brand new day, full of fun and educational opportunities, and once again, the weather was giving us the royal treatment - clear skies, not too hot yet not too cool, but just right. So, after breakfast, we left the B&B, and made ourselves available to what our planned itinerary had in store. Our first stop was to be a 'fresh' beauty opened in 1882.
Home Made-Home Grown
Being in the centre of town, we walked to St. Helier Central Market which is a must visit site for those who love fresh produce, flowers, and who enjoy taking the time to peruse all sorts of shops and see what she/he can find along the way. The market is open Monday through Saturday from 7:30am - 5:30pm. It has an extensive variety of options including bakeries, butchers, delicatessens, bookstores, hardware and services, antiques and books and cafés, to name a few, where one can buy a good light snack or meal, sit down and take in the colorful surroundings, beginning with the Victorian glass dome painted white and red.
Another eye catching piece is the water fountain situated in the middle of the market. It is painted in bright red, green and white, and it is adorned with three cherub-looking sculptures each holding paddles. Hearing the water fall added to the market experience along with the fact that it was impeccably clean. I know for a fact that our return visit itinerary to Jersey will include this site either to have a hearty breakfast or a energizing lunch. Although the central market is small, it definitely packs a sensory punch. Content with our visit, we took off to attraction #2 which was a few minutes away by foot.
A Charming Perspective
16 New Street happened to be a delightful surprise and definitely one Jersey attraction that we would highly recommend to all for it gives an excellent idea of what life was like In Georgian times. The beautiful and eye pleasing Georgian house, built in the 1730s, is conveniently tucked away on the quiet street of New Street in the heart of St. Helier and is best accessed on foot. Although only open three days a week (Thursday - Saturday), we had successfully incorporated it into our tailor-made itinerary for Day 6. Undoubtedly, it was worth the wait to visit this stunning restoration which provided an excellent idea of what life for the upper middle class in Jersey looked like at a time when the middle classes were beginning to make an impact on society. Ultimately, 16 New Street is a reminder of an era in the Island which is hardly recalled for there is nothing in comparison to this 'living' beauty.
In a nutshell, this small and elegant house was rescued from demolition and was impressively restored thanks to the National Trust forJersey (purchased for £1) and a very generous million pound legacy. Entrance to the museum part of the house is free for National Trust members (Jersey & mainland UK) and £5 for adult non members/£3 for children.
Although the main highlight of the visit is the kitchen area and its great cook/housekeeper full of knowledge, unfortunately, something had just burned in the wood stove and we were unpleasantly welcomed with a smoke filled room and a permeated stench throughout the rest of the museum. We missed out the wonderful opportunity to learn how the household was run and to taste any typical food samples made to authentic recipes that would have been prepared for the family, i.e. real mincemeat tarts, jersey black butter and a lemon drizzle cake.
We walked around the remainder of the house which we found to be well laid out with description boards in every room providing useful information to what before us and how it played out in Georgian times. The 10-15 minute informative video helped put the house into perspective and provided a solid understanding of its history, its numerous tenants, including the YMCA and the Liberty Genlemens' Club, and its occupants. After staying for nearly an hour, we stepped outside and gave ourselves a few minutes of sunshine joy by sitting in the little garden area at the front of the house.
200 Year Old Landmark Shop
Once recharged we took a quick tour of the de Gruchy department store which was a few steps away. I admit that I am not a shopaholic, but I do appreciate fashion, and let me tell you how impressed I was with the selection of brands, the beautiful and unconventional layout of the mall, and how deceivingly small it looks from the outside yet it's so spacious once inside. I loved the 'island feel' energy within the department store. The only issue we came across was that we did not have the time to window shop/shop for we were on a casual mission - to catch the LibertyBus down to St. Aubin's bay.
St. Aubin happened to be where we experienced time to stand still. We found it so easy to spend a few hours in the afternoon relaxing by the harbourside doing practically nothing but being consciously aware of our charming surroundings. Every time we had passed by the port on LibertyBus we had felt inclined to get off and discover its charismatic beauty.
There is nothing pretentious about St. Brélade's parish. It has plenty of benches for outside seating and full of restaurants and café options. As we walked up to the Yacht Club, located by the hidden bay which offered us peace and quiet, we got to check out The Harbour Gallery and The Tenby. We truly enjoyed walking through The Harbor Gallery's three stories of exhibiting and working galleries. It helps that art is one of my life passions and I felt like a kid in candy shop! So many artists, artworks and creations under one roof! DL's Deli & Café, found within The Harbor Gallery, definitely caught our eye and the menu seemed fantastic. Unfortunately, we were not able to dégoûter its food for we had planned to have a small pep-me-up snack at The Tenby, where we experienced good food at a decent price, an extremely friendly staff, and a delightful and picture perfect outside dining séjour.
True to form, a couple of hours later, we moseyed down to Zephyr, within the Royal Yacht Hotel, for our unofficial happy hour. Just like the day before, the weather was ace and we were loving every single minute of it. Although the place was packed, we managed to find a table and decompress for over an hour. Another successfully planned day had come to fruition!
On that note, join us for our next BESPOKE travel blog post in which we soothe our senses in lavender fields and wrap up our Jersey holiday with over a dozen Nigel Mansen look-alikes. True!
Until then, happy reading and safe travels!
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