No not that Jersey. I mean Jersey…the larger of the 2 Bailiwicks/Islands that make up The Channel Islands? The self-governing Crown dependency in the Commonwealth? No?
It can get pretty confusing, so let me explain: There are 2 main autonomous islands/bailiwicks located in the English Channel between the UK and France named Jersey and Guernsey. Jersey is the larger of the two, and both are self-governing parliamentary democracies with their own financial, legal and judicial systems and the power of self-determination. Neither are part of the UK and both can claim international identities separate from that of the UK, but the UK is still constitutionally responsible for their defense. Their respective Lieutenant Governors are personal representatives of the Queen. They are also neither fully part of the European Union, but enjoy Union privileges in free trades in goods. If this doesn’t make full sense to you yet, you’re not alone.
Either way, I didn’t spend the last 21 hours traveling across oceans and channels to get to New Jersey (although sometimes it can be that difficult to get to New Jersey from NYC), but rather Jersey proper — my country #135!
So after a few hours in Saint Malo, I walked about 10 minutes over to the docks for a 5:15pm ferry departure administered by Condor Ferries.
I had already pulled up my boarding card on my phone, but they allow you to check in and print out your prepurchased tickets (if you bought them online) here. Then you can check in your bags or head straight to passport control where they stamp you out of the EU and give you a boarding card for Jersey.
Fill out of the boarding card whenever, and head down to the gates.
When they’re ready for you, walk out of the gate towards the ferry.
Inside the ferry is like a baby cruise ship, filled with eateries, food, duty free shops, bars, noisy kids and evidence of frequent inebriation.
As you sail away, give a quick goodbye to Saint Malo’s walled city.
Eventually a huge fog took over and I went back inside.
We arrived into Jersey about an hour and a half later but don’t forget you shave off an hour because it’s now UK time (so 6:45pm France time, 5:45pm English time).
The disembarking was relatively efficient, as passengers lined up for passport control to get stamped into Jersey.
Once your passport is stamped, grab your bags if you checked in anything, head out of customs, and into the parish of Saint Helier, the largest of all the parishes in the Channel Islands.
Saint Helier, despite its designation as the largest of all the parishes/towns in the Channel Islands, is still quite compact. You can explore all of it on foot within a few hours as it’s been pedestrianized quite extensively.
Other than the waterfront (photos which I posted just above), the main draw are the pedestrian streets of King Street:
Ironically the most affordable place to stay this weekend was at the swanky The Club Hotel & Spa, centrally located near the waterfront.
After checking into my room and freshening up, I headed back out into Saint Helier for more exploration.
I first returned to the waterfront and harbor:
If you happen to come during low tide (actually better described as no tide…there’s literally NO water!), you’ll witness the harbor as if were a yacht graveyard:
I then ventured back into town, past King Street and into the more residential areas towards the center of the island.
With not much else to see, I returned to my hotel for dinner. There I had booked a 9:15pm reservation at its ground floor restaurant and bar, Bohemia, which boasts a well deserved Michelin-Star.
I opted for their 9 course Prestige Menu.
What an experience. This was one of the greatest surprise of a dining experience I’ve had in recent memory.
Compliments of the chef — smoked pork shoulder, among other treats I forgot:
Hand-picked warm bread basket with seaweed and unsalted butter spreads:
Potato – Quail Egg – Cepe:
Jersey Oyster -Cucumber – Caviar & Yuzu:
Local Crab Tart & Custard – Peace & Lemon Verbena:
Foie Gras Cream – Duck Salad – Apple & Blackberry – Pistachio:
Seabass – Onion & Smoked Eel – Rock Samphire – Mustard:
Veal Textures – Sweetcorn – Black Garlic & Girolles – Thyme:
Alphonso Mango – Rice – Vanille & Lime:
Rhubarb – Buttermilk & White Chocolate – Ginger:
Not a shabby way to celebrate finishing a 3 month journey taking USMLE Step 3.
– At time of posting in Saint Helier, Jersey, it was 62.6 °F – Humidity: 88% | Wind Speed: 18km/hr | Cloud Cover: mostly cloudy