Eating is subjective! As I exclaimed in the staffroom yesterday when trying to concentrate on my paperwork, having ‘enjoyed’ crispbread and ham for lunch, ‘I love food!’
Eating on Alderney is a treat although, on our recent visit, our choice of venues was rather limited by my lovely but conservative, elderly parents. We ate at our hotel, The Harbour Lights on two evenings, enjoying superb meals which boasted of being locally caught, farmed or produced wherever possible. No mean feat on an island three miles long and one and a half miles wide. Fresh fish- mouth watering sea bass and lemon sole, duck and gammon, all with a tiny carbon footprint! (that’s the pigs not the fish?) What more could you ask for? Feeling quite full after ample portions from the generous and talented chef, some of us enjoyed the locally produced ice cream, but the menu was wide and catered for many tastes. We didn’t eat out on the new terraces with a view of Braye Bay, although we did enjoy a coffee and a drink there after the meal.
I had to book three weeks in advance for us to dine at The Braye Chippy and none of us were disappointed. A light hearted evening was enjoyed by our party, joined by friends who live on Alderney, and having waited two years for the experience (last year we waited until staying on the island to book and were too late!) the food exceeded our expectations. You can take your own wine, which we didn’t know about, but fortunately our island friends came to the rescue there. I cannot answer for the others but my plaice was delicious, so much so that i’m now on crispbread for my sins!
On our other evening we took a nostalgic walk to The Marais Hall. A relative, who still lives on Alderney and I don’t wish to embarrass him by sharing his name, used to run it, and we spent many a happy evening there when I was young, odd since my parents rarely go to a pub here in England. The food is reasonably priced and very good. I enjoyed a curry but others in the party chose steak pie and fish pie. On another occasion we enjoyed their wonderful fish soup, a hearty lunch to sustain you for a long afternoon walk (or a nap!)
We also enjoyed a couple of lovely light lunches at Jack’s at the bottom of Victoria Street, where it was pleasant to eat outside, watching the comings and goings up the street. Here I met the friendly group of St Annes bellringers but that’s another story.
On our last visit we partook of several meals at The Moorings, popular with locals (a good sign) and the sailing fraternity. They cater for many tastes from light snacks to a three course meal, which you can eat overlooking Braye Bay.
On previous visits to Alderney we have been delighted by meals at the Belle Vue, spoilt ourselves by a candlelit dinner at The Braye Beach Hotel, enjoyed pub food at The Diver’s- Who is that guy with the headgear sitting in the corner by the way? and discovered the lovely haven of Mediterranean style charm at The Old Barn at Longy Bay(which I am assured is opening again this summer- I do hope so because it is a refreshing place to find whilst exploring the far end of the island. (If not, the island’s Garden Centre close by could always open for tea, like they do here in the UK?) For the time being, if you’re in need of an icecream or drink while exploring the far end of the island, there’s always the camp shop at Saye open in the afternoons. Nothing is far away though. Talking of The Old Barn, we went there when I was young and I remember trying whitebait for the first time and i’m afraid i’m hooked. (If you’ll forgive the pun!)
Back to where to eat on Alderney, we have yet to try the Indian, Pizza or Thai, all of which i’m informed are very good, and there are two select restaurants near the harbour -‘The First and Last’ and ‘Bumps’ if you wish to go out for that treat for a special occasion.
To sum up the eating experience on Alderney, ‘It’s great!’