Tag Archives: Where to eat on Alderney

Alderney ~ A Pause to Reflect Part 1

Last weekend I returned to Alderney, the island of my original inspiration for The Riduna Series. I’m always excited and rarely sleep well the night before a visit. We arrived alongside another couple for whom the experience was a new one and I couldn’t help but feel a trifle concerned for them as we stepped down from Joey, the Aurigny Trilander, to be greeted by strong gusts of icy wind. In fact, by the time we had reached The Harbour Lights Hotel and ventured out for our first stroll, the air was filled with sleety snow. brrrrrr (Even Alderney has not been spared from this severe and enduring winter)

First we trudged down to Braye Beach and breathed in the sea air, or at least tried to as it rushed through us, but the beauty of the bay surmounted the weather and we were still glad to be back. Next we headed up to the town of St Anne and after browsing along the shop fronts and into the Information Centre we bumped into an old friend, who suggested we acted more sensibly and retreat into The Georgian. Once in the warmth of the pub, a bubbling hub of island life, we relaxed and caught up on all the news and gossip, meeting another friend on her way out, too.

That evening we dined at The Harbour Lights. The duck I had was divine. My husband had onion soup followed by Gnocci, which he enjoyed too, although he was amused by the name. Compliments to the chef!

We slept soundly, but our hopes for better weather were dashed by warnings of gale force winds. Actually the

Fort Tourgis Alderney

se didn’t materialise, but it was certainly very windy. Not being people to be put off by inclement weather  (once we spend a week camping in the Cornish rain in August and on another occasion paddled in Wellington Boots in a February Yorkshire sea) we donned an extra layer under our waterproofs, though it barely rained as it happened, and headed towards the old harbour, walking along Crabby Bay, through to Platte  Saline and up the road beside Fort Tourgis.

It wasn’t hard to imagine ship wrecks on the treacherous rocks  surrounding the island of Burhou, the puffin sanctuary to our left. We had hoped to take a boat trip around the island. Maybe next time. We took the long route, passed the path to Fort Clonque (a place a group can hire as an unusual tidal holiday home) and round by the airport, before pausing for lunch at The Marais Hall, where the fish soup is an institution..a must at some point during our stay. Delicious!

It was Friday and an island friend had booked a meal at The Braye Chippy two weeks in advance, the best fish and chips anywhere in the world and certainly the most ambient atmosphere, served with a smile. Unfortunately this thriving business is now up for sale, a gold mine to the person who snaps it up, because the ladies, who have run it so smoothly in recent years, are moving on to pastures new. Anyone interested?

There’s a video on Diana Jackson’s Author page on Facebook. Why don’t you pop over and say hello:-)

Monday’s post ~ Here Comes the Sun:-)

Leave a comment

Filed under Alderney, Channel Islands

A late October visit to Alderney

Saye Bay from Fort Albert

Visiting Alderney in late October is quite a different experience but nonetheless a pleasant one. The de-stressing qualities of this usually peaceful island seems to work its magic the moment you land, maybe sooner. Even the anticipation of our stay calms the soul. We were certainly fortunate with the weather and spent Saturday walking to the easterly end of the island, around Fort Albert and down on to Saye Bay, where we sat for an hour in the sunshine admiring the Forts which flaked the sandy bay on either side and staring out into the blue distance, with the occasional intrepid sailing boat sliding by, like a moving mirage in the otherwise still scene.

In fact we only saw one other couple who were walking their dog along the glassy sand where the tide had recently been; footprints quickly dissolving leaving no lasting impression. Next we headed across the deserted campsite to Arch Bay and Corblets Bay where we joined one other family enjoying the simple pleasures of the beach. There we had our picnic, bought fresh from the bakery in St Anne’s earlier that morning, when we had witnessed the early Saturday morning rush hour of at least one car every two or three minutes on their way up Braye Road to do their weekend shopping.

As the lady’s family left the beach I remarked, ‘Beautiful, isn’t it.’

‘Perfection,’ she replied. We need say no more as we glanced out over the sand and glistening rocks towards the lighthouse.

A crowded beach

We continued our walk along the coastal paths to Longis where a few families were dotted across the bay under the brow of the sea defences, an excellent wind shelter, unnecessary today though but sometimes welcome. Our intended destination this time was not the beach but The Barn where we enjoyed a refreshing cup of afternoon tea. We’d just missed lunch but the menu looked appealing. Maybe for another day. It’s always worth remembering The Barn when you are this end of the island. In the summer the campsite has a cafe too, but at this time of year The Barn acts as a little oasis, with its sheltered plant laden courtyard and the cosy rooms of its popular restaurant.

Back in the little town of St Anne that afternoon it was quiet, many of the Georgian shops now closed for the remainder of the weekend. There was still activity at the Fishing Shop, and I mean fishing tackle and the like rather than the fresh fish shop further down Victoria Street. The annual fishing festival was nearing its final moments and people were nipping in and out, I’m not sure what for, but there was certainly an air of excitement. The One Stop was also open and the Book shop around the corner, as was Jack’s, the Bistro cum cafe right at the bottom of Victoria Street, but it was just about to close to prepare the tables for the evening meal. It was also the last day the Alderney Museum was open to the public before closing its doors for winter, often the busiest time behind the scenes for its inspired young curator and band of enthusiastic volunteers who have excellent ideas to weave the museum with the fabric of community life.

That evening we headed to The Moorings down by the harbour for supper, but it appeared that the whole island had turned up too for the end of festival celebration when cups and trophies were handed out and I gather a great time was had by all.

We hadn’t intended to eat at The Diver’s a second night, preferring to choose a different venue each night… The Diver’s on Thursday night when we arrived where we both enjoyed an Alderney burger, good wholesome home cooking; Of course it had to be The Braye Chippy on Friday, a must for any visitor but, since the islanders love it too, it’s essential to book – yes that’s how good it is; Back to the Diver’s on Saturday, gladly taking a table vacated by the multitude of fishermen on their way to the

Speaks for itself

Moorings and finally Sunday lunch at The Harbour Lights where I ate Red Mullet to die for. I had to take a photo of the meal but it was certainly as delicious as it looked. Later that evening I met Bugsy, the owner of the wetfish shop at the bar of The Harbour Lights and he told me he’d caught it at 7 am that very morning.

As always I was so sad to leave on Monday morning, not only the island which has seeped deep into my psyche but many of the islanders too, who made us feel so welcome!

3 Comments

Filed under Alderney

ALDERNEY- WHERE TO EAT? A PERSONAL VIEW

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!’

Leave a comment

Filed under Alderney, Channel Islands