Dining in the Channel Islands is mainly concentrated on Jersey’s and Guernsey’s great choice of bistros, top-of-the-line restaurants, and diverse other eateries. Seafood here is a gem however it’s prepared, and many of the islands’ venues overlook charming harbors, beaches, and bays. Visitors will find filling pub lunches, French, Asian and international foods, and fine dining offered with even finer wines, ranging in price from the expensive to affordable. A Jersey specialty is guided gourmet walks stopping off at well-known restaurants for brunch, lunch, and/or dinner.
Bars and Pubbing in the Channel Islands
Pubbing in the Channel Islands gives craft beer-lovers a special treat, as a selection of bars serve the islands’ own brews. Liberation Ale, Mary Anne Best Bitter, Guernsey Sunbeam Bitter, and Jimmy’s Real Ale, Bass Real Ale, and the products of the Tipsy Toad Brewery, are favorites.
The bars themselves are mostly traditional, with many set in picturesque old buildings and most serving excellent pub lunches. The center of Jersey’s pub scene is St Helier, with the Lamplighter (Old Town, St Helier, Jersey) best known for its real ales and big screen TV displaying rugby matches. For a good gastropub experience with great views of Gorey Castle, try the Castle Green pub (Mont Orgueil, Jersey). All bars on the islands close at 11:00 p.m., with clubs closing at 2:00 a.m., and they’re all non-smoking venues.
On Guernsey, the best pubs are found in the central area of pretty St Peter Port, the island’s main town. The Ship and Crown (North Esplanade, St Peter Port, Guernsey) is a real ale and cider pub with great harbor views and, for lively action, the Cock and Bull (Lower Hauteville, St Peter Port, Guernsey) is worth a visit. For a classy, quiet, and cozy atmosphere, try the Library Bar, (Moores Hotel, St Peter Port, Guernsey) and, to start the evening with a swing, the Lakse Cocktail Bar (South Esplenade, St Peter Port, Guernsey) is the place to be. Guernsey’s nightlife centers on Le Pollet, with its large live-music dance club, Rogues (Le Pollet, Guernsey), and its original nightlife venue, Les Folies d’Amour (North Plantation, Guernsey), are the places to see and be seen in the Channel Islands.
Dining and Cuisine in the Channel Islands
Jersey has a wide choice of varied dining opportunities, mostly set in and around St Helier. Michelin-starred restaurants in the town cater to the stars of the island’s financial institutions and their visiting clients, offering fine dining at its height. Tassili (Grand Jersey, The Esplanade, St Helier, Jersey) is an all-time favorite for its modern British menu. For an al fresco meal and view of the French coastline, head to Les Fontaines Tavern (La Route du Nord, St John’s, Jersey) to enjoy the 15th century setting as much as the entree.
For a great seafood experience in the Channel Islands, a visit to Nelson’s Eye Restaurant (Havre de Pas, St Helier, Jersey) won’t disappoint, and the extensive menu caters to vegetarians and seafood lovers alike who wish to indulge in locally caught fresh fish and shellfish. Guernsey’s Auberge Restaurant (Jerbourg Road, St Martin’s, Guernsey) sits on cliff-top splendor, with stunning sea views, as well as innovative, chef-driven cuisine. Also on Guernsey, the Farmhouse Restaurant (St Saviour’s, Guernsey) is a favorite with locals for its homemade dishes using organic locally-sourced produce.
The small island of Alderney has a good selection of eateries to choose from, including the Braye Beach Hotel Restaurant (Braye Street, St Anne, Alderney) and the fully-licensed Georgian House (Victoria Street, St Anne, Alderney), set in the center of St Anne. Sark’s La Sabonniere (Little Sark) is famous for its lobster dishes and Maison Pommier (Little Sark) serves delicious cuisine and affordable fine wines in a pretty setting. Sark has few restaurants, mostly set in charming heritage buildings, but a reputation as gourmet heaven.