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Dr John Hawkins

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Driving around Jersey

Posted on 2011/07/24 11:34:11 (July 2011).

[Monday 18th July 2011]
Picked up a hire car in the morning and spent most of the daytime driving around Jersey in mostly rather miserable weather conditions. We started off at a little bay East of St. Helier, and from there went to visit the Samares Manor for a stroll around the gardens. While we were there we joined a guided tour and talk on herbs which was quite interesting.

After leaving there our thoughts turned to lunch, and we tried to get to the Smuggler's Inn - more or less the other side of the island - before they stopped serving food. It turned out to be a rather difficult place to find, and I hadn't really got used to the scale of the map I was using yet. So when we got there it had just gone 2pm, and the kitchen was closing up. We had to make do with a rather disappointing baguette. The rest of the pub was really a bit of a disappointment too - it looked more like a 1980s seaside pub to me than an authentic 17th century inn, and the real ale selection wasn't particularly exciting either - nothing local. This was rather a low point of the holiday really. The weather was miserable, driving around had just been frustrating, and we didn't even have the solace of a lovely old pub to comfort us. Given that the weather forecast for the rest of the week hadn't been at all promising either we seriously considered just cutting our losses at this point and heading home.

Anyway, we didn't do that, and decided afterwards to meander slowly to the hotel we'd booked for the next couple of nights, stopping en route if we saw anything interesting. This ended up being the Devil's Hole - which was a bit uninspiring but at least it wasn't actively raining at this point, and a quick wander around the shop at La Mare vineyard, where I didn't feel compelled to buy anything.

Things started to improve a bit when we arrived at our hotel - the Chateau la Chaire - in the Rozel valley. We had a very nice room with a large bay window, a four poster bed, and a balcony/terrace off to one side. It was a classic country house hotel, a style I'm actually rather fond of, and I particularly love that smell they always seem to have - which I'd always assumed to be hot buttered toast - but is probably more to do with wood panelling.

After surveying our room and the hotel, we went for a bit of a wander around the hotel grounds, and the little harbour of Rozel. The weather was still pretty miserable so we didn't stay out too long.

I'd booked for us to have dinner at the hotel this evening to make life easier. We started off with a drink in the bar- a half bottle of good old Veuve Clicquot to cheer us up a bit - which was rather nice. The meal itself was OK but not wildly exciting, but it was pleasant enough to just be in the warm and be surrounded by lots of reassuring wood panelling. We took our coffees into the rather interesting rococo lounge after dinner, and leafed through the property pages of Country Life. I found that oddly rather enjoyable.

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