A Taste of Guernsey
Continuing my culinary journey of Guernsey, I get to explore a little beyond the island. My cousin took me on a day trip to the neighboring Channel island of Sark, about a 45 min ferry ride away from Guernsey. It was the Friday before 4th of July weekend and there was a folk festival happening on the little island. We got there before 9am and headed straight to breakfast at a little cafe called AJ’s. As most of you know, my husband also goes by AJ 😉. And as most of you know as well, he doesn’t cook. So I was excited to enjoy a meal cooked by an AJ in my lifetime.
Motor vehicles are not allowed on the island except for bicycles and horse-drawn carriage. There are also tractors that transport you to and from the boat dock to the beginning part of town. It’s admirable and exemplary how total preservation of the island is tantamount to the people who live and run their businesses there. You can only greatly appreciate such great love of ones surroundings like that when it sorely lacks in most places on this planet.
After having a fry up for brekkie, we took a long walk to go find a bar. We couldn’t have been in a more beautiful place on our journey to go get intoxicated.
There was a little bar right opposite the La Sablonnerie Hotel, that served food as well.
We were only slightly peckish after our long walk. So even though there was a good selection of home made cakes and desserts available, I opted for the strawberries and Guernsey cream. And an absolutely delicious and fruity cider, called Old Mout Cider, from New Zealand. It comes in an assortment of fruity flavors, and it is so gosh darn good! Yeah it’s a pretty fufu drink, but I don’t care. It’s so thirst quenching-ly amazing and bubbly.
Guernsey cows are a big deal. And so is the dairy that comes from them. I’m big on dairy, you don’t even know. Butter is my life force. The Guernsey is a breed of cattle used in dairy farming and are renowned for the rich flavor of their milk. The butter is sunflower yellow and unlike anything you’ll ever taste. That cream, honestly, nectar of the gods. The strawberries were ripe and sweet and they put a silly smile on my face. As Doge would say- Such dairy, much organic, wow.
Fourth of July weekend was pretty eventful with a house party, lots of home made American dishes and a ton of drinking. Which obviously called for a fry up the next morning. My cousin’s husband knew I was dying for good local sausage (no pun intended) and very kindly picked up almost a kilo of organic sausage from the butchers for me. And they certainly helped with the slight hangover. They were ridiculously good.
There were loads enough left to make myself a nice Asian stir fry the next day with carrots, broccoli, mushrooms and tiny dried salted shrimp.
Before the weekend ended, my cousin, her hubby and their friends took me for an afternoon on the beach of Port Soif. We stopped at Rousse Kiosk in Le Grand Havre Bay in the Vale for a quick snack first. Known for the best crab sandwiches in Guernsey, they run out very quickly by midday. But there’s loads of other tempting things to choose from so I got a fruit jelly with Guernsey ice cream. It was too pretty to eat but tasted better than I imagined. The sweet yet tart taste of the summer berries in it’s wobbly mould, cut by the rich creaminess of vanilla bean ice cream on top. It was a summers day reverie.
On another night, during my second week, the three of us went to The Imperial Hotel, overlooking Rocquaine Bay in Torteval. There’s a restaurant called Water’s Edge and a little pub area as well serving good seafood, roasts and even Lamb Roganjosh with rice. I had to have the Fish and Chips. But to start with, Baked Goats Cheese, served with a crostini and topped with red onion marmalade.
I loved the goats cheese. Hot to the touch and just melty enough when cut into. The creamy, salty taste of the cheese layered with the sweetness of the onion marmalade and the crispy toast was a great palate pleaser. The fish and chips were fine. Just good old pub food, but I really liked the tartar sauce. It had lots of freshly chopped gherkin pickles in it and tasted great.
On our way home, we passed a little farm with this little cutie hopping around the front yard. We stopped to pick up some eggs from an honest box and say hi to the little calf. What a sweetheart!
My two weeks there went by in a flash. But it’s left me with a longing to go back again one day because once was definitely not enough. The summer months are perfect for a visit as the days are scorching hot but the nights get nice and chilly. If you’re brave enough, try taking a dip at any beach (they’re all gorgeous) and see if you can stand the bone-chilling waters of The Channel. I could only wade in till waist deep before the bottom half of my body went completely numb with cold. Yes, a very weak effort. Something I plan on correcting on my next trip there.