Bohemia Brilliantly Delivers

Our weekend in Jersey was well underway, and after a full day of exploring St Helier, we returned to the hotel in order to take advantage of The Club Hotel’s spa facilities. As a guest of the hotel, you are able to use the indoor salt water pool as well as the salt cabin, the experience shower, and the sauna. We really enjoyed the relaxation and the quiet of the spa, particularly the pool and the salt cabin. We didn’t book any treatments, but I had a look at the spa menu and it looked wonderful.

That evening, we had extra special plans to have a meal at Bohemia, which is the Michelin-starred restaurant in the hotel. For Valentine’s Day, they were offering an eight-course menu and we were both really looking forward to it. We arrived at the restaurant and had a seat at one of the tables in the bar. Richard ordered us drinks – a gin and tonic for him and the special Valentine’s champagne cocktail for me. We let them know we were eating in the restaurant and were brought the delicious canapés shown below. We savored these in the bar whilst we browsed the menu for the evening and soon it was time to be seated at our table in the restaurant.

jersey7Someone (ahem, Richard) couldn’t wait until I took the photo before he had his first taste!

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As I mentioned in my previous post, we definitely went all out during the entire weekend and decided to do the wine pairing with the meal. We were so glad we did this. Each time a course had a wine paired with it, the sommelier came to the table to explain why he chose that wine to accompany the course. I’ve been fascinated with how wine can (or can’t) complement food since I lived in the heart of the wine-producing region in eastern Washington state, so it was fun to have a little lesson during the meal. Being that we both really like Tempranillo, we were excited to try the Tempranillo Blanco. It was definitely our favorite, and it was neat to try something which is the first of its kind.

So, that was the wine, but how was the food? I’m not sure how to accurately describe this meal, aside from saying that it truly was out of this world. I’ve never had a meal where I have sat between bites and thought about the flavors and how the ingredients went with one another. Over the course of the meal, we spent time discussing what we were tasting. It was honestly incredible with everything cooked to absolute perfection, especially the scallop and the venison.

Because the menu listed the ingredients, we found ourselves wondering how the next course would be served and what it would look like. We were never disappointed as the presentation of each course was an absolute work of art. (I knew from the outset that I wouldn’t be taking photos during the meal because I wanted to focus on being with my husband. Once we were seated, I was so glad I made that decision as it would have felt completely inappropriate.)

Quite possibly the biggest surprise of the evening was the dessert described on the menu as a Valentine’s Kiss. If I remember correctly, it was passionfruit, blood orange, and chocolate served in the shape of very realistic albeit large lips! I loved hearing the chuckles and seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces as their desserts were presented. It added an aspect of humor to the meal and I loved that, plus it was absolutely delicious.

A lot of my fondest memories involve eating at great restaurants with some of my favorite people. This meal at Bohemia has been added to those memories of mine and is most definitely one I will never forget. Yes, the food and the wine were the highlights, but the service was impeccable as well. Because of all of that, I can say that it is the best meal I have ever had. Honestly.

Bohemia is a must-visit if you are in Jersey and want to experience world-class dining at its finest.

This quote was used in one of the publications in the hotel, and I think it is a brilliant description of our experience at Bohemia:

“I dreamed about the food when I went to bed. It was a fairy-tale dinner, and Steve Smith is a magician.”

-The London Metro

 

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A Valentine’s Weekend in Jersey

Months ago, I had seen an advert on TV for Jersey. I wondered where this stunning place was, as surely an island with crystal clear beaches was not located that close to England. A quick Google search proved how wrong I was. I made it known to Richard that I was really intrigued by Jersey and would love to visit at some point. I assumed that trip was a while away as we have a lot on in the upcoming year, but he’s sneaky, and at Christmas, he surprised me with a trip to Jersey to take place over Valentine’s Day weekend…for just the two of us!

For those of you who don’t know, Jersey is one of the Channel Islands and is located to the south of England just north of France. The island is 5 miles wide by 9 miles long and full of some of the nicest people you will ever meet. I’m not joking about the nice people, and that is saying a lot from two people who live in Yorkshire. Everyone was always up for a little chat or available to offer recommendations. We were truly blown away by their kindness and overall relaxed mentality.

We flew from Gatwick for a number of reasons I won’t bore you with, but you can just as easily fly from Leeds Bradford or Manchester. From Gatwick, the flight was about 35 minutes, so I’m guessing it would be about an hour-long flight from Leeds or Manchester. Super easy and super short. Ideal.

We arrived on Friday night to misting rain and darkness, so we could just make out that we were driving along the sea during our quick taxi ride from the airport to our hotel, The Club Hotel and Spa, in St Helier. When we arrived at the hotel, we were greeted warmly by the staff at reception. Richard had contacted them a week earlier for a restaurant recommendation for Friday night as we were eating in the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant on Saturday, so once they knew who we were, we were asked if we wanted them to book us a taxi to the restaurant that evening. The service was flawless from the get-go. I’d highly recommend The Club if you are looking for an adult getaway.

The rooms are spacious and extremely comfortable and fully stocked with everything you could need. When we got to the room, we were greeted with bottles of chilled water by each bed side and freshly baked shortbread. The kettle was there if we needed it and real milk for tea or coffee was only a phone call to reception away.

As I mentioned earlier, the hotel recommended a restaurant, Ormer, for us the first night and it certainly did not disappoint. I should say that we definitely splurged on this trip and went all out on food and drink. We decided from the start that we were going to spoil ourselves and that we did! Ormer was incredible. We both had fish for our mains. Richard loves dover sole, which is traditionally served on the bone, but Ormer served it off the bone in the style of a deconstructed fish pie. He was a happy man. I have such a sweet tooth and I always go for a sweet pudding at the end of a meal, but that night I ordered the cheese board and it was a nice change. I really enjoyed the selection of cheeses that I was given, plus I had a little flashback to my study abroad days in Argentina as they served a bit of dulce de membrillo or quince paste with the cheese board. Exciting!

We were super rock star that night and promptly returned to the hotel after dinner and collapsed into bed. I believe we slept for roughly 10 hours! It was such a wonderful feeling to wake up refreshed on Saturday morning.

That day we decided to wander around St Helier and check out the shops. It was a good idea as the weather wasn’t spectacular, so going in and out of the stores was the best thing for a rainy day. (Plus, it gave Richard a chance to truly enjoy carrying the ultra lovely umbrella the hotel provided us in our room. This is serious. He became a full-fledged umbrella aficionado in one day.)

We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Relish, which is this funky little deli that serves these fabulous platters. (It is also a cool shop boasting an incredible assortment of meats, cheeses, antipasti items, and wine. Honestly, we would be broke if we lived nearby as it is was such a great little place full of culinary treasures.) I had the antipasti platter and Richard chose the reuben style one – they were both delicious! The balsamic marinated onions blew both of our minds!

IMG_6597After lunch, the rain had let up a bit and we decided to stroll along St Aubin’s Bay. About 15 minutes into our walk, the light sprinkle became a full on wind and rain storm in which we were both trying to cram under the umbrella. We sought some relief from the weather in one of the little shelters along the promenade until it calmed enough for us to head back to St Helier. It did clear up once more, so we enjoyed wandering around the harbour in St Helier and gawking at the incredible boats docked there. Our walk back to hotel included a stop for a glass of wine at a bar/restaurant where we were served by quite possibly the only unfriendly person in all of Jersey.

jersey1Elizabeth Castle is seen in this photo. When the tide is out, you can walk all the way to the castle. Very cool!

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Once back at the hotel, we took some time to relax as we had big plans for our Valentine’s Day meal that evening! I’ll share about the rest of our weekend in my next post. Hope you’ll come back to read about the rest of our time in Jersey!