Back home to the washing, shopping and a list of errands that need running for the Belles. It had been quite a few years since Mr Nell and I were last in Jersey - Miss Boo was a baby when were there before - so we were keen to see what had changed and if we had remembered things.
We stayed at Les Charrieres Country Hotel.
This proved to be a good choice. The indoor pool and jacuzzi was lovely, the staff were wonderful and the food absolutely the best we'd had in a hotel for years. The rooms were immaculately clean if a little dated, but everything worked and there was plenty of hot water. The only snag was the terrible mattress on the bed - it felt as if you were sleeping on a giant blancmange - and they still had blankets not quilts.
Jersey itself is still pretty, with beautiful scenary and just as badly signed as we remembered. (They took the signs down in the war and never really got around to putting all of them back) It was a little sad to see that many of the beautiful pubs we'd remembered had been turned into private houses or businesses eg The Windmill and at Corbiere. In fact the Island gave the impression that tourism was in a bad way there. The Portugeuese workers and hoteliers had gone and most of the staff in the various places and running the stores were now Polish. There was even a Polish channel on TV.
We went to Jersey boat show so Mr Nell could look at pointy boats and that was great fun. Highlight of our holiday was a trip to La Mares vineyard. This was excellent and I'd recommend any visitor to go there.
Downsides was St Helier's shops not opening on the Monday despite it being a tourist town and many people had clearly gone there for shopping. Only the multinationals and the department stores were open and there were loads of people who were muttering. I can't imagine any other major tourist town anywhere in the UK not bothering to open. Interestingly when we came home it was reported that our local shopping centre - Merry Hill - fourth largest in the UK had taken even more money than at Christmas that day.
We still had a lovely time and I still like Jersey, I'd recommend the hotel if you want great food, good service and clean, basic accomodation.
It was nice to be home though especially with the threat of the volcanic ashcloud starting up again.
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