Closing date: 09 Oct 2019
Pint-sized Jersey is made up of an intoxicating patchwork of scenery. Wildflower meadows, sun-drenched vistas, bird-rich wetlands and wind-battered coastlines can all be found here. But these views aren’t just pretty to look at. Edible plants and wild sea herbs will literally give you a taste of the island’s wild side, while the largely remote and rugged setting makes it a perfect place to escape the stresses of daily life, enjoy a digital detox and rediscover yourself.
Now, Visit Jersey is offering one lucky winner a relaxing two-night stay for two at The Atlantic Hotel, including flights, a three-course welcome dinner and a foraging masterclass with executive chef Will Holland. This is the perfect antidote to burnout: guaranteed to recharge your batteries and soothe your weary soul.
Jersey is so awash with wild patches that you’re never far from nature (although, admittedly, it helps the island measures less than 120 sq km). You’ll be based in the west of Jersey, nestled within Les Mielles Nature Reserve that forms part of the coastal Jersey National Park. The nature reserve covers nearly a tenth of Jersey, overflowing with colourful wildflowers.
The island isn’t short of cream-coloured beaches either. St Ouen’s Bay is fringed by its own curve of sand, pock-marked with the remains of German fortifications from the Second World War and bordered with golden sand dunes. The dunes (known locally as Les Blanches Banques) are the fourth-richest in Britain for plant life (over 400 species have been recorded here), which in turn supports insects and reptiles such as the green lizard and grass snake.
For the most impressive floral display, head for the bright meadows of Le Noir Pré and Clos de Seigneur, known collectively as the Orchid Fields. Expect a brilliant burst of colour as over 60,000 orchids across five different species bloom during spring and summer, including the island’s deep purple namesake, the Jersey Orchid. Time spent among this wild scenery is bound to lift both mind and spirit.
However, the undisputed jewel in Les Mielles’ crown is St Ouen’s Pond, the largest area of natural freshwater in Jersey. St Ouen’s Pond is a mosaic of reedbeds, wet meadow, dune grassland and water teeming with wildlife.
Visit one of the two hides to spot birds such as warblers, shovelers and lapwings. The pond is also one of the best places to witness marsh harriers in the UK, their indifference to the presence of humans here meaning the raptors get unusually close to the hides. As you stand watching, it’s almost hard to believe you’re only an hour’s flight from London.
Jersey’s diverse scenery appeals to all the senses: the smell of orchids, the boom of a bittern at St Ouen’s Pond and the feeling of sand between your toes – all helping you reconnect with nature. But it’s your tastebuds that will remember Jersey’s natural environment the most.
Jersey’s surrounding waters may be home to bottlenose dolphins, but a foraging masterclass with a top chef will help realign your vision of its coast from marine Mecca to ocean kitchen. Many species of seaweed can be used in cooking, including gutweed (great deep-fried) and velvet horn (perfect sprinkled on salad). Oysters are also a speciality on Jersey’s shores and together with your collected sea herbs, you’ll be taught how to cook up a dreamy three-course meal as a reward for your efforts. Field to fork (or sea to stomach) has never tasted better, helping you round off a wonderful wellness weekend on this laid-back island.
Visit Jersey is offering one lucky winner the chance to win a two-night stay for two at The Atlantic Hotel in Jersey. It includes return flights with British Airways, a three-course dinner on the first night and a foraging masterclass from executive chef Will Holland, including a three-course lunch. For your chance to win, simply answer the following question:
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