Known as a haven for wealthy, ruddy-cheeked fnanciers as much as it is for its namesake potatoes and milk, the small Channel Island of Jersey has an image problem among many would-be travellers. But visit and your preconceptions will be swifly proven wrong. A short drive from the airport along the rugged, wild coast will fnd you in the island’s capital, St Helier, which buzzes with shops, restaurants, bars and a Victorian covered market. It is next to this that you’ll fnd Banjo , a stylish former gentleman’s club that is now a great value restaurant and bar, with four chic guest bedrooms. Across its beautifully-tiled entrance hall is a brasserie, where dishes include succulent roast wood pigeon with earthy celeriac mash, mushrooms and bacon (£8.95) and slow-cooked pork belly with white bean purée, Savoy cabbage, baby chard and rhubarb chutney (£14.50) alongside an extensive, well priced wine list. For a big night out, the island has four restaurants with Michelin stars, including Ormer , which ofers a 7-course tasting menu. The best way to have the experience on a budget is to go for the set lunch, which features dishes such as chicken with buckwheat, pickled shimeji mushrooms, popcorn and trufe paste (two courses £19/ three courses £24). Pair this with a wine from a lesser-known region, such as crisp, foral white from Greece, and you can enjoy the glamour without breaking the bank. For a gourmet goodbye, take a drive along the coast to St Brelade’s Bay and Oyster Box , where you can enjoy the best of Jersey’s fsh and seafood framed by a spectacular view across the water. A gargantuan seafood plater costs £29pp, but oysters with shallot vinaigrete (£8/6), local crab (£19.50), posh fsh and chips (£13.50) or seafood risoto (£16.95) are easier on the pocket.
Double rooms cost from £89, room only (banjojersey.com). Return flights from various UK airports to Jersey cost from £50 (easyJet.com). Weekend car rental from £48 (hertz.co.uk). More info: jersey.com
St Helier Caramelised apple tart, Jersey black butter parfait, apple wafers at Banjo Banjo Seafood platter at Oyster Box