Of sand and sea


I have to tell you, I am feeling thoroughly and utterly spoiled. A Christmas gift from the lovely CJ and Stephy saw us head to St Brelades Bay and the l’Horizon hotel this weekend. Our sea view room was sumptuous, and what a sea view! All golden sand, shimmering sea and blue blue sky.

20140406-080959.jpgThe beach at St Brelades isn’t a place I spend much time at, mainly because it is so popular with tourists in the summer that I usually head somewhere more off the beaten track. But today, with the sun blazing down and the clear skies up above it was heartening to be part of the gentle hustle and bustle of this bay. A smattering of people were out and about enjoying the afternoon; paddle boarders swept across the bay, a horse and rider gently walked through the waves, and I could hear the kids laughing and playing from our balcony.

20140406-081902.jpgI just had to get out there! I walked from the hotel along to the headland that separates St Brelades bay from the beach at Quaisne. High on the headland, perched upon a remnant of German fortification stands a bench with one of the best views in Jersey. Come and see for yourself!

20140406-082636.jpgFrom here you have clear views across the golden sands at Quaisne to the Palaeolithic site of La Cotte de St Brelade, possibly one of the last Neanderthal sites in northwest Europe. With bone heaps of wooly mammoth and wooly rhinoceros, Neanderthal remains, and a 250,000 year timeline of occupation this really is Jerseys most important prehistoric site. The museum at La Hougue Bie opens again this weekend, including the new exhibition on Jersey’s ice age history – a great place to start if you want to know more about Jersey’s prehistoric past.

20140406-084627.jpgI dropped down into Quaisne bay and walked along the Common land above the sea wall, where you could still see the sea worn pebbles, flotsam and jetsam of the recent storms.

20140406-090018.jpgAs far as La Tour du Hoinet I walked, standing proudly against its backdrop of blue, before turning back once more.

20140406-090511.jpgAlthough part of the bay here has many big and beautiful houses taking in the views, the majority of land is undeveloped, and it has an impressive wall made of tree trunks to keep people from strolling too far onto the private land.

20140406-152000.jpgAt the far end of Quaisne, at the start of the ascent of the headland between the two bays, is another German fortification guarding the bay. But this one has been clad in local granite to make it blend in more with the headland.

20140406-091158.jpgMore intriguingly are the strange remains of a building high on the headland, off the path and into the undergrowth. There is a shell of a stone built building hiding in the trees here, next to a circular enclosure hewn directly out of the granite itself.

20140406-091633.jpg Once again I was back at St Brelade’s bay, with the beautiful early evening light setting the landscape off to perfection.

20140406-152527.jpg At the hotel we had enough time left in the day to enjoy champagne on the balcony, so we sat and we chilled and we and drank in the beautiful view of the bay under the setting sun.

20140406-153137.jpgAnd this was just the beginning of our stay! We leisurely dressed for dinner and had a delicious meal in The Grill. (The salmon was devine). One of the appealing parts of being here was the quality of the staff. No stuffiness or stiff upper lips, the staff were friendly and welcoming and we had such lovely evening, ending with a drink in the bar as the piano music tinkled away in the background. We looked out over the inky blackness of the high tide, and across to the golden halo of light surrounding the parish church across the bay. Beautiful. Thank you so much CJ and Stephy. Awesome!

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