Bank Holiday Weekend on Jersey - Day 2

After a long and well-deserved lie-in we made our way to the breakfast restaurant around 10. The buffet offered the usual elements for a DIY "full english", a small selection of bread, jams and mediocre mini pastries. The eggs however were superb, cooked to order anyway you could possible wish for. During our stay I had the poached and scrambled varieties and a delicious mushroom and cheese omelette.

After breakfast we decided to explore St. Helier and came soon to the conclusion that the town much resembled the breakfast buffet. Unexciting, but with a few gems thrown in to avoid real disappointment.
The highlight of our expedition was a trip by amphibious vehicle to Elisabeth Castle, just off the coast. By low tide it is even possible to walk there!

The first inhabitant of the rocks where now the castle is build was a Belgian hermit in the 6th century, who apparently preferred a rather desolate barren cliff over his homeland, which makes me question his sanity, or the state of Belgium in the dark ages.....

After a brief beer stop at the pleasant shaded terrace near the Tourist Information office we returned to the hotel.
Pool and sauna helped us recover from the rather warm day of wandering and after spending some quality time with my Kindle we got ready for our our evening meal.

Always keen to have at least one decent meal during a trip I had booked our Saturday night dinner well in advance at a restaurant with a solid reputation.
The restaurant, Ormer, is run by Shaun Rankin and I was expecting a tasty, well-cooked dinner.
Little did I know about Ormer, or indeed Shaun Ranking.
Instead of just having a dinner consisting of good quality ingredients cooked to perfection we experienced one of the best and most memorable meals we have ever eaten!
We usually go for the tasting menu, to avoid any unnecessary decision making about what to eat and the wine-pairing as I trust a wine waiters choice of wine more than my own limited knowledge of the noble grape.

We started with an amuse bouche in the shape of a churro. Under normal circumstances I avoid churros like the plague, however Ormer's version was an unusual variation of the evil treat, created with parmesan and herbs.
It went down a treat, especially as I had a very well made pisco sour to wash it down with.

After the cocktail and churros, the fun started for real. First we had a vodka granita and olive gel, lemon mascarpone cream and sage powder. The dish was pure genius, and magically took me back to balmy holiday memories of a summer hike through a deserted, sun-baked gorge in Crete, smelling of wild sage and olive trees.

After that, we had a salad of heritage tomatoes. water melon, toasted seeds and as star of the plate a wonderful basil jelly.

Then followed a second starter of crab, with peanut, gingerbread, and some other stuff I have forgotten, but which tasted heavenly.

More fishy bits were to follow. Turbot with pine nut crust and cauliflower served in various ways, none of which reminded me of cauliflower cheese....

(Oops, the fish dish looked and smelled so irresistible, that it was eaten before I thought of taken a picture)

Next up, grouse. Served with berries. The accompanying Austrian wine was absolutely spot on, echoing the taste of berries on the plate.

Still not finish, we eagerly moved on to the lamb served with apricot and things.

By now I had completely lost sense of reality and felt I had gone to heaven instead of Jersey.
The cheese course that followed only confirmed this delusion. The smooth and runny camembert was surrounded by some fruity gels and jelly and a grey blob which turned out to be a incredibly tasty truffle mascarpone.

One more course to go, and not being a dessert man I often eat the sweet offering out of a sense of duty, rather than delight. This time however even the dessert made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Rhubarb with buttermilk panna cotta, lemon and ginger beer. Not too sweet, not too sour, not too cold (I hate ice cream), not too hot.... Goldilocks would have loved it too.

Finally, before rolling home and stumbling into bed we decided to end the meal with the traditional cup of coffee. And of course the coffee didn't come on its own, but with the cutest selection of macaroons ever....

The best things in life are said to be free. If that is true, this meal was not the best thing in life, but despite the hefty bill, I would say it came pretty close.
The staff definitely deserves a mention too, very attentive without being too much "in your face" and the wine waiter presented each wine with real enthusiasm and a good story about the origin and production. If he is also the man who selected the wines I will write to the queen and suggest he is made a knight of the realm!


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