Find us @

Feature

Looking for an offbeat European holiday? Try this island with its own language This island has its own rules and vodka”

Get to Jersey via ferry or airplane, with over 50 miles of coastline, sunlit locations and plenty for you to do.

Published

on

Despite its proximity to France, this island is considered to be a part of the British Isles.

During World War II, German troops, not British ones, dug miles of tunnels under the city.

Additionally, it operates under its own set of financial regulations and has lower taxes than the United Kingdom.

Visit Jersey CEO Amanda Burns claims that despite the island’s small size (five miles in length and nine miles in width), there is plenty to see and do for tourists on Jersey in the English Channel.

We’re quite powerful,” Burns said over the phone to CNBC. She remarked that the island’s “geological uniqueness,” as well as its history and heritage, were among its most fascinating features.

Jersey is a popular tourist destination because of its convenient location about 120 miles from England and 14 miles from France.

Strange New Jersey

Though English is the most common tongue, Jersey also has its own unique dialect. Over the course of several centuries, Jerriais, also known as “Jersey French,” developed and is still spoken on Jersey today.

The island of Jersey’s mainland European influence has become a selling point in a recent tourism campaign that emphasizes the island’s unique characteristics.

The island is described as “curiously Brit…(ish),” with “the air of British familiarity giving way to a curiously continental feel” (the campaign).

Jersey Royal potatoes, a type of potato unique to Jersey, are just one example of the island’s cuisine that tourists should try.

Only in Jersey and the UK mainland are these potatoes available for purchase. Even though there is no formal connection between Jersey Royals and the British royal family, they still bear the European Union’s Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) label, which is only awarded to foods with the strongest ties to the specific region in which they were produced. The potatoes have been transferred to a similar program in the United Kingdom since Brexit.

Marcus Calvani, a Jersey businessman, started a company making vodka out of Jersey Royals that didn’t meet quality standards because of their unusual shape. His vodka is marketed under the brand name Fluke.

Approximately 11 kilograms of Jersey Royals are needed to produce a single bottle, as stated by Calvani. “An exquisite mouthfeel, somewhere between silky and viscous. The odd thing about it is that it has a hint of vanilla that goes well with honeydew melon.”

Calvani took the name from the original name given to the potato by farmers in the early 19th century who were experimenting with growing the vegetable following the decline of cider orchards. The name was Jersey Royal Fluke. Harrods, a high-end department store, will sell the bottles later this year for about £50 ($61).

Is Jersey a British territory? No, but it is technically referred to as a “British Crown Dependency.” On the official website for the British royal family, the connection is described as follows: “The Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey, which together form [the] Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man are the three island territories within the British Isles that are classified as Crown Dependencies. The Crown Dependencies are independent territories under British sovereignty and not part of the United Kingdom.”

In the 11th century, the Channel Islands were a part of the Duchy of Normandy, a region in northern France ruled by Henry I beginning in 1106. These days, the islanders address Queen Elizabeth II as “the Duke of Normandy.”

Jersey has its own set of laws and government structures. British government is responsible for its defense and international relations even though it is not a part of the United Kingdom.

Educating students about the past and Hogwarts

It was not long after the construction of Mont Orgueil Castle on the island’s eastern coast that Jersey was recognized as a Crown Dependency in 1290.

Burns likened it to “a Hogwarts kind of castle,” referencing the fictional Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from the Harry Potter series. Gorey Harbour, which it overlooks, has been called “spectacular and iconic” by Burns.

The Prince of Wales was named patron of La Cotte de St. Brelade, a prehistoric settlement in southwest Jersey occupied by Neanderthals up to 250,000 years ago, in July.

During World War II, the Germans occupied Jersey (the only part of the British Empire to fall to the Nazis), and they constructed tunnels beneath the island that visitors can explore.

Parts of the tunnel system, which the Germans built to withstand Allied bombing, are accessible to tourists from March to October.

Competition in a good spirit

Iselin Jones, who, with her husband Matthew, runs The Moorings Hotel and Restaurant close to Mont Orgueil Castle, says that another peculiarity of the small island is the friendly rivalry between the east and west sides.

Those who live on the island tend to fall into one of two camps: “easties” or “westies,” as she put it. “The natural landscape is what sets this place apart. Western areas are dominated by open, arid sand dunes, while eastern regions feature more cliff paths and forests.”

Surfers frequent the expansive St. Ouen’s Bay on the island’s western coast, while the sandy beach of northern Plemont Bay is accessible only at low tide.

Because of its greater exposure to sunlight, Jersey has long been a popular destination for both active families and retirees seeking a quiet getaway. However, “moment makers,” or younger travelers who frequently share their experiences on social media, are another target audience for Visit Jersey, as stated by Burns.

“an aspirational audience,” as Burns put it. While there is a larger potential audience, there is also more stiff competition.

Calvani, who heads up several restaurants and bars under the Fluke brand in Jersey, has noticed a shift in the clientele they attract.

There have been “some younger, short-stay, urbanite kind of visitors,” he said. They stay for two or three nights, enjoy fine dining, relax at the spa, and hit the links before returning to their city apartment.

The consumables

According to Calvani, one of his most popular eateries is JB’s Brewhouse, a Craft brewery and barbecue smokehouse.

The Americans who frequent JB’s “find it highly entertaining that we’re smoking like Texan cowboys, but eating tiny little cows from Jersey,” he said.

According to Burns, Faulkner Fisheries, founded in 1980 by Jersey native Sean Faulkner, is a popular spot for younger tourists looking to buy fresh seafood for summer barbecues.

The Atlantic Hotel, located on the island’s western coast and a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World collection, features a kitchen headed by Chef Will Holland, who has become something of a local celebrity thanks to his appearances on British television cooking shows.

Those who make the descent to the Portelet Bay Cafe will be rewarded with pizza and seasonal fare. The island’s largest city, St. Helier, is also home to the 17-year Michelin-star recipient, Bohemia Restaurant.

Costs

Jersey is commonly viewed as a tax haven because its residents pay 20% income tax, whereas British citizens can pay up to 45%.

According to Jersey’s official website, the island also offers a “high value residency scheme” for those who “comfortably” earn over £725,000 (approximately $875,000) annually. For those in the program, income above this level is taxed at 1%.

In addition, many industries have no taxable business income at all, with the exception of the financial services industry (10%) and the utilities industry (20%). That’s in sharp contrast to the United Kingdom, where the standard corporate tax rate is just 19%.

According to Locate Jersey, a business agency on the island, the financial sector accounts for roughly a quarter of the island’s workforce.

However, the official government website warns that the cost of living “can be high when compared to other countries.” According to Statistics Jersey, the average price of a home in the first quarter of 2022 was £660,000, significantly higher than the UK average of £277,000.

Calvani has a budget problem because he pays for the housing of some of his employees.

They’re three new employees from Kenya, he said. These men have a wealth of knowledge and experience, but finding a place to live is a major issue.

He has previously worked for companies such as Disney during his time in the United States, and he has described Jersey as a giant amusement park.

There are “two entry gates,” he explained, “in the airport and the harbor;” hotels, inns, a major shopping district in St. Helier, and numerous other attractions.