It would have been a travesty to pass on visiting the house where the book that is the base of my favourite musical was written; the author lived here during his 20 years of exile from France in the mid 19th century.To visit the house you must join an hour long tour, bookable in advance or take pot luck by just turning up. If you can’t get a tour then definitely go through the side passageway to the garden, beautifully divided into two parts, with views across the harbor, and luscious fruit plants regaling the rear walled garden. After visiting a house decorated throughout with bric a brac and antiques, take the opportunity to wander through town and stop by an antiques shop or two, perhaps even taking something home with you, A number of such stores can be found along Mill Street in The Old Quarter of Town, my personal favourite being Sue Le Cras Interiors from where some items now adorn my lounge back home. After a morning in Town, as St Peter Port is affectionately known, recharge your body with lunch at one of Guernsey’s many fine eateries. My personal choice when around town is La Piazza at Trinity Square, just off The Bordage. Tony and Marcelo will be sure to look after you, and along with a tempting a la carte menu, there is also a supremely enjoyable fixed price menu (£14.50 for 3 courses and coffee when I visited). Whilst Guernsey may not offer the same drama theatrically as Victor Hugo’s great masterpiece, it more than makes up for it in the dramatic scenery along its coastline, and what better way to enjoy it than boarding what I known as, The Guernsey Vaeux. Essentially it s a round the island bus service, operating both anticlockwise and clockwise connecting you to many of the tourist hotspots, but setting you down near some beautiful beaches. Many beaches are at the base of cliffs, so be prepared for steps, or to walk back up that lovely path or road you strolled down to get to your own personal hideout. Of course, if you sail there are a great many additional options for finding your own beach for the afternoon. Despair not though as there are also many stunning beaches feet away from many coastal car parks dotted around the island. West is best as far as beaches are concerned, though my favourite hideaway for reading a decent Victor Hugo book is down the steep hill and steps Fermain Bay but it’s well worth the effort. Dinner time and today’s final conundrum…where to taste some of the island’s excellent fayre. Drive or taxi out to L’Auberge, Jerbourg, for stunning views across St Peter Port, or stay in town and book the corner table with the big window at The Nautique (you may need to book well in advance for that one; however, other tables are available with exactly the same superbly prepared food, just minus the harbor view!).
Guernsey can be reached by air with Aurugny, Blue Islands or FlyBe from the UK, France and Switzerland (plus summer charters from The Netherlands and Germany), or by sea via Condor Ferries from the UK and France. Accommodation is not cheap, but the quality of hotels is generally high. Avoiding dinner, bed and breakfast deals allows you to explore the island’s restaurants.