As spring begins to shine through, pointing to the arrival of summer, and the number of visitors to the island starts to bloom, the local produce that Guernsey is known and loved for flourishes in our fertile soils. There are plenty of things to do in Guernsey, but a visit to the islands at this time of year wouldn’t be complete without sampling the delicious local food, and luckily there are plenty of ways to do so! Whether you decide to visit one of St Peter Port’s upscale seafood restaurants or eat like the locals from the island’s markets and Hedge Veg boxes, there is an endless choice when it comes to Guernsey’s tasty produce.
Seasonal Local Produce
Guernsey Oysters are special and unique, and not just because of their flavour! They are all reared in the local hatchery, ‘Guernsey Sea Farms’, which is based off the shore of the nearby Bailiwick island of Herm, meaning that whenever you try a Guernsey Oyster you can be assured that you are eating the freshest seafood that is sustainably sourced!
Just as Jersey is known for the Jersey Royal potato, Guernsey has a long history of fame from its tomato growing industry, and it was well known across the UK as the prime tomato growing spot in the British Isles due to the island’s extended summer months. In recent times exports to the UK have declined so it now gives you a good excuse for a spring break to Guernsey to enjoy the ripe juicy tomatoes still readily available across the island.
Guernsey’s milder spring and summer climate also provides idyllic conditions for growing sun-ripened strawberries. Enjoy them freshly picked or as a flavoursome preserve that local farmers produce which can you enjoy on a fluffy scone, or buy as a sweet souvenir from the local markets in St Peter Port’s Market Square.
The Perfect Accompaniments
You may want to make the most of summer in Guernsey and dine al fresco at a beach-side restaurant or café, where you can quench your thirst with a refreshing Rocquette Cider. Produced on a family-owned farm in the heart of Guernsey’s countryside, the crisp and tangy flavour is organically cultivated, using traditional production methods to give you an unmatchable taste reflecting Guernsey’s long-standing cider heritage.
Take to the beach for a sunset seafood barbeque on sandy Cobo Bay, where you can cook fresh lobsters and oysters to your liking and finish off with fresh local strawberries. To serve, add some rich Guernsey butter to your lobster and some indulgent Guernsey dairy cream to your strawbs. The Dairy’s products bring a distinctly creamy flavour from the famous pedigree Guernsey cows.
If you have come to Guernsey to taste the local tipple, you won’t want to miss trying Wheadon’s Gin. The family-owned Gin Company has established itself as a unique and high-quality brand, with their sustainable approach of using local and organically sourced botanicals, such as rock samphire from the nearby cliffs, for over a hundred years. You can learn more about the distillery process at the Bella Luce Hotel in St Martins, where their atmospheric copper cellar can be found.
Where to Find Your Local Produce
To really get that island feeling in Guernsey, take to one of the walking routes and discover our delightful ‘Hedge Veg’. These are roadside stalls that come in all shapes and sizes, are filled with seasonal vegetables and you may also find local honey and home-made jams. They reflect the close community feel of the island as people can pay for what they have taken in an ‘honesty box’ at the stall. It’s a refreshing and easy way to help the local farmers and find yourself something tasty.
Guernsey’s weekly markets have something to suit everyone whether you’re looking for fresh fish and vegetables to cook yourself in your self-catering accommodation or just fancy tasting a local dish (or two)! At the farmers’ market in Castel Parish on Saturdays, you can browse the wide range of locally cured meat and fish as well as try some quintessential Guernsey dishes such as Guernsey Beanjar, a cassoulet-style bean stew. If you’re looking for a souvenir, Saumerez Manor farmers’ market, which also takes place every Saturday, has everything you could imagine from Guernsey honey and chutneys to home-made cakes that you can enjoy as you browse!
Cafés and Restaurants
The impressive variety of local produce made in Guernsey often means that wherever you choose to dine, you’ll be eating home-grown and freshly prepared food. St Peter Port is where you’ll find the greatest selection of eateries where you can dine in upscale seafood restaurants such as La Nautique which boasts beautiful harbour views and the small but mighty The Catch Bistro & Bar. Even when you’re not in the centre, you’ll never be too far away from a beach café, where you’ll find equally delicious local produce across the island’s most beautiful beaches.