Harmonising French and English culinary influences, Guernsey’s gastronomy is a unique fusion of flavours. With rural farmsteads sprinkled over the island, not to mention an abundance of daily fishing hauls, it’s home to some seriously tasty local produce.
For authentic Guernsey dishes with locally sourced ingredients, The Duke of Richmond Hotel’s Leopard Bar and Restaurant is one of the island’s premier places to go. You can even watch the chefs in action in the open plan kitchen. Why not try The Old Government House Hotel & Spa’s famous Guernsey lobster roll at the picturesque Brasserie Restaurant with stunning views over St Peter Port harbour?
While you’re on the island, here’s our guide to the best of Guernsey’s local delicacies, and where to find them.
If there’s one regional dish you need to try when visiting Guernsey, it’s Gâche. Pronounced ‘gosh’ and meaning ‘cake’ in Guernesiais, this fruity bread is the island’s signature sweet treat. Packed with raisins, sultanas and orange peel, the tea loaf is best eaten with lashings of creamy Guernsey butter. Grab a slice at one of Guernsey’s many beachside kiosks.
Of course, Guernsey is also famed for its rare breed of cattle that deliver rich dairy products. In fact, Guernsey cows are regarded as producing the finest tasting milk in the world. Not only does it taste amazing, but Guernsey milk has great health properties, with three times as much as omega 3 and 12% more protein than regular milk. For luscious local ice cream and gorgeous views, pop to the pretty Moulin Huet Tea Room.
From lobster and crab to halibut and sea bream, Guernsey is spoilt when it comes to fresh-from-the ocean fish and seafood. It does, however, have one particularly speciality that’s indigenous to the island; the ormer. This mollusc can only be harvested on a tiny handful of dates between January and April on full and new moons. Islanders love to scour rock pools at low tide to prise off the ormers and cook them in a casserole, which is the most traditional way of preparing them. Resembling a flattened abalone (sea snail), ormers have an almost meat-like taste and texture. Look for them on the menu at St Peter’s Port restaurants when they’re in season.
While Guernsey is very fond of its traditional dishes, the island has upped its gastro game in recent years with a handful of progressive foodie festivals. Each September, the Guernsey International Food Festival welcomes gastronomes from all over to join in gourmet tours and workshops sampling the finest local cuisine at Guernsey’s capital, St Peter’s Port. Expect excellent promotions from local restaurants and cocktail bars.
In October, the popular Tennerfest treats locals and tourists to six weeks of spectacular fixed-priced meals. Attendees can dine on the best Guernsey cuisine in participating eateries at affordable set menu prices starting from £10.
Hosting micro weekend events across the course of the summer, street food festival Taste Guernsey showcases the best of the island’s growers, producers and food and drink outlets. From their Locally Caught to Locally Reared, events, each one celebrates the finest flavours on the island.
If you’ve been inspired to experience Guernsey’s magnificent local delicacies, a stay at the exquisite The Duke of Richmond Hotel or The Old Government House & Spa puts you in the perfect position to explore the island’s fresh produce.