Bella Luce – Guernsey
La Fosse, St Martins, Guernsey, GY4 6EB, Channel Islands
+44 (0)1481 239561
Review by Sarah Jappy
Good god, Guernsey is beautiful. Everything is so colourful as to seem saturated: the grass is the greenest green, the sea is the bluest blue, the rocks are the brownest brown, the sands are the most golden gold...you get the idea. No wonder Renoir found inspiration here.
The island smells delicious, too: walking around town and up into the sea-spying hills, the air is heavy with wild garlic, which grows here in abundance. Palm trees with luxuriant emerald fronds sweep and bow by the perfectly manicured cottages; vivid flowers in saffron-yellow and hot pink peep from plant-pots and bushes. The beaches are fit for a Bounty ad.
It’s not easy to scrub up in such scenic surroundings but Bella Luce hotel – a handsome, nougat-coloured Norman manor house with pretty grounds and 24 boutique bedrooms –manages to match its setting with aplomb.
We’re staying in one of the six Luxury rooms: a dusky, sexy boudoir with a big double bed (all ornate headboard and berry-red throws) and garden views. Should we wish to work while we’re here (we don’t), there’s a desk stocked with fashion mags; should we wish to relax while we’re here (we do), there’s a plump sofa angled towards a giant TV on the wall.
It’s a good thing we’ve already explored Guernsey, because I love the look of the stone bathroom, and plan on losing at least an afternoon soaking in the big white tub. Temple Spa bath products and a powerful-looking rainhead shower are further distractions from Guerney’s great outdoors. As my companion makes the most of the homemade lemonade and free WiFi, I undress, turn on the hot taps and close the door. Bliss...
Not many things can rouse me from a fragrant bath tub and an unread Vogue. In fact, only one thing can: dinner. Luckily we’re booked into the hotel’s award-winning restaurant, so I swap bubbles for bubbly in the cosy, brick-walled bar. Owner Michael joins us for a tipple, and talks us through the enticing menu.
The restaurant looks lovely at night: white-linen-topped tables with shimmering glass and polished silver cutlery, low beamed ceiling and comfy cream chairs. We embark on a three-course feast involving chicken liver and foie gras parfait, crab bisque, seabass with coriander and spring onion risotto, lemon sole with brown shrimps and brown butter, apple parfait with custard-filled doughnuts and a cheese board that should come with a health warning.
It would be hard to see how any day could rival the one we’ve just had, but we go to bed in the knowledge that we’ve got spa treatments and a crowd-pleasing full English to look forward to tomorrow. In need of some serious spoiling? Look no further than Bella Luce...