Thursday : Calzone in St. Helier

Another productive morning in the really rather lovely Jersey Library, although I question the cleanliness of the toilet facilities given that it’s currently the middle of March. The phrase “regularly inspected” is a little meaningless, as a regular event can be monthly. Anyway, enough about the toilets of the library, which was otherwise comfortable and well managed.

For lunch I went to Café Ristaurante Italia, which always seems to be busy judging from the reviews, something that was apparent when they were having to politely let phone callers down as they were full for the next few evenings. It’s in a slightly unexciting location set back from the road in a small shopping area, but the welcome was friendly and they were busy, but not full, for lunch.

The calzone, which was suitably delicious, and a generous amount of marinara sauce. The restaurant does that annoying thing of charging substantially more, proportionally, for halves than pints of beer, so I went for a bottle of Peroni instead. There are a few Italian craft beer breweries, but it’s not a huge thing, so I won’t go on for longer than necessary about how bland and generic Peroni is. The server was Italian, which added an air of authenticity to the whole arrangement.

Green Street cemetery, which was opened in 1827 to relive the pressure on other sites in the town. Until the late eighteenth century, nearly all of the burials in the town would have been in parish church, which at the time had a larger churchyard until people kept building things on it.

The cemetery had been left to become rather derelict over recent years, but the area has now been tidied up and the buildings shored up as well.

Walking down the pier to St. Helier’s lido. The weather was quite gloomy, but I wanted to explore some of the town’s sea frontage.

There were opportunities for swimming and it’s fair to say that I don’t much envy this man (clicking on the photo makes it larger, giving readers of this riveting blog to chance to make him out), but I’m sure that he was having a lovely time.

Looking back along the front, this is a beach which I can imagine is bustling during the summer months.

Cutting through to the promenade, this boat is a reminder that there used to be a vibrant shipbuilding industry along this section of coast. It’s mostly now expensive residential properties, with the shipbuilding industry all but gone.

I hadn’t realised when taking this photo that a medical emergency was taking place (the ambulances are visible on the right hand side) with the paramedics assisting someone who had seemingly collapsed. All very sad.

There’s a rugged charm to this section of coastline, but I’m sure it all feels more serene and charming during the warmer summer months. Other than for the odd runner and person walking their dogs, there weren’t many people around when I was meandering along the seafront.

I’m not sure that I really understand why a large area of land has been reclaimed to be used as a waste recycling centre and a power plant. This could be a hugely expensive piece of real estate, jutting out into the sea. The problem with having a small island though is that there’s not really anywhere subtle that great big buildings like this can be placed without annoying the local population. That justifies building a new bit of land and shoving it on there, but I can imagine that money will come to the forefront at some stage in the future and this will be turned into expensive apartments and holiday lets.

A memorial to the paddle steamer Normandy which sank in March 1870.

Also linked to the Normandy tragedy is this memorial, designed by Pierre Alfred Robinet, to John Nathaniel Westaway, who died on board on 17 March 1870. He gave away his seat on a lifeboat to a female passenger and also gave her his coat so that she could be warm. His generosity of spirit received much praise locally and the memorial was funded by public subscription.

A memorial to what are known as the “Forgotten Army”, those men from Jersey who were sent to fight in the Burma campaign of 1941 until 1945. There’s a little article on BBC News about when this memorial plaque was placed here in 2015.

The harbour.

I’ve never really fancied owning a boat, nor indeed a car, they seem such an expensive nuisance. If I did get one, I imagine it would be like the ones in the centre foreground of this photo though. Incidentally, those steps look like a deathtrap, I’d rather that the rail was on the other side if I had to navigate up or down them. I don’t think that I’m really a born sailor though, the whole getting into and off the boat seems such a faff.

Ariadne, apparently a steam clock, but I didn’t really understand what was going on here and there weren’t any informational boards to explain the arrangement to me.

St. Helier’s Cenotaph, designed by Charles de Gruchy and unveiled in 1923 to commemorate all of those who had died in the First World War, and later on, also the Second World War.

An extension of the war memorial, this is a relatively new modern-looking addition to the park which was installed here in 2018, designed by Siobhann Macleod.

There’s some colour and depth to the sky and to the left, albeit rather blurry, is Elizabeth Castle, a fort that was constructed in the late sixteenth century. It’s now a museum and you can either walk there or get some little ferry thing along the causeway, which all sounded really quite exciting, other than it’s currently shut so I couldn’t.

The Les Jardins de la Mer park at night.

Back to the town’s parish church, I thought the lighting worked quite well. I had to poke my phone through the iron railings though to get this photo, it’s not all wine gums and mini Cheddars this blog writing….

In the town centre they’ve put some lights in the trees which gives an interesting effect and some depth to photos.

And another, I quite like this one.

Finally for the day, some street art.

And after spending two minutes getting into the hotel using the bloody touchpad that struggles with its core function of touch, I settled down with the bottle of local beer that I had purchased, the Shipwrecked NEIPA from the Stinky Bay Brewery Company. It was perfectly drinkable, but also not particularly exciting. I understand that the brewery is named after a bay on Jersey, but I really don’t think it’s a good choice for a brand, but each to their own.