Last weekend my husband and I visited Guernsey. We flew the short hop from Bristol and arrived in glorious sunshine, sharing a taxi from the airport to our hotel with a friendly young local woman returning from a business trip. This theme of friendliness was a constant throughout our stay.
We spent three nights at Duke of Richmond Hotel in St Peter Port, an easy walk from the harbour, castle and several interesting museums. The superior king room granted us space and comfort, a worthwhile investment given the unfortunate weather that was to plague our short break.
On arrival we were eager to explore so, after checking in, walked down the hill into and then around the small harbour town. It is a pretty place, not too busy, and with plenty to reflect on and admire.
Although we planned on trying several local eateries, for ease we chose the Leopard Restaurant at our hotel on the first night. It was a good choice.
Having slept off our delicious meal in the large and comfortable bed we awoke to rain. This continued for the next two days of our stay.
We donned raincoats and visited the Guernsey Museum at Candie, just a few hundred yards from our hotel. It is set in beautiful flower gardens and offers a key to enable visitors to climb the nearby Victoria Tower. Naturally we availed ourselves of this and took in the somewhat murky views from a wind blown summit.
The small museum includes a series of art galleries and I particularly enjoyed the work of Peter Le Vasseur. I was disappointed to discover that the neighbouring Priaulx Library remained closed while we were there.
A break in the clouds encouraged us to walk back into town and around the harbour to visit La Valette Underground Military Museum which contains many artifacts from the Second World War German occupation.
Returning through town, trying to decide where to eat that evening, we were caught in a torrential downpour so retreated back to the comfort of our hotel. After a warming bath I was grateful for the complimentary fluffy bathrobe and slippers, snuggling into a chair in our room for a couple of hours with my books.
Unwilling to risk further inclement weather we opted for another dinner in the Leopard restaurant. It was delicious.
The next day saw a repeat of the weather. We toured Castle Cornet, enjoying the spectacle of the firing of the midday cannon, but were once again soaked through by the rain. The afternoon was spent reading back at the hotel.
Due to the weather we were unable to use the swimming pool, or enjoy the extensive terraces, but we did enjoy the eclectic decor and comfort of The Duke of Richmond.
As is so often the way with these things, on the morning of our departure the sun returned. We enjoyed a final tasty breakfast and flew home over the small island, now glittering in the rays we had hoped to bask in ourselves.
We last visited Guernsey for our honeymoon and returned last weekend for our Silver Wedding Anniversary. Having informed the hotel of this before we arrived I had expected some mention of our celebration. None was made, and I offered no reminder. What this does show is that every guest receives the genuine warmth and welcome shown to us by each member of staff we encountered. The weather may have dampened our enjoyment of Guernsey, but the hotel was, throughout, a comforting pleasure.