Herm Island – Paradise Found

I’m sure I’m not the first person to refer to Herm as Paradise, and I certainly won’t be the last, but that’s exactly what it is. Sometimes I have to stop and pinch myself to realise how lucky I am to have this gorgeous haven of peace and tranquility (there’s no cars at all on the island, only quad bikes or tractors) just a hop, skip and jump away from my own native Guernsey.

This was not my first trip over to the island so far this summer, having been there only a few weeks earlier for the Real Ale and Cider Festival. But this time I went with my mum, big sis Emma and my gorgeous nephew three year old Sebastian (is that name good enough for you Katie Hopkins?!) for my mums birthday as we fancied doing something a little different and by going over on the 8.30am boat it was only £9 each return for us adults and a few pounds for Sebby, I can’t actually remember exactly how much but it wasn’t loads.

It was a gorgeous day and when we arrived at Belvoir Beach around 10am we were actually the only people there so felt like we were on our own private beach which was awesome. Given the heat and the sunshine, I did unfortunately get a little burnt on my face but thankfully not too badly and I also did something I never thought I would ever do which was sunbathe in a hoodie (it was a little windy at times despite the sunshine and I wanted to cover my red hair) and still get burnt! By anyones standards I’d say that’s pretty impressive?

Anyway, whilst we wandered along the sandy paths and up and down the winding hills I took some shots with my trusty Nikon as well as my iPhone and here is a collection of some of the stunning sights that Herm has to offer.

trident flowers in shade rosaire ship sign beach pink flower cow signsand castles sea spikynflower belvoir harbour pic church wild onion herm ice cream pink flower cusea2footprints

If you like what you see and want more information on visiting Herm you can find out more at their website here.

Have any of you ever had the pleasure of going to Herm Island? Did you like it?

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When The French Market Came To Town

Today whilst out and about with my camera I stumbled across a French Market selling everything from cheese and meats to clothing, bags and jewellery. The market is only in Guernsey this weekend so of course I had to take advantage of this and ended up with bags stuffed full of luscious looking strawberries, buttery french biscuits and pastries, a range of mustards and of course the obligatory cheese. I’m not going to lie, tomorrow if going to be a glorious foodie bank holiday.

As I was out with my camera anyway it seemed only right that I capture some of the market in all its glory. Enjoy.

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The Herm Island 2013 Real Ale and Cider Festival

After finishing work last Friday it was a mad dash to get home, showered and back down to the harbour where our boat over to the glorious island of Herm was awaiting. Along with eight other girls from work we decided to give the boys a run for their money and head over to the Herm Island 2013 Real Ale and Cider Festival.

Showcasing real ales, craft lagers and ciders from around the Channel Islands and UK, the week-long festival was an extravaganza attracting hundreds of Guernsey locals over to its sister island Herm.

DSC_0539 copyThe view of Guernsey looking back across the water from Herm

We headed over with what seemed like most of the island, as the boat was jam-packed, and 20 minutes later were in Herm. I had never been to the festival before so I had no preconceptions about what to expect, but when we had to queue for 15 minutes to even get in I knew this was going to be something pretty special.

Entry to the festival is free, but you can pay £5 for a souvenir glass, which must be bought if you’re drinking beer or cider as they won’t give you a glass at the bar, and a programme, which features information about each of the ales and ciders on offer. For a further £10 you buy 20 tokens which can then be used to purchase your drinks at a cost of 4 tokens for each drink.

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Some of the ciders on offer – the strongest quickly ran out (make of that what you will!)

I thought that all of the costs were ok so far, but I must say that the cost of food did seem somewhat pricey. It was £10 for a plate and you could then choose from three food options; paella (I don’t like fish), some sort of pork dish (I don’t like pork) and veggie chilli (the only option for me), which was actually pretty nice alongside a couple of pitta breads. Admittedly it was all you can eat, but as I only liked one of the three choices I only went up once, so £10 did seem a little steep.

So onto the actual drinks, I started with Westons Twist Raspberry, which at only 4% was one of the weaker ciders on offer. Described in the programme as a ‘light, fresh and fruity sensation’ my first drink tasted just like raspberry juice and went down a little too well! For my next cider I wanted to go for something a bit more out there so chose one called Fiery Fox, which at 6.5% was somewhat stronger than the first cider but was one of the only strong ciders left on offer (most were gone by the time we arrived at 7.30pm!). This Welsh cider is described as having a ‘smooth balanced flavour that has a fresh, crisp sharpness’ and whilst this went down equally as well as the Westons, for me the taste wasn’t quite as nice. After my first two, I wanted to continue trying new ciders but many had began to run out and whilst I tried one more, whose name escapes me, it tasted quite vinegary and wasn’t really for me. The Westons was definitely my favourite, so I decided to stick with that for my last couple of drinks.

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My half of Fiery Fox

As well as the ales, lagers and ciders there was also a Champagne and wine bar which some of the girls decided to frequent instead. The Space Pirates of Rocquaine provided the entertainment with a collection of folk and rock songs, which the crowd certainly seemed to enjoy especially a hen party dressed as pirates with their Jack Sparrow look-a-like guest of honour, who were dancing away long into the night.

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The crowd at the Herm Real Ale and Cider Festival

Outfit-wise as I knew it was likely to get a little chilly I plumped for my George at Asda jumper and jewel print trousers from Asos, teamed with a black lace top from New Look and Khaki coat from Dorothy Perkins. Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos but will definitely try to remember next time!

At 10.30 we wondered back down to the harbour to jump on the boat back to Guernsey, and on the way reminisced about what a great night had been had by all. Overall, I would highly recommend the Herm Real Ale and Cider Festival to anyone who wants to have a chilled out, laid back evening listening to music and trying out new drinks with friends. Just make sure you take plenty of cash as there are no machines on the island and you’ll definitely need them! Oh and remember you’ve got to get a boat home at the end of the night, so it’s probably best if you don’t try all the ales and ciders!

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Fashion Friday – Feeling Patriotic

Yesterday was May 9th, which in the Guernsey calendar is a very special day as it was the 68th anniversary since our island was liberated after having been under occupation by the Germans during World War II (separate post to come!).

In honour of this, I have pulled together a patriotic outfit with elements of the red, white and blue of the union jack but also green, the colour most associated with Guernsey.

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Grey long-line blazer Boutique at Topshop – £150

Red skinny jeans New Look – £19.99

White lace t-shirt Oasis – £30

Gold bird necklace Dorothy Perkins – £5

Blue starred Converse trainers from Office – £46.99

Tan tote with stud detail Mango from Asos – £59.99

Seven Dials green nail polish Nails Inc – £11

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Mt Wolf Hypolight Tour live in Guernsey

Last Friday the boyf and I headed to local venue The Carlton for not only potentially the first gig we’ve ever attended together, but also our first experience of Mt Wolf with their full line up, having previously seen them play an acoustic set at a friends wedding (which was amazing by the way).

To be honest, I don’t know anything ‘proper’ about music, but to me their style sounds like a dreamy mix of folk and electronica and they have previously been compared to the likes of The XX, Alt-J and Sigur Ros.

IMG_1088 copyThis was the opening night of their Hypolight UK tour, and it was really great that given two members of the band, guitarist Stevie McMinn and singer Kate Sproule, originally come from the island that they took the decision to start off the tour in Guernsey. The turn out was really good for a band who have only played to their home crowd once before, with over 100 turning out to support such fantastic local talent making a long-awaited return.

IMG_1084 copyThe amount of musical skill on show by the four-piece is astounding with them moving from guitars to keyboards to electronic samplers with ease. Playing songs from both their ‘Life Sized Ghosts’ EP, and the newly released ‘Hypolight’ EP the band played several of my personal favourites including Cry Wolf, Shapeshift, Life Sized Ghosts and their incredible cover of Usher’s Climax.

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From the hauntingly good vocals of leading lady Kate to the stunning lighting show, for my first Mt Wolf experience, the only thing I can say is that I really hope it wasn’t my last.

For more about the band watch some of their videos below or go to their website.