“Wow!” said my three kids in perfect unison. Their faces were a picture, their mouths all hung open, their eyes as wide as saucers and their little feet dancing with excitement.
“Really mummy? Is this for us?” said Molly with a degree of uncertainty.
I cast my eyes over the splendour of the building in front of us, smiled as luxury seemed to emanate from it. I stilled my own legs to try and stop them dancing.
“Yes guys, this is for us…”
Then they whooped some more.
This was our first impression of Longueville Manor on the stunning isle of Jersey.
Grabbing a bag, and a child in each hand, and summoning the other to follow, I once again pinched myself as a reminded to be thankful of how lucky I am to be offered such incredible trips and holidays to review. As we slowly walked through the vast entrance of Longueville, and were greeted by Butlers, fine furnishings and the stunning smell of impeccably cooked food; I wondered if Longueville may be one of the finest places I have ever visited.
Even the kids were awed into silence.
“Welcome Molly, Owen, and Libby-Sue” said the first member of the Longueville team, “Did you have a good journey? Would you like to see your cottage?”
They nodded like obedient pups.
“Come this way.”
And we followed… Leaving the warmth of the main hotel and heading back into the night. Lanterns lit the way along the short path and we all gasped as we saw a beautiful stone cottage with lights ablazing waiting for us.
The door was opened and a rush of welcoming heat and excessive coziness rushed out to greet us and the kids darted in.
“Shoes off,” boomed Owen, for the first time in his life.
“Amazing” cooed Molly as she too dropped to the floor to carefully remove her footwear and placed it by the door.
“I want to live here.” Cried Libby-Sue, even though she had only seen the entrance.
And then they were off, exploring every inch, nook and cranny of what was to be our home for the next three nights.
And what a home it was.
Lavish cream carpets covered the floor, kissing my bare feet as I travelled from room to room. Armchairs and sofas littered the lounge, with plump cushions waiting on them to be embraced by a body. The fireplace was covered in logs, antique drawers, sideboards, and tables created an ambience of delightful decadence. Fruit was overflowing on the table and much needed coffee and tea was waiting to be poured.
Every detail had been paid attention to make it even more magical for my children. A welcome plate for each of them with their names on, stencilled in chocolate. A book on each pillow for them to read before bed. Cotton robes, selected perfectly for their size. Even a Gorilla teddy bear to help lull them off to sleep.
They delighted in each special moment, and Libby-Sue repeated again her desire to make this her home.
I was still reeling from the fact my son had voluntarily removed his shoes without being barked at, and that each child was quickly bathed and showered before dinner, just so they could wear their dressing gown for a little bit longer.
We spent an hour enjoying every aspect of the cottage before eventually hunger overcame us and we headed to the main hotel for some food.
All the way to the restaurant I held my breath in worried anticipation. My children are not always renown for impeccable table manners. I shuddered as I recalled the time that Molly made a pizza face out of bread, and when Libby-Sue piled Spaghetti on her brother’s head. The dining area looked to be the height of sophistication, I foresaw arguments about the food, stroppiness about tiredness, and a potential embarrassment for me.
I didn’t know, but I was about to be proven very wrong.
No child could misbehave with the attentiveness of the staff at Longueville Manor.
They were positioned round the table with cushions for their backs, pencils and pads were delivered to keep them amused. The waiters played with them, joked with them, saw to their every need. Libby-Sue fell a little in love with Andre who signed all her drawings.
And they ate every scrap of tea.
The kids menu was perfect for little ones, with choices from eggs and soldiers to roast chicken and vegetables. It arrived on plates perfectly prepared for children. With no one food touching, no strange salad daring to linger close to their meat. Ketchup was waiting to be squeezed in the proper place and pudding was served shortly after.
And for grownups?
We were treated to a taste sensation. Of food grown locally in the kitchen garden, meat so tender it made you desire it rather than eat it. Each morsel was cooked to absolute perfection and presented with total beauty.
It was not so much a meal but more an experience for your appetite.
Like my children, I ate every mouthful, drank every drop of my wine and made a serious dent in the final round of after dinner petit fours that arrived with a flourish.
And no one misbehaved…
I knew then I had fallen a little bit in love with a location, and I think for many moons to come Longueville Manor will have a special place in my heart.
The following three days did not disappoint following the glory of the first night. It would have been easy to not even leave the luxury of our cottage to explore the Island, but since we were blessed with a late October burst of sun it seemed rude to not even visit the beach.
However, we also tried to experience everything Longueville has to offer, from running races on the lawn, to swimming in the hot tub, having an amazing massage in the beauty rooms and playing tennis by the exquisite gardens.
The food has continued to be alluring at every sitting.
Breakfast had everything imaginable on offer, from freshly smoked salmon through to nutella coated pancakes. Everyones tastes were catered for, including my Paleo tendancies.
We ate dinner at Longuevilles sister restaurant, Sumas, on the second night. Where we dined by the light of the castle, listening to the soft swell of the sea. Again, each forkful that I placed in my mouth sent my tastebuds wild. Scallops so soft they filled me with pleasure, and lamb so perfectly pink that each bite caused me to groan with happiness. Plus a Chocolate Pave, that was simply to die for.
I really liked food before I came to Jersey, but after eating at Longueville and Sumas I have really raised the bar on standards for my palate.
It has been an incredible three days, from our first gasp of amazement at the sight of Longueville to the moment we stepped off the Island. There is so much to see and do, and Longueville is so relaxing it is vitally important to also stop for a moment and just relax in the splendour.
Without any shadow of a doubt we will return to the Island and stay again with Longueville Manor.
In fact it may have spoiled us for anywhere else.
A huge thanks to all who made our dream trip to Jersey possible. To Vanda and the team at Longueville for being so welcoming and making my family feel amazing for three days. To Paul for the incredible food at his restaurant Sumas, and to the Jersey tourist board for giving us VIP Jersey passes so we could treat the kids to fantastic trips at Durrell and the War Tunnels. And finally to Condor Ferries for getting us safely there and back again.
For more details on Longueville Manor please visit their website.
For details and to book a table at Sumas please visit their site.
To find out more about Jersey please visit this site.