You’ll almost certainly be familiar with the Channel Island’s main settlements, Jersey and Guernsey. They’re famous for their handsome cattle and the unctuous, buttercup coloured milk they produce. But there are three others – Sark, Herm, and Alderney. While the first two are trickier for tourists, Alderney is a precious, hidden gem. Three square miles of white sand beaches, rocky outcrops and pretty fields make up the tiny, sub-tropical island.
So far, tourism on the island has been extremely limited, but now a small family-run boutique hotel, The Blonde Hedgehog, hopes to tempt visitors over from the mainland. With quick flights on propeller planes from Southampton Airport, this could be your next under-the-radar summer staycation.
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The property is cobbled together from several chocolate-box, 18th century buildings in the island’s capital, Saint Anne. The project began when first-time hotelier Julie-Anne Uggla was looking for a coastal cottage for her family. The search began elsewhere, but Uggla eventually stumbled on Alderney and fell in love. While renovations were taking place on her own home, needing a place to stay she spotted a gap in the market for luxury accommodation, and the idea for the Blonde Hedgehog began.
Stepping off the cobbled streets, you’ll find yourself in a rustic, stylish hideaway that wouldn’t be out of place in the trendiest parts of Somerset or the Cotswolds. Decorated with a mix of jewel-tone upholstered furniture, curated vintage finds, and quirky lighting, it’s not only a chic place to spend time but somewhere full of ideas to steal and take home to your own country cottage.
Offering the island’s first truly gourmet dining experience, the hotel’s smart restaurant is overseen by head chef James Edwards, who has chosen a farm-to-table approach for his menu. Using the best of Alderney’s produce, the cooks draw from local suppliers, and principally use the Blonde Hedgehog’s own organic kitchen garden.
Book it double rooms from £180 a night.