Family of 4 staying in The Panama Apartments, St Helier. No problems with the Panama - basic, clean, self-catering apartments. The only downside, there was no balcony. We’d really have liked somewhere to sit outside on an evening, especially as Jersey does not have a continental attitude to families. We found the pubs of St Helier “family unfriendly”. Unlike most of Europe where parents and children of all ages can spend relaxed evenings eating and drinking until the early hours of the morning, Jersey is worse than England for accommodating families. Under 18s are not allowed in bars after 9 o’clock, (7 o’clock in some places) even when drinking soft drinks with parents. We had to forget family evenings out except for the occasions when we shelled out for restaurants, none of which were cheap! There were a couple of fast food outlets, which weren’t our scene. Pub meals were not generally available on an evening. We thought our luck was in when we found the Cock and Bottle serving food, however as soon as we’d sat down at an outside table the staff threw us out - no under 18s after 7 o’clock! We felt this was a bit excessive as our “kids” are aged 17 and 14 - hardly babies! I guess the Cock and Bottle just didn’t want our business! We had a Chinese takeaway from Simon’s instead - they do a nice selection of set meals, which are excellent value for money.
The good thing about Jersey is there are so many places to visit. Elizabeth Castle was within walking distance though we had to go over to it on the amphibious ferry because the tide was in. We could have spent the whole day there, in fact father and son did but mother and daughter wanted to see the Battle of the Flowers in the afternoon so we left earlier than we would have liked. The Battle of the Flowers was a sensory overload - a colourful carnival of flowers, music and dancing.
The Panama Apartments are ten minutes walk from the bus station where we could catch buses all over the island for £1.50 adults and 50p children and students. Our favourite days out were Mont Orgueil Castle at Gorey, the beach at St Brelades, the beach at Plemont with its caves and rock pools, and the War Tunnels. There is a spectacular walk between Greve de Lecq and Devil’s Hole, with some stunning views from the cliff path. Though we went on a Monday so we didn’t get to see Greve de Lecq Barracks because they were closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. And after we’d walked the 2 mile cliff path walk we found Devil’s Hole closed too because the path was unsafe but we only found out after we’d made the steep descent – why wasn’t there a notice at the top of the path? Perhaps it gives the locals a good laugh!
Overall, Jersey was an enjoyable experience but certainly not “Europe without the Euro” as advertised. We’d go again as a couple. As for next year’s family holiday it’ll be Greece or Italy where the children are welcome too!
- Also Known As:
- Panama Apartments Hotel
- Panama Apartments Hotel St. Helier
- Panama Apartments Jersey/St Helier