The Blonde Hedgehog – Alderney
Hotel Type: A collection of 18th century buildings lovingly restored to be a petite boutique Georgian retreat.
Location: On the charming island of Alderney. The Blonde Hedgehog is located on a cobbled street in St Anne the islands main ‘town’ making it the ideal spot to easily discover the island.
Style: Jane Austen meets World of Interiors
Rooms: Just nine rooms and suites. There is also a 3 bedroom cottage that is perfect for families, or a detached, 4 bedroom farmhouse that sleeps up to 10 people.
Ideal For: Escaping it all and enjoying the slower pace of life.
Dining: Dine at The Blonde Hedgehog restaurant where the focus is on simple dishes bursting with delicious and exciting flavours. The menu is seasonal and daily changing, with locally sourced farm to table produce.
Swimming: In the sea!
Activities: Discover this stunning island steeped in history, either by foot on a bike. There are 80km worth of trails for you to explore. Head to one the golden sandy beaches for some sunbathing, sea kayaking or swimming. Go wild life spotting or on a boat tour of the island. Head back in time and visit the many fortifications and bunkers. Go fishing or sailing. We love Alderney Week here – a week-long festival full of fun.
Price from: £230 per night B&B.
You might think it’s an odd name, but blonde hedgehogs are a feature of Alderney – often to be seen in gardens and even wandering along the roads. A recent addition to the island, this boutique retreat is understated luxury at its best. Modern interior design complements the original Georgian features, and with just a small number of rooms and suites, it’s personal and very friendly – more like a home than a hotel. We love its sunny terraces in summer evenings and toasty fires in the winter months, and its excellent restaurant that produces delicious and seasonal food, not to mention the very good wine list. Renovated from a local pub and an elegant townhouse, it is intimate and sophisticated, without losing any of the charm. The Blonde Hedgehog is ideal for a midweek break for two or for families longing to experience total freedom and get back to nature.
Intimately decorated in dark, moody colours on starkly plain walls, wooden floors and just a mirror decoration, all the rooms and suites are softly lit and extremely comfortable, with monsoon-like showers. The main part of the Blonde Hedgehog has four rooms. We love the spaciousness of the Burrow, a deluxe double bedroom, with its freestanding bath by the window and walk in shower. The Spikes and Lapins, standard double bedrooms in the loft, are romantic and quiet, again with a large bathroom with walk in shower. A deluxe double bedroom, the Den looks out over St Anne and has a gloriously decorated bathroom. There are a further three rooms and two suites in the adjacent Clarence House. A standard double bedroom on the first floor, the Beaumont is cosy and comfortable, with a walk in shower. Here there are also two double deluxe bedrooms, Sauchet and Tourgis, both of which are roomy and light filled. The former gives us huge bathroom envy! On the ground floor, Le Huret Suite is a stylish mix of modern design and Georgian architecture, with many of the original features carefully conserved, from the fireplace to the exposed brickwork. A separate living area and large bathroom with a freestanding tub make this a very cosy getaway. We love the colours of Le Marais Suite which give it an exceptionally romantic feel. A fabulously luxurious 18th century cottage, just across the road, the Corner House is a rather special place for families or groups of friends. With three double bedrooms, two sharing a bathroom, and the en suite master bedroom with its own roof terrace, there’s a cosy living area with an open fire and a fully equipped kitchen. There’s plenty of space outside for lazy lunches and long sunny summer evenings.
The Blonde Hedgehog also includes a stunning four bedroom detached farmhouse; with room to sleep up to 10 people, it’s perfect for large groups or families. With the hotel only five minutes away, guests always have the option of a delicious breakfast or dinner at the hotel, including their many farm-to-table dishes.
With much of the produce grown in its own kitchen garden, most of everything else comes from the island itself. Seafood straight from the water and meat and dairy products that are some of the finest you’ll find anywhere, are just some of the ingredients. Fresh, seasonal and contemporary, the cooking here is simple but full of flavour. And the breakfasts are legendary!
Alderney is a magical place to bring children, with all the freedom a small island can promise. Step back in time for a traditional bucket and spade holiday, where the speed limit is just 35mph and children can ride the miniature train, cycle everywhere uninhibited and explore the derelict forts in true Enid Blyton style. The cottage at the Blonde Hedgehog is perfect for families.
Alderney may be small, but there is no end of things to do – and you’ll find that even if you’re here for a week, you won’t have covered everything. Explore all the gloriously empty beaches around the island – they are perfect for swimming, kayaking and even surfing. You can take a boat trip further afield to marvel at the puffins on Burhou, and you may even see dolphins or a seal or two. There are miles and miles of trails and paths for cycling and walking, and a spectacular nine hole links course for golfers. Clay pigeon shooting, fishing and even an old German fives court will keep the more active person busy. In August, Alderney Week is wall-to-wall festival, and you’ll often find events throughout the year. And there’s a huge amount of history to discover everywhere you go. Of course, if you’d just prefer to relax and soak up quiet island life, then you can do that too!
Location – Alderney
Having holidayed here since we were babies, we know Alderney like the back of our hand and, without doubt, can say it’s one of our favourite places in the world. And not to mention, one of the UK’s best kept secrets. Just 3.5 by 1.5 miles in size, it’s easily walked or cycled around in a day – definitely one of the best ways to see the entire island. It’s a charming rock with extraordinary landscape – soaring cliffs swarming with bird life, glorious white sandy crescent beaches with not another soul around, wide open heathland, wooded nature reserves and 360 degree sea views. Alderney is an island for exploring and seeing nature’s wonders. From sea kayaking to boat trips to the puffin colonies on neighbouring Burhou, from fishing for supper to taking the Channel Islands’ only railway to the Mannez Lighthouse for a cliff top picnic and from a gentle morning swim in the sea to rockpooling in the afternoon. There’s history too, everywhere you look – with Neolithic sites and Roman, Victorian and German WW2 fortifications – the latter a reminder of the island’s darker occupied past. Today, Alderney revels in its slower pace of life – except in August where the island celebrates in carnival style with a colourfully hedonistic week of street performances, markets and parties in the bunkers. Come for a romantic weekend, or bring your family or friends for outdoor adventure, and we promise you a friendly and warm welcome. And for a small island, there are plenty of places to eat, with food fresh from the sea or the kitchen gardens and fields all around. In St Anne, with its cobbled streets and coloured townhouses, make sure you have dinner at the Georgian House – the social hub of the island.
The Blonde Hedgehog team appreciate the rugged beauty of Alderney. Part of their mission involves honouring the wondrous nature that surrounds them by reconnecting with the beautiful landscape.