Guernsey Cake And Tomato Review

This morning the sun defied the weather forecast to beat down on the island, compelling us to drop what we were doing, forego showers and rush out of the house and down to see the sea.  Last time we were at Saints Bay was in the winter and we found a washed up pineapple but today the small, rocky beach was fruit-free.  The tide was on its way out and as it washed back over the pebbles it made a wonderful cascading shroogley noise to accompany the crashing waves.  The sun was shimmering on the sea as the boats bobbed about in the harbour and as we sat on the rocks our thoughts turned to cake. 

Fortunately Saints Bay is the home of Saints Bay Kiosk which serves sandwiches, ice cream and, yup, cake.  I went for a slice of chocolate biscuit cake and was pleased when the small piece I was being served stuck to the plate and I had to have a big piece instead.  The cake was thick, soft and rich with biscuit pieces and chocolate crammed together and sheltering under a generous slap of extremely dark chocolate.  Rachel had a bite and proclaimed it to be, “nice and fudgy.”  It really was a chocolatey delight and a great way to start a Saturday morning.  For the walk back home we would need something slightly more nutritious though…

Last summer in Guernsey I became a convert to the way of the hedge veg.  This practice of leaving home grown produce in a box outside with a price list and a money tin  was even one of the reasons for returning to this island and so today I was on the hunt for some good veg.  On the way back from the beach we passed a number of hedge veg outlets boasting a wide selection of fruit and vegetables – aubergines, strawberries, peppers – but a box featuring some tomatoes had caught my eye on the way and I had my heart set on buying a bag or two there.  The hedge veg box outside Maison Marivon on La Route Des Coutures was stocked full of tomatoes, cucumbers and beans, all of which were very tempting and well hidden from the sun to keep cool (some tomatoes a few doors down were kept in direct sunlight and were sweating away in plastic bags).  We went for the tomatoes, which turned out to be generously, though a little inconsistently, bagged.

Most of the bag was eaten on the walk home, we dipped our grubby hands into the bag, picked them like sweets and popped the mini plum tomatoes into our hungry mouths.  Used to tomatoes from the supermarket in Manchester as I am, the first thing that is noticeable about home grown Guernsey toms is how fleshy and full they are.  They do not burst with juice but are instead packed firmly with tomato flesh which tastes much more… tomatoey, a deeper, earthier taste, not as sweet and more fulfilling.  The bag from Maison Marvion was a good example of good Guernsey toms with only a few duds in the bag.  I intend to return at some point and sample their larger tomatoes and maybe some cucumber.


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