Faulkner Fisheries Tour

Did you know you could go inside this bunker at the north end of St Ouen's Bay? Go inside with me and check out all the seafood. Posted 25 March 2012

Faulkner Fisheries

It was absolutely perfect weather yesterday, so Shirley and I went to St Ouen’s Bay for some hiking. The plan was to park at the bottom and hike up to Les Landes. Bad idea, way too hot for that. Instead, we started exploring the area around Faulkner Fisheries, in the huge German bunker.

Layer upon layer of concrete, this thing is massive

Layer upon layer of concrete, this thing is massive!

I wanted to get up on the roof for some photos, but I had some difficulty at first. Hey, it’s a bunker. You aren’t meant to be able to just walk over it! Fortunately the tide was out, so I was able to climb up the rocks on the sea side and get up there. It was too hazy for good photos of the bay, but I still got some good ones.

Looking down to a big steamer with tidepools beyond.

Looking down to a big steamer with tidepools beyond.

Faulkner Fisheries

I love climbing around and exploring things, but Shirley had other plans. “Hey Tom, why don’t you climb back down here and we can eat some lunch?” I gave the only correct response which is “Yes, dear”. Good thing too. I had assumed this was a commercial building, selling to restaurants and stores. In fact, it has an excellent little cafe at the entrance where they do very fresh seafood.

Faulkner Fisheries

You can read this sign from Route des Havres out front

You can read this sign from Route des Havres out front

We had an order each of local king prawns for £5.95. This came with your choice of chilli or herbed garlic butter and french bread. They have Cooper and Co coffees too, which went perfectly with the food. Half-lobsters are also on the menu for £6.95, Moules Marinières for only £4.95. They had a well-stocked refrigerator case with drinks and fresh prawn, crab, and lobster sandwiches.

Fresh garlic king prawns with sliced warm baguette and Jersey butter

Fresh garlic king prawns with sliced warm baguette and Jersey butter

They were happy to show off the inside of the bunker too. I ordered the food and went for a tour inside while they cooked it on the grill out front.

Little whelks dot the walls making a very, very slow escape attempt

Little whelks dot the walls making a very, very slow escape attempt

Jacek, showing off a local lobster

Jacek, showing off a local lobster

Faulkner Fisheries

That crab claw is almost the size of his hand!

That crab claw is almost the size of his hand!

My first impression once I got inside was how clean it was. I guess I was expecting a dark cave. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised. Everything was absolutely immaculate. It was well ventilated and brightly lit inside. There were huge vats of shellfish everywhere. Whole rooms had been converted to fish tanks. You walk up to the open doorway and peer down at thousands of crabs, lobsters, and other shellfish. Whelks dot some of the walls, making a comically slow escape attempt. The workers occasionally stop and pluck them from the walls and drop them back into the nearest tank.

One of several rooms converted to aquariums

One of several rooms converted to aquariums

Closer, you can see oysters, clams, and lobsters everywhere.

Closer, you can see oysters, clams, and lobsters everywhere.

Squeaky-clean floors

Squeaky-clean floors

Detail of the door hinge

Detail of the door hinge

I had been buying fish from their market at Beresford Street in St Helier, but this was much more interesting. Beresford Street is closer to me, but I think I’ll have to venture out to St Ouen more often.

Opening hours are Monday 8am-1pm, Tuesday-Saturday 8am-5pm. Jersey is starting to fill up with tourists now with the great weather, so this place will probably be very busy soon. They only had three tables, but if you can get in it is absolutely worth the effort. If it’s full, you can always grab a sandwich and go down to the beach.