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Anna Hafsteinsson, The Bean Pot: Five things I would change about Jersey

Anna Hafsteinsson, The Bean Pot: Five things I would change about Jersey

Friday 05 July 2019

Anna Hafsteinsson, The Bean Pot: Five things I would change about Jersey

You'll usually find her working on tasty treats in the kitchen, but today she's cooking up ideas for how to make the island a better place.

As founder and host of local supper club, The Bean Pot, Anna Hafsteinsson regularly brings new people together at her house for a casual, friendly evenings where three tasty courses are served with emphasis on Jersey’s local produce.

In the daytime, however, you'll find her spreading the word about all things artsy in the island through her role at ArtHouse Jersey.

For Express, the food and culture enthusiast put her cooking utensils down, and thought about ways to stir up the island instead... 

1. Make the waterfront more welcoming

When I hop by boat to St. Malo or Poole or, dare I say it, Guernsey, I am struck by how different these waterfront areas feel to ours. Walk for a couple of minutes and you’ll reach some bustling restaurants or independent shops. Arrive in St. Peter Port by sea and you’ll know you’re in the Channel Islands.

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A post shared by Anna Hafsteinsson (@anihaf) onJan 28, 2017 at 9:25am PST

A post shared by Anna Hafsteinsson (@anihaf) onJan 28, 2017 at 9:25am PST


Arrive in St. Helier by sea and you might think you’ve docked in Canary Wharf. In the words of Lady Macbeth “What’s done, is done”… at least for the time being. But please, planners, think carefully when you’re considering changes to this area. Be bold, be brave and turn St Helier back into a seaside town. 

2. 'Make Jersey Friendly Again' – a little less texting and a little more talking please

I’m no saint when it comes to my phone. Walk down King Street and every other person you see is looking down at their phone. I went to Cuba recently. Wi-Fi is only available in a few Wi-Fi zones - so most of the time Cuban folks don’t have it.


Pictured: Anna wants islanders to ditch their phones more often to make the island friendly again.

They talk to one another, they play instruments, they sing, they dance! Children and teenagers are out playing football or just strolling and chatting, not an iPhone in sight. I’d like to see islanders put their phones away and make Jersey friendly again – a cry which, in many ways, is connected to my next issue.

3. Get to grips with young people's mental health - now!

Mental Health is a hot topic at the moment with statistics revealing worrying levels of self harm in young girls and frightening levels of suicide in young men. The world of social media is putting incredible pressure on young people. Parents knows this and, as someone just old enough to have escaped these pressure, it frankly horrifies me.

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A post shared by JeSsIe CaVE (@jessiecave) onMay 16, 2019 at 10:23am PDT


Half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14 and three quarters by age 24. Jersey should invest heavily in resources to ensure that the young have someone to turn to, without stigma. People of all ages suffer from mental health issues - but if we don’t reach people early in life then their chances of suffering life long mental health issues become very real.

4. Keep our seafood simple

We have the best fish and seafood anywhere. Full stop. And, yes, it can all be found in Jersey’s fantastic restaurants. But we somehow lack the immediacy that the food from our ocean demands.

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A post shared by The Bean Pot Jersey (@beanpotjersey) onSep 26, 2016 at 4:55am PDT

Pictured: Seafood is best kept simple. 

Go to Barcelona or Marseille or Lisbon and you’ll see huge displays of sardines, scallops, razor fish, crab and all sorts of sea creatures. You’ll be able to point and say “grill that for me” and onto the grill it will go and straight to your plate. The simplicity reflects the produce. No dots of basil gel or fancy foam.

To facilitate this revolution we need to be open to initiatives in hospitality that break the mold: to more outdoor popups; to making use of unused or underused piers; to ideas that excite but simultaneously get back to basics.

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A post shared by The Bean Pot Jersey (@beanpotjersey) onAug 12, 2016 at 10:49am PDT

Pictured: Anna lunching at Faulkner Fisheries.

Find it at L’Etacq, where the guys at Faulkner serve their delicious wares. That’s what our sea produce deserves.

5. Supermarket signage: less is more

Do you know where the Co-op is at Grouville? Or the Waitrose at Red Houses? I’m sure you probably do! As I cycle along our country roads, every twist and turn is a joy. Then my eyes are assaulted by bright red, yellow, green or blue signage. I was in a little seaside town in the Yucatan in Mexico recently that had an amazing modern supermarket.


Pictured: We don't need to signal supermarket's existence to life on Mars.

From the outside this vast shop blended into the other thatched roof stores selling Mexican blankets, hammocks and daily essentials. Everyone, tourists and locals alike, found the supermarket, no-one starved – the guacamole got made. I’m not suggesting we put thatched roofs on our supermarkets – but do we need to signal their existence to life on Mars? 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not the Bailiwick Express.

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