Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

B A R B A D O S { Where To Eat + Drink }

”What’s the point of a holiday if you don’t eat + drink everything? ” Tom, April 2017

Firstly before posting a big old blog about what I ate I thought it important to acknowledge that I did feel self-conscious about eating lots + not exercising whilst away. I did go for a few runs early in the morning but I decided that I preferred a lie in more.  I don’t think it’s healthy to pretend  I’m skipping around in a swimsuit on instagram without a care in the world. I mean don’t get me wrong I’m fairly relaxed but to say my weight doesn’t play on my mind would be a lie. I was being completely honest on instagram when I said I took my swimsuit shots at the beginning of the holiday so I could eat + not worry as much for the rest of the holiday. Silly really I know but true. Anyway after a few days I did relax I had the best time trying all the different Caribbean food : sugar buns, breadfruit crisps, cutters, rum cake. You name it I tried it!

We ate out most nights + enjoyed trying local favourites as much, if not more than visiting the popular, old school establishments. Personally I found the food in the smart restaurants a bit rich; mashed potatoes in 30 degrees = too much for me. Saying that I would certainly recommend the smart restaurants for sunset cocktail + it was nice to dress up a bit + not need a coat. The cocktails were always delicious + the atmosphere was electric; the people watching opportunities were incredible, one restaurant was almost entirely filled with Cliff Richard lookalikes.

Smart Restaurants
The Cliff

My expectations for The Cliff were extremely high as it had been recommended to me a lot + after reading reviews on Trip Adviser I was excited to visit. Words like spectacular and first class were used over and over though unfortunately my experience was neither. My biggest issue was with the service which was very disappointing. My cocktail was forgotten which wasn’t a big deal in itself but when no one came to check that our drinks were satisfactory I had to go over to the bar + reorder it myself. The cocktail waiter eventually brought it over + was curt. Service with our meal was sporadic + we were served by several different waiters. As such we didn’t get to know our waiter so it lacked that personal touch that other Bajan restaurants seemed to provide so easily. Our pudding orders were missed + when we enquired about its whereabouts we discovered the order was never placed. I should state that we were refunded the cost of the pudding but still.

I would describe the food as good but not exceptional. The menu options were dare I say it a little boring + outdated but I appreciate that this is subjective. I was surprised when the bread sticks served with cocktails tasted stale, a small detail but important when trying to create fabulous first impressions.  I was disappointed that the Cliff didn’t show it’s culinary flare through offering an amuse bouche instead they plonked down bread which wasn’t even warm.  I did appreciate the fact that starters could be enlarged to main sized portions. For dessert we ordered Rum Baba+ when it did eventually arrive it was underwhelming, I liked the pippet of rum idea but this was by no means unique + in the patisserie world a little outdated. There’s no denying that the setting is stunning, I loved the torches and lights dotted around the cove but I don’t think I’d return in a hurry.

Cin Cin By The SeaCin Cin By The Sea is quickly becoming a competitor to The Cliff. Both restaurants have fabulous vistas + are places to be seen in. If I were to compare the two I’d chose Cin Cin By The Sea; I loved the ultra modern decor which contrasted the traditional luxury decor style of Sandy Lane + the golf resorts. Again as with The Cliff I didn’t find the food wildly impressive + ended up having chilli prawn pasta, not dissimilar to the dish Tom makes at home. What I preferred about Cin Cin was the service; everyone from valet to the hostess to the waiters greeted us with big smiles, were attentive + professional. I’d also argue that the vista is better at Cin Cin as I liked seeing the vast expanse of sea + sunset as opposed to just seeing the cove but of course this is subjective.

Fish PotThis was recommended by a man we met in the sea + it was easy to book. The evening dinner slots are 18:30 or 20:30, we took the earlier slot so we could have a cocktail + watch the sunset.  Fish Pot is Northwest of the island + is part of the Little Good Harbour Hotel. This is a small hotel right on the beach + looked really inviting. The food here was divine + had a strong seafood bias as you’d imagine. We ordered scallops + prawns to start followed by tuna + lobster. We didn’t fancy any of the rich sauces so asked if the kitchen would cook the lobster in garlic butter + they happily obliged. I can honestly say the prawns + lobster were the best I’ve ever had + thankfully for me they were both my choices though I let Tom have some which was nice of me 😉 . Look at the size of those prawns! The restaurant is small + romantic, ask for a table with a sea view. When we visited the weather was close + I think we might have overheated if we didn’t have the sea breeze. I think this was my favourite meal that Tom + I had in the evenings together.

LonestarLonestar is infamous in Barbados, it was built in the 1950’s + used to be a car garage. The staff reflect this + wear white boiler suits which is a fun touch.  It’s popular with Brits as it serves British favourites like Shepherd’s Pie; I find the thought of Shepherd’s Pie in the Caribbean baffling but it’s obvious floating other peoples boats. I had surf + turf here which was pretty special.

We went for both breakfast + dinner but I caught a glimpse of the lunch menu too which looked fantastic too ; lots of big salads which is what I often felt like eating in the heat. The staff are friendly + enjoyed helping out with baby A. If you do visit for cocktails make sure you ask for the orange sun, the lovely bar man made it for me + I was obsessed.

Lobster Alive Hooray a restaurant that is worth the hype {  I know I’m fussy }. I have visited Lobster Alive twice + enjoyed both occasions tremendously. Lobster Alive is a beach restaurant in Carlisle Bay, Bridgetown; you can either eat inside or under big parasols on the beach. The best time to eat is Sunday lunchtime from 13:00 onwards as that’s when the infamous jazz bands begins to play. We arrived at 12:30 so we could place our order with the kitchen before it gets too crazy. You can choose various lobster options small, medium or large lobster as well as lobster pasta or salad. People tend to drink Prosecco or rosé or both ;-).  The atmosphere is laid-back + fun I think that has something to do with being able to have your toes in the soft sand as you eat. There is lots of room for kids to run around + play on the beach in front of the restaurant. Expect to bump into someone you recognise or  come away with new friends. A Lex Chapter five stars. 


Beach Shacks + Relaxed Dining

CuzzCuzz was suggested to us by Barbados Blue diving school which is 100 metres away, I was so hungry after our dive that I wanted a snack before we went home. We were informed that it only served fish cutters + the options were with / without cheese. We laughed but this was absolutely was the case; we ordered two with cheese + a beer. After about two mouthfuls we’d both decided we wanted another cutter so Tom went back for some more. It was only when we were looking something up on Trip Adviser we realised how popular Cuzz is. The current owner is second generation so go + support this family business; you’ll find it in a car park between the Radisson + Hilton hotel in Bridgetown.

Mullins Beach BarThis beach bar was always busy, we visited once for mid week lunch + on a Sunday for a sundowner when the popular band Mootown were playing. We would walk here from Gibbs beach for pina coladas + the rotis were yummy too for lunch. I also liked this place because it had a Welsh rugby ball on the shelf but I appreciate this is a pretty niche compliment but it worked for me. The staff are friendly + didn’t mind us rocking up covered in sand + getting changed in the loos { I can’t stand dam p bathers }Ju Ju’sAnother great location for us, fairly close to Lonestar Ju Ju’s is a good place to base yourself for the day especially if you have got kids. The food is Bajan + they have a good choice of wine. We found the service a bit slow but passed the time by having a look in the boutique next door + drinking rosé. Roti Den
OK so technically this isn’t on the beach but it’s a cheap + cheerful place opposite Daphne’s. The chicken + shrimp is the best { we tried a few options }, ask the owner about Pavarotti.Pepenero Pizza
You’ll find Pepenero Pizza in Limegrove shopping centre. We didn’t eat in here but did order take out twice, both times the pizza was delicious.

Delish
This is also in Limegrove Shopping Centre. We popped in for coffee, Bajan lemonade + banana cake. It’s full of organic fresh veg, meats + even Welsh cheese from the Snowdonia Cheese Company. The brunch options looked amazing too, Lobster Benedict anyone?

Little Bristol Beach Bar This was my favourite spot for a few reasons, the first being Richard who runs the place. He’s friendly, knowledgable about Bajan history + mad about football { he’s an Man Utd supporter if you’re wondering}. Secondly the food is super quick + fresh, we had the maui-maui cutters + shark wraps. Lastly the Bristol Sour is the best cocktail I think I had on the whole holiday, in fact taking all things into consideration the best cocktail I’ve ever had. I am so thrilled we found this spot early on in our trip, we must have visited three or four times introducing friends to it as well.  This place is an absolute gem + I cannot wait to return.


Cocktails

Cobbler’s CoveWe didn’t stay here but if I think if I had a few nights left on earth I might consider this place. Obviously I can’t vouch for the rooms but what I will I say is ‘ this place couldn’t be any more me.’ Think pink stripes, palm trees, pineapple cushions I was in heaven. The four of us went for cocktails at sunset,  I + G went home with baby A + Tom + I stayed for dinner. I thought the food was really nice but like many of the smart restaurants it wasn’t life changing. What made me place so special was the incredible service; the staff are so professional. Team this with the glamorous surroundings + you feel like a movie star. After dinner or cocktails, sit in the lounge + listen to the jazz band. If you’re feeling competitive why not play a game of backgammon? Tom + I played over + over + I beat him every time.The Muse

 Izzy + I popped in here for a cheeky cocktail + left the boys to arrange dinner + bath baby A. Fun atmosphere in the middle of Holetown.

John Moore BarThis place is pretty special, it’s next to a ship yard + only sells rum by the bottle; yes by the bottle. You can buy your mixer + sit with locals who are playing heated games of cards or dominos. At one point a gentleman raised his voice + apologised to us women, it was that kind of old school establishment. Colony Club My friend Izzy she’d wanted to try this hotel for cocktails the whole holiday. It was at the bottom of our road + the plan was to lull baby A to sleep in the pushchair on the way down. We sat at the tables right on the beach + watched the sunset whilst sipping watermelon martinis + nibbling complimentary breadfruit crisps, a lovely time was had by all. This experience was made even better when we received the bill { the first time I’ve even written this sentence } our drinks were half price! Half price in Barbados is unheard of so the next day we arrived at our table at 16:55 ready for happy hour at 17:00. This is a really great place to enjoy a sundowner.Phew if you’re reading this congratulations, that was a mega post! Let me know if you think I’ve missed out some gems or had a difference experience. A few friends recommended The Tides, Tom insists we went last time but I have no recollection. I might have to go back next time to jog my memory, if I still can’t remember then it’s safe to say Tom went with a previous girlfriend haha!



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