....And there's your eighties reference for this week coffee lovers! (No, you're welcome!) So I thought I'd do a post this week on one of the most gorgeous places on the planet and where I was lucky enough to spend a week recently - Barbados. It's on my ever changing list of favourite places to go (there's another blog post idea right there) and yes, thought I'd tell you guys all about it. Kind of like when you go back to school after the summer break and have to write the "What I did on my holidays" piece. So, without further ado, here is what I did on my holidays. Spoiler - if you're looking for adrenaline sports or intricate details on excursions this ain't it. Sorry. But if you like beaches and food, I'm your girl. Anyway........
We booked this holiday to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary (if you didn't read my blog about that a couple of weeks ago, you can find it here) and when we were brain storming places to visit we had some highly important criteria.
1. Must be hot
2. Must provide the opportunity to lie on a beach and do very little
3. Must involve some fabulous food
And, after visiting Barbados nine years ago we knew we had to do it again. Last time we stayed on the South Coast at St Lawrence Gap which is known as one of the busier resorts - definitely a good place to party. And party we did. We met similar couples and spent the majority of the time drinking cocktails and staying out late. Which was brilliant. This time however, we felt we wanted somewhere different and made our best attempts to conceal the fact that we're probably just too old to party for a week. (I'm ashamed to type that...)
So up to the West Coast we went and stayed at the utterly gorgeous Colony Club Hotel in Holetown. The website promised gorgeous views, gorgeous food and free wifi so it covered all bases for me. On arrival we were not only greeted by a cold glass of rum punch (I'd really love to say how gorgeous these are - and they are very er, pretty but I have to say it turns out I'm not a fan of rum. Disappointing when you're staying on the island famed for it but can't be helped.) but by four of our friends who had been planning and plotting for months to overlap their holiday with ours by a few days to surprise us which was amazing. So, armed with the gorgeous views and now our very own drinking partners for a few days we were ready to start. Jet lagged but ready.
Ah yes, the jet lag. Well, you're not going to fly 7-8 hours across the Atlantic and have a four hour time difference without feeling it a bit are you? The first night we lasted well but that was probably fuelled by the excitement of getting there, catching up with our friends and the rather nice Prosecco which was a million times nicer than the rum. The next morning we were up at 5.30 and in the gym by 6.45 which I was pretty damn proud of. Admittedly I was out of it again a mere 30 minutes later due to it being pretty small and the air con not really working (either that or I did an amazing workout) but we'd started well.
We bagged some sun beds, got changed, had a big breakfast and lay in the sun - even managing a nice little nap mid afternoon. (Yes, I am 97 years old, come on, this was a chill out holiday.)
To be honest, much of the week continued in a similar way. (Admittedly the gym visits dropped off a little as soon as my body let me sleep longer than 6am.) So far, on checking our oh so important checklist we had ticked all three. It was hot, with the occasional rainstorm that was often a bit of a relief but mainly made us stand open mouthed at the fact these storms last approximately 15 seconds and it was still bright sunshine. (It did make for some excellent rainbows.) It certainly allowed us to lie on a beach and do very little and then, there was the food......
Now I'm not going to lie, I'm a bit of a foodie. In all honesty, one of my favourite things to do is eat. And if it's cooked by someone else that makes it even better. Wherever we go we hunt down the places people recommend, it's often one of the first topics of conversation when you're chatting to new "holiday friends" (usually coming in just after "how long are you here for" and "better weather than home isn't it") and Barbados definitely didn't disappoint.
Close to where we staying we had a huge choice of places to eat out, as well as the hotel itself. Mealtimes aside, there are waiters strolling up and down the beach throughout the day handing out fresh fruit, canapés, sweet treats and nibbles to go with your drinks at happy hour. (The sweet potato crisps were to die for.) The restaurants we did try though in my order of preference are as follows -
1. Lonestar. This is on the beach so has some gorgeous views, it's open during the day for lunch too so you can choose between a laid back lunch or more formal dinner and the food is amazing. Can't fault this one.
2. Nishi. In Holetown itself, offers everything from sushi to cottage pie and is so good we went twice. On Fridays they have a band on, everyone dances until late and the G&T's are fab. Oh and they have some amazing artwork of musicians, including Bowie and Kate Bush ones that I really wish I could have in my house.
3. Seacat. Just a short walk from the hotel, on first glance it looks like a shed but don't let this put you off. Great for fish lovers as freshly caught fish and lobster on offer, really reasonable too. The lobster and sweet potato chips are so good. Oh and our waiter was related to a famous cricketer so this impressed the husband.
4. The Cliff Beach Club. This would definitely get top marks for views as it literally takes your breath away. It's separate to the original Cliff restaurant where you may need a teeny mortgage to cover your bill but still offers the incredible views, the great service but just has a smaller, slightly less scarily priced menu.
(I am typing this on a wet cold day in England and this is making me incredibly hungry.)
For anyone wondering, we did do a little more than lie on a beach and eat a lot of food. We took an island tour with a lovely guy called Ken who told us all about different parts of the island and sang Robbie Williams songs to us. (True story.) We went to the top of the island where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic, to St Nicholas Abbey where they have the sugar plantations and make rum and to Hunts Gardens which is a huge garden in a sunken cave and made for some fab pictures. (Again, more proof if needed that I am 97 years old and like pottering in gardens, where did that party girl go?!)
I'm getting into quite a high word count here and really have only covered doing very little and eating food which I would say sums the week up quite perfectly. Perhaps I'm not really suited to travel blogging unless I start one entitled to "beaches I have sat on and food I have eaten?"
Oh, and we had a coffee machine in our room. Imagine my extreme joy at this!
Barbados - you were awesome, see you in another ten years!