It could be said that Barbados is my favourite island, and I've been to a few, not only in the Caribbean but in the Mediterranean. I'm not sure what it has over the others but for me I guess it's all about the guaranteed warmth, the great food, the ease of getting around and the wonderful hospitality of the people, ... and best of all the warm turquoise sea as clear as crystal on most days. Even when it rains it's warm and beautiful.
This trip my original flip flops were looking a tad tired and worn so they have finally been retired and a new pair purchased in Barbados have taken their place. So in keeping with the tropical trend I chose turquoise blue, which incidentally is one of my favourite colours!
Every morning around 4.30am I was woken by a rooster crowing (I'm a light sleeper) which I actually didn't mind. I was always able to snooze and wake again around 6am .. I love rising early on holiday. It's a quiet time and perfect for watching the sun rise and enjoying a cup of coffee on the terrace. I shared this time with the bugs/mosquito's who had me for breakfast most mornings! Despite my trying to be proactive with repellent and citronella candles they got me anyway so I had to live with them. The best bug repellent I ever tried was one I bought in France a few years ago. I could see the bugs rebounding off my invisible force shield. Once it had run out I tried to find it again but haven't been able to. I don't know what was in it but it was the only thing that worked for me. If any of you have any suggestions I would be most grateful as it's an ongoing problem.
Each morning and evening a mother hen and her chicks could be heard cheeping away and they would pass by the terrace in a little group. Other visitors were geckos (they love insects but clearly didn't catch enough!), and a couple of cats who never seemed to mind or bother the chicks much to my surprise. They must be too well fed!
As always the food was amazing. Most of my favourite restaurants are on the west side of the island and within easy reach of my base, The Beach View which is situated between Sandy Lane and Crystal Cove. I love it there as it has a home-from-home feel about it. Everything you could want from a self-catering apartment with a pool and a gorgeous beach on your doorstep. I couldn't ask for anything better. I prefer it to being waited on hand and foot at a luxury hotel although I'm not knocking it - it certainly has it's time and place!
All of the restaurants I like are situated on the water's edge and are al fresco. It's always best to book in advance of your trip if you want to get in and get a table right on the sea side.
They all have a great list of pre-dinner cocktails with a
good wine selection too and most encourage you to get there early to
sample these. The service is impeccable and they really make you feel
like you are important to them.
Every Thursday the manager at The Beach View has a drinks party at his private residence and invites everyone staying there to attend. He has a stunningly beautiful house on the cliff edge and in the 2 hours you spend there you can drink rum punch, eat canapes and watch the sun set over the spectacular infinity pool and terraced gardens. He provides transportation to and from the hotel (all for free) but it's only a few minutes walk away if you want to take your life in your hands and walk the narrow pavements!
I'd like to think of Barbados and The Beach View as my second home now (after New York that is!) and will definitely be going back there as often as I can. When I need a relaxing break away from the hustle and bustle of work and city life, it's the only place I like to be. Ironically I have been reading about Ian Fleming and his writing about James Bond at Golden Eye in Jamaica .. maybe just maybe, that could be me ...
Beautiful sunsets ... the first and last of the week
The Beach View run a free golf buggy shuttle every day at 9.30 and 10.30 into Holetown where there is a large supermarket and shops. It's fun to sit on the rear facing seat and enjoy the 10 minute ride! To get back you can get a cab or ride the bus for B$2 each (US$1 or £0.70) - another fun option.
Recommended restaurants on the west coast -
The Beach Club
The Beach House
My holiday reading also included my friend Nigel May's latest novel "Deadly Obsession" which I loved!
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