Barbados suggestions ? and a Bristol recommendation
Having just booked a week in Barbados next month I was just wondering if anyone had any recommendations? As far as I know we'll be staying in St Lawrence which is in Christchurch - all suggestions gratefully received.
While I'm here I just thought I'd mention a good restaurant I went to in Bristol at the weekend. It was called Budakan and although I can't remember the address it's very central - not far from the bottom of Park St. It's one of those sort of pan-asian places that does some ramen, some Thai things etc but manages to be more interesting than these places usually are. I had ramen with duck which was in a fantastic, really dark broth and to my embarassment I can't remember what my companion had - apart from that he really liked it and it involved prawns. Prices were reasonable, the service was a bit hit and miss but the general atmosphere, design etc were great - much better than at most Wagamama type places - we even ended up staying at the bar for a couple of drinks after our meal.
We were in Barbados in July, and while there were plenty of more than good upscale restaurants, particularly along the platinum coast or whatever it's called, our favorite meals were lunchs eated at side of the road bar/lunch places with a few tables out front. Bajan food: roti(scrumptious curried meat or veg & potatoes wrapped in a flatbread), fried flying fish, fried or baked chicken, macaroni pie, breadfruit, spicy peas and rice, etc. is a delicious and spicy take on comfort foods we can all recognize. And the fruit rocks. Plus "local" food is really cheap, whereas resort food is PRICEY.
One not to be missed spot is on the Atlantic Coast: The Atlantis Hotel in St. Joseph Parish is a ramshackle century-old hotel from the first wave of Bajan tourism. Lunch is served on the veranda overlooking the wild Atlantic (totally different from the tranquil Caribbean). Have a planter's punch - choose from "chicken or fish" - and then enjoy an overflowing plate heaped w/ Bajan sides (breadfruit, macaroni, peas, etc.) and cake or fruit for dessert. There are plenty of tourists here, but also plenty of Bajan families. Afterwards, explore the completely different landscape of the deserted East Coast.
Another cool spot is Speightstown (pronounced Spikestown) - nestled between the resorts of the West Coast - which is an ancient port that somehow hasn't been completely touristed out. There's a bakery (don't remember the name) but it's on the main road and there's only one, that makes chewy, subtly flavored Bajan breads and sweets, including "rock cakes" which are much better than they sound. Across the street, the Fishermen's Pub, with a veranda on the ocean, serves yummy lunches and cheap Banks (the delicious local beer). You may find yourself sitting there until dinner.
Whatever you do - don't go to Pizza Mon. It's an island chain (regulation keeps out American fast food), and we were curious. But that is one tradition that hasn't translated well.
Barbados is far and away the most special Caribbean island I've been to, have a great time!
Ive been to Barbados a couple of times, and my most recent visit was July this year. I have one TOP recommendation and some others too. All are on the west coast and not too far from you.
Not to be missed is The Cliff (Derricks, St James) for a special night out. Id say this is about 15 mins from your loc. Ive been there twice and was bowled over. Not only is it the most beautiful restaurant Ive been in but the chef (Paul Owens) makes absolutely fantastic food. Tuna no matter how it is prepared is terrific. Others who had beef and lamb thoroughly enjoyed their dishes too. There is a nouvelle aspect to the dishes, but there is substance and wonderful flavors. During my two visits everyone (groups ranging from 3 to 5 people) said how good the meal was. Absolutely, no complaints, or disappointments. Worthy of note is the fact that the locals (not just tourists) consider the Cliff to be the islands best. My advice would be to reserve a table before your trip or as soon as you arrive.
The Lone Star (farther north, outside of Holetown) opened recently and is getting some very good reviews. On the basis of one dinner, I thought it was attempting to imitate the Cliff, but not managing. That said it was quite good.
Less expensive places include Olives, in Holetown. This is reliably very good: not fussy yet tasty. Theres a nice comfortable bar upstairs. Holetown is tiny--only a few streets-- though it has several good restaurants, and is therefore worth a visit.
You may have no need to go to the beaches in Paynes Bay, but if you do inexpensive though hearty fare is found at Bombas. This is an ocean front, funky café that serves good fish cakes, and of course, cold refreshing Banks beer. For lunch, the fish cakes and flying fish sandwiches are very good at Treasure Beach Hotel also.
Hope you enjoy your trip, and that you post your findings on your return!