BARBADOS

For those thinking of Barbados, here are all the details from my recent trip:

WHERE WE STAYED

We stayed in a beach front villa on the west coast of the Island which I couldn’t recommend enough! Radwood, a three double bedroom villa with it’s own pool, chef and cleaner. A gated property ensuring we were safe, while also being able to simply step onto the beach from the garden. All 6 of us had plenty of room, often having days relaxing there instead of venturing out which became our most enjoyable and memorable. This was made even more enjoyable by June, the chef who made the most incredible jerk chicken and mac pie! Also the lovely Shakera ensured our beds were cleaned daily, the villa was spotless and to our surprise, our laundry was always done.

June’s connection’s with others around the Island also made other aspects easier, like travel, but also having someone who knew the island so well it was great to get her recommendations and places we were going to before we spent the money.

Around 45 minutes drive from the airport, Radwood is no longer than 10 minutes walk from lots of good restaurants, and around a 20 minutes drive to Mullins beach. I think possibly renting a car could be useful, but booking taxis was fine and they were always so reliable and polite. Traveling around the west coast to try the different restaurants is a must for the first couple of days so I would prepare myself beforehand incase you get travel sick like a few of us, and then enjoy June’s fabulous cooking at the Villa for the rest of it.

Currently planning our return.

EXPENSIVE PLACES WE ATE

Like I said, our favourite meals were the ones in the Villa cooked by June! But we also needed to make the most of it and tick a couple of places off our list while there. Sandy Lane was one I was most excited about, being one of the top hotels in the World, I had high expectations. And well, the decor did not disappoint! Grand beige stone with luxurious furniture in bubble gum pink, also the staffs uniform was like something out of a 1950’s film. I need! However after being moved to our table to start gorging on the buffet, we soon realised it wasn’t for us. I tried to go for it with the food, like I’m known for loving my food, but in all honesty, there is no point in going if you can’t eat eat, and even I couldn’t get my money’s worth. Including drinks, it ended being £250pp. Not ideal. Also they over charged us for drinks and couldn’t work out how to refund us.

On a much better note, The Lone Star was incredible! A beach front restaurant (which is also a gorgeous boutique hotel) was our first meal out. Booked for lunch we had lobster linguine and drank Minuty for hours, finishing up with a quick swim while the sun went down. The ideal place for pictures, with it’s perfectly sloped palm tree and cleverly placed beach mirror. It set us back £100pp. If we were to do it again we would go for dinner, maybe arriving a little early for a drink at the bar to watch the sunset.

The Cliff was one people said over and over again! And being only 5 minutes drive from the villa, of course we had to do it. We knew it was going to be an expensive one, so prepared ourselves beforehand and got on with the fact there was no prices on the menu (although it was still unnerving!) Heading there a little earlier we drank espresso martins on the top floor, enjoying the view of the dark ocean lit up along the shore where you could see all sorts of fish swimming. Shaped like a ship, it was a pretty venue with incredible and attentive staff. This was a special occasion place for sure. Dinner was good, the wine was lovely and the manager Hoggy was one of the highlights, bringing out champagne to toast to my recent engagement. At £250pp, make this a place for pre drinks or even by day for the beach club which we’ll hopefully try next time. But if you love fine dining and have something special to celebrate this could be for you.

Primo was one that took us by surprise, recommended to me by a friend when we were in Barbados and looking for somewhere to head one night. At £100pp it was the most ‘worth it’ meal we had, going back the next day for dinner again. If you go, have the Pork Bao buns for starter and Lobster Mac and Cheese for main. It won’t disappoint.

THE CHEAP(ER) AND CHEERFUL PLACES WE ATE AT

Some of these places become our favourites. I mean, we love all that glitz but sometimes plastic chairs and paper napkins are exactly what you need to feel like you’re really getting a feel for the scenery without all the distracting faff and of course, the eye watering bills. After The Lone Star on our first night we stumbled across Ju Ju’s no more than a 5 minute stroll along the beach. Simple yet effective, this tiny shack had cheap rum punch and an incredible acoustic guitar player (although when we went a second time to show friends, the waitress said they’ve never had live music. Strange). Wanting to get out of the villa during the day? Head to Boatyard for a super chilled but loud beach day. Plastic cups and graffiti covered walls, we stayed here all day drinking rum and playing cards. It was one of the best days.

Bathsheba is also a must visit. It’s rapid waves and untouched beaches are a hotspot for surfers around the world, often hiring villas around there for seasons. After a dip in one of the rock-pools I would stroll along the road stopping at each rum punch stall to enjoy the incredible view. Also if hungry, Round House was great and the staff were lovely. At £60pp it was worth it.

Bombas, a 15/20 minute drive from the villa was amazing! Right next door to Mullins Beach (which is now privately owned but apparently you can get a day pass at the beach club there for £40pp), it was the perfect setting for a chilled early dinner and drinks. Our table looked out onto the idilic beach, the staff were friendly and the food was good. I would just say that the tables are tight, wear something super chilled, maybe even somewhere to go after being on the beach all day. It was around £60 a head.

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