By Caroline Robinson & Gina Traboulsi, Life's A Beach
Uniquely placed on the outside arc of an impressive cluster of Caribbean islands, Barbados sits slightly apart from its neighbours, edging towards the southern tip of the curve. Hugged on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and lapped on the west by the quieter, soothing Caribbean Sea, this is an island that offers everything you would wish for in a holiday destination, with the added allure of exquisite cuisine and fine dining.
Seasoned visitors to Barbados will be familiar with the gently rising, lush, tropical landscape that makes up this 21-mile-long haven. Encircled by coral reefs under turquoise seas and gently brushed by the moderate breeze that strokes the land, Barbados is firmly established as one of the most coveted Caribbean boltholes. This island is a mélange of different influences – African, West Indian, Caribbean and European – which infuse every facet of life.
If destinations were contenders for the Masterchef accolade, then Barbados would most definitely be a front-runner. As one of the more developed islands in the area it has matured splendidly and in the process has made its mark as an architect of world-class cuisine. Serious foodies can appreciate the quality of the food, but it doesn’t stop there. This is a whole experience where environment, service, ingredients and menu have all been seriously cultivated – the clever bit is that it doesn’t lose any of the gracious Bajan charm that envelops every aspect of daily living.
The food options in Barbados are plentiful and masterfully prepared. Walking through the alleyways of Bridgetown it is near impossible not to be tempted by the street food, which can be tasted ‘on the hop’. Prepared by local cooks with coal pots and barbecues this is soul food at its freshest. From the national dish of flying fish and cou-cou to pickled breadfruit, macaroni pie and rice and peas – these enticing flavours fill stomachs and warm hearts.
The secret to Bajan cuisine is in the ingredients - uplifting spices, fresh herbs, ripe fruits, a
spectrum of fish caught straight from the ocean and local artistry. Is it any wonder that this
island has become the mecca for gastronomes? From back street food stalls to internationally renowned restaurants scattered along the shorelines, Barbados boasts some world-class eateries – fail to make a reservation at your peril!
Barbados is unusual in that it is not an island that offers 5* all-inclusive accommodation, which seems a smart move when you consider the variety and availability of food on offer.
Those looking for the ‘five-star’ experience can call in on old favourites, such as Daphne’s, with
its modern Italian twist, but with a waterfront view, or choose a place with more of a maritime feel, like The Cliff. Reminiscent of a boat and encircled by a barnacled rock formation, here the emphasis is most definitely on fish, but not to the exclusion of other prime choices.
The list of restaurants seems endless, with some eateries more indigenous in feel and look, and always with incredible cuisine to serve up. The Fish Pot is considered a complete gourmet experience, a little off the beaten track and sited within a 17th century fort. This has atmosphere in spades. While the Lone Star melds Jimmy Choos with sarongs without batting an eyelid and still manages to conjure up delicately flavoured dishes.
No wonder Barbados is considered ‘King’ of the Caribbean for its cuisine. The beauty is that you can sit under the canopy of stars, listen to the gentle lapping of the sea, eat the most amazing food and discover taste sensations that you never knew existed. Bon appetit!
Browse our collection of stunning Barbados hotels or call us on 020 7751 0660.