Sea, sun and sand are a given on any Caribbean vacation, but it is often the culinary experience that sets an ordinary destination apart from an extraordinary one.
Words by Natasha Were
Montpelier Plantation & Beach
St Kitts & Nevis
History and innovation co-exist harmoniously at the Montpelier Plantation, where guests soak up the historic setting and elegant atmosphere of one of Nevis's oldest great houses while sipping molecular cocktails and dining on delightfully innovative cuisine. Combining classic French techniques with local Caribbean herbs, spices and organic produce (some from their own garden), the menu is fresh and light, while the well stocked wine cellar and impressive aged rum collection ensures every gastronomic experience is perfectly balanced. It is this pursuit of perfection that has earned the boutique resort international recognition in the form of an AAA Four Diamond award and membership of Relais & Châteaux.
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Mere steps from Grand Cayman's Seven Mile Beach, Camana Bay's palm-lined pedestrian streets and crescent-shaped waterfront are peppered with enticing eateries offering cuisines from around the world. Feast on farm-fresh produce at Michael's Genuine, the island outpost of James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz; linger over a chilled glass of wine or a contemporary culinary creation at Abacus; taste the best South East Asia has to offer at Mizu or tuck into comforting American classics with a twist at Waterfront Diner. Morning, noon or night, there is always something to please the palate whether it is freshly baked pastries at the Upper Crust, tapas and designer cocktails at Karoo or a three-course exploration of Caribbean classics with a twist at Ortanique. Early in 2014 Camana Bay will host three major culinary events - The Cayman Cookout, Taste of Cayman and Slow Food Day - that will bring together top international chefs, gourmands and food enthusiasts to the very best that Grand Cayman has to offer.
Port Antonio, Jamaica
Cradled between Jamaica's verdant Blue Mountains and the warm Caribbean Sea, the Mockingbird Hill Hotel's lush natural surroundings and spectacular ocean vistas are guaranteed to soothe frazzled nerves, while the Caribbean-inspired cuisine nourishes the soul. For the dedicated foodie, the 12-day cooking course offers a unique chance to learn techniques and recipes used at the resort's highly acclaimed Mille Fleurs restaurant, as well as the chance to visit local fishermen, farmers and artisanal producers. One of the first ‘eco-hotels' in the world, their commitment to sustainability carries through to every aspect of operations - including using only local, organic or bio-dynamic produce.
St. Thomas, USVI
Recognised around the globe, The Ritz-Carlton brand promises elegance, comfort and exclusivity at every destination - with dining experiences to match. Guests of the luxury beachfront resort in St.Thomas can take a culinary journey around the world, tantalising their taste buds with succulent steak and the freshest of seafood at the sophisticated Bleuwater, savouring made-to-order sushi and signature cocktails at the Great Bay Lounge or sampling the flavours of the Caribbean with their toes in the sand at the informal Coconut Cove. Better still, a personal butler can arrange for guests to enjoy a customised dinner on the beach.
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