Barbados

It really would be an understatement to say it’s been a while since I last wrote on here, but I’ve finally decided to sit down and start writing again…

Since I last posted, I’ve been tackling the working world and trying to get my head around office life… until the world turned upside down! During lockdown I’ve wanted to get blogging again but, as with everybody else, I’ve also been trying to wrap my head around everything that’s going on and it never seemed to be the right time. After a series of lovely hot days here in England, I’ve been dreaming about going on holiday so thought that the next best thing would be to write about some of my travels pre-lockdown.

Travelling to Barbados in August last year was my first trip to any of the Caribbean islands. The only other place that I’ve visited that I could possibly compare it to is Nicaragua – but this was a lot more relaxing! We stayed in Coconut Court, a family-run hotel on the South-East side of the island with the most beautiful beach on its doorstep. We found this area more peaceful than the busier hotspots yet you can still easily access a variety of popular attractions.

From our hotel, we could walk along the boardwalk, the beach or even to the Garrison to see the racehorses. If you get up early enough, you might even catch a glimpse of them bathing in the sea at sunrise (unfortunately we missed it by a few minutes!) We also saw an unbelievable number of turtles – one night we were walking back from dinner and saw a turtle nesting right on the path in front of us, and some days the turtles swam up to the shore!

The capital of Barbados, Bridgetown, was only a short bus ride from our hotel. If too much relaxation at the beach makes you bored then the busyness of this city will definitely give you some excitement! The Parliament building is great to visit if you’re craving some historic and cultural knowledge but just wandering around will see you immersed in Bajan Culture around every corner.

The Boatyard is great for a fun yet relaxing day out in Bridgetown. You pay a daily rate for the beach club which has a bar/restaurant, sunloungers, umbrellas and lots of activities. They have inflatable slides and icebergs; trampolines; and a rope swing in the ocean which makes it perfect for families or even adults who get restless when sunbathing all day! With the price of entry you also get to go on a half an hour boat ride to go and swim with the turtles.

Now onto the most important topic … food! Eating out in Barbados can be more expensive than you expect but we found some great restaurants and ate some delicious dishes during our visit. There were plenty of different types of cuisine around the area that we stayed so we mainly ate within walking distance of our hotel.

Situated on the boardwalk, just metres from the beach, ‘Tapas‘ is a lovely spot for dinner with big open windows so you see and hear the waves crashing. There was a wide variety of different food options, including lots of tapas (if you hadn’t already guessed by the name!) We had some tapas to start, and then I had a Thai green curry which was all delicious.

Dragon House‘ may not have the beauty of a sea view like Tapas, in fact, it’s a small Chinese restaurant situated in Lanterns mall… but don’t let that put you off! The freshly cooked food was incredible and up there with some of the best Chinese cuisine that I have ever tasted. I actually wish that I could eat it again as I feel that I didn’t appreciate how nice it was the first time! If you fancy a casual place to eat without lots of tourists crowding around then I would highly recommend eating here.

Since visiting this restaurant, my family and I have often reminisced about how amazing the bao buns were! We visited Salt on our last night in Barbados and it was the perfect end to the holiday. Whilst not directly on the beachfront, it is just off the boardwalk and the restaurant itself is beautiful. I had a Frosé with a Tuna Poke Bowl for main and their Bonfire Bao – a s’more crossed with bao buns – for dessert. If I had to recommend one place to eat in the Hastings area, this would be it!

I couldn’t talk about food in Barbados without mentioning Oistins Friday Night Fish Fry. The bigger restaurants in Barbados often lack traditional Bajan food so this is a great way to delve into the cultural cuisine. Don’t get me wrong, it is not glamorous and I wouldn’t go there expecting the food to be of Michelin star quality. However, it is definitely an experience and a good way to get yourself in the middle of all the action! There are so many different places to eat, it is almost impossible to make the decision of where to go. However, be assured that they all offer very similar menus so it’s best just to dive right in and go with your gut!

Two other places that I just have to mention are Mamma Mia pizzeria and Delish deli. We ate at Mamma Mia twice – once to eat in the restaurant and once as a takeaway – and the pizza was delicious. We often went to Delish deli to pick up some lunch as it was directly opposite our hotel; the food is traditional and fresh and we really, really enjoyed it. If you want to try some authentic Bajan food in the Hastings area then this is the best place to start.

Thank you for reading – fingers crossed it won’t be long before we will be back safely travelling again. I hope you are all staying safe and remaining as positive as possible during such a strange time!

Bethan x

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