BARBADOS is not just an island on which you can laze by the beautiful blue waters of the Caribbean.
If you wish to venture out a little there is a wealth of interesting places to visit.
I was on the Island a few weeks ago and I thought it would be a good idea to detail a must do visit list for Barbados.
St. Nicholas Abbey
St. Nicholas Abbey’s great house, was built by Benjamin Berringer in 1658, it was one of just three Jacobean style mansions remaining in the Western Hemisphere, and is without doubt one of the finest historic sites in Barbados today. St. Nicholas Abbey’s 350-year history is filled with colourful tales of murder, love and intrigue; and its owners have played pivotal roles in both Barbadian and American history.
If you get an opportunity then this amazing property has to be on your list of Must Visits.
Barbados has been credited with inventing rum in the 17th century, when plantation workers experimented with fermenting molasses, a by-product of sugar production, into alcohol.
The first batches were not known for their quality; in fact, early Barbadian rum was referred to as ‘Kill-Devil…a hot, hellish, and terrible liquor.’
Thankfully things have changed and now Rum from Barbados is known all over the world for its quality and taste.
The term Rum is unique to sugar cane spirits, as it is the select compounds, esters and congeners along with this alcohol that defines it from other spirits. Uniquely, St. Nicholas Abbey Rum is the only rum produced in Barbados from cane syrup (rather than molasses), following the traditional molasses distillation process.
The syrup is stored to ensure year-round production since the Barbadian crop season runs only from January to June. But be warned, Rum from Barbados is a potent liquid and many tourists come a cropper, thinking because it’s locally produced it’s not as strong and most rums. Trust me it is very nice and very strong.
Added to this historic property is the recently opened The St. Nicholas Abbey Heritage Railway, completed in late 2018, is the newest family attraction at St. Nicholas Abbey Great House Plantation and Distillery. Here you can journey through the plantation’s grounds on their beautiful steam locomotive. The tour takes you past the great house, around the lake, home to wild waterfowl and migratory birds, and through the mature mahogany woodlands.
This great train journey culminates at Cherry Tree Hill, an elevated point offering breathtaking highland views of the island’s rugged east coast. The tour takes approximately one hour; on your return to the main grounds, you can visit the gift shop and cafe.
Railway tours started in January this year 2019 and can be booked https://snahr.com/tickets here.
Tickets are BDS$60 for Adults & BDS$30 for Children (age 3-11 years).
Next on my list of must-visits is the amazing Welchman’s Gully.
In 1866 The Rev J Moffat, said: “There is a gully, that of Welchman Hall’s, that no one should omit to visit.” And those words are true to this day. Welchman Hall Gully is named after its first owner, a former soldier from Wales called General William Asygell Williams. He was banished by Cromwell after losing at the Battle of Bristol in 1650 during the English Civil War and he
established a plantation on Barbados, which he named Welchman Hall. It was Williams who first developed the gully, adding many exotic trees and an orchard. Welchman Hall Gully has at least two other claims to fame for it is the home of the grapefruit, formed from sweet orange and a shaddock, a large pomelo. You can sometimes see the grapefruit’s peel, discarded by the monkeys. The first reference to the grapefruit was in 1750, when it was described by Rev Griffith Hughes, a botanist, as the Forbidden Fruit of Barbados and the gully is also home to the world’s smallest species of snake. But don’t worry, Leptotytphlops Carlae, discovered by Blair Hedges, of Penn State University in 2008, is blind, harmless and lives deep in the gully. In 1962 the Gully was acquired by the Barbados National Trust and is now leased from the trust by Debra Branker, an environmentalist and educator. The Gully is a fascinating place filled with exotic plants flora and fauna and alive with birds and monkeys. A gentle walk through this tropical paradise will inspire and enthrall you without a doubt. It is a totally relaxing way to spend a few hours away from the heat of the day. Keep an eye out for the troops of monkeys and the quieter you are the more of them you will see.
Getting there from Bridgetown.
Take a yellow bus from the port and it will take you directly to Welchman Hall Gully. It’s marked for Sturgess and leaves from the Cheapside terminal. Ask anyone at the terminal – the locals are only too happy to help. It’s about $US3 (Bds$4) return and US dollars are accepted on board.
Arrive at the gully by 10.30am for a free guided tour (available from December to April). If you have your own car Welchman Hall Gully is about a ten-minute drive along Highway 2, Follow the signs leading to Harrison’s Cave. Prices Adult US$14 (Bds$28). Booklet included. Group rates available. Open daily from 9am to 4pm, last tour at 3.30pm Monkey feeding between 10.30 am and noon Wheelchair Users US$10 (3/4 of the Gully is wheelchair friendly)
Next on my list is Hunte’s Gardens, unfortunately, due to a small forrest fire, I was unable to visit the actual gardens.
However, I am reliably informed that the gardens are centrally located in lush hills of St. Joseph’s, and are conveniently accessible from all around Barbados. Just 20 to 30 minutes’ drive from Holetown, or St. Lawrence Gap, not far from Flower Forest and Orchid World, they offer to garden and nature lovers one of the finest experiences one can find on East Caribbean Islands.
This is definitely on my list when I return to Barbados. Visit https://www.huntesgardens-barbados.com/
Without doubt one of the most famous Hotel / Inns and restaurants on the Island of Barbados. The only way to describe the Atlantis is charming authentic and beautiful. The Atlantis is an institution in Barbados and hundreds of people visit every week for a traditional Sunday lunch, but the Atlantis is way more than this. The Atlantis Historic Inn is an elegant historic property which dates back to the 1800s and is located in the delightful fishing village of Tent Bay, St. Joseph overlooking the spectacular Atlantic Ocean.
Built in a colonial style it is slightly off the beaten track but it makes an ideal place to stay if you want to spend some tranquil time on this amazing island. The Atlantis Historic Inn was first owned and operated by Emmeline McConney, and has, over the years, changed hands several times. The late Mrs. Enid Maxwell was the longest standing owner, who operated the hotel for over 40 years. Then, the Haynes family (Sir Richard Haynes), a prominent Barbadian, was the last owner and in 2008 sold the property to the new owners, the Kirby/Warden families. The Kirby/Warden families completed a full refurbishment of the property in 2009 which should see it through the next 100 years. I had lunch on the seaward facing veranda and I can tell you this is probably one of the best places to eat on the Island. The restaurant at The Atlantis Historic Inn is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner with the exception of Sunday nights most of the year. Reservations are strongly encouraged especially for the traditional buffets.
Their famous West Indian Buffet Lunch is offered every Wednesday and Sunday and is very popular with locals and visitors alike. The menu is varied and offers authentic Bajan and Caribbean cuisine using fresh local ingredients. The food is delicious and beautifully presented I had the salt & black pepper crusted calamari – $30 with lemon & basil aioli and lemon wedge it was a delight. This was followed by blackened, grilled flying fish, served with chips and coleslaw. If you have never tried blackened flying fish then this is the place to do it. Once eaten you will never want for anything else again.
For more information visit Atlantis Restaurant: www.atlantishotelbarbados.com
Next on my list of must do’s is Harrison’s Cave
During the 18th and 19th centuries, several expeditions attempted to explore Harrison’s Cave with little or no success. This was because the natural entrances to Harrison’s Cave were extremely difficult to access, and the cave network presented many challenges which were only conquered later on in the 1970s.
The caves were named after Thomas Harrison who was a prominent land owner in the area during the early 1700s. It is not clear whether Mr. Harrison ever entered the cave that bears his name, but others certainly did. In 1974, a Danish engineer and cave adventurer Ole Sorensen, along with Barbadians Tony Mason and Allison Thornhill, rediscovered and mapped Harrison’s Cave.
After the caves were mapped in 1974, the Barbados government started developing Harrison’s Cave as a show cave and attraction, and undertook the task of excavating shafts and tunnels that could accommodate trams.
In 1981, Harrison’s Cave was officially opened to the public. The Boyce Tunnel, named after equipment operator Noel Boyce who broke ground to open the cave’s natural passageways, leads to the entrance of the cave. Beyond this point, Harrison’s Cave is a massive stream cave system that is at least 2.3 kilometres long. Harrison’s Cave is considered an active cave as it carries water, and it is very much alive as its stalagmites are still growing albeit by less than the thickness of a piece of paper each year; but that’s very fast in geological terms!
A visit into the caves is by tram and here you can enjoy an unparalleled underground experience as you journey through Harrison’s Cave by tram! There is a large carpark in front of the cave entrance and the whole property is kept beautifully clean. Toilet facilities are excellent.Before the tour begins, a short video is shown explaining the formation of cave. Everyone has to wear a safety helmet. The cave itself is a damp environment and the occasional drop of water may fall on you but nothing to worry about. There are a couple souvenir shops in which you can purchase the usual souvenirs.
Harrisons Cave is a must see when visiting the island.
Tour Schedule: Daily 8:45 am to 3:45 pm
Local Tour Rate: Adults BDS$50.00 | Children BDS$25.00
Visitor Tour Rate: Adults BDS$60.00 | Children BDS$30.00
This is a truly magical experience and well worth a visit. Harrison’s Cave: http://harrisonscave.com/.
If you want a place to eat where the food is amazing, service is incredible, location is fantastic then look no further than Tapas.
This is probably the most used eating house in the area simply because the food is of outstanding quality, and it’s right on the shore front along the boardwalk.
The restaurant is packed every night so booking is advisable, but don’t let that put you off as the service is some of the best I have seen for such a busy location.
The management and staff know what to do and how to do it and you will be assured of a great night in this truly amazing eatery.
With close to 2,000 excellent reviews it’s not hard to see why Tapas is the place to visit when in Barbados.
My meal was excellent and the whole evening was truly wonderful.
Great prices, great Service, great staff and great views. This is a MUST!
Refined dining *****
Dockside at 13°/59° at Port Ferdinand
It’s not often you find a jewel in the crown, but Dockside at 13°/59° is a very special place to enjoy some of Barbados’s most amazing food.
The prices are excellent for the high level of service and wonderful cuisine. Regan the Maitre’D is a hoot, and a superb asset to the front of house team. He loves his work and the customers do quite rightly, love him in return.
The Food was quite simply outstanding. Expertly prepared and the taste fusion of the scorched capers are to die for. If you on the Island. Take a trip out there to Port Ferdinand and visit Dockside at 13°/59°.
‘Bistronomy’ is best described as taking the finest quality ingredients to create contemporary comfort food using highly disciplined classical techniques. It is this term that aptly describes the latest restaurant success by husband and wife duo, Larry & Michelle Rogers. Set in a stunning marina, Dockside at 13°/59° in Port Ferdinand embodies the quintessential essence of bistronomy with its organic uber-modern chic that blends seamlessly with the relaxed edge of water feel, while still retaining an elusive air of cosmopolitan sophistication.
Larry Rogers is a Barbadian born, chef restauranteur. Having spent many years working in the USA, UK and New Zealand, he returned to Barbados and launched some of the island’s most iconic restaurants including Cin Cin by the Sea, La Terra, Olives Bar & Bistro and Primo Bar & Bistro, elevating the standard of Barbadian food and service to world class.
He remains stoically faithful to his wide range of devotees always delivering on his promise of “no compromise on quality” focussing on his unique style of combining flavours using the freshest of ingredients married with a distinctly local flair, which has secured him a well-deserved place among the culinary elite. His latest Restaurant is placed on the dockside of a multi-million dollar private harbour, for the super-rich.
The prices however are very conservative and mid-range. At Dockside you will probably have the best meal of your life at exceptionally reasonable prices in the finest of settings. Larry and Michelle put their whole lives into this venture, for them it’s not just a job it’s a way of life and being. They clearly devote every minute to this amazing venue.
I had Grilled octopus, scorched capers, bacon, chives, warm potato salad, with romesco,
cherry tomatoes & rocket leaves. If you have never had scorched capers before please try them. The taste explosion that goes off in your mouth will excite you for the rest of your life. They are without doubt the most wonderful things I have ever tasted and I still cannot replicate them despite trying hard to do so.
I followed the fish theme with Pan baked fish of the day on crushed breadfruit, spiced tomato fish broth, Bajan pickled cucumber. My meal was heavenly. Of course there are delicious wines to accompany the food of the gods.
Service is as good as the food and the atmosphere and location are rivalled by none.
If you love anyone, then this is reason enough to take them there for the best evening of their life.
Please do visit Dockside at 13°/59° see https://www.docksidebarbados.com
Paulo’s Churrasco do Brasil is located in St Lawrence Gap, Barbados.
If you are a meat eater, this is without doubt the place for you.
The restaurant is located right at the waterfront at St Lawrence Gap and the first-floor dining experience give you an amazing view of the sea.
Paulo’s Churrasco do Brasil is a true Brazilian Churrascaria (steakhouse) serving a wide selection of unlimited top-quality meats, shrimp and poultry traditionally seasoned and charcoal grilled the way the gauchos (cowboys) did in Southern Brasil centuries ago.
The meats are flame-grilled to perfection on huge skewers by the “Passadors”, who keep a keen eye on the cooking process, constantly brushing them with Paulo’s famous Brazilian marinade.
After helping yourself to the extensive salad bar offering typical Brazilian hot and cold dishes, our well trained Passadors will bring the meats to your table. When you say “NO MORE” only then will they stop.
Paulo’s Churrasco hot buffet line includes such Brasilian specialties as “Moqueca”, “Feijoada” and “Farofa”… Fresh market Vegetables, Rice, Potatoes, Plantain and lots more!
The Passadors ( meat servers) serve at the table, Flank Steak, Rump Steak, Lamb Leg, Pork, Ribs, Top Sirloin, Shrimp, Chicken Thigh, Pineapple, Pork Sausages, Chicken wrapped in Bacon, Sirloin stuffed with cheese…just to name a few.
If you have any room left you can try their dessert table which includes their chocolate super fountain.
Tea & Coffee is also included.
There is a mountain of delicious food and the atmosphere is truly fantastic.
The way these restaurants work is you are given a cardboard disc red on one side and green on the other. If you want the meat to keep coming, keep your disc at green and if you want to stop just flip your disc over and the food stops
Kids 7-14 $60
Kids 7 and under EAT FREE