Archive for February, 2011

St. Barth is also an Ideal Destination for Families

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

The Franklin Smyth’s Feb 2011

Tom came to St Barth again this month; we had meetings with staff and visited several villas. As I mentioned previously, Tom is my Son and VP of SBP. He is also the liaison and contact person for our real estate division, St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty. He advises buyers as to what properties would meet their wish list as well as their budget and coordinates the land and/or villa showings with Pascale Minarro, the Directrice at our St. Barth office.

With business behind him, he welcomed his wife Amy and two sons, Tommy Jr. and Tyler to St. Barth where they are spending their President’s Week vacation. Needless to say l (“Mimi”) and Steve (“GrandDoc”) are thrilled to have them here and we adore seeing our daughter-in-law Amy. They are staying at Villa Sky and doing all sorts of things. St. Barth is not only for lovers, it is a great family destination too.

L-to-R Tom, Tyler, Amy, Tommy Jr., Mimi and GrandDoc at the Tamarin

L-to-R Tom, Tyler, Amy, Tommy Jr., Mimi and GrandDoc at the Tamarin

Are you asking yourself why the name GrandDoc? When I married my husband Dr. Stephen Walsh 34 years ago, my 3 kids, Kim, Mark and Tommy called him “Doc”; the grandkids followed suit and call him “GrandDoc”.

Why do we call them “The Franklin Smyth’s?”…Because there are two Smyth families. We call my son Mark’s family, “The Wrentham Smyth’s”; they live in adjoining towns and that way, everyone knows about whom we are talking. My Daughter Kim’s family is not a problem because they are simply “The Pellegri’s”.

The guys love to Scuba dive, so they have been on some dives and saw lots of marine life. Monday they rented Jet Skis and skied around the island. (Tom took photos of both with his dive camera and will send to me when he gets back-watch for a future blog.) Amy gets to relax while they are out and joined us on St. Jean Beach on Sunday.

Being teenage boys, their appetites are voracious. Going out for both lunch and dinner AND having dessert is not a problem at all!

Ah, the wonders of youth.

Tommy Jr ready to devour the Profiterole at Harbour's Saladerie

Tommy Jr ready to devour the Profiterole at Harbour's Saladerie

Tyler enjoying the Chocolat Liegeois

Tyler enjoying the Chocolat Liegeois

The Wall House – new offer for clients of St. Barth Properties

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Bonjour from sunny St. Barth! It is another beautiful day in paradise! If you are celebrating President’s Day and have the day off, why not take the time to plan your St Barth vacation. Our office is open! Just pick up the phone and call 1-800-421-3396 or email info@stbarth.com. Anne, Julie and Kathy are ready to help you plan your holiday so that you can Live Your Dream®. Hope to see you soon!

Steve and I celebrated Valentine’s Day at one of our favorite restaurants, the Wall House. Luckily we had a reservation because the place was sold out. We sat at “our table” and checked out the special Valentine’s Day menu. Diners had the option of ordering from it à la carte as it was not a prixfixe menu; they could also choose from their regular menu.

Steve and Peg - Valentine's Day at the Wall House

Steve and Peg - Valentine's Day at the Wall House

I began with their wonderful Jumbo Shrimp with Avocado Cocktail (15 euros) and Steve selected the Caprese Salad of Lobster, Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Baby Arugula (20 euros). Both of them were delicious.

Jumbo Shrimp with Avocado Cocktail

Jumbo Shrimp with Avocado Cocktail

Caprese Salad of Lobster, Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Baby Arugula

Caprese Salad of Lobster, Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Baby Arugula

I decided to try their Valentine’s Special Carré de Veau à la Rôtisserie (Rack of Veal from the Rotisserie) accompanied by a homemade spinach and chestnut lasagna (34 euros) and Steve ordered the Mediterranean Catch (Sea Bass) which was also roasted on the spit and, served with asparagus, steamed potatoes and a lemon and tarragon sauce (24 euros). We enjoyed both very much.

Carré de Veau à la Rôtisserie

Carré de Veau à la Rôtisserie

Mediterranean Sea Bass just off the spit

Mediterranean Sea Bass just off the spit

Filet of Mediterrrean Sea Bass

Filet of Mediterrrean Sea Bass

To accompany our meal co-owner Julien Tatin suggested DOMAINE OTT – BLANC DE BLANCS CRU CLASSE – CLOS MIREILLE 2008 (50 euros) and it was a superb blend from Provence.

Julien with DOMAINE OTT - BLANC DE BLANCS CRU CLASSE - CLOS MIREILLE 2008

Julien with DOMAINE OTT - BLANC DE BLANCS CRU CLASSE - CLOS MIREILLE 2008

Along came the dessert trolley which was filled with so many yummy choices (9 euros each). We finally decided upon the Crème Brûlée. Our server flamed the torch over it while we looked on and watched the topping turn a light brown.

Wall House Dessert Trolley

Wall House Dessert Trolley

Flaming our Crème Brûlée

Flaming our Crème Brûlée

Because we are a part of the St. Barth Properties family, we were offered their famous after dinner drink which is a Sparkling Wild Strawberry Coupe. It was the perfect complement to accompany our scrumptious dessert.

Sparkling Wild Strawberry Coupe after dinner drink at the Wall House

Sparkling Wild Strawberry Coupe after dinner drink at the Wall House

Now, if you are too full, you don’t have to order dessert in order to receive your complimentary Sparkling Wild Strawberry Coupe after your meal. All you need to do is be a client of St. Barth Properties and call our office at 0590 29 75 05 to make your reservation for you once you are on the island. If you prefer to reserve your table before your departure, just email concierge@stbarth.com.

Delicious Ribs at Pipiri Palace

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

I have been in St. Barth for more than two months and the craving for ribs overtook me. I had to have my fix and my first choice as to where to go is always Pipiri Palace. The Palace is located on one of the side streets in Gustavia and is tucked away in an original “case” (Pronounced caz, it means “hut” and is a little wooden house where the St. Barth people once lived— and some still do.) Walk in past the “no chickens allowed sign” and owner/host Pierre Montalti will greet you.

Pipiri Palace sign

Pipiri Palace sign

The Palace’s "No chickens allowed" sign

The Palace’s 'No turkeys allowed' sign

Guests can choose to dine in the case or sit in the garden. You can even choose to sit by the langouste tank. The ambience is wonderful.

Langouste tank

Langouste tank

We looked at the Specials Board and were tempted by it, but we had our hearts set on the ribs.

Specials board at Pipiri Palace

Specials board at Pipiri Palace

You may have noticed by now that I am a huge fan of chèvre chaude (warm goat cheese) so we chose to share the warm goat cheese salad with walnuts and honey for our appetizer. It was delicious and the honey complemented the cheese by giving it a subtle sweet taste.

Warm Goat Cheese with walnuts and honey

Warm Goat Cheese with walnuts and honey

Bring on the ribs! They were wonderful – moist, tender and crispy and the BBQ flavor was yummy. We needed lots of hand wipes after that.

The Ribs!

The Ribs!

On to dessert…This time we decided to be good and order the ananas frais. It was the perfect choice to finish the meal. The pineapple was so fresh and mouthwatering. The warm chocolate sauce on the side was ideal for dipping and, as far satisfying the sweet tooth, it hit the spot.

Fresh Pineapple with warm chocolate sauce

Fresh Pineapple with warm chocolate sauce

The Palace’s kitchen is an open one and we enjoyed watching head chef Gilles Soffietti and sous chef Clémentine prepare various menu items. Reservations are recommended and if you are staying in one of our villas or hotels, we would be happy to make them for you. Pipiri Palace is open every evening except Sunday.

L-to-R Gilles, Clémentine and Pierre

L-to-R Gilles, Clémentine and Pierre

Garden table looking into the restaurant

Garden table looking into the restaurant

Where can I rent or buy beach chairs?

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Clients often ask us if there are any beach chairs at the villa where they will be staying. Some villas do have beach chairs for the clients’ use. However, the chairs do not last long and rust-out often due to the salt air.

Have no fear! A solution is near!

You can rent them! You can also buy them!

Sand chairs are available for rent (or for sale) at Casarina, a little boutique in St. Jean that is located across the street from the Pelican Shops and Nikki Beach. The price for the rental is 5 euros per day (3 day minimum). If you are staying longer than 10 days, then you might as well buy them as they are for sale for 50 euros. Casarina is open every day from 9:30am to 7:00 pm.

Beach chairs for rent or sale at Casarina

Beach chairs for rent or sale at Casarina

We have also been able to find them at the CCPF True Value Store in Public (pronounced the French way, “pooblique”). We also were able to purchase our cooler there. Both shops have umbrellas but you should keep an eye on them when those wonderful breezes become gusty.

Beach chairs at CCPF True Value store

Beach chairs at CCPF True Value store

The sand chairs are ideal for people who like to explore all of the beautiful beaches that we have on St. Barth. Go to the boulangerie, get your baguette, make or buy sandwiches, pack your cooler, your beach towels and your chairs and off you go. Want to try another beach in the afternoon? No problem, keep the chairs etc. in your car; it’s that easy.

Our beach chairs

Our beach chairs

If you prefer to stay put and decide not to pack a cooler for the day, you can pamper yourself by renting a lounge chair where you can have access to drinks and food with a little music thrown in for good measure. St. Jean Beach has two options:

Carib Waterplay not only rents windsurfing boards and gives windsurfing lessons, they have beach chaises (with pads) and umbrellas that you can rent for the day. The price is 10 euros a day for a chaise and 10 euros a day for an umbrella. Just sign up at their booth.

Jeanne at Carib Waterplay

Jeanne at Carib Waterplay

Beach lounges from Carib Waterplay

Beach lounges from Carib Waterplay

La Plage restaurant at Le Tom Beach Hotel has fancier lounge chairs and umbrellas. The chairs are 15 euros a day and the umbrella is 10 euros a day (no towel or pad is included); just sign up at the Pink Parrot Bar.

Pink Parrot Bar at La Plage

Pink Parrot Bar at La Plage

Beach lounges at La Plage (Tom Beach Hotel)

Beach lounges at La Plage (Tom Beach Hotel)

Are you ready for Valentine’s Day? Why not call us to reserve a romantic vacation at a villa or hotel and put a photo of it in the card that you are giving to your valentine? Imagine the reaction! Some people already jumped on our special offer for a February stay that includes an automatic Suzuki Jimny car rental at Villa Bamboo; you can still take advantage of the offer and book a 7-9 night stay between February 20 and March 01, 2011.

Villa Bamboo

Villa Bamboo

Want to arrive earlier? Book a 7 night or longer stay at beautiful Villa Piment, stay between February 13 and February 24 and you will receive a 100 euro voucher to be used for a fun evening at Le Ti St. Barth! For more information, please call 1-800-421-3396 or email info@stbarth.com, mention Peg’s Blog and we will take good care of you. (We can suggest other options, too.)

Villa Piment

Villa Piment

What is Oeil de Boeuf?

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

No sooner had Mark and Cynthia left when my other son and VP Tom Smyth arrived. Tom and I often meet with the staff down here so as to ensure that both offices are running in sync with each other and to touch base with the local management. At the same time, Tom had two buyers who had contacted him through our sales division, St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty and they were here to visit properties. Each buyer quickly found just what they were looking for and both villas went under contract yesterday. For further information on buying or selling property in St. Barth, contact tom.smyth@sothebysrealty.com.

Tom and Peg at St Barth Properties island office Jan 27, 2011

Tom and Peg at St Barth Properties island office Jan 27, 2011

Steve and I had an outstanding dinner at the Christopher’s Taïno restaurant. Our table for 2 overlooked the pool and the sea and the sound of the waves complemented the romantic ambience. We began with a complimentary apéritif which is kindly offered by the hotel to every client of St. Barth Properties dining in their restaurant. (All you have to do is to ask either of my offices to make your dinner reservations for you either before you go, by contacting concierge@stbarth.com or locally when you are here by calling 0590 29 75 05).

Peg and Steve at the Christopher's Taïno restaurant

Peg and Steve at the Christopher's Taïno restaurant

Everything on the menu as well as the Specials Board looked so good that it was hard to choose. We decided to share the tomato and mozzarella as an appetizer and it did not disappoint! The tomatoes were so fresh as was the mozzarella. I decided to try the Filet d’Agneau (Lamb Filet) along with the Christophine and string beans with peas for my two side dishes. Steve was in the mood for fish, so he selected the Œil de Boeuf (Red Snapper); his sides were potato purée with garlic as well as a dish of mushrooms. We were both thrilled when we tasted our fare. The lamb was so tender and perfectly cooked that it seemed to melt in my mouth; Steve’s fish was wonderfully prepared and very moist. We finished the meal by sharing their yummy Tarte au Chocolat avec Pistache (chocolate tart with pistachio ice cream).

Taïno's tomato and mozzarella appetizer

Taïno's tomato and mozzarella appetizer

Taïno's Filet d'Agneau with Colombo Sauced Haricot Verts with Pois

Taïno's Filet d'Agneau with Colombo Sauce, Christophine and Haricot Verts with Pois

Taino's Oeil de Boeuf with beurre blanc and garlic potato purée

Taino's Oeil de Boeuf with beurre blanc and garlic potato purée

Taïno's Tarte au Chocolat avec Pistache

Taïno's Tarte au Chocolat avec Pistache

I am always trying to improve my French and I could not figure out why Steve’s fish was called Œil de Boeuf. After all, boeuf means “beef” and œil means “eye”. Our waiter disappeared into the kitchen and reappeared with the answer! Œil de Boeuf means “bull’s eye” and this particular species of Red Snapper indeed has a huge eye. Imagine that…I learn something new every day.

Oeil de Boeuf means bull's eye

Oeil de Boeuf means bull's eye

Still haven’t booked your villa for a February stay? Villa Sky is available between February 05 and 18 at an unpublished very special price.

Dream About: Having one of the island’s biggest pools – 44 sq. ft. – and heated. Great bragging rights!

It’s in the Details: Spacious and luxurious, Sky features a home cinema, a mini-gym and loads of outdoor living space.

SBP Loves: The formal indoor dining room and the panoramic view!

Villa Sky

Villa Sky

Call 1-800-421-3396 or email info@stbarth.com Mention Peg’s Blog and we’ll give to the great news on pricing that is available for 2, 4, 6 or 8 people.