Mid-February 2012 St. Barts Updates SBP Weekly Cocktail Party, Carnival 2012 and Harbour’s Saladerie

I am back in St. Barts after being in LA where I attended Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s Exchange Summit. The Top Villa Specialists and Travel Specialists convened with each other as well as the editorial staff from the magazine. Each year Editor Wendy Perrin, the Director of Consumer News and Digital Community carefully selects the winners and it is a huge honor to have been chosen as The Best for St. Barts! I have been lucky enough to have received this coveted award since Wendy started her villa Rental Specialists Awards list in 2006 that was compiled from “Wendy’s Rolodex.”

My-Award-Pin

My Award Pin

directory

I opened the Directory and was thrilled to see this photo of one of our properties Villa Avenstar!

If you are in St. Bart right now, let me know where you will be celebrating Valentine’s Day. This island is SO romantic! Many restaurants are offering special menus. Just contact our on-island concierge, Magda Votava and she will let you now what is going on and she will be happy to make the dinner reservation for you.

I hope that you will be attending our weekly cocktail party at Bonito restaurant before you go to dinner that night. I would love to see you there.

Carnival is fast approaching. Don’t forget to pack your costume for the Parade which takes place on Tuesday February 21st! Everyone dresses up. Gustavia shuts down around noon in preparation for the parade which begins in Public around 3:00 pm and continues all the way to the Wall House and then back again. The costumes, dancing and music are incredible and so entertaining.

Exceptionally, our cocktail party will be held on THURSDAY Feb 23 instead of Tuesday due to this event. See you there!

Saturday night Steve and I decided to have dinner at one of favorite restaurants, Harbour’s St. Barth. We had a lovely table overlooking the harbor and had expected to be given their regular menu. Surprise! No menu – Instead a blackboard was put in front of us that listed all sorts of completely new appetizers and main courses. We asked Thierry one of the owners of Harbour’s what was up. He told us that a new chef, Benoit Jerome is on board. Benoit has worked in 3 star Michelin restaurants all over the world before coming to St. Barts.

There were many items that tempted us. The new suggestions are more French in origin; we enjoy French cooking so all was well. We shared the Calamari appetizer which was so moist and flavorful. For my main course I chose to have another appetizer, the Eggplant Parmesan and I was not disappointed. It was yummy with a delightful cheesy sauce. Steve decided to try the Langouste Grillée. It was dressed with a really nice secret sauce that was buttery but light. We finished by sharing a scrumptious Crême Brûlée.

Give Harbour’s a try and let me know your take on it.

Harbour's blackboard menu

Harbour's blackboard menu

Eggplant Parmesan at Harbour's St. Barth

Eggplant Parmesan at Harbour's St. Barth

Julien brings Steve the Langouste for his approval

Julien brings Steve the Langouste for his approval

Langouste Grillée

Langouste Grillée

Crême Brûlée

Crême Brûlée

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One Response to “Mid-February 2012 St. Barts Updates SBP Weekly Cocktail Party, Carnival 2012 and Harbour’s Saladerie”

  1. Jeanne M Gibbons says:

    The Spirit of St Barths

    After several years of island hopping in the Caribbean, my husband and I discovered St, Barths about 12 years ago. Since then, we’ve been coming back at least once and sometimes twice a year. We are never disappointed and always manage to have new adventures. It is an environment that lends itself to calm and tranquility. It allows us the opportunity as we leisurely sip our morning coffee to not only plan the day’s events, but to contemplate life’s future pathways. This being said, we have spent a great deal of time determining just what is so special about this island. Obviously when someone visits St Barths, they bring different interests and expectations with them.

    Much has been said about the safety and security on this island. This is certainly true, and I would have no qualms walking the streets of Gustavia at any time day or night. The white sand beaches are pristine and seldom crowded. But more importantly, this island is user friendly. We have determined that the spirit of St Barths is directly related to its people. When you first arrive, you are immediately aware that the people are smiling and are there to help you. At customs, the border police are efficient and actually mean it when they wish you a good vacation. When you pick up your rental car, be it day or late evening, the agent will be waiting for you with directions or assistance in getting to your villa.

    We come to St. Barths from a suburb of Boston. If you have ever waited in gridlock during rush hour, you know the drill. Horns honking and red signal lights are frequently ignored. Not so in St. Barths. During the season there are sometimes backups getting through Gustavia. The silence says it all. People wait and actually let other cars into the traffic pattern. They stop when someone is in the crosswalk. During the Christmas season this past year, we noticed a person driving the wrong way on the main road. People from the nearby Boule court interrupted their game and stopped the traffic so that the driver could turn his car around. Another instance was when we were traversing the steep hill from Lorient to Vitet during a brief torrential rainstorm. We noticed a jeep starting to slide backwards down the hill. A young lade directly in back got out of her car and directed the tourist on how to use the 4 wheel drive option. All of this was done in silence as the line of traffic waited.

    When you go to the market, the pharmacy, the boutiques or the restaurants, everyone is there to help you locate whet you need or desire. The words “May I help you?” are genuine. If you take the time to speak with anyone, you are more than likely to hear their back story as to how they came to live in St. Barths. This year, we spoke with a restaurant owner. We were amazed to learn that he had previously been in charge of over 300 engineers for a prominent company. On another visit, we chatted for over an hour with owners of a boutique. They gave us a brief informal history lesson on the development of the island since their arrival in the sixties. After having frequented an establishment once or twice, you are greeted as a friend. It doesn’t matter that the last time you were there was the previous season. Go into a restaurant and they will make a place for you. Ask for the bill and they encourage you to stay. Ask for something on the menu and they will make it for you. When Peg Walsh of St Barths Properties tells you in her Helpful Hints booklet that the bill won’t be brought to you unless you ask for it, that is correct. There is no sense that anyone is looking to turn over a table. Whenever you dine in St. Barths, that table is yours until you choose to leave.

    As for Peg and St. Barths Properties, they certainly have been there whenever we’ve needed them. Microwave not working? No problem. It’s either repaired or you have another on the same day. Making a dinner reservation, just call the office and it’s done. Don’t forget to check out the special arrangements that St Barths Properties has made with many of the establishments. It could be a free appetizer or that Laurent Perrier champagne cocktail. All of the staff is multi lingual and of course Peg herself is fluent in French. Above all, when you rent from St. Barths Properties, their villas offer an opportunity to have a home away from the familiar and in an exotic location. Their services not only allow you to be as pampered as you wish, but also to cherish those solitary moments for the distillation of life. No matter how long you stay, you feel as if you have actually lived on the island. St.
    Barths becomes a part of your personal narrative.

    If you bring a natural curiosity and a desire to interact with the people on the island, you will be richer in knowledge and experiences when you leave. Your world will be larger because of when you have learned from the people of St Barths. Many tourist guides tout the natural beauty of the island, but to really understand it is to know and love the people.

    Jeanne M Gibbons

    P5B8

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