Archive for the ‘Food & Wine’ Category

Hurricane Irma update November 11-15, 2017

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

Which Beaches are open on St. Barth 9-10 weeks after Hurricane Irma?

The most recent update on the post-Hurricane Irma recovery on St. Barth in real-time November 11-15, 2017

November 11, 2017

It is Saturday November 11, 2017. Veteran’s Day in the US and Armistice Day in St. Barth (France). Businesses and enterprises are closed for the holiday. Not only it is a special day of tribute, it always falls on the anniversary of the founding of Le Select. Today is the 68th anniversary of this very famous bar! Marius Stakelborough opened the establishment that sits in the heart of Gustavia, in 1949.

Marius Stakelborough is one of my most favorite people. He is 94 years old and still going strong!

The celebration officially started at 11:30, so we arrived around 11:15 and were lucky to get a table that was partially shaded by an umbrella. For those of you who have been to Le Select before, the big tree with the round sign came down with Hurricane Irma, so it is sunnier. I think that Marius’ kids want to put something more permanent up, but I do not know if Marius will let them. We shall see. Anniversary cakes were cut, and Champagne was poured for everyone.

The crowd came out for the 68th anniversary of Le Select. 1949-2017

Eddy Stakelborough (Eddy’s restaurant) , one of Marius’ 9 children is there to congratulate his dad.

Everyone knows Marius, including Jimmy Buffett who refers to Marius in his One Particular Harbor song. When Marius decided to add food selections to his bar, he asked Jimmy if he could name it Cheeseburger in Paradise. Jimmy happily agreed, but only if Jimmy could have an open tab for the rest of his life. No problem! Jimmy gave a free concert on the quai for Le Select’s 50th and 60th anniversaries and I am hoping he will do it again for the 70th in just 2 more years. I’ll be there! Will you? Jimmy still comes to St. Barth all the time and will often pick up a guitar and sing an impromptu set at the Baz Bar.

Jimmy Buffett loves to stop by the Baz Bar once in a while to sing an impromptu set of songs. (I took this picture December 29, 2016. I am sure you will see him in 2017-2018, too).

Saturday night we (Pascale and her husband, Christophe, Steve and I) had invited the owners of the gorgeous Villa L’Adrech to have dinner with us at L’Esprit – Jean Claude Dufour. They accepted with an invitation to have Champagne and hors d’oeuvres at their villa first. Villa L’Adrech has so much warmth; it’s a home, so specially decorated with every little detail, that I know you will love it. From the circular garden parking area, to the view, to the flowers, the artwork, this villa is very special. You would never know that Hurricane Irma had ever touched it. The owners lived there through Irma’s wrath and, like many other people, took in some less fortunate owners who could no longer stay in their homes. This is the spirit of the people who live on St. Barth. The repairs were done immediately, and the villa is ready for your stay. Just email me, pegwalsh@stbarth.com or my very capable staff at reservations@stbarth.com.

We enjoyed a fabulous dinner wth Pascale, Christophe and the owners of Villa L’Adrech at L’Esprit Jean-Claude Dufour

November 12, 2017

Another Sunday arrives. Normally, this particular November weekend is spent commemorating the twin cities of Gustavia and Piteå (in Sweden) by running the Gustavia Loppet road race. This year, a late afternoon walk was organized to pay tribute to the solidarity shared by everyone on St. Barth after Hurricane Irma. A concert on the quai ended the day.

Time to go to Gouverneur Beach so that I can report back to you. I love this beach. Like Saline Beach, it is undeveloped on purpose. There is a small parking area by the access to the beach, so there is no need to climb a hill to reach it. The ride down to the beach is always dramatic because, as soon as you make the curve down the road, you have a stunning view of the beach that is far below. There were so many people there; many playing in the water, others sunning on the beach. Everyone was smiling. You will love it.

People were enjoying a morning swim at Gouverneur Beach

We stopped at the bakery to get our baguette. Lo and behold, I saw David Mouton, the owner of one of my most favorite restaurants, the Santa Fe. I asked him how things were going, and he told me that the landlord had just signed the insurance papers, so he can start the work. Steve asked him if the restaurant will be open in time for his Super Bowl party and he replied with a definite, “Yes”. We hope the Santa Fe opens sooner than that. I will let you know.

We bumped into David Mouton, the owner of the Santa Fe restaurant.

November 13, 2017

Today, I visited Villa Micela that sits directly on Flamands Beach. To be honest, I was absolutely astonished to see what the owners had accomplished. This two-bedroom jewel is perfect for those of you who love to be on Flamands Beach! I walked in, and immediately wanted to stay there, it looked so inviting. I opened the sliders from the air-conditioned living room to the pool deck – perfect. I walked towards the beach – a steep stairway was there inviting me to go down to the beach – incredible. Villa Micela is waiting for you. Just email me or reservations@stbarth.com. You will be in 7th heaven.

I took this photo of Villa Micela on November 13, 2017. It’s beautiful!

The Villa Micela owners ingeniously built this staircase to be sure that you can directly access Flamands Beach

For dinner, I had heard that the owner of the Tom Beach hotel bought Le Bouchon, located in the Oasis shopping center in Lorient. Indeed, our waiter had a Free St. Barth t-shirt on and told me that he can’t wait until La Plage restaurant reopens because that is where he normally works. He shared with me that they hope to have their New Year’s Eve celebration on the beach, so let julia@stbarth.com if you have reserved your villa with us and want to make reservations. Le Bouchon immediately reopened after Hurricane Irma. Although the menu is not as extensive as it will be, we loved it.

For a casual evening, try Le Bouchon in Lorient.

For now, the menu at Le Bouchon is limited, but yummy. By the time you go, there should be more selections.

November 14, 2017

I visited some potential new villa listings today. The owners had called my office to ask us to add them to our portfolio. I always inspect villas first, before agreeing to represent them. I will share the details of the villas I ok’d, once we have the contracts signed and photos to show you.

Great news! Le Tamarin restaurant reopens November 21, 2017! It is unbelievable that Paco and Julie have been able to restore their famous garden and lily ponds so quickly. I am sure it will be packed, so we should make your reservation before you travel. Never fear, we always send you a lunch and dinner reservation form in advance.

I had spotted a new sign, Da Vinci, that is next to Le Choisy bakery in Lorient, asked Aurélie about it, and she told me it is an alfresco pizza place. I had to try it for dinner tonight. I ordered a pesto pasta dish which was also on the menu and it was quite good (but very filling). This is a very casual place.

Le Choisy bakery in Lorient is open for business.

It looks as if Steve has a palm hat on at Da Vinci restaurant, next to La Choisy bakery, a very casual spot to get a pizza.

November 15, 2017

It’s my last day on St. Barth. I must go home to my house on Cape Cod to cook a huge turkey for our annual Thanksgiving Day dinner that I host for my family. I’m sorry to leave but will be back in no time, December 2nd, to be precise.

We have an arrival at Villa Royal Palm today, so I met the owner there to take a peek. Wow! It looks fantastic. The view is just as wonderful as ever and the villa is spotless.

I was able to see Villa Blue Diamond, too because we have an arrival there tomorrow. It also looks wonderful; The infinity pool was so inviting and, once again, the view is stunning. The owner will be adding a 2nd bedroom at some point (but not working on it while we have clients staying there).

I took this photo of the pool and view from Villa Blue Diamond on November 15, 2017.

Time to get ready and, let me tell you, putting on shoes after 2 weeks in paradise wearing only sandals, was not what I wanted to do. Off to the airport to return our cars to Odile at Gumbs car rental. She was sitting in the booth that St. Barth Properties shares with her. We checked in for our flight to San Juan with Tradewind. The airport and the departure lounge are fine.

Odile Gumbs was waiting for us with a smile, when we returned in our cars.

The deparature lounge at the St. Barth airport looks the same.

A true aerial view of the runway and St. Jean Beach from my seat in Tradewind.

We landed in San Juan, went through immigration and then customs. We were randomly picked to submit to an agriculture check which took some time, so I was grateful that we didn’t have a tight connection. The airport was very busy. We checked in for our flight to Boston on JetBlue.

The San Juan airport was very busy.

We seemed to be the only “tourists” on the plane. A long line with 21 wheelchairs had to board first. No one spoke English; all seemed to be evacuees. It was sad – when we were waiting for our luggage to arrive, I saw so many people, go up to someone arriving in a wheel chair, as well as others, and began hugging them and crying for happiness to get them out of Puerto Rico. I feel sorry for the island and its inhabitants and wish them well in their recovery.

I don’t believe that you will have a problem transiting through San Juan. I will let you know what it is like when I fly back to St. Barth through San Juan on December 01, 2017. We need to overnight in San Juan because JetBlue canceled its morning flights out of Boston.

As of today, the following beaches are open for your swimming enjoyment.

  • Colombier
  • Flamands
  • Anse des Cayes
  • Corossol
  • Public
  • St. Jean (airport side)
  • Shell Beach
  • Gouverneur
  • Petit Cul de Sac

I hope to see you there very soon!

Happy Thanksgiving!

You can give thanks that St. Barth survived Hurricane Irma and is well on its way to recovery.

Another firsthand report on the post-Hurricane Irma recovery

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

Post Hurricane Irma blog November 06-10, 2017

November 06, 2017

Monday morning is bustling. Trucks are full of supplies and workers are everywhere. The landscapers are tending to the gardens, masons are repairing the stone walls, the children are back in school after the Toussaint (All Saints) vacation and people are heading back to work. Sneakers and Fitbit back on, we head to Gustavia again. Today’s walk takes us to Shell Beach. The shells are back! The beach is pretty, although the left end is missing some sand. The right end is wider than ever.

The shells are back on Shell Beach!

Shell Beach is doing well.

We checked out Shellona and came to the conclusion that it will be fine. The building looks the way it did one year ago when the owners were pushing hard to get it open in time for Christmas; the lower part of the restaurant that sits on the sand needs to be restored with its tables and bar, but I don’t think it is a big deal. For sure, it will be open for the holidays (In my humble opinion, that is). The word is that it will reopen December 22, 2017.

Shellona is boarded up and still standing. The beach front area needs to be set up.

I went back to the villa and worked remotely, then went to my office to meet with Benoit and Pascale about the schedule to do the repairs of both offices as well as our plans for your arrival and other administrative matters.

We dined at Black Ginger which had reopened a few days before, and had another delicious dinner. It’s St. Barth, after all. By coincidence, Pascal Ramette, one of the owners of La Guérite, was at the next table. I asked him when his gourmet restaurant was reopening, and he said, without hesitation, December 22nd! What a great spot to have your New Year’s Eve dinner and then watch the midnight fireworks. We can make the reservation for you.

Black Ginger is one of our favorite restaurants.

November 07, 2017

More good news! I received the following email from Mathilde Tissot, the owner of the 5 star Villa Marie, a Sibuet boutique hotel.

“Dear Peg,

I can now confirm the official re-opening date for the hotel Villa Marie Saint-Barth on March 9th, 2018!

Villa Marie Saint Barth will even offer 2 additional units to the existing 18 villa and bungalows:

– A second master villa with sweeping ocean views and private pool
– A third master villa (without private pool) which can be divided into a Prestige bungalow + a Caribbean bungalow: perfect for a family or for two couples in search of a Caribbean getaway.

Reservations are now open!”

So, all you need to do is contact me or one of my very capable St. Barth Villa and Hotel Specialists at reservations@stbarth.com. I love, love, love this hotel. I think you will too. Even if you do not stay there, you must dine at their gourmet restaurant, François Plantation. It is supposed to reopen in December and it’s a wonderful experience. You can also have lunch at their intimate poolside restaurant. If you want to hang out there for the day, we can reserve some chaises for you when we make your lunch reservation.

Our walk took me to the stairway up to Fort Karl. I had expected the steps that are built into the hillside would have been totally washed away, so I was happy to see them intact and waiting for you to use them.

Climb the steps up to Fort Karl to take in the fabulous view.

No trip to St. Barth is complete without having a Cheeseburger in Paradise at Le Select, so today is the day! The problem? One of my pet peeves is those tiny plastic ketchup packets that I can never open, except with my teeth, and my dentist- husband forbids me to do that. Knowing that we would be going to Le Select, I always bring my own bottle of ketchup (it must be Heinz), so I checked every grocery store on the island and: NO Heinz Ketchup whatsoever! No any kind of ketchup, either, so, off we went to the American Store in Gustavia; surely, they would have it, but no, nothing there except a jar of “Original Ketchup.” I settled for that, went to check-out and found out it cost 13 euros! It was ok, but nothing like Heinz, I do understand that it is not a priority and it may take time to stock the shelves.

I had to settle for a 13 euro jar of ketchup. The 2 cheeseburgers plus an order of fries cost exactly the same – 13 euros.

No trip to St. Barth is complete without having a cheeseburger in paradise at Le Select.

That evening we dined at Le Repaire and watched the Voyager ferry come in on its last run from St. Martin. We always enjoy dining there.

November 08, 2017

Today is full of meetings. I met with Claire Hillau from Le Barthélemy hotel to discuss the reopening. I was disappointed to hear that no date has been set. She thinks she will know the beginning of December, but it looks like it won’t be until the fall of 2018. For sure, they will be open by November because they have a wedding scheduled there that month.

We dined at L’Isola, had a nice corner table and an outstanding meal, the vitello limone for me, and shrimp and lobster risotto for Steve. We were warmly greeted by both Fabrizio the owner, and Ricardo the manager. We met a nice couple who said that they want to buy property on St. Barth, so I said that my St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty office will take care of them.

We loved our evenng at L’Isola and are very happy that they reopened so quickly.

November 09, 2017

I knew you would be asking me about Saline Beach, so off we went to check it out. The salt pond was full, the path from the parking lot was nice and wide and we began our hike. The rocky access up seemed a bit tougher and steeper to me, but that might be because I have not climbed it recently. When we reached the top, the view was as breathtaking as ever and was incredibly expansive. There was quite a steep slope to get down to the beach itself. Good exercise for you! It has not yet been approved for swimming due to the high level
Of the salt pond but it should be ok very soon.

Bonjour from the top of Saline Beach!

Saline Beach is wide and enticing.

This afternoon I inspected Villa Aloa in Flamands. It looks good and is ready for your stay. The owners were there and pointed out that they have added AC to the living room.

From Villa Aloa, I had a bird’s eye view of the garden bungalows at Cheval Blanc St. Barth Isle de France. I am still waiting for a reopening date.

Time for another casual night. So, we went to 25 Quarter in Gustavia. We loved it! It was lively and fun. The décor was unique. We shared a beef quesadilla appetizer followed by Mahi Mahi tacos for Steve and Tuna Tataki for me…really, really good. We chatted with owner Chris Davis who told us that he is going to have a rum room featuring rums from all over the Caribbean.

Thursday Night Football was on in the bar area of 25 Quarter.

November 10, 2017

Today brings us to Flamands Beach. The beach front buildings really took a hit from Irma. To get onto the beach at this time, you need to take the entrance at the far end of the beach. We started our reconnaissance from there and walked all the way down to the hotel Cheval Blanc St. Barth Isle de France. The hotel’s beach front restaurant, pool and rooms need lots of repairs. Some of our villas suffered less damage than others and will be ready for guests in a few weeks.

Today, it is Flamands Beach.

If you are coming to St. Barth soon, you will see damaged houses but you can still enjoy Flamands, a classic wide Caribbean Beach.

The hotel Baie des Anges is already open – a very positive sign! The beach itself lost sand and is much lower than before but it is really wide and as beautiful as ever. You can spend the day there. Bring your beach chairs and cooler or order our VIP picnic package that includes the chairs, an umbrella and a delicious picnic basket.

The sand on Flamands Beach is soft and perfect for sun bathing or just taking a nice walk.

As we finished our Flamands reconnaissance walk, this little guy said bonjour, ensuring me that all is well with the St Barth animal life.

Fittingly so, we had dinner, poolside, at La Langouste restaurant located at the Baie des Anges. We always share the Christophine appetizer, one of my very favorites. I had the Dover sole, another favorite. Steve loved the langouste tagliatelle.

We could hear the sound of the waves while we enjoyed dinner at La Langouste.

That’s it for now. I do not want to bore you too much. Stay tuned for my next chapter.

Hurricane Irma Update 4

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

The latest news plus, how do you see photos of St. Barth in real time?

We know many people are confused by some information that has been reported in the media. It is true we were hit by a very powerful storm. Some media have lumped St. Barth together with other islands that had certainly suffered greatly and are not as fortunate to possess the resources for such a rapid recovery like St. Barth. Our hearts go out to our neighbors and we wish them the best in their efforts towards recovery. We know they will all rise up again.

Gustavia 10-12-17

Irma before and after 10-13-17

Below you can see the current list of updated business and restaurant openings as well as airport/ferry information. All of this can be found on our Hurricane Irma update page on which we have posted nearly every day. We invite you take a moment to read this page. Be sure to start from the bottom of the page to see all updates. We think you’ll be impressed with the progress.

Business/Restaurant/Airport/Ferry Info

  • Private Villas:
    • We have assessed all of our properties and are pleased to report that many are ready for their November or December arrivals and most ready for high season. A few may take a bit longer but with 250 beautiful homes in our inventory we have plenty of great choices to offer you.

Villa Royal Palm in Vitet received its first guests October 23, 2017. They are thrilled! Photo taken 10-22 17.

  • Shops & Businesses:
    • The majority of shops in Gustavia and St. Jean are open now or will be re-opening as originally scheduled in October & November.
  • Restaurants:
    • Open now or by the end of November: Bakeries island wide, Le Select, Bar de L’Oubli, Galawa (former Pipiri), 25 Quarter, Le Jardin, Le Vietnam, Island Flavors, Au Regal, Bistro Josephine, Le Bouchon, Les Bananiers, Modjo, Yo Sushi Mania, L’Esprit de Saline, La Langouste, La Cantina, Le Piment, Papas Pizza delivery, Le Rendez-Vous, Eddy’s, Le Tamarin, Black Ginger, François Plantation, L’Isola, L’Isoletta, Orega, Chez Rolande, L’Entracte, Spice of St. Barth, Jo-Jo Burger, Mayas to Go.
    • Opening in December: Mayas, Le Ti St. Barth, La Bagatelle, La Plage, Shellona (former Dð Brazil), La Guérite (former Wall House), Kiki é Mo, Baz-Bar.
  • Airports/Airlines/Ferries:
    • St. Barth Airport: OPEN Re-opened in September and is fully functional.
    • St. Maarten Princess Juliana International Airport: OPEN Re-opened Oct 10 to commercial flights.
    • San Juan Airport: OPEN Tradewind Aviation is currently flying daily flights between St. Barth and San Juan and will maintain a full schedule for the high season.
    • Antigua Airport: OPEN Tradewind Aviation will resume its flights between Antigua and St. Barth and expects to add additional flights for the high season.
    • St. Thomas Airport: OPEN Tradewind Aviation will resume its flights between St. Thomas and St. Barth for the high season.
    • St. Kitts/Nevis Airport: OPEN Tradewind Aviation will resume its flights between St. Kitts/Nevis and St. Barth for the high season.
    • Great Bay Express: Ferry service between St. Martin and St. Barth resumed October 13.
    • Voyager Ferry Service: Ferry service between St. Martin and St. Barth resumed October 13.

The residents of St. Barth have worked hard so that they can welcome you back this season. If you are considering a St. Barth vacation and support our beloved island, everyone there will be happy to see you! I would be delighted to assist you in securing the right accommodations. Some who know St. Barth are saying this could be the perfect year to visit as it may be a bit quieter than recent years, a nice reminder of the St. Barth in simpler times. I look forward to assisting you. Contact me pegwalsh@stbarth.com or our St. Barth Specialists at reservations@stbarth.com, 1-800-421-3396.

Many of you have asked for photos of the island. Everyday it gets greener and greener. For a live update 24/7, check http://www.st-barth.com/livecam5.html. You can follow along to see the improvement right up until your day of travel.

The greening of St. Barth continues…10-22-2017

Post Irma, only 7 weeks later, the palm trees that looked like Q-tips as described by Tom Smyth 2 weeks ago are now coming back with gusto 10-22-2017

Hate to Cook but Prefer an Occasional Night-In to Enjoy Your St. Barth Villa?

Friday, February 24th, 2017

Delicious Places for Take-out in St. Barth, just for you

As fabulous as St. Barth restaurants are, there are nights you’d just like to relax in that gorgeous villa you rented. Oh, and you don’t feel like cooking. On a recent visit, armed with notebooks and iPhones, we went on a culinary walking tour to give you a few delicious takeaway options.

Island Flavors
Private chef and caterer Jean-Paul Adley showcases his skills in the creation of French and Creole dishes. You can sample his wares at his little shop in Gustavia. Choose from a selection of salads and daily special dishes. Do try the Conch Christophine. Take-away to your villa or maybe to nearby Shell Beach. 10 rue Victor Hugo, Gustavia; Hours – Mon-Fri 9:00 am – 7:00 pm; Sat: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm.

Island Flavors by Jean Paul is located at 10 rue Victor Hugo, the intersecting street across from our office in Gustavia

St. Barts Food Lounge
Part sophisticated grab & go and part charming French café, St. Barts Food Lounge has a mouth-watering selection of Mediterranean-influenced dishes and decadent desserts displayed in glass cases. We ogled their Caribbean-colored macarons, reportedly the best on the island and as good as any found in Paris. Sweet. In every sense. You may be tempted to pass on your take-away plans and wine & dine in their pretty portico under a whirling fan. Their pièce de résistance are themed picnic meals and, wait for it – they’ll deliver to the beach of your choice! Picture that. And wouldn’t make a great one? We’re loving their Apéro Picnic. Pick it up after a beach day or that Gustavia shopping spree. Unpack it at your villa, pour that beverage and voila! Apéro ‒ and santé. 19 Rue De Gaulle – Gustavia Harbour; Hours: Daily 9:00 am–9:00 pm.

Sidewalk cafe dining or take away at the St. Barts Food Lounge

Sidewalk cafe dining or take away at the St. Barts Food Lounge

Satisfy your sweet tooth at the St. Barts Food Lounge

Satisfy your sweet tooth at the St. Barts Food Lounge

Burger Palace
When you are craving a juicy two-handed burger, the heart wants what the heart wants, and there’s a new joint in town. Modestly named the Burger Palace, it’s the size of a shoe box with a menu board listing internationally monikered double and single burgers with a dizzying choice of toppings. (After all, this is St. Barth). A 3€ upgrade gets you a side of frites or a little green salad and a drink from the cooler. There are paninis too but go for the double-burger. You order at the counter and off you go, but if you need instant gratification, there’s a couple of high-top tables just outside. Hours: Daily from 11:00 am; Closing times and late night service varies with extended hours on weekends.

The Burger Palace is across from the Gustavia post office

The Burger Palace is across from the Gustavia post office

Yo-Sushi Mania
This restaurant is located at the Villa Lodge hotel in Grand Cul de Sac and offers Japanese cuisine. Yo is famous for his sushi boats. Pioneering, passionate, demanding, he was the first to import Japanese food in St. Barth. In 20 years, he has become the best in sushi catering and Asian cuisine: tempura, yakitori, Japanese skewers, fried Thai rice…Yo Sushi Mania, is both a restaurant and a catering service. They deliver as well. Open every day in high season for lunch from 12:00 pm to 2:30 pm; dinner from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. (Closed Mondays in Value Season). As to delivery, they deliver mostly in the evening; you must place your order before 5:00 pm.

Yo-Sushimania at Villa Lodge

Yo-Sushimania at Villa Lodge

Enjoy lunch poolside at Yo-Sushimania

Enjoy lunch poolside at Yo-Sushimania

Kiki-é Mo
Located across from Nikki Beach, this cute little place offers breakfast lunch and early dinner to eat there as you watch the world go by or to take out. The menu varies with daily specials as well as sandwiches. Open: 7:00 am to 9:00 pm.

Kiki et Mo is located across from Nikki Beach

Kiki et Mo is located across from Nikki Beach

Le Papillon Ivre Wine Bar
This très chic little wine bar has much to offer – cheeses, charcuterie, fois gras, salads and tapas-style dishes of this and that. All good-to-go. Proprietor and sommelière Sophie knows her wine, and she’ll have some excellent suggestions to pair with your choices. Sophie makes a mean mousse as well. Night owls take note – they are open most nights ‘till midnight. Alternately, you can take your vino and find a seat at the long bar or claim one of the tables, indoors – in the AC – or on the little awning-sheltered terrace. Les Amandiers, St-Jean; Hours: Mon-Sat: 12:00 pm – 12:00 am; Note – If you have time for a little shopping pre-or-post your visit, (And why wouldn’t you? You’re on vacation.) check out the browse-worthy French Indies Design shop next door, and we think you’ll find the neighboring concept store Sea Spice St. Barth, well, delicious.

Le Papillon Ivre offers indoor and outdoor seating in a little shopping plaza off the Route de Saline in St. Jean

Le Papillon Ivre offers indoor and outdoor seating in a little shopping plaza off the Route de Saline in St. Jean

Le Papillon Ivre's proprietor and sommelière Sophie prepares each order from scratch

Le Papillon Ivre’s proprietor and sommelière Sophie prepares each order from scratch

L’Isoletta
Pizza is often the first thought when it comes to take out and two options to pick-up thin-crust pies include L’Isoletta, the sophisticated little sister of the acclaimed island Italian restaurant L’Isola. While you are waiting, enjoy a glass of wine on the lounge-y like covered terrace. Just up from the harbor in Gustavia, it’s a see-and-be-seen kind of place. Rue du Roi Oscar II; Hours Daily 11:00 am – 11:00 pm. Closed Monday.

l'Isoletta in Gustavia, St. Barth

l’Isoletta in Gustavia, St. Barth

Les Bananiers
If everybody’s hungry and you’re in a hurry, swing by Les Bananiers located adjacent to the famous La Petite Colombe bakery in Colombier. It’s not-for-nothing that you see folks hustling those boxes out their door. The pizza menu is extensive but our favorite is the old-school pepperoni. We love to have lunch or dinner in their restaurant too because their menu items are not only yummy, they are reasonably priced. Les Bananiers, Colombier 97133; Mon-Fri: 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm; 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm.

We love the pizzas (as well as the regular menu) at Les Bananiers

We love the pizzas (as well as the regular menu) at Les Bananiers

Black Ginger
When you have a yen for Asian food – preferably poolside at your villa – check out Black Ginger’s menu for authentic Thai cuisine and call their TO GO line : 001.590 52 92 32. This Gustavia hotspot makes pick-up easy with a separate entrance and counter. Chicken satay makes for a perfect app to go with your sunset cocktails. Their curries are divine and don’t miss their signature dish Pla Pik Thai Dom – which is local fresh-caught Mahi-Mahi with black pepper. Rue Samuel Falhberg, Gustavia; To Go: Open daily from 11.30am to 2:30 pm and 5 pm to 8.30 pm except Sunday.

Black Ginger to-go in Gustavia

Black Ginger to-go in Gustavia

The Baz Bar (Bête A Zailes)
Located on the harbor between our St. Barth Properties rental office and our St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty sales office, the Baz Bar offers Sushi to go. If you prefer to dine there, you will be entertained by visiting bands and, if you’re lucky, a chance to see Jimmy Buffett pick up a guitar and sing a set…just because he loves doing it. Open Monday-Saturday 7:00 pm to 1:00 am.

Jimmy Buffett loves to stop by the Baz Bar once in a while to give us an impromptu set of songs. Hope you are lucky enough to see him.

Jimmy Buffett loves to stop by the Baz Bar once in a while to give us an impromptu set of songs. Hope you are lucky enough to see him.

Delivery:
BAZ BOATS TO YOUR DOOR – MINIMUM 4 PERS.
STANDARD BOAT MENU FOR 4: Price: 194 €; Deposit 100€ Delivery included;
4 Miso Soups, – 2 Wakame, – 2 Sushi Appetizers, 1 Sashimi Moriwase; 1 Roy’s Special or Dragon Roll; 1 Shrimp Tempura Roll or Dancing Eel Roll; 1 Spider Roll or Rainbow Roll; 1 Bagel Roll or Eel Roll or Nagihama.

Sushi at the Baz Bar

La Bagatelle
The fabulous harbor front restaurant and bar, La Bagatelle offers their fabulous full menu to go as well as pizzas to go. The truffle pizza is outstanding and worth the 35 euro price. Located next to our St. Barth Properties rental and sales offices on rue Samuel Fahlberg. Open from 7:00 pm. Closed Sundays.

Delicious pizzas to go from La Bagatelle

Delicious pizzas to go from La Bagatelle

Bon Appétit!

Grocery Shopping in St. Barth Just Got Better

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Oasis Market opens in Lorient

Rejoice! For those of you who love to cook while on vacation and for those of you who do not, the brand new Oasis Market in Lorient is just for you. The original Oasis store closed its doors on Christmas Day 2015 leaving us without a place to shop 365 days a year. We were told that Marché U had purchased the space and that it would reopen “in the spring”. I drove by it every day but there was nothing to see as all of the windows had been blacked out. Suddenly, I noticed lots of cars in the parking lot. In fact, the lot was so packed that I waited a few days to check it out.

Oasis Marche U Entrance

Oasis Marché U Entrance

When we decided to give it a try a few days later, I was not disappointed one bit. The transformation is dramatic. Everything in the store is new and clean; the shelves are extremely well stocked. You can purchase just about everything there. Finding fresh fruit and veggies used to be a challenge, but no more.

Oasis has fresh fruit and vegetables galore!

Oasis has fresh fruit and vegetables galore!

Stop by the deli for fresh cold cuts.

The deli at Oasis has a wide variety of charcuterie.

The deli at Oasis has a wide variety of charcuterie.

You can get your baguette too making it easy to prepare your cooler for a picnic lunch on the beach.

Oasis offers fresh baguettes and pastries

Oasis offers fresh baguettes and pastries

They have a take-away stand with stuffed crabs, paella etc. as well as a great selection of cheeses. If you want to have wine with your lunch, you can choose a nice rosé from their vast wine section.

Oasis has a nice selection of wines

Oasis has a nice selection of wines

Oasis has booze too!

Oasis has booze too!

Of course, you will still want to shop for your meat at La Boucherie located at the little roundabout in St. Jean or at Ché Yo Boucherie in Les Mangliers behind the gas station in St. Jean. And of course going to the harbor early in the morning for your fresh fish is a must. If you as staying in the Lorient area, the fishermen have a small stand that is open when they have had a good early morning fishing trip. For the accompaniments, stop by Oasis.

Although it is not open 365 days a year, the hours at Oasis are quite convenient.

Although it is not open 365 days a year, the hours at Oasis are quite convenient.

Happy shopping!

Connie’s SBP Trip Report November 2015

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

Bonjour from sunny St. Barth!

Steve and I made it back to paradise on Tuesday and are now based here until May (poor us). I have some last minute newly constructed villas to inspect in the next few days and will be adding them to our website shortly thereafter. For all of you procrastinators, yes we do still have some villas available over the holidays. Just follow this link to see http://stbarth.com/christmas-and-new-year-availability.

Last month, I was here with some of my US office’s staff, including Marketing and Travel Industry Consultant Connie Walsh. I am pleased to share her trip report.

I hope to see you at Bagatelle on Wednesday evenings for our weekly cocktail party.

Happy Holidays,
Peg

Trip Report, November 2015 by Connie Walsh

connie1

Connie Walsh

I’ve made some eighteen trips from Boston to St. Barth over the past decade, each as smooth as the sand on its gorgeous beaches. But this time, a flight delay – the dreaded “mechanical” – put us in Puerto Rico too late to catch our flight on Tradewind Aviation, the day’s last. Friends would be dining without us at the harbor’s new Carpe Diem and we would not be laying our heads down that night at Villa Everest. Tant pis indeed.

We’d arranged for VIP service through Tradewind and found their indomitable Lizbeth waiting for us at the gate when we deplaned. And she had a plan B. She confirmed availability at a nearby hotel, arranged transportation to-and-from, and seats on the first flight out the next morning. We were whisked off to the old grand dame, El San Juan. That lobby is still gorgeous. We checked in, took a walk on the beach, through the casino, enjoyed a cocktail at the bar and dined at the La Picola Fontana. Excellent northern Italian food. Coulda been worse.

Villa Everest

Villa Everest

As promised, the next morning Lizbeth was at the check-in counter to take us up to Tradewind’s VIP lounge. Two espressos later, hubs and I were winging our way to St. Barth, arriving in time to settle in and make an early lunch reservation at the Santa Fe. It was a Thursday and at Santa Fe that means moules-frites – divine as always. I ordered a starter of gazpacho which was chilled to perfection. Nice to be back!

On Thursday, November 12, St. Barth Properties launched the season and the latest edition of Live Your Dream® in style with a cocktail party, seaside at the beautiful Hotel Taïwana. One could really sense the excitement. Love St. Barth in November.

Taïwana Hotel

Taïwana Hotel

As always, the week was a hustle-bustle of villa visits, hotel inspections, and meetings but we happily incorporated some down time. Our Saturday afternoon picnic lunch at St. Jean Beach and our traditional Sunday morning swim at Gouverneur were delightful interludes.

One of the highlights of this trip was our site inspection at Le Toiny. The hotel reopened with the first phase of the extensive renovations completed. The villas French Colonial décor is gone, replaced with a chic and cool contemporary coastal style. Bleached white wooden floors anchor a palette of sandy-soft neutrals and crisp whites with pops of tropical color. The entrance, reception area, and restaurant have been reconfigured creating more of lobby-like feel. That gorgeous half-moon pool remains and now there is an adjacent open-air oyster shell bar. We lunched at the newly named Le Toiny Restaurant. Chicken Creole for me – and it was divine.

Hotel Le Toiny

Hotel Le Toiny

Below the hotel, the new sprawling Beach Club was just being completed. It’s surrounded by a coconut grove and furnished with comfy chaises. Lunch and libations served and transportation to-and-from provided. Looking forward to enjoying a glass of rosé with my toes-in-the-sand there – next trip.

We checked out the progress on the sure to be gorgeous 52 room Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa. Located on the lagoon of Grand Cul de Sac with its 600-foot beachfront, it slated to open in 2016 and already generating lots of buzz.

And now for the “food facts.” We joined the fun at Gustavia’s new 25 Quarter (formerly Monbart), they have a hip street food menu complete with tacos, dumplings and empanadas and exciting cocktails. Football fans take note, they’ll be showing NFL games this winter. We sampled the new Italian focused cuisine at Le Sereno as they celebrate their new sister property in Lake Cuomo. I made a return visit to harbor side Bagatelle. It’s becoming one of my gotta-go-tos. Their signature white pizza with black truffle is amazing and its scene is quintessential St. Barth. Join the St. Barth Properties’ team for a libation at their weekly cocktail party every Wednesday from 6:30-7:30, then stay for dinner!

Speaking of scenes, if you haven’t lunched at Nikki Beach, do go. Our Sunday lunch there was so much fun. Costumed waiters sashay out to deliver Jeroboams of Champagne while the DJ spins a great rock n’ roll soundtrack, so good it inspires patrons to get up and boogie – sometimes on the tabletops. The quality of the food is not sacrificed for all the merriment. It’s terrific. The comprehensive menu includes lots of fresh fish, a variety of salads (try the Niçoise) and yummy BBQ.

Lots of visits to villas newly added to the company portfolio were on our agenda. My faves included the super – sweet one bedroom beach house Maison de La Plage, just steps from the shore at St. Jean Beach and Villa Yeye, a lovely traditional four bedroom vacation home in Pointe Milou with a stunning view. Its décor pays homage to the casually elegant lifestyle of St. Barth in the ‘70s. I loved its circular plunge pool and shady rear garden.

Villa Maison de la Plage

Villa Maison de la Plage

Villa Yeye

Villa Yeye

We were impressed with the stunning seascape, from the umbrellas at Nikki Beach to Anse de Cayes, at the three bedroom Villa La Pointe du Reef in St. Jean. Its contemporary design is complemented with “old St. Barth” images and accessories. At Villa Super Ciel, a lovely three bedroom villa with loads of living space and two pools, verandahs boast some half a dozen hammocks. They sway in the breeze with a view of the verdant hillside and slivers of the sea. I took a test drive.

Villa La Pointe du Reef

Villa La Pointe du Reef

Villa Super Ciel

Villa Super Ciel

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we were wowed by the chic and modern six bedroom Villa Monaco. It celebrates Princess Grace and is as every bit as stylish. Set high above Anse des Cayes, the oversized heated swimming pool has a unique platform with chaises looking out to the eye-popping view. When we arrived at brand-new Villa Fleur de Sel workmen were busy finishing all the details. Its five en suite bedrooms are named for designers and the penthouse master suite pays homage to Louis Vuitton.

Villa Monaco

Villa Monaco

All great additions to the portfolio. Full details and pictures are on the website www.stbarth.com.

St. Barth Trip Report by Connie Walsh, June 2015

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Bonjour St Barth Devotees,

Continuing the trip report series, today’s blog was written by Connie Walsh, our very talented Marketing and Travel Industry Consultant, who traveled to St. Barth with me last month. We had two very important missions to accomplish: 1) Meet with various people and interview them for the articles you will be reading in the 20th edition of our upcoming Live Your Dream catalogue and 2) Inspect several new villas as well as write up their descriptions for our website.

Here is Connie’s trip report:

Enjoy-
Sunny regards,
Peg

St. Barth Trip Report, June 2015 by Connie Walth

I’ve stayed at Villa Everest so many times now, settling in there is always a bit like coming home. It’s comfy-cozy and I never tire of its panoramic view. Peg Walsh and I spent the first few nights of a very busy workweek at Everest but, happily had the time to toast a glorious sunset from its lovely pool terrace.

Villa Everest

Villa Everest

We spent three nights at the brand new, two-story, two-bedroom Villa Brume de Mer – its rental is exclusive to St. Barth Properties and we were eager to give it a test-stay. Perched on a bluff overlooking Baie de Flamands, Brume de Mer lays claim to a stunning view from several vantage points. A solar-heated pool, a Jacuzzi and a gazebo shading a living-dining area are among the features that make this a special vacation spot. The contemporary décor is coordinated with a soothing gray and crisp white color palette brightened with pops of color. There is exceptional attention to detail here that ensures guests’ comfort and convenience. Expansive well-laid out closet space, perfectly positioned bedside reading lamps, and both waffle and plush terry robes are worth noting. Towel hooks adjacent to the pool and Jacuzzi and a bar for drying beach towels are just of few of the nice little touches. The kitchen’s stock of dishes and glassware and wealth of culinary tools and gadgets are color coordinated.

Villa Brume de Mer

Villa Brume de Mer

I love that Brume de Mer is just a three-minute walk to Flamands Beach – one my favorites. Guests have a choice of three beachfront restaurants that they can walk to for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Up early one morning, I walked the length of the beach and enjoyed a swim before we headed out for a day of villa inspections.

St. Barth Properties has added several new luxurious villas to its portfolio. I think these latest additions will really peak some interest.

Villa Jade, the eight bedroom vacation home of legendary French Rocker Johnny Hallyday is a stand-out even on St. Barth, where villas-to-die-for are as prolific as celebrities. A private Marigot location offers sweeping views of its bay and expansive outdoor living space complete with a super-sized heated infinity pool, Jacuzzi, king-sized canopied day bed and party-sized alfresco dining area. Indoors, there’s a state-of-the-art gym with a steam and sauna and a home-cinema with theater-style tiered seats and access to 4,000 movies. Sleeping accommodations include a three-bedroom family suite (a master and 2 children’s bedrooms) three additional en suite bedrooms, one suitable for staff and a private studio-style bungalow facing the sea. The Asian-themed décor is striking.

Villa Jade

Villa Jade

Villa Joy, also located in Marigot, has a contemporary architectural style similar to Villa Jade and shares the same stunning views. Joy is more compact with less square footage and six en suite bedrooms. However, it boasts many of the same wow features including the infinity pool, Jacuzzi, super-gym and the theater-style home cinema. I love the combination of the modern décor with whimsical accessories and the homage to mid-century movie stars.

Villa Joy

Villa Joy

We inspected two fabulous – and very different properties – in Gustavia. Cassiopée is a two-level three bedroom penthouse apartment that comes with a garaged parking spot and an elevator. Chic and modern, it overlooks the iconic harbor with all its hustle and bustle. Two en suite bedrooms are upstairs; an additional main level room can serve as a third bedroom or a TV room.

Villa Cassiopée

Villa Cassiopée

Villa Infinity is a lovely four bedroom luxury villa that sits above the harbor. Newly built, yet it has a gracious old plantation house feel. Its outdoor living space is fabulous with a terrace and a lower level pool deck with a kitchenette housed in a gazebo.

Villa Infinity

Villa Infinity

In St Jean, Villa Sagittaire wows it guests with a stunning vista of the bay and chaise lounges are queued up along the extra-long infinity pool to take it all in. The four bedrooms have charming 4-poster draped beds and their en suite bedrooms have indoor and outdoor showers. The pool deck is gorgeous and I loved the rear deck – set up for BBQing and relaxing – and how it architecturally frames the view.

Villa Sagittaire

Villa Sagittaire

The main mission for the week was compiling the content for the upcoming issue of the company’s catalog Live Your Dream®. We had a fun interview with Hafida Amezian, who has taken over Hideaway the beloved open-air pizza parlor. She shared her plans for this iconic eatery and changes already implemented. They include the addition of fresh fish to the menu and upgrading the fries – from frozen to hand-cut. And they were yummy.

One of our evenings included a long, delicious over-dinner chat with Bagatelle’s GM Jean-Mathieu Sablier. The sophisticated harbor side eatery serves up contemporary French cuisine in a sexy, so St. Barth setting. What many island visitors may not know is that the menu includes Les Pizzas – thin crust and divine. In fact, black truffle pizza is one of its signature dishes and Peg and I shared one, and tucked-in to another, yellowfin tuna tartare nicely citrusy with a little avocado. Bagatelle will be the new venue for next season’s weekly cocktail party.

And speaking of sophisticated settings, no island restaurant deserves that description more than Bonito. What a view! I enjoyed it with a Tiki cocktail – their drinks menu is really creative – and we had a scrumptious dinner starting with a chilled pea soup. We went casual one night at Le Repaire and took a street-side table. I had a juicy two-handed burger and indulged in a little people-watching. As always, too many great restaurants too little time.

One of the week’s highlights was a sunset cruise with Top-Loc. We set sail with Captain Eric on the 45 ft. Wayayaï catamaran at 5:00 pm and loved every minute. Top Loc also offers full and half day cruises and with the use of snorkling gear, kayaks and paddleboats make for a fun experience especially for families with kids.

We loved our Top Loc sunset sail with Captain Eric

We loved our Top Loc sunset sail with Captain Eric

We interviewed the owners of H2O St. Barth and gathered all the pertinent info on the Seabob, an underwater scooter that is all the rage. Seabob has partnered with St. Barth Jet Ski to create what they call the James Bond Experience. It incorporates the Seabob, Jet Ski, an introductory scuba dive – wait there’s more – a “trip” on a flyboard. Flyboard is a device that propels you into the air as well as below the waves. Full disclosure, we didn’t give it a try, but we’re sure there are lots of SBP clients that would love it and we’d love to hear all about it and see pictures.

Try the new Seabob sport on your next St. Barth vacation. The concierges at St. Barth Properties will make all of the arrangements.

Try the new Seabob sport on your next St. Barth vacation. The concierges at St. Barth Properties will make all of the arrangements.

Le Tamarin restaurant

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Dining in St. Barth continues to outshine other destinations.

Le Tamarin makes its mark.

Le Tamarin restaurant has re-opened under new ownership and is receiving rave reviews. Located by the road to Saline Beach, Paco and his wife Julie transformed this dining venue into a lush tropical setting with lily ponds, palm trees and of course the famous Tamarind tree.

Tamarind Tree at Le Tamarin

Tamarind Tree at Le Tamarin

Steve and I have already dined there several times and loved the whole experience. Excellent food, top service, and dreamy ambience add up to an evening to remember.

Try it for lunch as well. Salads, sandwiches and main courses featuring fresh fish, chicken and beef hit the spot after a morning of sunning and swimming at Saline Beach. Enjoy outdoor seating, a game of ping pong and the parrots that have always been the signature mascots going back to days when Cat owned the restaurant.

Le Tamarin features outdoor seating

Le Tamarin features outdoor seating

Say Bonjour to the Parrots at Le Tamarin

Say Bonjour to the Parrots at Le Tamarin

You must also go for dinner. The setting completely changes when the sun goes down.

Lily ponds and palm trees adorn the landscape at the Tamarin

Lily ponds and palm trees adorn the landscape at Le Tamarin

We loved the Pavé de Thon, the Cabillaud (codfish) with butter sauce and the fondant au chocolat to name a few.

Tamarin's Pavé de Thon

Tamarin’s Pavé de Thon

Cabillaud with butter sauce at Le Tamarin

Cabillaud with butter sauce at Le Tamarin

Fondant Chocolat avec Glace Vanille - Le Tamarin

Fondant Chocolat avec Glace Vanille – Le Tamarin

The Tamarind tree produces a pod-like fruit that is often used in cooking. Paco came up with a refreshing Rhum Tamarind. Let me know what you think of it.

Rhum Tamarind

Rhum Tamarind

Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday and for all day Sunday Brunch.

Reservations are a must. We are very happy to make them for our St. Barth Properties clients. I hope to see you there!

Additional News About the St. Barth Restaurant Scene for the 2015 Season As Well As the “Seen” on the Island

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Still more new or reinvented restaurants have opened this season, so I continued my mission to check them out and report to you. This blog features Provença.

Provença is a new restaurant that is located next to the Wall House museum on the La Pointe side of Gustavia where the Wall House restaurant used to be. Under new ownership, the menus for both lunch and dinner are creative.

On our first visit, we shared the Mediterranean Crisp Tomato Tart Provença appetizer and enjoyed it very much. The Sea Bass was flaky and flavorful.

An evening at Provença

An evening at Provença

Tarte Fine Méditerranéenne  16 € at Provença

Tarte Fine Méditerranéenne 16 € at Provença

Mediterranean Seabass Filet, Pan-cooked Vegetables at Provença

Mediterranean Sea Bass Filet, Pan-cooked Vegetables at Provença

Magda Votava, our St. Barth concierge and restaurant reservation guru, received the following review from one of our clients who dined there over the holidays.

“We enjoyed Provença very much. The food was outstanding –

  • We shared the “Fresh Baby Octopus, just jumped with Garlic and parsley” to start – it was outstanding!
  • Ellen ordered the “Duck Magret, Topping and sauce, Your Choice of Sides and Sauce” with French Fries and Porto and Fig sauce – the dish was perfectly prepared, but felt like the plate was not complete – it would have benefited from including a vegetable and a starch instead of only one side (vegetable or starch).
  • I ordered the Snacked Red Mullet with Tapenade and Figs, Ratatouille, which was great, but again would have benefited from being served with a vegetable and a starch, instead of only being served with the vegetable (ratatouille)
  • We skipped dessert (too full)
  • Espresso was good. Vanilla and/or Ginger Rhum were offered.”

Note: If you want a second side, you can order one for 6 euros.

Look for the Cicada sign to the left of the item. It indicates that the recipe is an authentic one from Provence. Chef de Cuisine, Thomas DESTINÉE and Second de Cuisine Cédric LABLANCHE create flavorful dishes. General Manager Marie PECOUL is from Provence and explains the menu in detail.

On our second visit, we too shared the octopus appetizer and it was indeed outstanding. For our main course, we each chose the Prawns Flambéed with Pastis, and “Forbidden” Black Rice. We learned that during the days of the Ching and Ming dynasties, Forbidden Rice was solely reserved for the Chinese Emperors. People thought it guaranteed well-being. In due course, commoners were allowed to consume the rice. Now a favorite dish, it is reputed to promote longevity and good health. It is delicious as is the shrimp. Give Provença a try and let me know your thoughts.

Provença's Fresh Baby Octopus, just jumped with Garlic and parsley - 22 €

Provença’s Fresh Baby Octopus, just jumped with Garlic and parsley – 22 €

Provença's Prawns Flambéed with Pastis, « Forbidden » Black Rice - 32 €

Provença’s Prawns Flambéed with Pastis, « Forbidden » Black Rice – 32 €

As far as the “Seen” part of this blog is concerned, I think you will enjoy the following photos of what you can stumble upon while you are out and about in St. Barts.

Two local St. Barth children try their luck at  fishing - catch and release - in Gustavia on a Sunday morning

Two local St. Barth children try their luck at fishing – catch and release – in Gustavia on a Sunday morning

A vacationing entrepreneur on St. Jean Beach offered me a refreshment - How sweet

A vacationing entrepreneur on St. Jean Beach offered me a refreshment – How sweet

January 24, 2015 Paddle boarding with a very much alive chicken St. Jean Beach!

January 24, 2015 Paddle boarding with a very much alive chicken St. Jean Beach!

My hour is up. Time to head for the beach.

My hour is up. Time to head for the beach.

What’s happening in St. Barth? The latest news from St. Barth as of December 30, 2014

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Bonjour from sunny St. Barth!

I am so happy to be back on this very special island and fortunate to be based here until the middle of May. The weather is gorgeous; the holiday decorations are especially eye-catching, the yachts line both sides of the harbor (except when they had to leave for three days due to a sizable houle (large swells) and the festivities are in full swing. I am lucky to have some of my family visiting us (my son, Mark Smyth, his wife Cynthia and their three children, Reegan, Lilia, and Nate); we are enjoying the beach, the restaurants, and the vibe. Can you guess where this photo was taken?

We are so happy that my son Mark Smyth, his wife Cynthis and three of our grandchildren, Reegan, Lilia and Nate could join us for the holidays

We are so happy that my son Mark Smyth, his wife Cynthis and three of our grandchildren, Reegan, Lilia and Nate could join us for the holidays

On Christmas Day, we went to St. Jean beach. Santa and his helper improvised his sleigh and arrived by H2O Jet Pack! Do you want to try it? We can book it for you.

Santa's sleigh St. Barth Style

Santa’s sleigh St. Barth Style

What’s new? Airport parking regulations:

For those of you who have been to St. Barth before, you will notice some signs (in French, however) indicating a 30 minute parking restriction Monday through Saturday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. in the lot at the Gustav III airport. I observed that the “parking patrol” was at-the-ready to give out tickets.

The 30 minute parking sign at the St. Barth airport

The 30 minute parking sign at the St. Barth airport

Be sure to use your “Blue Disk” specifying the time you arrived on the face of the clock. The disk should be found in your rental car.

Blue Disk for parking in certain areas of St. Barth

Blue Disk for parking in certain areas of St. Barth

What if you need to park for a longer period? The Collectivité bought the lot across the street and has instituted St. Barth’s first paid parking lot. The good part is that the first hour is free; I don’t think that most of you will need more than an hour to do your thing at the airport, so to me, it’s a good solution.

Tarifs for the paking lot across the steet from the Gustave III airport in St. Barth

Tarifs for the paking lot across the steet from the Gustave III airport in St. Barth

For the areas in Gustavia look for the signs and use your disk. The island has added parking limits in the lot by the yachts and the ferry dock, too. The Gustavia limit remains at 90 minutes. Enforcement is between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

New St. Barth restaurants:

I love to try the new restaurants so that I can report to you. Steve and I have already managed to dine at two of them. The first one, Avventura is located in Gustavia across the street from Eddy’s and on the same side of the street as Black Ginger. In years past, it was called the Sapotillier, B-4 and Ocean. They bill themselves as a ristorante/pizzeria but they also have some nice more traditional items including meat and fish dishes. We enjoyed sharing the Queues de crevette au saté appetizer. The pizza prices range from 10 to 22 euros.

Avventura Shrimp Sate

Avventura Shrimp Sate

The other restaurant that we were able to try is L’Escale d’Avriette; it is located on the other side (La Pointe side) of the harbor in the space where Harbours used to be. It’s a Créole restaurant with a harbor view that is owned by a St. Barth family and named after their mother, Avriette. When I first set foot on St Barth in 1986, I was introduced to the stuffed Christophine at the now long gone Marigot Bay Club restaurant that was run by Michele Ledée, an affable man who was born in St. Barth. At the time, it was my favorite restaurant; the food and view were wonderful. I also enjoyed watching a handsome young waiter put on his bathing suit, swim out to the lobster trap that had been sunk in the bay, pick the langoustes that his patrons had just ordered for dinner, swim back, and quickly change into his clothes again. (Sorry for the walk down memory lane…) Anyway, I was thrilled to see the stuffed Christophine on the menu because so many restaurants have stopped serving it as it takes a lot of time to prepare. It is a type of squash and has flesh that is scraped out, mixed with langouste and vegetables, then re-stuffed into the shell, topped with cheese and grilled to perfection. Try it and let me know if you like it.

The stuffed Christophine at L'Escale d'Avriette

The stuffed Christophine at L’Escale d’Avriette

We are gearing up for New Year’s Eve and I hope you are too. I’ll keep you posted on the latest happenings on your favorite island.