Posts Tagged ‘Harbour’s’

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.

St. Bart’s Restaurant Update and Les Soldes

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Those of you who normally travel to St. Barts in Value Season often expressed your disappointment that the Wall House restaurant traditionally closed on the first Sunday in June and did not reopen until mid-October which meant that you were never able to try it. You are in luck! Owners Bernard Tatin and his son Julien are keeping the restaurant open during the summer! The food is delicious and there are luncheon specials daily. We had dinner there a few days before we left and thoroughly enjoyed the chateaubriand for two.

Chateaubriand at The Wall House with the full moon rising

Chateaubriand at The Wall House with the full moon rising

Chateaubriand for two cooks on the spit

Chateaubriand for two cooks on the spit

Decanting Wine at The Wall House Restaurant

On the other hand, Le Massai was forced to close May 12 due to the owner’s renovation of the parking area which he will be upgrading. The restaurant will reopen in November and I am sure it will be as wonderful as ever. On another note, I am sad to say that Le Tamarin closed for good on April 28. The good news is that I saw former owner Toc happily working at Jean Claude Dufour’s new restaurant in Saline, L’Esprit. You MUST try L’Esprit! Jean Claude is such an outstanding and creative chef. He loves having his own place; you can see into the kitchen and watch him use his skills as he formulates the mouth-watering dishes that you are about to be served. He is planning on adding a nice bar area in the garden which will be a nice addition.

L'Esprit

L'Esprit

I just learned that Harbour’s has been sold. It originally was called La Saladerie, then Harbour Saladerie and finally Harbour’s. So my good friends and owners Thierry, Gilles and Patrick are gone as is the wait staff. The chef has remained with the new owner who, as rumor has it, is from Paris. I will check it out and keep you posted.

Les Soldes! We Americans are so used to being able to advantage of merchandise sales that businesses in the US have whenever they want to entice a customer to shop in their stores, one would expect the same to be true in other countries. That is not the case in France (and therefore not in St Barts). The word “sale” (solde) is not allowed into the vocabulary of French retail businesses except for two defined periods of the year. If a shop dares to do so, it will be fined by the governmental authorities. Most of us can’t believe that Big Brother can interfere and tell French businesses what they are allowed to do if they want to have a sale. There’s an agency known as the “General Directors for Fair Trading, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control.” It has the power to monitor all shopkeepers to ensure that they strictly abide by these French laws. It is up to the local “prefects” to decide on which dates the sales must take place …so much for free enterprise.

Les Soldes in St. Barts are from May 5-June 09, 2012  Don't miss out!

Les Soldes in St. Barts are from May 5-June 9, 2012. Don't miss out!

The sale dates in St. Barts are different from those in Paris, for example. That city held its sales in January. Of course January is high season in St Barts, so the island waits until after that period is over. This year the Prefect declared that St. Bart’s 5 weeks of Les Soldes must take place May 05-June 09, 2012. I was lucky to be there at the time, so I hurried down to Gustavia the very first day to see what kind of bargains I could find. Believe me, I was not the only one to do so; it looked as if every person who lives on the island waited for this event to happen. Paying full price is just not what people want to do, no matter where you live. It’s not too late to take advantage of Les Soldes. We have some perfect villas for those of you who want to shop ‘til you drop. Why not plan a girlfriend’s getaway? Contact reservations@stbarth.com and you will be on your way to a shopper’s paradise.

I am back on Cape Cod for a couple of weeks. I will be returning to St. Barts with some of my St. Barth Properties USA staff after attending the high school graduation of one of my grandsons June 01. This is the time of year when we do our villa and hotel inspections (We do this again in November) so as to ensure that we can continue to assist you with the all important decision of where to stay when you are in St. Barth. Our knowledge of the hotels and villas is what makes us the experts in our field. I also will be gathering material for our next Live Your Dream® catalogue which we always debut at our annual Beachside Bash, a party that we throw each November to jumpstart the season.