My husband Steve and I played tourist when my son and SBP VP Tom Smyth brought his family down here for Presidents Week. He did his best to be in vacation mode and I tried to take some time off from work to spend time with them. My grandsons Tommy Jr. and Tyler as well as my daughter-in-law Amy and Amy’s parents, Bob and Barbara were here too. It was Bob and Barbara’s first time to St. Barth and I loved watching them discover just what makes this island so special.
Sunday lunch at Nikki Beach: Ok, so what is the hype all about? I saw it firsthand. If you want to party all afternoon, this is the place to go. Be ready to spend big euros – they recommended that my daughter-in-law select a 345 euro magnum of Rosé when she asked about the wine. She kindly declined and ordered a much less expensive bottle. If you do order the expensive stuff, they make a big deal out of it and come running out with sparklers on the bottle when they deliver it to your table. We enjoyed our wine, took our time and shared appetizers before ordering our main courses. I love people-watching so it was entertaining to see diners get up and dance and then later end up dancing on the tables while the DJ’s decibels steadily increased.
By contrast, we enjoyed a leisurely lunch at the Hotel Saint-Barth Isle de France’s beachfront restaurant, La Case de L’Isle on another day. The setting is gorgeous; it has a view of Flamands Beach. My crispy chicken salad with fresh ginger, cashew nuts and poached eggs breaded with coconut was delicious. My grandson Tommy Jr. especially enjoyed the shrimp & marinated chicken wok (not to mention the gorgeous young woman who constantly walked by our table modeling some very sexy swimwear). Actually all the guys at our table were quite enthralled with the fashion show. (The restaurant has one every lunchtime and features another one on Tuesday evenings.)
Dinner at the Santa Fe was, as always, a fabulous experience. Almost everyone ordered the Langouste (aka Caribbean Lobster) Thermidore while I had their famous Dover Sole. Andy’s Hideaway is always a must for a fun casual dinner with pizza and their signature Pierrade when we all cook our combo platter with duck, chicken and beef on the hot stone in front of us and then we dip the cooked results in one of 4 yummy sauces (Think fondue [but without the oil] that we “more mature” folks used to have at dinner parties).
One evening, our St. Barth Properties Concierges arranged for us to have private a chef, Manu. He cooked and his assistant served us at Villa Au Soleil where Tom and his family were staying. Appetizers were served while we looked out over the pool to the view of the twinkling lights of St. Jean. We then moved to the dining area for our meal. This particular evening was a real highlight of the week. We spent a leisurely evening wining and dining and having great conversation. Manu topped it off with an incredible Soufflé Grand Marnière with ice cream vanille.
Several years ago, Tom, Tommy Jr. and Tyler took a Scuba diving course and were certified here in St. Barth; they dive whenever they are in St. Barth. So, on Wednesday, we had arranged for them to meet us for lunch at Le Select after their dive. A Cheeseburger in Paradise is a “must” when you are vacationing in St. Barth.
Every vacation should include a night out at Le Ti St. Barth. Our St Barth Concierge Magda Votava reserved an excellent table for us and we had an up-close-and-personal view of their sexy fashion show followed by a very professionally done cabaret show. Steve and I go there often when we have guests; this particular night we saw a totally new show and it was really great.
Friday – their last day. Magda had booked a full day catamaran trip with Miguel, the St. Barth Sailor. Unfortunately I had some last minute and urgent work to do so I had to back out at the last minute and I was not able to go out with them as planned. However, Tom called me about 12:30 to check in with me and see if I could join them. I told him I would love to, so they arranged for a dinghy to come and get me in Gustavia at 2:00 pm and take me to meet them at their mooring by Colombier Beach. I held onto the sides of the dinghy for dear life as we sped to meet them. When I made the transfer from the dinghy to the catamaran, I was happy to see that I had made it just in time to join them for a late lunch. They had anchored off of Forchue Island earlier where they snorkeled and had been served hors d’oeuvres before heading to Colombier. Miguel served us a fantastic lunch that had been prepared by one of my most favorite chefs, Jean-Claude Dufour, the owner-chef of L’Esprit restaurant in Salines. (We all had dined at L’Esprit a few nights earlier and loved the alfresco experience.)
Of course beach time and boutique shopping filled out the rest of their week. If you get a chance to vacation in St. Barth with your family, it will create memories of a lifetime. Live Your Dream®.