Archive for the ‘St. Barth Restaurants’ Category

What does St. Barth look like 8-9 weeks post Hurricane Irma?

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

A St Barth first-person Experience November 02-05, 2017

My passion has always been St. Barth. My heart was aching for the people who experienced the wrath of Hurricane Irma and I longed to get back. Finding flights from Boston had become a huge challenge. I would book flights only to have them canceled. Finally, I found a flight through Miami to St. Maarten. Today’s blog covers my first few days back in paradise.

November 02, 2017:

My husband and I flew on America Airlines to Miami. Fortunately, the flight was on time and we made it to our connecting gate to St. Maarten in time. Both flights were full. I was surprised that so many people wanted to fly to St. Maarten because the recovery there is going at a snail’s pace.

I had heard that the terminal at Princess Juliana Airport was not open and was badly damaged. Make-shift arrangements had been made. That bit of news meant that I was clueless as to how to transit through to St. Barth. We had four heavy checked bags because we packed knowing that we would be here until May. I relied upon my fabulous concierge in our US office, Julia Hurd to arrange VIP services for us. What a smart move!

As soon as we touched down on the tarmac in SXM, I saw the devastation on both sides. I was so used to seeing pictures of how well St. Barth is recovering, it was a bit of a shock. It was as if Irma had hit only 3 days ago instead of 8 weeks ago. Our pilot parked the plane near some tents and we deplaned via a stairway. We were told to go to the “FOB” building. I had no idea what that was, so I asked a friendly guy at the bottom of stairs. He said, “Is your name Walsh?” He took me to Jerry who was handling my Easyway VIP service. Thank you, Jerry!

We deplaned in St. Maarten via a stairway.

We stood in line to clear immigration while Jerry retrieved our luggage, He then escorted us to another tented area where they had some counters and checked us in at Winair. Then we went to a booth to get our passports stamped again, this time for departure, and we went through a security checkpoint in a hangar serving as the departure lounge. It had some places to buy drinks and snacks and a restroom. Soon after, Jerry came to get us, and we were on our way to St. Barth.

We stood in line under a tent, in order ito go through immigration in a temporary building.

We waited for our Winair flight in a hangar that had become the departure lounge.

I admire St. Maarten for adapting to the aftermath of Irma by opening the airport to people like me. SXM is a gateway to many other destinations. I admire American Airlines for flying from Miami and Jet Blue from JFK every day, too. FYI If you are transiting through St. Maarten, please be sure to ask Julia to arrange the VIP service, you will be so happy that you did.

Vive La Différence! As we approached the island, we could see how green St. Barth is – already! We cleared immigration and headed to the St. Barth Properties booth that we share with Gumbs Car Rental. Odile was waiting for us with her always pretty smile and showed us to our rental cars. (Yes, we have two so that I can go off and work without stranding Steve.) 0ff we went to Villa Everest.

I tried to look at the surroundings as I drove. Yup, definitely, a hurricane had hit, the most obvious indication being the almost-naked palm trees. Otherwise, there were many signs of repairs and recovery that impressed me. Even the palms’ fronds had sprouted new growth showing that they were well on their way back to their stately beauty. We unpacked, showered and headed out to dinner. I had vowed that we would frequent every restaurant whose staff had busted their tails to reopen as soon as possible and show my support by dining there. We are always a bit tired on our first night and chose the casual Le Grain de Sel by Saline Beach; it was busy; they had blackboard specials, and we enjoyed the food, the friendly staff as well as the nice breeze.

November 03, 2017

I love waking up my first day back in St. Barth. Feeling rested, I grabbed my camera-phone and took a picture from the pool deck. The island looked nice and green and I remarked that Lorient beach looked beautiful. My mission is to give you firsthand knowledge of how St. Barth looks in real time but to also let you know how the people who lived through this nightmare felt and now feel.

My first morning view from Villa Everest was different but still stunnng.

Steve (aka “Doc”) went to his favorite warehouse in Lorient to stock up on supplies. In case you do not know my husband, he is Dr. Chatter and loves to talk to anyone. Maybe that is because he is a dentist and he was great at distracting his patients with banter between his dental assistant and him. He and the warehouse owner had a long conversation after the guy in front of him had bought every last bottle of Heineken out from under us!) The owner said that the guy owns a restaurant and people like him will go wherever they can to get what they need. Steve settled for Amstel Light and chatted away.

The owner said he had never experienced anything like Hurricane Irma. It was a category 5 but that is as high as the rankings go, and he thought of it as a category 7. In 1995, I remember when Hurricane Luis stalled over St. Barth for 36 hours. He said Irma was fast moving but was much stronger. Some people has lost part of their roofs and windows and when the eye hit at 7:00 am on September 6th, it was a blessing in disguise because people were able to go to the homes of friends and relatives and be safe. The backside was even worse. On September 7th, the island immediately began the recovery process. Everyone showed solidarity and pitched in to help one another. No one was going to sit back and wait for France to send help. The French didn’t think we needed it anyway because, “rich people come to St. Barth.”

Later, I met Anne laure and Laura from my rental office at Villa Les Embruns in Flamands so that I could visit it for a client of mine who is arriving in December. I saw people as well as the villa owner working on the villa, readying it for the first arrival on November 28th. Stonework was being done on a wall as well as repairs on the deck’s gazebos. When we went inside, it was perfect. The furniture looked as if nothing had happened. Laura successfully tested a “flybox” that enabled the Internet connection at the villa. I am going back next week to see the difference and report back.

I stopped at my offices in Gustavia to see everyone and to look at the damages. We have lots to do but both offices are open and ready to welcome you.

I stopped by my new St Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty sales office to check out the damages and to say hi to Benoit, Pascale, Nadine and Melissa.

That evening, we dined at another casual place, Bistro Josephine, which is on the road towards Shell Beach, not far from my offices. As soon as I opened the door, I saw my dear friend Audrey Ferrari who was the owner of Carpe Diem restaurant until the landlord decided to tear it down in favor of more shops. Audrey described the menu and the specials to us as we sipped our Coupes de Champagne. Once again, we had a delicious meal and had the chance to talk to Jean Paul, the owner. The bistro features a band once in a while; it also has a rear garden where you can dine alfresco. Try it, you’ll love it. We will make the reservations at any of the restaurants for you.

Doc and I are with Audrey and Jean Paul at Bistro Josephine.

November 04, 2017

Another day of reconnaissance found us driving past Grand Cul de Sac Beach, then turning left to view the lagoon from the righthand side. I wanted to see Le Barthélemy hotel and in the distance Le Sereno and Le Guanahani. The colors of the lagoon were as beautiful as ever; the beach looked inviting, too. The hotels are already in recovery – mode but it will take time before they can reopen. We have plenty of villas ready for your arrival. Maybe it’s time you try the Villa Experience. We can arrange every kind of service you may wish to have while you are there.

Next stop: Lorient Beach. We parked in our usual spot and took the footpath by the cemetery onto the beach. I looked to my left to see a very, very wide sandy beach. We walked the beach and realized that it was as wide as it is because the vegetation in front of the houses was gone. I saw homes that I had never seen before. It should all grow back soon. I spotted a woman with her two children playing on the beach near where the surf shack used to be and, as we approached, I realized that it was Hafida, the owner of The Hideaway restaurant. She told us that she is doing her best to reopen in December. I’ll be there in a heartbeat.

Lorient Beach is looking good too.

We had dinner at Eddy’s which had just reopened October 30th. It was quite busy, and we enjoyed seeing Brigitte, Eddy and their son Mahé again. The restaurant itself didn’t suffer any damage. The front garden lost its big tree. Eddy remarked that they were very fortunate because the tree fell across the street instead of onto the restaurant. Our meals were delicious, and I can’t wait to go back.

It is always a pleasure to see Eddy.

November 5, 2017

Today is Sunday. The day of rest is taken seriously by the islanders, so most places are closed. I put on my sneakers, put my Fitbit on my wrist and we headed off to Gustavia for a combination power walk and reconnaissance trip. The bakery in Lorient was open and a coveted parking space was free, so we parked and went in to buy our baguette for sandwich-making, so we could head to the beach with them later.

We stopped to buy our daily fresh baguette at La Petite Colombe in Lorient.

We decided to start our walk towards the other side of Gustavia. A cruise ship was anchored outside of the harbor and passengers had come in by tender. Therefore, a few shops were open. We headed to my offices and saw both the Bagatelle and the Baz Bar were under renovation. They plan on being open in December. Yay! As we continued on, we saw a few places that had been harmed by Irma. The harborside buildings that once held Hervé’s Coté Port and Carole’s Yacht Club were already scheduled to be torn down in favor of more dock space for boats, so no need for repairs there. We walked past the Hôtel de La Collectivité, as handsome as ever, and turned around at the end of that side of the harbor. Minor things such as benches need repair and the palm trees need more fronds.

The Hotel de la Collectivité (city hall) looks great

Reversing our steps, we walked down the other side of the harbor past the ferry dock and fish market. Everything seemed normal. The Voyager ferry had just arrived from St. Martin, taxi drivers were offering island tours to the cruise ship passengers, Le Repaire was open for breakfast and the fish market was intact but not open because it was Sunday. I did see a piece of plywood on the window at Longchamp’s but not much more. Further up the Bar de L’Oubli was open, too.

The Voyager ferry arrived on this quiet Sunday.

The fish market showed no sign of damage.

The afternoon reconnaissance: St. Jean Beach. After packing the cooler, putting beach chairs and an umbrella in the car, we headed to the parking lot across from the beach. The path at the end of the runway, going onto the sand, was wide, once again, because the foliage was gone. Believe it or not, we found a tiny piece of beach where we usually sit, that was shaded by some rejuvenating palm trees.

The sand on the Les Ilets de la Plage side of the beach has come back nicely. I think it is because most of the fence washed away.

We walked the beach towards Eden Rock and saw the damage to Tom Beach, Emeraude Plage and Eden Rock. Lots of work to do there. Tom Beach is already on its way back and expects to be open in December. We saw piles of sand waiting to be spread in various spots along the beach.

The sand at the Eden Rock side of St. Jean Beach is recovering well.

A benefit from Irma is that the better parts of the fences washed away. You can walk the entire beach again. Hope it lasts.

I noticed a few chaise lounges with umbrellas at the spot where Carib Water Play’s booth used to be and stopped to chat with Lucas, Jean Michel’s son. He was open for business! Good to know – 15 euros for a lounge chair and 10 euros for an umbrella – well worth it.

Carib Water Play is open for business.

Lucas is ready to set up your chaise lounge and umbrella, rent you a surf board or give you a windsurfing lesson.

To end the day, we enjoyed a casual Sunday night dinner at Le Vietnam restaurant in Gustavia.

My next blog will be shorter, I promise, and I will tell you more about my adventures post-Irma.

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

Hurricanes Irma and Maria update

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

St. Barth continues to recover quickly. The island had to take the day off on September 18, 2017 thanks to Hurricane Maria which, thankfully, passed to the south and dropped lots of rain and fairly strong winds but caused no real damage. Beneficial rain is always welcome to assist with the greening-up of St. Barth’s beautiful foliage.

September 15, 2017 The little Sucrier (Sugar) birds have returned home. Photo courtesy of Le News.

The whole island is working together to restore paradise.

Everyone in St. Barth is pitching in to help with the clean up.

We need to remember that the island pretty much shuts down every year from September 01 to October 15 at the earliest, so almost every hotel, restaurant and boutique was closed when Irma hit and remains closed. Traditionally, villa and hotel bookings don’t really begin until mid-October. Some restaurants open at that time, while others wait until sometime in November. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of choices when you are vacationing in St. Barth. Julia Hurd, our concierge will be up-to date on that and happy to make your reservations for you. We all knew that when we learned that Le Select re-opened last week, that the island was in true recovery mode.

September 14, 2017 Hooray! Le Select re-opened!

The best news for all of us who adore St. Barth is that on September 21, 2017, only 15 days after Irma, the Tourism Board announced, “The Island of Saint-Barthélemy, in full energy, is as active as an ant hill with an extraordinary solidarity: all roads are cleared, electricity and drinking water networks are being deployed in the neighborhoods, the port of commerce and the airport are operational, bakeries and the power supplies are open, restaurants and bars are gradually opening up their establishment…everything is back to life with the goal of welcoming our loyal visitors from October 30 on our island.” Mark your calendars! Keep your reservations! I’ll see you on St. Barth very soon.

La Petite Colombe bakery gracioulsy handed out free baguettes to eveyone! Makes our mouths water.

Our St. Barth Properties offices in the US as well as on St. Barth are diligently checking with each and every villa owner and/or manager as to the status of their villas. We are in contact with the hotels that we represent as well.

Every day, we receive more exciting positive news such as the Les Voiles de St Barth regatta will go on as scheduled. We are continuing to keep you updated on our home page under What’s Trending, so please keep checking it.

http://stbarth.com/hurricane-irma

The Les Voiles de Saint-Barth annual sailing regatta is returning to St. Barth as scheduled April 08-13 2018

Just back from St. Barth June 2017

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

A whirlwind trip full of new St Barth information that I gathered for our next Live Your Dream catalogue.

THE PRIVATE CHEFS OF ST. BARTH

My week in St. Barth was full of appointments and new experiences, even for a veteran like me who has been going there for 31 years. Connie Walsh who works with me (no, we are not related) and I had a mission: Obtain as much new and interesting material as possible for our next Live Your Dream catalogue. Although it will be unveiled at our Beachside Bash on December 02, 2017, we needed lots of lead time in order to meet the deadlines for publication.

We began by acting like a client to see what it is like to stay at the new 5 star Villa Marie Saint Barth. Tucked away on the Colombier hillside where the former François Plantation hotel used to be, we were charmed by our suites. Like all of the suites, Connie’s Family Suite and my Prestige Bungalow were decorated differently, which is a nice touch. My suite had a king bedroom, spacious living room with sliders leading out to a big deck furnished for outdoor living and sunning. Connie’s was similar but had a small child’s room with bunk beds and small 2nd bath. The view over Flamands was stunning. The en suite baths had both a shower and a clawfoot bathtub. We enjoyed our first night’s dinner in their gourmet restaurant, aptly named François Plantation. It was pricey but delicious. Breakfast is served by the swimming pool and is included in the very reasonably priced rate at this Sibuet boutique hotel.

Villa Marie St Barth has a view over Flamands

Our next stay was at the 5 star Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa which sits directly on Grand Cul de Sac beach. Our Ocean Luxe Suites were on the 2nd story and gorgeous. The en suite bathroom has louvred doors over the sink, so I always had a sea view even when I was brushing my teeth! A comfortable sitting area is at the foot of the king bed and sliders open to the covered balcony where I could sit at a table for 2 or on a comfy chair. To me, the pièce de résistance is the amazing automatic screen that is invisible to the eye. Just click a button to open it to the breezes or leave it down. The colorful water view is the same. I was up early one morning as were the kite surfers playing with the wind over the lagoon. We enjoyed dinner at their Aux Amis beachfront gourmet restaurant. During the day, it is more casual and this is where we had breakfast (included) and lunch. Another day we decide to have lunch at the Le Turquoise bar and restaurant near the pool.

Le Barthélemy Hotel & Sp sits directly on Grand Cul de Sac beach

Don’t get the idea that we just lounged around all day. Unlike you who are on vacation to relax, we had plenty of work to accomplish on this trip. We interviewed the private chefs with whom we collaborate and book for you when you want to just chillout at your villa. For starters, we interviewed Pascal Preynat of PASCAL COOK. His favorite cuisine is Provençale. We learned that he makes his own Foie Gras. We loved it! If you are lucky enough to spend the holidays in St. Barth with us, you will receive this as a gift from St. Barth Properties.

We interviewed Pascal Cook in the conference room at our new waterfront St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty office.

Homemade Foie Gras by Pascal Cook

Then there was Philippe Masseglia, the former Executive Chef of 22 years at Le Guanahani who created his new services as a private chef under the name, Food Square. From tataki to tangine to pasta puttanesca, Philippe has clients’ cravings covered. Italian food is one of his passions, but he recognizes that many people today prefer to eat lighter, healthier fare. Clients love him so much they often ask him to go with them when they travel elsewhere. He happily obliges.

We interviewed FOOD SQUARE owner Philippe Massegilia at Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa on a French holiday when nobody else would work. Philippe was happy to work that day. Merci beaucoup, Philippe.

Another chef with whom we often work is CHEF XO. Christophe Moreau loves interacting with the clients, he answers questions and lets them get involved if they wish – chopping vegetables and stirring bowls and pots. Christophe is often the chef that we use for Our Drive Dine & Relax package. Our clients always rave about the meal that he prepared for their complimentary candlelight dinner.

CHEF XO, Christophe Moreau, loves cooking for you in your villa.

On our last evening, LOLO’S PRIVATE CATERING wanted to cook for us! By this time, Connie and I had moved to Villa Sur Le Port in Gustavia. The owner had kindly offered us two complimentary nights, so that we could experience a stay there. If you do not mind a short but steep walk down a hill, it’s a perfect villa for Gustavia lovers. It even comes with a parking space! Lolo (Laurence Philippot) walked in at about 5:30 with loads of food and equipment for the job at hand. We sat at the bar and watched her do her magic while we interviewed her. She told us that the Lacanche stove at the villas was “The Rolls Royce” of ranges and she thoroughly loved using it. As we have new staff at our St. Barth offices, they needed to sample her cooking, too. Her culinary repertoire encompasses Indian and Asian cuisine and some of her special dishes offer creative innovative fusion. We have vegan clients who book her year after year, as well.

Lolo’s Private Catering cooked for us at Villa Sur Le Port on our last night.

Speaking of having new staff at our rental and sales offices, I was very happy to meet Laura Commaret on her very first day with our St. Barth Properties – St. Barth villa rental office. Laura and Anne Laure Amy are sharing the front desk and reservation duties now that Magda has left and Aurélie Janvier has assumed the Concierge position. Aurélie has lots of innovative ideas to enhance your St. Barth experience with us. Laura comes to us from Le Sereno hotel where she handled reservations at both their St. Barth and Lake Como hotels and interacted with the hotel guests. By the end of the week, she had fully adapted to her position and told me that she loves her new job! Welcome Laura.

Here I am with our newest St. Barth Properties – St. Barth rental offce staff member Laura Commaret

I do have lots of other news but will save it for future blogs, so that you are not on overload.

The St. Barth Restaurant Scene Just Keeps Getting Better

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

Bo Káo joins the list; Le Guanahani’s Thursday night BBQ at Indigo

As you know, dining out at the various restaurants in St. Barth is one of my “jobs” because I want to keep you informed about a favorite pastime and must-dos while vacationing on St. Barth.

Bo Káo

One of my new favorites is Bo Káo. For my readers who have been to St. Barth before, you remember when Frank Mathevet sold the Wall House and opened Le Carré in the Carré D’Or courtyard (by Hermès). He then sold it and it struggled for a couple of years. Now, we have Bo Káo which opened just in time for New Year’s Eve 2016. From the beginning, I loved it! The cuisine is described as “Peruvian Japanese” and the menu is extensive. They have exotic cocktails too.

Eddie the bartender creates exotic cocktails just for you

We love dining alfresco, so the ambience fits our modus operandi. Don’t worry about an occasional shower, there is a retractable awning to keep you dry.

Alfresco dining at Bo Káo

Let me start by telling you that I now have a new favorite appetizer. I will never order a different one when I dine at Bo Káo. It is called Anticuchos and it consists of 4 pieces of marinated chicken bites, chiso tempura-style with corn cream. Each morsel literally melts in your mouth. Bo Káo also offers woks, (Steve loved the seafood wok with noodles.) sushi, tempura, meat dishes such as lamb chops (adored them), seafood, ceviche and more.

Anticuchos – marinated chicken bites, chiso tempura, corn cream. The normal serving is 4 pieces. We shared plates of them for the 9 or us.

Lamb Chops, Roasted, with Nikkei stew and huacatay

The last time I was there, we had family visiting so I made a reservation for the nine of us. Everyone raved about the experience. Try it and let me know how you like it.

Here we are at Bo Káo with my daughter Kim, grandson Matt and his girlfriend Katie, John and Cathy as well as my son and SBP VP, Tom and my daughter-in-law Amy

Indigo

For a change of pace, I recommend spending your Thursday evening enjoying a poolside/beachfront setting at Le Guanahani’s Indigo restaurant. The hotel’s more formal restaurant Barto’ is closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays, so diners are treated to an Asian night on Wednesdays and a Barbecue evening on Thursdays at the beautiful Indigo restaurant.

Le Guanahani’s Indigo restaurant by the beach

Steve’s niece, Cathy and her husband John were visiting and staying at Villa Genia which is next to Le Guanahani (Our clients who stay at Vila Genia have signing privileges at the hotel, a nice perk). It was the perfect time for me to try the BBQ night.

Steve and I having fun at the Indigo BBQ with Cathy and John

We walked in and I was pleasantly surprised to see that my favorite singer and guitar man, Soley was entertaining for the night. – A bonus!

Soley serenades us at L’Indigo

As soon as I sat down, I took off my shoes and stuck my toes in the sand. Delightful! A server immediately came to our table to announce that the apéritif included with the BBQ menu was a Planteur’s punch. Steve, Cathy and John really enjoyed it. I ordered my usual coupe de Champagne, then asked for the scoop on how this BBQ thing worked and was told we could start with the appetizer section offering ceviche, fresh asparagus, greens and shrimp, to name only a few. We enjoyed the variety of choices and moved on to the main course. The chef was at the BBQ area waiting to grill our selection of ribs, steak, mahi mahi and langouste. He cooked them to perfection and we added our sides of scalloped potatoes and lasagna.

The chef offers us the ribs and steak; the BBQ on the right is for the mahi mahi and langouste.

Feeling very satisfied, we tried to be good, but the dessert table was too hard to resist. I hope that you get the opportunity to experience a fun, casual evening with your toes in the sand. Bon Appétit.

The pastry chef offered me a piece of his raspberry pie. I couldn’t resist.

Try the petits fours. They can’t have too many calories, can they?

Great News for our St. Barth Properties Clients!

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

An exclusive beachfront experience designed just for you.

As many of you know, over the last few years, we have enjoyed a wonderful partnership with the 5 star hotel Taïwana whereby you, our valued St. Barth Properties guest, were able to enjoy breakfast or lunch and use the hotel’s beach as part of St. Barth Properties’ VIP package that we called, A Taste of Taïwana.

Well, their next-door neighbor, the Cheval Blanc Hotel St-Barth Isle de France has purchased the Taïwana and it will be closing its doors for renovation as of March 31, 2017.

Never fear, I have been working behind the scenes over the last several months to ensure that you will be able to have a similar beachfront experience while you are enjoying your St. Barth vacation.

I am pleased to let you know that we have partnered with (…drum roll…) the fabulous 5 star Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa on gorgeous Grand Cul de Sac Beach! The property boasts Le Barth restaurant for lunch which then morphs into their gourmet restaurant, Aux Amis for dinner. (You must go there just to see their fabulous chandelier.) You will love their spa, too.

This custom-made chandelier follows the theme of the restaurant. (My photo here does not do it justice – send me your photos after you visit.)

What are the St. Barth Properties VIP Perks and Privilèges, you ask?

Make a luncheon reservation (through our concierge) at the hotel’s beachfront dining venue, Le Barth and enjoy the complimentary use of beach chairs – before or after. Le Barthélemy is located on the gentle, brilliantly-hued lagoon that is Grand Cul de Sac. Enjoy!

Enjoy the view and a delicious lunch at Le Barth restaurant

Relax in complimentary beach chairs before or after your lunch

Dinner reservations booked through our concierge at the magical Aux Amis begin with a complimentary glass of Champagne. The cuisine created under the direction of Michelin-starred chef Guy Martin is exquisite.

More Privilèges

  • 10% discount on all purchases at the Boutique
  • 10% discount at the hotel’s spa, Le Spa (excluding La Mer products)
  • Free non-motorized water sports: Canoes, paddle boards, snorkeling gear (upon availability)
  • Cocktail Workshop – complimentary lesson at the pool bar Le Turquoise with its expert barman. The workshop is held every Thursday 5 pm to 6 pm and must be booked with our concierge 48 hours in advance.

A cocktail workshop is available at the pool bar, Le Turquoise

There’s fine print written in the sand. Read it here first.

These offers are exclusive to St. Barth Properties’ clients.

Everything must be booked through St. Barth Properties’ office Reservations or Concierge at 0590-29-75-05.

Chairs and sports equipment are subject to availability.

Blackout dates:
November 20 to 26, 2017
December 20, 2017 to January 05, 2018
And during Le Barthélemy’s annual closing September 1 – October 15.

Children are welcome, but loungers are for adult use only.

Offers are subject to change.

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!

Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa has made its debut!

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Do any of you remember the St. Barth Beach Hotel?

The first time I set foot on St. Barth in 1986, Steve and I stayed in what was called the Grand Cul de Sac Cottages at the St. Barth Beach Hotel. This is where my love affair with the island began. Who would know that I would create St. Barth Properties three years later? The beachfront hotel offered a pool, tennis and the oh-so-delicious restaurant, Le Rivage which was owned by Hervé Chovet. The salads they served were huge and yummy. It was also our first introduction to the island’s now signature Rhum Vanille that is traditionally served in a shot glass after the meal. Several years ago the hotel’s owner, Guy Turbé sold the property and it was demolished. (You can still get that vanilla rum, La Pinta, and some of the signature Le Rivage dishes at Hervé’s Côté Port on Gustavia harbor.)

Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa

Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa

After several stops and stops, the beautiful Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa had a soft opening on October 01, 2016 and officially opens it doors to guests October 15th. We are very pleased to add it to our collection of Preferred Hotels. Boy, is it gorgeous! Its 46 rooms and suites, all with terraces, are exquisitely decorated with comfort in mind. Accommodations at Le Barthélemy include several options: Le Barth Jardin, with their garden views; Le Barth Lac offering lake views; and the ocean view rooms Le Barth Ocean and Lux Ocean Piscine Privée; the latter boasts a heated plunge pool. And the pièce de résistance: the split-level beachfront La Plage Suites. Some rooms connect making it ideal for families with younger children.

One of the stunning rooms at Le Barthélemy

One of the stunning rooms at Le Barthélemy

This is a special spot for kids. They love swimming in the lagoon’s warm shallow waters and infinity pool ‒ and the easy access to a wealth of water sports. There’s fun-in-the-sun galore from sand castle contests to kite-flying, but on any given day, family activities like hands-on cooking lessons are agenda choices.

The infinity pool overlooks the lagoon

The infinity pool overlooks the lagoon

On an island renowned for its cuisine, Le Barthélemy has the Michelin starred French Chef Guy Martin. The seaside restaurant Le Barth is open for breakfast and lunch. At sunset, it transforms itself into the sophisticated Aux Amis offering Caribbean-inspired French cuisine. There’s always a barista on duty at Le Café and the pool bar Le Turquoise offers snacks to go with beverages of all sorts, including vanilla rum. Chef Martin’s creations can be enjoyed poolside, beachfront, on your private terrace or in your room.

The seaside restaurant

The seaside restaurant

Le Spa at Le Barthélemy is the culmination of a partnership with the world-renowned luxury skincare brand, La Mer. It’s a true oasis that leverages its location and includes a blow-dry bar, hammam (steam room), and a signature rain shower with essential oils experience. Think girlfriends’ getaway.

The hotel is part of the Réserve Naturel of St. Barth committed to protecting the island’s environment so that all can share in its beauty. Having the opportunity to marvel at iguanas, turtles, starfish, and colorful corals is special. That happens here.

Le Barthélemy is part of the Réserve Naturel

Le Barthélemy is part of the Réserve Naturel

For reservations, please call 1-800-421-3396 or email our Villa and Hotel Specialists at reservations@stbarth.com. Once you have experienced Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa, please let me know how you enjoyed your stay.

Orega – Another Fabulous New Dinner Venue Hits the St Barth Restaurant Scene

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

Orega St. Barth

Those of us who have been coming to St. Barth for years and years (I am celebrating 30 years since I first discovered this island in 1986) remember the little quaint “case” in the heart of Gustavia where owner Adam Rajner had his expensive, but excellent Le Sapotillier restaurant. It was so named because those of us who dined in the garden sat under a huge Sapotillier tree that towered up into the moonlit sky. During that period of time, there were no retractable roofs and I don’t remember it ever raining while we were there; besides, Steve and I chose to dine on the porch/mezzanine of the “case”, anyway.

The sommelier at the time was one of our very favorite people, Manu, who now owns the Santa Fe restaurant in Lurin. The only thing that bugged me about dining at Le Sapotillier was when we asked for “l’addition”, the bill only said “drinks”. They were never itemized and therefore, our check was always much higher than we had anticipated. We kept going back anyway because the food and ambiance made for a lovely evening out.

Eventually, Adam decided to sell the restaurant. A young couple took over but were unsuccessful. Several other people gave it a shot, namely B-4, Océan and Avventura. None survived for very long. Well, I am pleased to let you know that Orega restaurant is knocking everyone’s socks off with its outstanding cuisine, attentive staff and an upgraded décor. The Sapotillier tree is long gone, but the garden tables are open to the sky and there is a retractable roof, just in case.

I love this table on the mezzanine where Steve and I can watch the world go by while we are enjoing our dinner at Orega.

I love this table on the mezzanine where Steve and I can watch the world go by while we are enjoing our dinner at Orega.

Greg Ortega and his wife Kate Kova are co-owners of both Orega restaurant where Greg is hands-on and Ortega Art Gallery which is across the street and is where you will find artist Kate. The restaurant explains the concept as, “The OREGA Team has come together to create an exceptional dining experience, which combines authentic, quality ingredients with impeccable service in a comfortable and inviting atmosphere. OREGA creates a fusion experience with Japanese and French cuisine that offers both classic and unique dishes exquisitely prepared and presented for your dining pleasure. Our team is passionate about cooking artistry and will assuredly make you fall in love with OREGA.”

Look who is right outside our window at Orega - Papa Guyo and Greg Ortega!

Look who is right outside our window at Orega – Papa Guyo and Greg Ortega!

I have already dined there a half dozen times and have never been disappointed. We always start with Edamame while we decide which appetizer to share and what each of our main courses will be. I have a tendency to order something, fall in love with it and keep ordering it again. So much so that our waiter Max (formerly at Le Carré) correctly guesses that it will be the Caribbean Treasure, Orega’s version of Spiny Lobster Ravioli with mushrooms and bisque and has already chilled a bottle of Sancerre Blanc, my favorite wine.

Caribbean Treasure

Caribbean Treasure

Steve, on the other hand, loves to try different things and raved about their Wagyu Gyoza, a Japanese ravioli with braised beef, mushrooms and katsuboshi. The lamb chops were delicious as well.

Wagyu Gyoza at Orega

Wagyu Gyoza at Orega

Lamb Chops - Orega Style

Lamb Chops – Orega Style

We always share an appetizer and the Orega variety of Tuna Tataki is outstanding. Steve is a chocoholic as well as a lover of lemon flavors. Their Chocolate Bomb dessert with vanilla ice cream, angel cake and berries (with two spoons, of course) satisfied his chocolate craving one evening and the Tarte Yuzu Meringuée (a Japanese lemon tart topped with Italian meringue) was savored on another evening. Both are out of this world.

Orega's Tuna Tataki

Orega’s Tuna Tataki

Omega's Chocolate Bomb and the Lemon Tart with Italian Meringue are to die for

Omega’s Chocolate Bomb and the Lemon Tart with Italian Meringue are to die for

Open for dinner 6:30-10:30 (Closed Tuesdays). Reservations are a must. We are happy to make them for you, our St. Barth Properties’ clients.

The Latest Update on What’s New on the St. Barth Restaurant Scene

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Bonjour from sunny St. Barth! My husband Steve and I came back to St. Barth December 8th and are based here until mid-May 2016 (poor me). As part of my duties to you, loyal reader, I must try the new restaurants and report back my findings. Today’s blog is the first in the series.

The Hidden Gem: Carpe Diem, Gustavia

Carpe Diem restaurant on the La Pointe side of Gustavia harbor, St. Barth is getting rave reviews.

Carpe Diem restaurant on the La Pointe side of Gustavia harbor, St. Barth is getting rave reviews.

Tucked away on the other side of the harbor where Ti Zouk Café used to be, new owner Audrey Ferrari has transformed the place into a lovely open-air restaurant. I have known Audrey for several years. She is a sommelier and we took a wine tasting course that she was giving at Absolutely Wine. Her dream of opening her own restaurant has come true. We have dined there several times, including New Year’s Eve, and it has become one of my favorites.

Here I am with Carpe Diem's owner Audrey Ferrari

Here I am with Carpe Diem’s owner Audrey Ferrari.

The open kitchen and bar is shared space in the front of the restaurant. The aroma wafts out to the sidewalk. Passerbys stop to breathe it all in and make a mental note to dine there. Nicely set tables near tall trees adorn the rest of the space. In the corner, there is an elevated lounge area where you can enjoy an apéritif.

The ambience in the open-air dining room at Carpe Diem is delightful.

The ambience in the open-air dining room at Carpe Diem is delightful.

An elevated lounge area to enjoy cocktails is tucked away in the corner.

An elevated lounge area to enjoy cocktails is tucked away in the corner.

The menu is varied and each day it differs a bit. Always on the menu, (a black board) is its signature homemade pasta. It comes in 3 sizes (small – 9 euros, medium – 17 euros and large – 22 euros), 3 shapes (penne, tagliatelle and macaroni) with many sauces from which to choose (Bolognese, mushroom, pesto, basil, carbonara, tomato and goat cheese cream). Believe it or not, the small size in enough for me. Although delicious, I can’t even finish it.

Carpe Diem's Homemade Macaroni with Bolognese Sauce (small portion).

Carpe Diem’s Homemade Macaroni with Bolognese Sauce (small portion).

Goat cheese ravioli as well as beef ravioli are on the menu, too (also in small, medium and large portions – 12, 22, and 30 euros respectively) with a choice of the same sauces. Steve tried the beef ravioli with mushroom sauce and couldn’t stop raving about it. Chef Julien came over to our table later on and told us that he had just created the secret recipe for it. Don’t ask because, after all, it is a top-secret.

The New Creation of Chef Julien is Beef Ravioli with Mushroom Sauce.  The Recipe is Top Secret.

The New Creation of Chef Julien is Beef Ravioli with Mushroom Sauce. The Recipe is Top Secret.

The Grill: Choose from Mahi Mahi, Gambas, Scallops, Flank steak, quail Filets and French Sausage, “Alouette” (Described by wait person, Gary as meaning “strong”). Accompanying sides include Lentils ‘Du Puy”, Coco Beans, Celeriac Purée and Pan Fried Zucchini.

Julien Losada is the very talented chef at Carpe Diem

Julien Losada is the very talented chef at Carpe Diem

Starters: That particular evening the starters included Pan Fried Foie gras (22 €), Buratta, Cured Meat (14 €), Goat cheese Salad (14 €) and Beef Tataki (16 €).

Carpe Diem's yummy version of Goat Cheese Salad.

Carpe Diem’s yummy version of Goat Cheese Salad.

Carpe Diem has a daily lunch special. For example, Daurade (Sea Bream) Tatare with Green Salad @ 12 € as well as a Formule (prix fixe) @ 17 € which includes the special along with a drink of your choice and a cup of coffee.

Opening hours: 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm. Dinner from 7:00 pm – 10:30 pm and Sunday Brunch

Please give it a try and let me know your thoughts.

Merci beaucoup!

We enjoyed spending New Year's Eve at Carpe Diem with some our of family -  Nate, Mark, Reegan and Cynthia Smyth.

We enjoyed spending New Year’s Eve at Carpe Diem with some our of family – Nate, Mark, Reegan and Cynthia Smyth.