The Rythm of Rum

Not knowing a lot about the Caribbean we left a London that was getting colder and darker. Destination St Lucia we landed in the afternoon and it is hot, sunny, and humid. The vegetation is so lush it is easy to think that if no one was there to stand ground for humans everything will be reclaimed by Mother Nature in no time. St Lucia is also an explosion of colours, not only the flowers but the clothes and the houses.
I was looking at them and wondered what my neighbours would say if I painted my house bubble gum pink or bright turquoise, it would certainly stand out but perhaps also cheer me up every day when I come home after work. Or it might just turn my neighbours against me and look out of place.

The resort was lovely, very well organised (yes, all houses within the complex were all in very bright and different colour but it made a perfect fit in these surroundings). The rooms were spacious and clean, the bed comfortable and a view that I will only dream of during cold winter nights ahead.

It was an all-inclusive and breakfast was my favourite, a large buffet with plenty of fresh, tropical fruits. They had a wonderful bay leaf tea that was my favourite.
Lunch and dinner was ok, nothing spectacular but fine.

I did, however on the 4th day get restless and I felt the urge to eat out and we headed to chic Rodney Bay and the restaurant Buzz. There we had gorgeous wine, nice cocktails and the best shrimp and avocado I ever had. The shrimp were super fresh and the avocado had a lovely texture, all dressed in a very light vinaigrette, delicious. All washed down with a lovely bottle of Fat Bastard Chardonnay.

St Lucia has high mountains, the tallest pair is called the Pitons (like their local beer), beautiful bays and beaches that can only be reached via boat.

Poverty is everywhere and mixed with sprawling mansions and luxury resorts. The atmosphere is very laid back and friendly. There is a local saying “a banana a day keeps depression away”, I did have a think and then realised I have no idea how many, or few bananas depressed people eat so left it with that thought… Bananas are the biggest export and what I didn’t know is that all bananas from St Lucia are exported to the UK only.


The climate is tropical and large amounts of rain keeps the vegetation lush. Rain comes down in an abundance.

But the flora is amazing and everywhere I looked there were the most beautiful flowers in bloom.



No holiday is complete without an excursion or two. One morning we set out to whale and dolphin watching. It was a sunny and a perfect day to spend on a boat, the breeze eased the hotness of the weather and rum punch made everything rosy!
There was not a dolphin in sight but all of the sudden we saw sperm whales (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sperm_whale) adults and little ones (well not so little) and it was the most amazing sight and a highlight of the whole trip!

Rodney bay was not far from the hotel and we found a great restaurant on the beach, Spinaker. As we ate our lunch and drank lots of Piton beer the local fruit monger showed up in and an unmistakable little boat. The meal was great, simple food just very well cooked, chicken and fries and a crab salad made for a perfect lunch.


The second excursion we did was called “Taste of St Lucia”. It started with an eco tour in a sanctuary owned by a wonderful lady that everyone simply called Mama. When I saw her it made perfect sense, she had the warmth of an earth mother in a mix with the quality of a matriarch.

Mama and one of her granddaughters cooked a traditional St Lucian breakfast, Johnnie cakes and fish cakes, washed down with the typical cocoa drink made from cocoa and spices, thick and hot. I bought raw cocoa to be able to make this for Christmas!

We also went on an echo walk as they had the most wonderful and organic fruit and herb garden. I saw the most amazing trees, starfruit, grapefruit, cinnamon and the cocoa tree!




I have to admit I had no idea what the cocoa tree looked like and the pods that holds the beans are beautiful. Our guide opened up a cocoa pod. Despite the growing of cocoa on the island there is no chocolate manufacturing but they make raw cocoa sticks that they use for their hot chocolate drink.

I also tried Golden Apple, it was more like mango than apple and delicious! We also had raw sugar cane and if I could grow that I could get addicted! It had the sugar taste but not as intense as refined sugar and the texture is extremely light. It would be perfect in any drink.

We also saw fresh ginger and tamarind beautifully laid out.


After our visit to the eco garden we went to a rum factory. The smell was overwhelming, sweet, sticky and slightly harsh from the yeasts and I would never have thought something that looks like this could be made in to great rum.


The tour ended with a tasting session and there were 21 kinds, I bought 2 bottles to bring home with me and am now thinking if I can make a rum and coconut panacotta perhaps.

The last night we went again to Rodney bay, it is filled with restaurants and bars and this time we tried a place called Grill.

The food was perhaps even more delicious than at Buzz, each dish had a careful balance of flavours. Going out in St Lucia is expensive but this was so worth it! We shared a starter of shrimp and scallops on a mash of sweet corn.
After that I had grilled shrimp and mac and cheese, just wonderful. We also had steak (grilled to perfection) coleslaw, 6 different sauces and rustique fries. All washed down with a light and wonderful Pinot Noir, followed by a mango rum cocktail for dessert.

St Lucia is the perfect place to chill out, it is too hot for anything else and everyone is wonderfully laid back. I was happy to spend the morning on the beach, have a luxurious siesta and read countless books.
I was watching ships, little crabs on the beach and the surroundings are just beautiful, it is impossible not to be relaxed!



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Comments
One Response to “The Rythm of Rum”
  1. Lisa says:

    Sounds like a wonderful break and the pictures are amazing.

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