Did you know that the Island of Barbados is the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean, and the first Zagat-rated Caribbean island? Even better, restaurants here do not have to rely on other countries for their ingredients.
For a small island, there’s an abundance of natural resources and pristine beaches. Barbados is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other.It is 166 square miles and referred to as the Gem of the Caribbean. The island’s unique coral reefs and beautiful formations are special to the Caribbean. Some say, the coral base has a spiritual and calming effect, making it a very happy destination.
Barbados is blessed with nearly perfect weather all year long, making it a great area to grow produce – pumpkin, tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, beets, lettuce, carrots, okras, to name a few - and is the birthplace of grapefruit (think cocktails on the beach). The traditional dish is cou-cou, made from cornmeal and okra. The warm waters provide a large array of fresh fish – particularly the renowned flying fish which has become a national symbol of Barbados.
Long ago, cotton and tobacco were their top crops, but sugar cane (a type of grass) brought over during the slave period replaced them. In fact, the first distillation of rum was done on sugar cane plantations. They discovered that by fermenting molasses, a byproduct of refining sugar cane, they could make alcohol. Then after distilling the alcohol they could concoct a more concentrated spirit known as rum.
Rum truly is the beverage of Barbados with its birthplace since the 1600’s. In addition, Mount Gay, a top international brand and the island’s most famous producer, is the oldest operating rum distiller in the world!
The rum industry is a big business. The production of rum has added to the economic life of Barbados for over 350 hundred years and still does. There are 4 rum distilleries on the island, all making various unique styles - Mount Gay, St. Nicolas Abbey, West Indies, and Foursquare. You can tour and taste at the distilleries – a great way to get a taste of the island. Every village has at least one rum shop, some offer great local cuisine, another way to enjoy local culture.
There’s a very interesting food culture on Barbados. Cheapside Market, a public indoor and open-airmarket located in Bridgetown, the island's capital, is where chefs and locals shop. Bridgetown Fisheries Complex is where a large portion of catches go directly to restaurants and hotels on the island – and exported all over the world. The fishing industry is also a very big business in Barbados, employing over 6,000 local people.
If you delight in delicious fresh cuisine, rum, wine, friendly people, fun and sun, then Barbados is for you. Accommodations range from picturesque plantation houses and villas, to quaint bed and breakfasts and award-winning, five-star resorts. visitbarbados.org
Port Ferdinand Luxury Resort and Residences, at St. Peter’s Bay, is found on the West side of the Island – known as the “Platinum Coast”. The property gives you very special experience. From the moment you arrive, concierge services take care of your needs. This is your time to treat yourself like a Royal.
This stunning property features one to three-bedroom oversized villas and several penthouses, with outdoor living spaces that overlook the private marina. Some villas have views of the Caribbean. Each unit is exquisitely decorated with tasteful island living décor. Should you want to cook-in, the kitchens are modern with state of the art appliances and the bathrooms are big.
There are two restaurants on-site. The Quarterdeck Bar & Pizzeria sits by the pool where you can have breakfast, lunch, dinner, and of course wine and cocktails. Open only to guests, the food is casual and delicious. Dockside at 13°/59°, run by renowned chef Larry Rodgers, a native of Barbados, and his wife Michelle, shaped a culinary style called “bistronomy” - cooking with the finest quality ingredients to create contemporary comfort food using highly disciplined classical techniques. Open to the public, the restaurant has an outstanding wine list to pair with Rodgers' outstanding dishes. Sunday brunches are a must. For more dining options, their sister property, Saint Peter’s Bay, can be easily accessed by water taxi.
In addition, Port Ferdinand has the Sandbox Tree Spa with a menu of tranquil treatments, both indoors and outside under the bearded fig tree. Only steps away is the Nikki Beach Club, where you can enjoy long lunches and swim in the turquoise waters. Boat excursions - diving, snorkeling, deep sea fishing, and swimming with sea turtles keep you entertained. Barbados has word class golf courses; the options are endless!