I like...Barbados

This is the page where I share my current enthusiasms at a greater length than the 280 characters we're allowed on social media platform 'X' but more briefly than I burble away about stuff on my blog.

Flying fish cutters

That’s a fish finger sandwich, to you and me. Though instead of Captain Birdseye’s finest, you have flying fish fillets dusted in Bajan seasoning flecked-flour, coated in egg, and covered in fine breadcrumbs before being pan-fried and served in a salt bun. It’s a Barbadian’s lunchtime snack of choice. Mine, too. My favourite? At Ju Ju’s Beach Bar in St James, after a sneaky piña colada at The Lone Star.

 

Bajan fishcakes

Traditionally eaten for breakfast in Barbados, these lightly spiced salt cod doughnutty fritters are my favourite Bajan street food, and a perfect match for rum punch. Locals also like to eat them stuffed into salt bread, know as ‘bread and two’ with a slick of Bajan hot pepper sauce. The best I tasted were those cooked up by the street food vendor outside Jordan’s supermarket in Speightstown.

Banks Beer

Barbados may have its own thriving craft beer scene - where doesn’t? - but for me (and my longtime partner in crime, Fi Beckett) there was absolutely nothing to beat an ice cold Banks lager on a steamy hot evening. Enjoyed by Bajans since 1961 and a very respectable 4.7%, you can actually buy it from Beers of Europe back in Blighty

 

Salt bread

Actually a roll, cousin to a bap, faintly reminiscent of a bagel with its seductive chewiness, I got hooked the first day of my trip when they caught my eye in Massey’s supermarket (which bizarrely also sells Waitrose own label breakfast cereal). The locals’ advice is that they “come up quite large, so we recommend that you cut each salt bread into 4 slices.” Afraid I had no difficulty in polishing off a whole one.

St Nicholas Abbey Rum Distillery

Barbados lays claim to inventing rum back in the 1640s, after the Dutch brought sugar cane to Barbados. The Island now boasts four thriving rum distilleries, with St Nicholas Abbey one of the oldest. It’s certainly the most beautiful, and one of three Jacobean style mansions remaining in the Western hemisphere, painstaking restored by Barbadian architect Larry Warren. Watch sugar cane being crushed in the original steam-powered mill from February to June, then try its delicious rums. MY favourite was the 12 year old, a snip (not) at BDS$240.

 

Hunte’s Gardens

It’s hard to believe the lush Hunte’s Gardens on the north coast of the island isn’t over 100 years old but it was established in a sink hole by horticulturalist Anthony Hunte as recently as 2007. Full of towering palm trees and exotic plants it’s a plant-lovers* paradise (there are plenty of benches to sit on and soak up the greenery). Don’t miss the wildly romantic house either.  I do LOVE a good garden.