• JUDITH BAKER

Back to St Lucia and Grenada

St Lucia was one of the first Caribbean nations to open its doors again. Here we take another visit to the fabulous Cap Maison hotel, and as flights to Grenada take off, we go back to True Blue!

Above: Rum tasting at True Blue Bay, Grenada and below; Cap Maison St Lucia

FEATHER IN ST LUCIA’S CAP

Cap Maison in st Lucia is one of a growing number of hotels adding gastronomic experiences to the Caribbean cocktail of sun and sea.

Thanks to its terrain and climate the lovely eastern Caribbean island of St Lucia is blessed with bounty as well as beauty, and is fast becoming a gastronomic must go-to. Hotels such as Cap Maison in the north of the island, an area which has the best beaches and some of the best hotels and villas, are enticing visitors with a mix of fine dining, wines and rums and elegant relaxed glamour.

And they are finding out about the food as well as eating it. I met Cap Maison’s Executive chef Craig Jones earlier this year at Drake’s Brighton where he was taking part in their ‘chef exchange’. Back on his home turf, Craig takes hotel guests on tours of the market in the capital Castries (it has been voted one of the top three food markets in the world) as well as foraging excursions and visits to the organic farms which supply the hotel with fresh produce.

Guests can dine in the hotel’s Cap Rock, a private dining area set over the rocks where champagne can be delivered in a basket via a zip-line (should that be a sip-line?) with the waves crashing on every side. Manager Ross Stevenson tells me that there have been no less than 29 proposals at this spot, and not one engagement ring has gone overboard. The hotel’s other restaurant The Naked Fisherman Beach Bar & Grill is a toes in the sand casual dining and beach bar with great cocktails.

To work off some of the food the hotel has a well-equipped gym, but I prefer a brisk walk round the cliff point on the North east Atlantic side, and down to charming little beaches.

True Blue Bay Flavours

One of the great things about visiting the Caribbean is the opportunity to taste and enjoy the many flavours of the islands. The freshness of the produce such as locally caught fish and the tropical colours of the fruits add a dimension to the trip that enhances the experience. So, I've enjoyed conch in The Bahamas, jerk chicken in Jamaica and sampled souse in St Kitts. But for spices, its got to be Grenada. Its not called the Spice isle for nothing. here we find nutmeg, cinnamon, mace and very conceivable pepper, each with their own distinctive taste. On a recent visit i stayed at True Blue Bay resort in the south of Grenada where among other things, I enjoyed a cookery session with the chef Omega who taught us how to make delicacies such as plantain baked in orange ginger and fish and callaloo fritters.

© 2016 by EAT DRINK TRAVEL LTD.