Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: May 2021 Trip - First Week

  1. #1
    PeterLynn is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Mar 2014 Houston Posts: 490

    May 2021 Trip - First Week

    The first full week of the trip began with a couple of sunny "maid-free" days (Sunday, plus the holiday) and meals in the villa. Although it is early, Flamands seems less crowded than usual with only a handful of beach walkers and a few families enjoying the waves. The villas around us are occupied, but the Cheval Blanc appears to be rather quiet. Interesting.

    Tuesday morning, we head into Gustavia and this proves to be the defining moment in the trip. Over the past few years, we've made friends with some of the people who come around the same time. While we enjoy the company, we have been more inclined to spend time as a couple with a different beach each morning, lunch and then afternoons in the villa's pool. Maybe it's a year of being cooped up, but more often than not, we ended up at Le Select catching up, just people-watching or a combination of both. One such session gave us the opportunity to meet Ellen, who immediately set me straight that "The Wife" has a name and will now be referred to as "Lynn", and her husband Rosemond, who, despite all he has been through, looks great. Wished we could have stayed. Maybe next visit.

    1-06.jpg

    Hiked the lower trail last year, but this was as close as we got to Columbier this time.

    1-08.jpg

    Lot's of construction permits on the island, although not as much building activity (noise) as in previous visits. That doesn't mean things aren't changing. We stopped by the first villa we stayed at back in 2014. On the hill above the pharmacy in St Jean, it holds a place in our hearts and so it was sad to see how damaged it was by Irma. Alas, it is no more.

    1-09b.jpg
    1-09a.jpg

    Wednesday's lunch found us as guests at the table of Phil and Amy at Santa Fé. Wonderful food, views, breezes and delightful company. We had invited them to have a drink at Bar de L'Oublie two years ago, so it was great to spend a bit more time getting to know them better and some of the flavor of the island in years gone by.

    Dinner was another of our favorites - Orega. Greg was not present, so the welcome felt a tiny bit incomplete without one (or two) of his memorable "bisous", but fortunately the ever charming Tuti and Clément's cooking more than made up for it. I had a crazy seared fois gras on watermelon for a starter and the always great sea bass, but after three hours of lively conversation, I am struggling to remember what the others had. Also got the chance to meet another fellow forum member, Brett and his wife, who were clearly having a wonderful meal after having missed out on their previous visit.

    1-10a.jpg
    1-10b.jpg

    Thursday's mean moule et frites, which I was denied when we arrived, so reservations were made for dinner at Le Repaire. Very good, but the mussels were larger ones from Canada rather than Brittany, which seemed to throw off the moule and marinière ratio. Really need to try Santa Fé's next visit.

    1-12.jpg

    The pre-L'Espirit sunset

    1-13.jpg

    Friday night was the culinary highlight as we headed over to Saline and a rendez-vous with Jean-Claude. Such a beautiful setting, welcoming staff (great to see Christophe again) and amazing food. With the menu set at 60 euros the meal was a real bargain. My entrée was the sublime tuna tartare with apple sorbet, while Lynn had the duck spring rolls. We usually like to have separate dishes, so as to try each others, but this time we both had the saint jacques (scallops), which were perfectly seared and melted in our mouths. I had three "boules" (a VERY dark chocolate ice cream, raspberry and Yuzu sorbets) while Lynn had the strawberry and pistachio pastry. Wow!

    1-14a.jpg
    1-14b.jpg
    1-14c.jpg
    1-15.jpg
    1-16.jpg

    Saturday found us at Le Select, yet again meeting up with friends and me trying my first Pastis, after which I was ready for a game of Petanque. Dodging showers while running errands led us to St Jean and lunch at Kiki-e-mo. Coincidentally, we had just read an article about the owners in one of the free glossy magazines I overload my suitcase with, when in they walked. Had a nice conversation and found out they were closing that day so they could visit their boys Keefer (Kiki) and (e) Marlon (Mo) back in the states.

    1-17.jpg

    Thanks to one of the passing showers, a baby turtle enjoys a drink from the villa's welcome mat.

    1-18.jpg

    Our final dinner of the first week was another of our favorites - Maya's. Dora was sorely missed as she was such an amazing hostess, but Randy did his best to make us feel welcome and was able to have an extended chat with us before we ordered. Maya's amazing tomato and mango salad was absent from both the prix fixe menu and the carte, but Randy checked with his wife and she was able to find a single mango, for which Lynn was grateful. I opted for the Gratin Christophene, which was delicious with just a hint of spice. Freed from the menu, I had my usual grilled durade and Lynn her shrimp skewers. The real treat was Maya's pistachio ice cream and having her stop by our table to say hi and describe how she came up with it. Rather than the typical bright green color, hers was made from actual crushed pistachios. Wow. What a way to finish out the week.

    1-19.jpg
    1-19b.jpg
    1-19c.jpg

    Mr Fiona was in fine form (maybe the new Dora?)

    1-20.jpg

    Randy told an interesting story about the cat. Apparently it is a stray that hung around Maya's was adopted out to a family in Grand Fond. Four weeks later the cat showed back up. "She" was named Fiona and appeared to be pregnant, thus a trip to the vet. Turns out the cat had been neutered and obviously not pregnant, nor female. Voila, "Mr" Fiona.

  2. #2
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,352

    Re: May 2021 Trip - First Week

    Nice looking food at all of my favorite places!

    Your comment about being a couple versus being a party of four (or more) brings me back to the often told tale of the whack-a-moles!

    Decades ago the island was our couples-only spot, but this Forum and later social media writ large exposed our personas. People at dinner would pop over with a “are you JEK?” A conversation would ensue. My wife, somewhat affectionately, gave forum members the sobriquet of Whack-a-Moles for the way people would pop up at lunch, dinner and drinks.
    It has stuck with us through all the years. Andy Hall even inquired as to which Moles would be present on his Zoom!
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  3. #3
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 7,045

    Re: May 2021 Trip - First Week

    Quote Originally Posted by JEK View Post
    Nice looking food at all of my favorite places!

    Your comment about being a couple versus being a party of four (or more) brings me back to the often told tale of the whack-a-moles!

    Decades ago the island was our couples-only spot, but this Forum and later social media writ large exposed our personas. People at dinner would pop over with a “are you JEK?” A conversation would ensue. My wife, somewhat affectionately, gave forum members the sobriquet of Whack-a-Moles for the way people would pop up at lunch, dinner and drinks.
    It has stuck with us through all the years. Andy Hall even inquired as to which Moles would be present on his Zoom!
    In a similar vein, Brook Lacour, co-founder of Sibarth, told me of the dislike of her sons, as young boys, at having dinner in restaurants with their parents because villa rental clients often would stop by the table to complain about plumbing problems, insufficient glassware, issues with the maid, etc.. Personal evenings too often became extended business hours.

  4. #4
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 28,521

    Re: May 2021 Trip - First Week

    When forum posters say hello, I am happy to meet them live and in person. Many friendships have developed over the 13 years of making connections while on island and then keeping in touch while home year round

    Some brave lurkers actually become regular posters and so we continue to grow and change the mix.

    Life is good. Ahhh, St BARTH
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  5. #5
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,352

    Re: May 2021 Trip - First Week

    Quote Originally Posted by cec1 View Post
    In a similar vein, Brook Lacour, co-founder of Sibarth, told me of the dislike of her sons, as young boys, at having dinner in restaurants with their parents because villa rental clients often would stop by the table to complain about plumbing problems, insufficient glassware, issues with the maid, etc.. Personal evenings too often became extended business hours.

    A good friend of mine is a retired dermatologist who is often asked (at dinner by his Moles) to look at a skin imperfection for a quick check!
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  6. #6
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 7,045

    Re: May 2021 Trip - First Week

    Quote Originally Posted by amyb View Post
    When forum posters say hello, I am happy to meet them live and in person. Many friendships have developed over the 13 years of making connections while on island and then keeping in touch while home year round

    Some brave lurkers actually become regular posters and so we continue to grow and change the mix.

    Life is good. Ahhh, St BARTH
    . . . and your gifted skills, Amy, in making everyone feel welcome and special have made you a great Ambassadress of the Forum! You generously spread smiles everywhere!

  7. #7
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 28,521

    Re: May 2021 Trip - First Week

    Thanks Dennis. Pre trip we all, mostly all anyway, help so many navigate the ins and out of visiting St Barths, it is great to see they actually make it, have fun, and are eager to share.

    I guess it helps that Phil, my ever patient spouse, is active on the forum too.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  8. #8
    NancySC is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Sep 2017 Posts: 1,323

    Re: May 2021 Trip - First Week

    Enjoyable report & pictures & thanks for heeding Ellen's naming change from 'the wife' to Lynn. Didn't like the look of that 1 shrimp not cleaned correctly at Maya's & presented that way. Yep, fussy !

  9. #9
    GramChop is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Austin, Texas Posts: 17,833

    Re: May 2021 Trip - First Week

    Thanks for sharing your report...it all looks and sounds divine.
    The waves of the sea bring me back to me.

  10. #10
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 11,317

    Re: May 2021 Trip - First Week

    We are fans of Maya and Randy, Tuti, Clements and Greg… but like you Jean Claude is consistently at a different level with his restaurant atmosphere/surroundings, clap clap with a smile, originality of recipes for all courses and outstanding service.

Similar Threads

  1. May 2021 Trip - Settling In
    By PeterLynn in forum St Barts Trip Reports Forum
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 06-07-2021, 07:53 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •