Tag Archives: Basils Bar

Congratulations to the Winning Bar Wars Team!

May 19, 2013

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Horizon Yacht Charters Grenada was thrilled to be involved with the recent Bar Wars competition in Trinidad! With 24 heats around the country, and 8 one-hour televised Final Play Offs, this highly successful TV series was made by Abovegroup Ogilvy in partnership with Carib Brewery Ltd,  & created by Russ Jarman Price.  The grand prize was a 5-day luxury cruise up the Grenadines, enjoying the treats and treasures of the Southern Caribbean with Horizon Yacht Charters!

After grueling, fun-filled rounds of dance, Q&A trivia, a myriad of crazy physical challenges and some pretty serious karaoke, the lucky winning team was announced… Congratulations to Frankie’s Bar on Ariapita Avenue, in Port of Spain!  We were very happy to welcome the winning team on board and show them a great time!

Here are just a few photos of their trip, as they sailed through the Grenadines from beautiful St Vincent to Grenada.  Their itinerary included Bequia, Mustique, Palm Island and the stunning, unforgettable Tobago Cays Marine Park, which you can only get to by boat!  Remember to contact us to book a sailing holiday to remember with Horizon Yacht Charters Grenada!

 

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Soundtrack of the Caribbean!

April 30, 2013

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String Band in Nevis

String Band in Nevis

When planning your dream yacht charter holiday, you might want to consider the entertainment available on different islands.  Music in the Southern Caribbean is so much more than just Carnival celebrations, with the small islands all sharing their traditions and celebrating more popular music at various festivals throughout the year. Don’t forget to explore local music, friendly bars and music venues, and ask about what special events will be on in the area during your yacht charter – or plan your itinerary around one or two spectacular musical treats!

Bequia & Mustique – the Mount Gay Music Fest & Mustique Blues Festival in Bequia in late January has become an absolute must for everyone visiting St. Vincent & the Grenadines in late January and early February. Most of the performances are held at Basil’s Bar in Mustique, but Bequia hosts one Friday night performance – and a real party atmosphere pervades the venue when it’s Bequia’s turn to put on the show!  Click here to watch a video of the 2012 festival!

The line-up varies from year to year, with host Dana Gillespie bringing together a selection of talented musicians on guitar, piano, sax, drums and harmonica. Missed this year’s Festival? Don’t worry – recordings are made of each year’s performances and you can purchase CDs of the performances – and all proceeds benefit the Basil Charles Foundation, which sponsors many Vincentian children through their secondary education.

Nevis enjoys a strong history of Steel Pan & Calypso Steel (also called Kaiso on the island) originating in Trinidad and Jamaica. However, the island also has several traditional “Big Drum” & “String” bands.  Big Drum bands, with their sound reflecting their strong African traditions, comprise of a base, kettle drums and a fife (resembling a flute).  String Bands – also called “Scratch Bands” playing around the island on a regular basis… these bands can have up to 10 members with guitars, mandolin, baho (a bass pipe made from bamboo), a fife and various percussion instruments.

dinghy concert

Dinghy Concert

Grenada offers a range of traditional and popular music, from the popular occasional Dinghy Concerts at La Phare Bleu which are free and great fun,  and although there are several music venues on the island that have a great atmosphere and are very welcoming, our favourite is the regular Friday nights at Prickly Bay,  the excellent pizza is highly recommended, and “Fridays at Prickly” attracts a regular crowd of yachties, students from St George’s Medical University, as well as a good blend of Locals & Expats and their families… special treats when on the island can include steel pan, gospel, or even our own hidden treasure, Donnell Best playing his violin!  The Camerhorne Festival in St Patricks brings you wonderful folk music in December,  and the Tivoli Drummers are a spectacular treat if you are lucky to be on-island when they are performing.

carriacou maroon string band

Carriacou Maroon String Band

Grenada’s sister island, Carriacou,  is home to the Carriacou Maroon and String Band Music Festival each spring.  They say that for those who have always wanted a pure and culturally untamed experience, then this is definitely the event for you!   Maroon culture is about thanksgiving and prayers to the source of all life, production and prosperity. Its African origins are authentically depicted through the drumming, singing, eating of ‘smoke food’ and other rituals practised in the unique Carriacou way by its people.  Visitors to the island at this time can enjoy traditionally prepared foods, performances from various Caribbean islands & join with families through three venues of drum bands, string bands and dancing…  you can watch some wonderful clips of a recent festival, and don’t miss the fantastic drumming and dancing near the end!

Union Island - Maroon Festival, Mayday (May 1st this year), and Heritage Day – The day-long festival takes place on a full moon in May to mark the start of the planting season. There are several stages to the celebrations starting at dawn and continuing long into the night, including communal cooking, distributing food throughout the community, singing, drumming, dance. The songs, dance moves and drumming rhythms have all been handed from generation to generation and throb down the years with the sounds of Africa.

Right now you can enjoy the St. Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival, which runs until the 12th of May!  For over 20 years the newly renamed St. Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival has been one of the most anticipated events in the Southern Caribbean.  Offering a wide selection of fringe events around the island to showcase local talent and wonderful cultural displays, culminating with the ‘main stage’ events at beautiful Pigeon Island.  There is a very exciting lineup of internationally-renowned performers, including R. Kelly, Akon, and the Jacksons; as well as such talent as Tracy Hamlin (currently #1 single in Europe) and the striking, stunning Fatoumata Diawara…

Just a few examples, but it’s clear that planning to include a memorable musical event in your sailing vacation can be a lot of fun – & if you take a moment to like our facebook page,  that’s where we’ll be sharing the details when we learn of these local events!

 

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The Pandora Awards 2009 – 2010

September 2, 2010

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Each year our mystery blogger Pandora announces the “Pandora Awards” for the Caribbean – the best bar/ restaurant/ beach even down to the best laundry service. So wihout further ado let me introduce the Pandora Awards for the 2009 – 2010 season:

The PANDORA AWARDS Season 2009-10 ‘Grenada & SVG’

Forget the Oscars, The Emmys, The BAFTA’s and the Brits people, it’s time to get out your sparkly frocks and vacuum the red carpet in order to celebrate those places and people who have achieved standards of ‘par excellence’ in Grenada and St Vincent & The Grenadines. On your behalf Pandora has been selflessly and tirelessly collating all the evidence and can now reveal to you The Pandora’s for those deemed to be the best in their field.

Restaurant BB’s Crabback (St Georges, Grenada)
Brian Benjamin takes food from his farm and other locally sourced fresh ingredients and spins them into a flavour sensations that leap from the plate to your grateful palate.

Restaurant (lunch) Jacks Bar (Bequia)
Located at the end of one of the most fabulous beaches in the region, Princess Margaret Beach in Bequia, the rustic yet tres chic Jack’s Bar delivers beautiful food and welcome shade from the midday sun without having to go back to the boat. Bliss.

Beach (leeward) Paradise Beach (Carriacou)
A perfectly calm white edged crescent with see through water and a view across to Union Island. Just a couple of sleepy beach bars, a couple of fishing boats and some very large starfish complete the picture.

Beach (windward) Macaroni Beach (Mustique)
Still the most fun you can have in the sea without a boat or a snorkel. The regular but safe big waves and shady nooks to recover never fail to please.

Supermarket IGA in Spiceland Mall (Grenada)
A massive air conditioned temple to one stop provisioning.

Fruit & Veg Market St Vincent
Early every Saturday morning the ‘breadbasket’ of the southern Caribbean disgorges its freshly picked bounty to the packed street stalls of the fruit and veg market in Kingstown. Its a riot of colour and movement and the best tasting local produce you will find anywhere.

Local Food Store Doris’ Fresh Foods, (Bequia)
Her unnerving ability of knowing just what it is that you’ve been missing but didn’t know it (like the excellent St Vincent ginger yoghurt) and locating it on her tightly packed shelves makes Doris a winner again. Just don’t go there when you are hungry!

Rum Dark: Mount Gay (Barbados)
White: Rhum Bologne (Guadeloupe)
Barbados may not be on the regular cruisers path, but its quality rum always is and rightly so. The best dark all-rounder by far. But for white rum, and the Pandora favourite the ‘Ti Punch, only that made in Guadeloupe will do. Fortunately they do sell it in 4.5 litre casks.

Beer Hairoun Gold (SVG)
The regular stuff comes usually comes in green bottles, but do yourself a favour, if you can find it, and try the premium gold edition. Its tastier with a real hoppy tang. Meanwhile In Grenada locally made Stag is the one to ask for.

Bread De Breadman (Grenada)
Lovingly crafted and individually numbered these heavy loaves of goodness are free of sugar and artificial preservatives so prevalent in the usual imported American sliced offerings that you usually find. You can locate them at IGA in Spiceland Mall and Foodland near the lagoon in St Georges.

Bar Firefly (Mustique)
Basil’s is the famous one, but up the hill Firefly is the place to go for the sunset view over your boat in Britannia Bay, the sensational martini cocktails mixed by Patrick the best barman ever and the salted toasted coconut that goes with them.

Beach Bar Sun Beach & Eat (Chatham Bay, Union Island)
Vanessa and Seckie’s Bar is a shack powered by a car battery, but after Seckie has cooked your lobster on an outdoor fire, and Vanessa mixes a rum punch with fresh nutmeg and you sit with your toes in the sand gazing at the tranquil crescent of Chatham Bay you know this is the definition of a good beach bar.

Laundry Papa Mitch’s Laundry (Port Elizabeth, Bequia)
You and your ‘smalls’ will be thankful for the fast same day turnaround of wash, dry and fold delivered by Papa Mitch’s laundry ladies located behind Maria’s Terrace on the front in Port Elizabeth, leaving you with time to do much more interesting things.

T-shirts Fidel Productions (Carriacou)
Sandra Presig and her team take a variety of local art and carefully print it on quality T-shirts, creating by far the most wearable (and durable) T-shirts in the Caribbean. If you can’t get to Carriacou, Sandra has a shop in Port Louis, Grenada and Mr Quality sells them from his boat in Tobago Cays.

Anchorage for peace & quiet Chatham Bay (Union Island)
With no roads to it, coupled with no wifi or even a mobile phone signal and populated with just a couple of beach bars make this large green hill framed bay a haven for the yachtie looking to get away from it all. Just as long as you don’t mind sharing it with the fish and the pelicans.

Naturally beautiful place Tobago Cays
There’s a reason why its a world heritage site. The breathtaking beauty of these four uninhabited islands fringed with a shallow coral reef has to be seen to be believed. Then don your mask and snorkel to discover its like swimming in an aquarium in addition to being the only place where you can guarantee to swim with Hawksbill turtles.

Location with a view by the church, Mayreau
At the top of the only road on the island, just above the church, the 360 degree view from the hill will give you as far as St Vincent to the north, Grenada in the south and all bits inbetween. But it’s the view out east to the Tobago Cays that is probably the most special.

Most underrated island St Vincent
WIth an occasional reputation as the bad pirate of the Caribbean, the truth and/or the rumours overshadow the fact that the black sand sheep of the southern Caribbean is a stunning verdant lush island with breathtaking vistas and a spectacular volcano to climb. Even if you just take the ferry there from Bequia you owe it to yourself to take a look and make up your own mind.

Fuel Dock B & C Fuels (Petit Martinique)
Easy access with a big dock pointing into the wind coupled with quality fuel (diesel and gasoline) at bargain prices make the stop well worth it. While you’re there pop to Matthew’s down the road for duty free booze and you’ll be properly fuelled up for your travels.

For an afternoon of decadence Petit St Vincent
Treat yourself to a quiet anchorage in crystal clear waters, a walk along a pristine white sandy beach and top it off with your sophisticated cocktails in elegant surroundings as the suns sets over the yard arm, and you feel like a millionaire even if you’re not.

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Ask Pandora – A Guide to Good ‘Liming’

March 1, 2010

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You can’t be in the Caribbean without coming across this term ‘liming’(Or limin’) but it’s not a term you will ever find in the English dictionary. So what’s it all about? Well It‘s hanging out, doing what you like doing, usually with friends and generally in a relaxed fashion. ‘Liming’ is part of the chilled Caribbean way of life but it’s also a mindset and when you’ve finished sailing the warm waters and come ashore ‘liming’ is just something you should do. So here’s just some of Pandora’s favourite places to ‘lime’ between Grenada and Bequia

Grenada
With its location right next to a boatyard and a chandlery in the north western corner of Prickly Bay, plus its 2 for 1 Happy Hour, De Big Fish Bar and Restaurant is always full of thirsty hard core live-aboard yachties. If you want to hear some great sea stories and ask any question you can think of about sailing, just come here and strike up a conversation, with anyone. Meanwhile in town, after a few hours wondering around St George’s and its’ amazing market (Saturdays are best) you can sample cooking with all the spices you have just seen at Pandora’s favourite Caribbean food restaurant BB’s Crab back at the northwest end of the Carenage – on the water’s edge of one of the World’s most picturesque harbours.

Carriacou
Most people head to Tyrell Bay to anchor, but the most relaxed and beautiful place on the island is Paradise Beach. Too shallow to anchor you can dinghy across from nearby Sandy Island or walk or take a taxi from Tyrell. The north end is home to Fidel Productions the Caribbean’s most creative and unique T-shirts featuring local artists. After that, stroll down this stunning beach to the south end and hang out at Curtis’s Off the Hook Bar and Restaurant where a chilled Carib beer gazing at the view across to Union Island with sand in your toes is just perfect.

Union Island
An island of 2 halves featuring busy bustling Clifton Bay and peaceful blissed out Chatham Bay. For a spot of Euro-chic style Pandora loves to stop at the French owned Bougainvilla Hotel with its L’Aquarium Bar for a much welcome ‘Ti Punch after arriving in Clifton. But for some local flava The Twilight Bar just off the main square is the place to go. The drinks are cheap, the place is always buzzing and the owner plays a mean guitar most evenings. On the other side of the island tranquil Chatham Bay has one dirt track and no phone or wifi. In the beginning there was just Shark Attack who set up his famous beach BBQ’s. Now others have followed setting up Beach Bars powered by car batteries. Vanessa and Seckie’s Sun & Beach Bar is one of Pandora’s fav’s for a rum punch and a great BBQ meal, something that TV chef Anthony Bourdain sampled a couple of weeks ago as part of his latest TV series. Meanwhile Antonio’s is a posh new place at the south end of the beach with its own pool and dinghy dock which has just opened. Could it be Chatham Bay is going upmarket?

Mayreau
2 great bays, one town with no name and just one road, but Mayreau has loads of charm. To get in the mood for laid back ‘liming’ walk to the church at the top of the hill for a stunning view of Tobago Cays in the magical light of dusk and soak up the chilled vibe with the locals at Righteous Roberts Rasta Bar. You’ll leave feeling extremely mellow!

Mustique
There’s more than just celeb spotting to do on this pristine piece of paradise. A walk from Britannia Bay down the leeward beach of Lagoon through the cool shade of the old palm plantation is perfectly topped off with a dip in the always empty Gelliceaux Beach.
Basil’s Bar on the water is the famous place but Pandora’s loves to ‘lime’ at sunset with a “Praying Mantis’ cocktail in hand halfway up the hill at Firefly where the huge picture window affords a sensational view of your boat below and the sun dropping into the sea.

Bequia
There are so many places to check out in this favourite yachtie island with the fabulous big natural harbour that is Admiralty Bay, that it’s hard to choose where to go, but after a splash on Princess Margaret Beach you can’t beat the perfectly positioned Jack’s Bar right there on the sand. Closer to town on the Belmont Walkway The Green Boley with its cheap but tasty roti’s always pulls in a crowd from lunchtime to late in the evening often with impromptu jam sessions led by a local singer/guitarist who lives out the back. Then on the north side of the harbour for quirky charm and good live music every Friday Devil’s Table always delivers for the party animal onboard. But there’s more to Bequia than just Admiralty Bay. Stan and Elizabeth of Firefly in Mustique have set up Firefly in Spring, a beautiful restored plantation house that does fab fresh fruit smoothies and in Friendship Bay on the south of the island the Moskito Bar has swings at the bar to sit on!

For photos of where to lime click here

Happy Liming!

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