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.