Happy Wednesday my dears!
I don't know about y'all, but this August has been a much needed month for playing catch up and relaxing. It's the first month in a looooong time that I haven't had something going on every.single.weekend. Don't get me wrong, I love being on the go, but having a month to just breathe feels good.
So, in the spirit of relaxation, I want to share about our trip to Saint Barthélemy. St. Barths is one of the French West Indies located in the Caribbean. We traveled there for our honeymoon last May and it now holds such a special place in our hearts. We can't wait to go back one day as it was truly a week in paradise.
We chose St. Barths because we wanted leisure and adventure (I use the term 'adventure' loosely). We weren't interested in an all-inclusive situation for this trip because we didn't want to feel tied down to doing everything at our resort since the island has so much else to offer. St. Barths really gave us the best of both worlds - relaxation but also endless activities, shops and restaurants to explore. We rented the cutest little open air buggy called a Mini Moke (faster than a golf cart, but not quite an SUV) that took us all over the island.
There are so many beautiful hotels to choose from in St. Barths, but we were sold on Cheval Blanc right away. I can barely put into words how amazing this French Maison was to us. From the soothing pink and white with subtle hints of blue decor, to the signature scent, to the staff's matching seersucker outfits, to the gifts that were left on our bed each day, Cheval Blanc is a literal dreamland. The service and attention to detail is truly unmatched. I may never be so pampered in my life again, but here's to hoping.
We stayed in a hillside bungalow, which was equipped with our own private pool and breathtaking views of the beach and lush, tropical gardens. Beach side lounging was just a short walk down the outdoor garden stairway, and before we knew it - we were underneath an umbrella breathing in the salty air and basking in the sunshine with our new found favorite drink in hand (a mixture of aloe vera juice, lychee juice, water, lime, and of course - tequila).
When we weren't soaking up all the pleasures of Cheval Blanc, you could most likely find us doing the next best thing the island has to offer - eating! There are countless excellent restaurants in St. Barths, and we quickly sought out our favorites. While there's still so many left for us to try, here's a list of some of the places we loved.
1. Bonito sits at the top of our list due to the fun craft cocktails (mine was called "The Spicy Toy" and came with a floating toy turtle in it) and the incredible lobster risotto dish I devoured.
2. Tamarin is another restaurant we adored. It's set in a jungle-y garden and also had fabulous cocktails as well as one tasty profiterole that Austin and I couldn't get enough of.
3. One of the best fine dining meals of my life was at master Chef Jean-Gorges Vongerichten's On The Rocks at the Eden Rock hotel. Not only is the cuisine to die for, but the location is unbeatable. It's called "On The Rocks" for a reason. The restaurant is surrounded by water and perched on top of a huge rock formation.
4. One of our more lively dining experiences was at Shellona, a Mediterranean restaurant that sits right on Shell Beach (our toes were literally in the sand) and has upbeat music playing to create a really fun atmosphere. If you find yourself here, do yourself a favor and order the Tarreja for dessert. You won't be disappointed.
5. The signature restaurant at Cheval Blanc, La Case de l'Isle, had amazing gourmet french food. Nothing makes me happier than multiple flavors of home made butter accompanied with fresh French baguettes (it doesn't take much, people). Everything was presented like a piece of artwork and each course was better than the next. We dined al fresco by candlelight while listening to the waves crash onto the shore - so romantic!
6. Speaking of bread and butter, our go-to spot for a quick and satisfying lunch was La Petite Colombe, a bakery full of the best fresh pastries, breads and sandwiches. We found ourselves eating here on more than one occasion.
Aside from eating and catching some sun, there is still plenty more to do! The main town of Gustavia is chockfull of charming boutiques and gift shops. We window shopped the lovely displays of Hermes, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, and the like, but we had the best time just mindlessly strolling down any given street or alley.
One day, we rented a boat with a captain who took us for a complete tour around the island. This was a great way to see St. Barths from a different perspective. He anchored the boat at a few of the beaches we hadn't been to yet (there are 14 different beaches in St. Barths!), and each one was beautiful in its own different way.
I could go on and on about our incredible stay in St. Barths, but given that this is a blog post and not a novel, I will keep it short and sweet. I hope some of the highlights I wrote about might convince you to consider a vacation or honeymoon in St. Barths. If you have any questions that I didn't cover in this post, please feel free to ask away! I love any chance to talk about one of my favorite places.
Wishing you a wonderful rest of your week and a happy, long Labor Day Weekend ahead!