While St Lucia has long been a popular holiday destination, in recent years increasing numbers of UK and US expats are making a more permanent move to this eminently liveable Caribbean island nation. The affordability of luxury St Lucia real estate is one of the driving factors, but the non-stop sunshine and laidback lifestyle tip the balance. |
For those who invest in St Lucia real estate, settling in to island life is easier with the assistance of some local knowledge and as many 'insider' tips as possible. Discovering the delights of the island's delicious cuisine is almost a full time job, but here are a couple of lesser-known local tips – tried and tested by an expat insider.
The Food Shack
The name doesn't sound like much, but Bernice's Food Shack is the definition of an undiscovered gem. Situated in Marigot Bay on the main dock, there's no point looking for a sign and, in fact, this unobtrusive shack doesn’t even have an official name - but ask any local and they'll know it.
True to its nickname, it really is a shack comprised of a simple open servery under a corrugated roof. But don’t be fooled by appearances because Bernice serves up what's renowned as the best breakfasts and lunches in the region. As always, the measure of an establishment's quality is by the number of locals who frequent it, and here the clientele is made up almost entirely of local workers. Some must-trys are:
• A bay speciality: cocoa tea and saltfish Johnny cake. • Stewed goat with plantains, breadfruit rice, fig and banana. • Stewed pigs' feet and snout – far more delicious than it sounds!
The portion sizes are huge, the prices are the complete opposite and Bernice is known for her scrupulously clean kitchen. For authentic and delicious St Lucian cuisine, Bernice's Food Shack is a genuine locals' secret.
Noy's Restaurant and Bar
The second great undiscovered eatery just outside of Marigot Bay is Noy's, situated near the Roseau Valley in the tiny enclave of Jacmel. A perfect example of what exists off-the-beaten-tourist-track, Noy's Restaurant and Bar is just a 10-minute drive from Marigot Bay, but has an almost rural ambience with an idyllic outlook onto lush farmland.
Proprietor, Noy, is a born and bred local, and he and his wife Theresa serve up fabulous traditional Caribbean food from the extensive menu, but will prepare anything requested. While the ever-charming Noy takes care of front-of-house, Theresa is queen of the kitchen - and it's a well-oiled domain, producing mouth-watering dishes using the best local ingredients and produce, like figs, chicken, fish, seafood, farm fresh vegetables and fragrant rice.
As well as outstanding food, Noy's has a wonderful ambience and visitors are welcomed in like family, whether they come for a full meal or just a game of dominoes washed down with a local Piton's beer.
Eat Local, Be Local
For anyone who's made the move to purchase St Lucia real estate and settled into a new life in the Caribbean, eschewing the tourist traps and seeking out the genuine local eateries like these is the very best way of immersing oneself in the authentic culture.
Adam Gobat is a renowned expert on the Caribbean, with a passion for its culture, history, people and places. His in-depth local knowledge and wealth of experience in luxury St Lucia real estate, are key to the marketing and sales of the luxury villas and penthouses in The Landings, one of the most desirable freehold beachfront developments in the Caribbean.
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