5 Days in Barbados – Barbados Food & Rum Festival

January 9, 2020Laura Sargeant

Heading off to enjoy Barbados‘ annual Food and Rum Festival, Personal Travel Advisors Chloe and Elizabeth jumped right in to the action. Here is their day-by-day guide on what to expect at the festival, with their favourite bits by day from Chloe and by night from Elizabeth.

Mimosas - Barbados Food & Rum Festival

Day One at Barbados Food & Rum Festival:

We arrived in sunny Barbados at Southern Palms Beach Club Hotel in St Lawrence Gap, a traditional B&B in a perfect location to ‘The Gap’ in order to get out and about to all bars and restaurants. The room which we stayed in overlooked Dover Beach which was beautiful to wake up to every morning.

This evening, we went out to Harbour lights, this is a nightclub in Bridgetown which is most popular on a Wednesday and Friday. Drinks are great value for money as you pay an entry fee of roughly £25 which includes unlimited drinks all night, let’s just say you may wake up with a bad head in the morning.

Day Two:

By Day- Chloe

On our first full day in Barbados we headed to Sandals Barbados and Sandals Royal Barbados to experience the two stunning resorts and all they have to offer. We took part in a resort tour showcasing the stunning rooms and facilities around the resort and even had the luxury of being able to view the highest room category in Sandals Royal Barbados, a Beachfront One Bedroom Sky Pool Butler Suite which was truly breath-taking!

The resorts feature 18 dining options with 5 bars with a 5* global gourmet concept meaning you can sample delightful dishes including Steak, Teppanyaki Asian Fusion, Indian and beautiful French cuisine in a restaurant perched on the rooftop with panoramic views of the South Coast. The Sky-Bar is a must-do for pre-dinner drinks or to simply watch the sunset with a tipple in hand.

By Night – Elizabeth

Oistins was the place to be as they held the opening to the 10th anniversary of the Barbados Rum and Food festival, where culinary chefs served Caribbean dishes and created various cocktails to try. When visiting Barbados any other time of the year Oistins Fish Fry on a Friday is the best day to visit this fishing village where you will find local delicacies, lots of rum and an array of entertainment.

One band to keep an eye out for in Barbados is the traditional Tuk band. This is a traditional Barbadian street band consisting of a double-headed bass drum, triangle, flute and a snare drum and accompanied by a female dressed in a long gown with an exaggerated behind. This was a great evening and I would recommend purchasing a small bottle of rum rather than individual drinks.

Barbados Food & Rum Festival

Day 3 at the Barbados Food & Rum Festival:

By Day- Chloe

On our third day we enjoyed the experience of Ocean Two Resort & Residences and also Sea Breeze Beach House on the South Coast. Both resorts are part of the Ocean Hotels Collection and are some of my favourite properties in Barbados.

Ocean Two is a beachfront luxury resort featuring a variety of room options from standard hotel rooms to luxury suites featuring fully-equipped kitchens, dining areas and multiple bedroom options. Located just a 10 minute walk from St Lawrence Gap you are close by to bars and restaurants and in easy reach of transport links around the island too.

Our second hotel of the day was Sea Breeze Beach House which is our favourite hotel in Barbados. A boutique style all-inclusive hotel with a stunning beach set in a secluded Caribbean bay. Featuring three pools, adult only Jacuzzis, 1000ft of beachfront and numerous bars and restaurants you are spoilt for choice around the resort.

Food and drink at the resort is fantastic. From casual dining options during the day including a rum shop café to gourmet dishes in the evening with the opportunity to dine as part of the Chef’s Table with a five course tasting menu paired with a selection of fine wines for a small supplement once a week.

The resort also features a great programme for those travelling as a family including a children’s club and teens club with kid friendly dining options featuring kids menus at all a la carte restaurants and early seating’s available from 6.30pm. The hotel itself is decorated in muted tones with hints of Caribbean flair with colourful wall-art and splashes of turquoise and coral in accessories and soft furnishings. Room options are available featuring up to four bedrooms makes this hotel an ideal choice for families or groups.

By Night – Elizabeth

After checking out the island a little, we once again jumped right in to all the Barbados Food & Rum Festival had to offer. We attended the Cocktail Kitchen, which is a restaurant in ‘The Gap’. Here, we experienced a ‘Gourmet Safari’. This was a five-course meal accompanied by a fantastic rum cocktail for each course. I highly enjoyed the Lobster and breadfruit, which is much like a Barbados potato and well worth a try.

sea breeze beach house

Day 4: A Visit to Turtle Beach

By Day- Chloe

Our fourth day included a visit to Turtle Beach Resort on the South Coast which is part of the Elegant Hotels chain. The hotel itself features a grand reception area with views out onto the courtyard and main restaurant which allowed the Caribbean breeze to flow through. Their signature welcome drink of traditional Bajan lemonade was the perfect way to settle us in for a day at Turtle Beach.

We were introduced to the resort by a resort tour showcasing a variety of room types and the main amenities and restaurants. The resort features an ice-cream parlour which is perfect for the little ones and adults alike and it also has a coffee bar and deli serving up signature hold and cold lattes, tea, savoury snacks and grab and go bites.

Turtle Beach has a great all-inclusive package which includes Beach & Pool Ambassador service where a dedicated member of staff will serve you drinks, help arrange any additional services such as Spa treatments or romantic dinners along with serving up afternoon treats including ice cream and fresh fruit.

A bonus feature of Turtle Beach is that you are able to enjoy and sample the other Elegant properties around the island (own transport to be arranged, like for like board basis e.g AI to BB would pay for F&B locally) with their Taste of Elegance Dine Around programme giving even more opportunities to indulge during your stay.

By Night – Elizabeth

After the day’s sightseeing I headed out in search of some Bajan music. I really enjoyed the entertainment at Southern Palms. This was a brilliant local band and the perfect start to the evening. Later we headed out to ‘The Gap’, where I visited a rum shack, McBride, The Cove and Sharkey’s which are all fantastic local bars.

Turtle Beach Barbados Food & Rum Festival

Day 5:

By Day – Chloe

On our 5th and final full day in Barbados we headed out and experienced the South Coast with a spot of shopping and lunch. We walked down into St Lawrence Gap and then jumped on a Reggae-Reggae bus which is a local bus pumping with reggae music and is a must-do experience to truly immerse into island life. Souvenirs and gifts for family were the focus of the day where we looked around the shopping areas in Rockley to the local beach huts along the cost selling a variety of items.

The next stop was a trip to Chefette which is a fast-food restaurant chain renowned in Barbados famed for it’s Rotis’ and Broasted Chicken meals where we indulged in an ice-cream to escape the mid-day heat. We took a stroll back to St Lawrence Gap where we had a late lunch at a gorgeous restaurant called Mimosa’s feauring Italian cuisine overlooking the mesmerising Caribbean sea – a perfect treat on our final day.

By Night – Elizabeth

Sunday night we attended the final event of the Barbados Food and Rum festival at the Illaro Court, home to Barbados’ first female Prime Minister. This was the Epicure Evening of Elegance where we experienced a selection of canopies served by the Caribbean’s best chefs and drinks served by mixologists, with the setting of singers and bands entertaining on the stage.

This topped off our trip to Barbados before travelling home to dreary skies the next day, finishing the night at Dover bar with the locals of Barbados who love their karaoke. Barbadians often travel to the west coast every Sunday for karaoke and this is one side of the island which I plan to experience when going back to this beautiful island.

Barbados Food & Rum Festival

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