We went on our honeymoon and first trip to St. Bart’s from April 28 to May 4. We stayed at Flamands Blue so benefited from Jeff’s extensive advice and tips. First--don’t check your bags--we packed light and went through the St. Martin airport like a breeze. We flew into St. Barts with another couple who had checked their bags--and ran into them a few days later only to find out one of their bags didn’t make it! Cedric, aka “Mister Manager,” met us at the airport and showed us around the villa, and marked up our map so we knew where to find La Saladerie, where Jeff had made dinner reservations for us that night, and the exchange so we could get our euros in the morning. Here’s me sitting by the harbor at La Saladerie the first night--we had great pizza, as promised. Good thing we went there the first night as they were closing for the rest of the week for the owners to go on vacation!
The next morning we enjoyed the views from the balcony.
We were pretty shocked to meet the local wildlife--iguana number one was hanging out on our steps.
Iguana number two we encountered shortly after on the lower deck.
And there was this cat hanging around all the time! We quickly got used to him and affectionately named him Milo. He certainly has the life, just relaxing all day on the deck.
We spent the morning at Flamands beach enjoying the chairs at Isle de France, then it was into Gustavia to exchange our dollars for euros. We got lunch at Le Select, and while waiting for the exchange to open, had a cocktail on the harbor (can’t remember the name of the place but I had an excellent pina colada!). Here’s my new husband Bryan taking in the harbor.
The next day we went to Gouverneur beach, which from my first glimpse of it driving in on the mountain road, I fell in love with. I think this beach might be the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen! Before we left we did a little photo shoot on the rocks.
Next it was over to Saline, where we had lunch at Le Grain de Sel. We me some more of the local iguanas. We only saw two, but the server told us a “family of four” lived there.
Saline beach was Bryan’s favorite, and we returned a few times over our trip.
That night we had dinner at the Wall House, definitely a place not to be missed. The food was unique and delicious (I think I had something called chicken sweet potato surprise??), and reasonably priced! This was one of our favorites.
The next day we tackled the hike to Colombier beach. Bryan even lugged a chair the whole way, but once we got there it was too windy to really sit on the beach. The views alone were worth the hike though. This one with all the boats looks like a postcard.
That afternoon we went to St. Jean beach. The planes flying in and out were quite a sight! You can see my attempt at catching a plane on film and Bryan’s much better results. It doesn’t even look real, does it? There’s also a pic here of me in front of Eden Rock, which looked pretty cool although we didn‘t get a change to go there.
That night we went to Le Ti St-Barth, which we heard could get a little crazy. The décor was definitely cool and my lobster appetizer was served in a martini glass. We also caught a fashion show with the models walking right next to our table.
I haven’t mentioned the bakery yet, but La Petite Colombe was right up the hill from our villa and I think I had a chocolate croissant just about every morning! I wish I could eat pastries like this every day. Here’s a nice pic of the bread assortment, looks like something out of a picture book.
I also took a few more pictures around the villa … a very nice place to stay and everything we could have asked for!
Although I couldn't get enough of the bakery, I couldn't quite get Bryan away form his American bacon and eggs breakfast--good thing we had a kitchen!
This day we set off to see Marigot, Grand Cul de Sac, and Petit Cul de Sac beaches. Not our favorite for swimming but we did some fun exploring on the rocks. I think any other place there would be signs “no climbing on the rocks” but not on St. Bart’s! It really feels like you’re on an uninhabited island somewhere.
We continue on past Petit Cul de Sac and stopped at Grand Fond beach to enjoy the picnic we had packed (cold pizza and pastries from La Petite Colombe). Also want to mention there is a little wine shop in Grand Fond where we tasted four wines for about 10 or 12 euro, and picked up a few bottles for the villa.
That night we went to Sante Fe early to try to catch the sunset. You can see behind me it was too cloudy for a good sunset but it was still a great view.
Bryan decided to go for the grilled fresh lobster, which he got to hold before it was cooked! As you can see it was enormous--we won’t even get into the sticker shock when we got the bill since we of course had no idea what “6 euro per 100 grams” was going to come out to! Good thing I just had the ravioli …
The day before we left we went to some of the spots Jeff recommended for views. From the top of Colombier we got views of both Colombier and Flamands beaches. You really get an idea of how mountainous the island is from the second picture.
We also walked up to the point above Gustavia, from the path that starts at the cross as you’re heading out of town. This was where my camera battery died! At least it was the day before we left.
Our last day we moved to Hotel Baie de Anges, as Flamands Blue wasn’t available that night. Of course were spoiled by the villa, but the hotel room was nice, and at 150 euro, affordable. The hotel is right on Flamands beach and we could see the ocean from our balcony. We opened some wine and took a walk on the beach before dinner, which was a nice change from our usual routine of drinking wine in our villa before dinner.
That night we went to Eddy’s in Gustavia, which was a challenge to find behind it‘s secret garden-esque stone walls! The hidden away atmosphere is part of the charm though. This had to tie with Wall House for our favorite restaurant. We were seated near a large table of older gentlemen on one side, and another table of older women on the other side. Curious if they were all together, we started talking to them and found they were a group of married couples on a sailing trip (flew into St. Martin and chartered a boat). Before long they were all giving us marriage advice, and to our surprise, picked up our check! It was a great way to end our trip.
Our last morning we made once last trip to Saline (I couldn’t keep Bryan away!), packed up, and had lunch in St. Jean (again can’t remember the name!), where Bryan got adventurous and had a tiger shark steak. Then sadly to the airport and on our way home, where I couldn’t stop saying “bonjour” and “merci” for about a week. I have to comment also on how extremely disappointing it was to have to eat dinner in a Charlotte airport restaurant after being so spoiled on St. Bart’s food!!
Our trip would not have been such a success without the detailed advice from Jeff, our host at Flamands Blue. Before the trip he sent us a several-page document with tips on everything from how to pack to where to eat to what say (with French pronunciation guide!). That document was invaluable for our trip and allowed us to immediately feel like experienced St. Bart visitors. (Jeff, you should write a guide book!) Another really helpful resource was the St. Bart “Tables” book--how convenient to have all the restaurant menus in one place! Definitely every visitor should pick that up.
Our favorite things about St. Bart’s were the laid-back culture, the un-touristy nature of everything, the freedom to explore the island (zipping around in our little car!), the amazing food even at the smallest restaurants--I could go on and on. We are already planning our trip back for our 1-year anniversary!
Au revoir St. Barts ...