One of my favorite occasions is when work and play intersect in a perfect crossroad. This perfect cross-over has happened for my Mom and I. We have been invited to help in the staging of Villa Palmier on St. Bart’s for an eight page photo spread that will appear in 2016’s Summer French Elle Decor magazine. This fabulous opportunity has been afforded to us by the home owners and my dear friends, Kate and Matt Holstein.
This is my second visit to Villa Palmier. It is tucked into the stoney slopes of the Island and overlooks Anse Des Cayes beach.
The home is decorated with a clean modern elegance that still captures casual island living. With a living room and kitchen that literally adjoins an outdoor pool and sundeck, happy guests feel like they are living in a paradise tree house.
Quaint small restaurants, patisseries, sandy coves and turquoise blue water are found at every turn in the winding roads. The house is in the perfect location, just above the airport and equidistant to the harbor in Gustavia and the town of St Jean.
I spent the past week with my dear friends Kate and Matt in their new home in St Barts. It was a special trip with lots of laughs, great friends, exceptional food presented by Jimmy John’s Owner, plenty of rosé and lots of swimming. They have done a phenomenal job with the renovation and decorating. Some of my favorite times from the week were spent at Villa Palmier in the hammock taking in the view, together in the the kitchen cooking amazing fresh fish, enjoying afternoon affagatos, taking many dips in the pool and the outdoor shower. I am already dreaming of when I can come back to this paradise.
go early in the morning, it is a fairly quiet beach. Stop at La Petite Colombe Boulongerie, pick up croissants aux amandes and café crème and enjoy down at the beach. Great beach for a beach walk and swim.
Petite St Jean Beach – White sand and calm clear water make this an ideal beach. My first evening was spent here watching the sunset with a bottle of rosé. This beach is steps away from the heart of the village St Jean which has plenty of boutiques and restaurants for when you need a break from the sun. Nikki beach and Eden Rock are here. A fun beach for an early morning swim.
St Jean – Another beautiful beach, steps from the village of St John. Enjoy a glass of rosé at the bar on the beach at boutique hotel Tom’s Beach. Great beach for a swim.
Shell Beach – Go here after having lunch at Do Brazil. Swim out to the cliffs on the left side of the beach. Its about a 300 yard swim, calm water. This is a fun and lively beach.
Colombier – This beach can only be reached by a 30 minute hike or by boat.
Corossol Beach – This is a small fishing village, off the beaten path with a quaint beach. Stop at Dream Time Boutique the only shop here, they import beautiful wooden furniture, bowls, cutting boards from Bali. Then go for a dip.
Governor Beach – Beautiful large beach, feels very remote.
Petite Anse – Tiny shallow swimming hole, tucked into the cliffs. Follow the stairs down and into the water. Perfect spot to bring a book and dangle your feet into the water. Or do like we did and buy Argile Clay from Marche U (5 euro) and do face masks before taking a dip. The cove is protected from the waves with a rock wall, so the water is very calm. It is between Flamand and Colombier.
Saline Beach – Not a problem if you forget your swimsuit, this is one of the 2 swimsuit optional beaches. I love this secluded beach (it was a bit windy). Fun to have lunch at Le Grain De Sel before or after going to Saline.
Toiny Beach – Popular surfing beach, strong current, so not great for swimming. We parked at the beautiful 5 star Relais & Chateaux Le Toiny Hotel. Then were shuttled down to their fun beach club.
Eddy’s – Gustavia
Rue du Centenaire, Gustavia; 590-590-275-417
This island institution is hidden in a enchanting garden behind a stone wall. The menu focuses on fresh, Creole-style seafood, without much fuss. Try the lentil salad.
Hideaway – St Jean
St. Jean; 590-590-276-362
Good simple food at a good price. I recommend the California pizza, a crispy thin-crust pizza with tomato and an abundance of garlic.
Les Bananiers – Columbier
Next door to my favorite bakery La Petite Colombier. The atmosphere is more laid back than some of other restaurants. Seems popular with locals. They have a traditional french menu (fish, meat, foie gras, escargot, sweatbreads) and pizza. I recommend the escargot, shared the lobster curry and for dessert the creme brûlée.
Do Brazil – Shell Beach
Open everyday for lunch
Enjoy a long lunch right on the beach. Very fun and casual vibe. Try the wahoo tataki and of course rosé is a must. Go for a swim out to the cliffs after lunch.
La Petite Colombe – take away breakfast
The best Boulongerie and just up the hill from Villa Palmier. This was a must every morning and the earlier you get there the better. A few of my favorites: croissants aux amandes and pain au chocolat for breakfast, grab a sandwiches and lentil salad for lunch at the house or on the beach and be sure to grab a baguette to enjoy later in the day.
Le Select –
Rue de la France, Gustavia
This kitschy hotspot is known for beer and burgers. Centrally locacated in the center of Gustavia. We grabbed the fish of the day to take back to the house
Le Bar de L’oubli – cappuccino & people watching
3 rue de la France, Gustavia
7:30 am – 11 pm
Right in the middle of Gustavia, this is a great spot to enjoy a cappuccino and croissant in the morning. Fun people watching, good local crowd.
Tamarin – special dinner
Grande Saline St (near Saline Beach)
Go here for a memorable dinner experience. The lush tropical garden setting is stylish and enchanting with paths leading to hidden dining areas, each area with a different feel and vibes.
Bonito – special dinner
Hands down my favorite dinner place for a special night out. Make a reservation for on the terrace with a view. Plan to arrive early or stay after for a drink on the couches (great photo spot). Beautiful beach chic decor. The grilled octopus starter and grilled sea scallops are outstanding. Elegant staff keep serving an assortment of ‘muse bouche’ which add some surprises to the evening.
Lorient, 97133 Saint-Barthelemy
Fruit and vegetable market open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The fresh produce comes from Guadaloupe. Stock up on the pure coconut water. Have a fresh smoothie made while you shop, I like the carrot, mango, and papaya mix.
Gustative Fish Market
At the entrance of Gustavia, there is a little fish market, you have to get there early—all the fish is usually sold out by 9 am. A group of local fishermen sell their early-morning catch to restaurants, locals, and visitors. In addition to langouste (Caribbean lobsters), you can often find dorade, wahoo, and tuna.
Isoletta – casual chic pizza
Casual italian, fun vibe & excellent pizza.
Grand Cul de Sac – lunch on beach
On the beach literally, toes in the sand, super casual but excellent seafood, fresh fresh, great view of bay with wind & kitesurfers. Best tables are below the restaurant.
Le Grain De Sel –
Great lunch spot before going to Saline Beach.
Baya – St Barth
23, rue du Général de Gaulle – Gustavia
World inspired, eautifully curated home accessories and jewelry
French Indies Design
Maison Suédoise, Gustavia
Beautiful shop on the far side of Gustavia Harbor owned by Karine Bruneel a St. Barth–based architect and interior designer. They have lovely furniture, textiles, glassware, and unusual decorative baskets, candles, jewelry and pottery.