Packing a Punch
Nevis,the jewel of the West Indies.
It’s all about the rum punch in Nevis, everywhere you go the host,bartender or hotel owners are proud of their rum collections and even prouder of their rum punch.
Arriving late off the British Airways flight we were greeted at The Nevis Beach Villas with a surprisingly stiff and delightful Paradise Punch (ingredients are secret) which certainly did the trick and set us up for our evening ahead.Vivian who is head of guest relations for the property, apart from being delightful and helpful, is also quite a mixologist as we discovered during our stay.This group of luxury villas are situated on one of the most beautiful beaches in the islands. Situated at end of a long beach, while not being entirely private,the picturesque beach is not used by the general public as it is too far from public access areas.Each villa has its own butler and has been designed to provide cool understated luxury for guests staying there. This is the place to stay in Nevis for privacy, luxury and personal service.
For sundowners and pelican watching there is a lovely beach bar tended by Mervyn the house bartender. Guests convene shortly before sunset to sip cocktails and wait for the “green flash”
Further south and inland is the historic Hermitage Inn, I had stayed here on a previous trip a few years earlier and I highly recommend this lovely hotel for a person traveling alone and also for families.Run by a family for many years, the owners and staff are very welcoming and the bedrooms are charming.After a grueling day of beach lounging and house viewing we visited the Hermitage bar at six pm the next night to sample their version of rum punch as we had heard that it was one of the best on the island.The original plantation was built in 1670 and the charming inn was created in the 1980’s by its current owners who have retained the charm of a West Indian plantation.The bar does not disappoint and is the focal hub of social life on Nevis for many people. If you pop in for a drink on any given evening you are bound to make acquaintance with a sea captain or another traveler with a story to tell.The rum punch stood the test and was pronounced to be excellent, strong and fruity with a bit of an after kick! The owners son Rick is a rum aficionado and its possible to sample speciality rums at this bar from many different islands and other parts of the world.
On the walls of the bar are several photographs of horse races on Nevis, stunning images of horses racing in front of the caribbean sea. These races were originally set up by the hotels owners but sadly no longer take place. We heard rumors that the race course would soon be restored to its former glory and decided to investigate the next morning .
The day started with an alfresco breakfast at Golden Rock, the eclectic and beautifully restored sugar cane plantation on the south side of the island.This hotel is located close by to the magically named village of Gingerland, ginger was once the crop that sustained this area. After breakfast we walked the grounds of Golden Rock although not the entire one hundred acres, and we saw many wonderful tropical plants and trees, however no monkeys this time.
We then set off to find the race course, driving through a village or two, then down a very bumpy road until we reached the ocean. It was windy here as this side faces the atlantic, we turned a bend and there it was, a relic of former glorious racing days.
Complete with betting office, bar and stands you should practically hear the horses hooves beating in the sand . Sadly now the only hooves on offer were a drove of donkeys who clearly had the place to themselves.
By now it was time to find a new place for a rum punch, we had heard that the beach bar of choice was up the other end of the island and decided to take a back road under the volcano. This proved to be rather challenging with more than one dead end forcing us to turn around.When we finally found the right road thanks to a local police man it took us past some wonderful landscapes and charming tropical houses allowing us to discover the charm of hillside living on this island .
The punch at Chrishie Beach did not disappoint, it was light and refreshing and a perfect midday drink, the food was also excellent. Vietnamese spring rolls, sliced seared tuna and thai shrimps were all delicious. The owners have created a stylish beach bar more likely to be found on St Barthelemy or Ibiza which seems very popular with the local expat crowd.
Sadly we did not have time to go to Lindbergh’s Landing where we hear they serve one of the best “Rum & Coke” we arrived too late and the bar was closed.
Rating the Nevis punch.
Best Rum Punch The Hermitage Inn
Best Paradise Punch The Nevis Beach Villas
Five things to do in Nevis.
Hike the volcano
Walk endless white sand beaches
Dance to a live band at Sunshines
Take a day trip to St Kitts or to St Barthelemy
#luxurynevis #escapetohiddenchic #luxurycaribbean #naturalnevis