Snapshots from St. Martin

A few favorite moments on the island of St Martin…

Magret de Canard at Le Tastevin in Grand Case (the main dining area of St Martin). This dish was preceded by whole shrimp split down the middle, stuffed with fresh mint leaves and wrapped in vermicelli and deep-fried. I’ll have to try making that at home one day. Crème brûlée for dessert!

A barefoot, all-white dinner party on the beach complete with a giant baked alaska

Late afternoon at the lobby bar with iced tea, magazines, and a Caribbean breeze.

At dinner one night.

A view of Marigot and both the Dutch and French side of the island. The Dutch side is too rowdy for me, but the French side was gorgeous, so elegant and peaceful.

Chilled curry-crab parfait to start followed by langoustine wrapped in poached chicken at Tropicana in Marigot.

A mango tatin (with rosemary!) for dessert.

Cheerful welcome at the hotel. They our rooms stocked with bowls of ripe local fruits and chilled bottles of Badoit. Ahhhh indeed.

One Day on the Island of Pinel

Early morning rise. Breakfast along the marina, two warm croissants from Le Marche with butter and jam.

On to the catamaran! We’re going to circle the island of St Martin and then dock at Pinel, a tiny island with just three restaurants and no full-time residents.

There’s no wifi or internet so you have no choice but to relax. Don’t mind if I do.

One (or three) of these icy beach drinks are only appropriate. Turns out gin really does help with motion sickness from the catamaran rice…no need for dramamine.

Lunch at Yellow Beach, the “main” restaurant in town. The owners live on St. Martin and come by boat every morning with all their produce and fresh fish.

Conch fritters to start…

…with a bottle of rosé no doubt.

…grilled mahi-mahi with rice, lemon butter and this creole sauce I could get enough of. The perfect balance between spicy and sweet, I poured the entire container over my rice and mixed it all in. Content!

Grape semifreddo for dessert…

…and housemade (it seems everyone on St Martin has their own housemade version) rum at the end of lunch. That’s coconut on the left, passionfruit/lilikoi in the center, and guavaberry on the right.

Back on the sand. What’s that over there?

Spiny lobsters! Maybe we have time for a second meal…

Late afternoon. Opted for a two-minute dingy ride to back to St Martin, and then a five-minute drive to the hotel. It is indeed that close! St Barts is only one-hour away by boat (and 15-minutes by helicopter). We’ll have to do that next time around.

Back at the hotel, hidden in the cabana. Wifi and laptop. Back to reality. With more of those boozy beachside drinks of course.

In the Last 18 Hours…

….I’ve managed to:

 – Fly from Palm Beach to NYC.
 – Recover from food poisoning.
 – Complete a big assignment I’ve been working hard on all week.
 – Turn in two articles right on time (woohoo!)
 – Fly back out of NYC to Saint Martin.

Whew! But I’m here at last and that’s all that matters. Why drive from the airport to the hotel when you can go by boat right? ;) It’s an hour if you drive, but only 20 minutes by water. We’re staying on the French side of the island, and luckily I’ve got extra Euros left from our last Paris trip.

Here’s the peek outside the front balcony. The marina is so peaceful. Especially when you have a pitcher of iced tea on the side. Apparently there’s a 7-foot orange iguana by the name of Gaston that likes to wander the grounds here. I’ll keep an eye out for you. In the meantime, gotta get some work done, then time for dinner on the beach.