Tag Archives: Bermuda

Bermuda – The Wedding

21 Aug

So obviously our main reason for visiting beautiful Bermuda was to see two of our dear friends get married!

Don’t they look so amazingly happy? Adorable.

The wedding took place at the beautiful Fairmont Southampton hotel.

If you like all-inclusive hotels, this is your place to stay. Boasting 8 different restaurants, a private beach, a pool, and everything else in between, if you are the type of vacationer that likes everything all in one place, this is your hotel. Joe and I aren’t those types of travelers, but even I was impressed by this hotel.

The ceremony was held on the Great Lawn, which overlooked the ocean. You could not have asked for a more beautiful location for the wedding. The ceremony was amazing, and the couple just glowed.

The reception was also held on the Great Lawn, just next to where the ceremony was.

Cocktail hour started off with an amazing pasta station. We had the choice of a couple different meats/seafood/veggies and even a couple different sauces. Made fresh right in front of us.

Joe and I decided to share a plate of the tortellini with fresh tomato sauce ans some cheese. It was a great start to the evening’s food.

 

The first course was a grilled portobello mushroom and mache lettuce, with herbed goat cheese, olive poached tomatoes with a Parmesan twist and balsamic and olive oil. Obviously if it has goat cheese I’m going to love it, and this was a really tasty and inventive salad. The Parmesan twist was light and crispy, and the cheese was smooth and creamy. I loved the poached tomatoes, they definitely melted in my mouth.

The second course was a pumpkin ravioli with creamed spinach and a mascarpone emulsion. I had seen this on the menu earlier and was afraid that the ravioli would weigh my stomach down, but was surprised when I bit into them how airy they were. I feel like most weddings have some kind of pumpkin ravioli concoction and they never turn out well, but this thankfully was one of the more excellent ravioli’s I’ve had.

For my main course, I went with the Bermuda Snapper, which was served with a shrimp and Ancho chili butter sauce, lobster and roasted garlic whipped potato and served with some red pepper and asparagus and red cabbage. Even though I was completely stuffed halfway through this meal, I kept on eating it because it was THAT amazing. The other option was grass fed beef short ribs, which also sounded amazing, but let’s be honest, I can get that back in the States. Bermuda Snapper? Not so much. While the meal looked heavy, it was not. Delicious.

The wedding cake was simple but elegant and was a white cake with raspberry filling in the middle. I was literally bursting out of my dress by the time dessert came along, but I still managed to grab a few bites of the cake. It was light and moist, and the raspberry filling was really yummy.



Dancing and singing and drinking ensued. I’m sorry I don’t have embarrassing photos to show you, but use your imagination.  Literally 10 minutes after the wedding ended, it started raining. Talk about perfect.

But wait, there’s more….

The next day, we were able to attend the morning after Brunch at Windows on the Sound. Now, I’ve been to MANY a brunch, even buffet style brunch, and let me tell you, I was MAJORLY impressed with the selection. There were your standard egg/omelette station. Then there was the waffle station. A yogurt station. Fresh fruit station. A smoothie station (WHAT?!?!) A selection of bacon, sausage, home fries, pancakes, cured meats, cheeses, cured fish, cream cheese, oatmeal, cream of wheat.
And then there was the food that was so clearly Bermudian….
Cod cakes in the forefront next to some baked cod on the side served with Bermudian onions and veggies. On the back and to the right are some johnny cakes. Next to those are some Portuguese malasadas (be still my Portuguese heart) and next to that is Cassava Pie.
Have you ever had Cassava Pie? It’s not really a pie. It’s got more of a bread pudding like consistency. Cassava itself is actually very toxic for people, and therefore it has to be baked for many hours. You would think that was comes out would not be appetizing, but you are wrong! It was served with some kind of chutney, and I really enjoyed it!
The buffet price is a total bargain at $29 which is a fantastic deal for all of the delicious food you can get. I didn’t even scratch the surface of how much amazing food they had. I didn’t even have dessert. Oh, did I also mention that they had 3 different types of whipped cream? Or that they served whole avocados along with avocado bread. Oh, they also had fried bananas. FRIED.BANANAS. Seriously, if you come to Bermuda, you MUST come to the Fairmont and Windows on the Sound and have this brunch. I’d go back to Bermuda just to have this brunch again. That’s how amazing it was.
So there you have it kids, our vacation in Bermuda. I hope I’ve made you want to visit this beautiful and remote island. It’s only a 2 hour flight from Boston, but it feels like you are half way across the world!

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Bermuda – The History

16 Aug

So our whole vacation in Bermuda didn’t just involve laying out on the beach, going to a wedding and eating lots of delicious food but we also learned A TON about Bermuda that we had never known before.

City of Hamilton in Pembroke Parish

Let me share some little known facts about Bermuda:

  • Bermuda used to be a penal colony. Many English prisoners would be shipped off to Bermuda for a certain amount of time before they were then shipped over to Australia back in the day
  • During the Civil War, most of Bermuda sided with the South. Many runners came through Bermuda off loading precious materials to be used for the war
  • Many Azorean people immigrated to Bermuda during the 16th and 17th century. About 10% of the entire population of Bermuda has some Portuguese ancestry and the second language of Bermuda is Portuguese.
  • Bermuda is a UK territory, so they drive on the left side of the road. However, the British Pound is NOT accepted in Bermuda. Bermudian currency and American currency are interchangeable on Bermuda.
  • You cannot rent a car in Bermuda. Only residents of Bermuda are allowed to drive cars. You can however, ride a moped
  • Bermuda has only one city, Hamilton, not to be confused with Hamilton parish. The city of Hamilton is located in Pembroke parish
  • The main business of Bermuda is international finance. As you can imagine, many offshore transactions happen in Bermuda
  • Traditional Bermudian business attire consists of a jacket, tie, shirt, Bermuda shorts and knee high socks. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s actually not that bad looking.
  • All of the roofs in Bermuda are white and made out of limestone, and if you look closely, they all look the same. They are grooved so that the rain water drains and is collected in a tank. The limestone purifies the water and is used in the household since there is no fresh water in Bermuda.
You’ll be surprised to know that Bermuda is also home to St. George’s, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.

St. George’s is a small town, but it is filled with history. The streets are quaint, and the houses are traditional Bermudian pastel colors.
St. George’s is also home to St. Peter’s Church, which is the oldest Anglican church in the Western Hemisphere. Buried in the graveyard is the graves of the Governor of Bermuda Sir Richard Sharples and his aide Captain Hugh Sayers who were both assassinated in 1973.
Also interesting to note, there’s an actual time capsule in St. George’s town hall. I believe the date it’s to be opened is 2021.
There is a small island that is reachable by a small bridge called Ordinance Island. Ordinance Island has a great view of the water from a small park on the edge, and there is also a replica of the Deliverance (pictures above). The Deliverance is the ship that Sir George Somers (who the town is named after) and his crew built after they were shipwrecked on Bermuda in order to continue on their journey to Virginia.
Later on in the week we headed over to the Royal Naval Dockyards, which is another popular tourist destination.
It’s called the Dockyards because *shockingly* ships dock there. There were 2 cruise ships docked at the Dockyard while we were there. However, it’s also called the Dockyards because it was the principal base of the Royal Navy in the Western Atlantic between the Civil War to the Cold War.
One of the main attractions of the Dockyards (besides swimming with dolphins) is the Commissioner’s House which is the home of the Bermuda Maritime Museum.
There are also goats on the grounds. Hubby and I were wondering what animal all those brown pellets belonged too.
One of the most amazing parts of the museum was a huge mural that encompassed this entire room which is known as the Hall of History Mural. It took 3.5 years to complete and it depicts the history of Bermuda. These pictures do NOT do it justice.
The detail that went into this mural was amazing. I could have seriously stared at it for hours, there was so much going on. But it was all so amazingly cohesive, the artist who did it (who is named Graham Foster) is seriously talented.
One of my other favorite parts of the museum was the room that connected the Azores (where my Mom was born) and Bermuda. I had no idea how much influence the Azores had on Bermuda, it was really amazing to see my heritage there.
Before we grabbed some lunch, we also checked out the Bermuda Craft Market. In case you are wondering just WHAT that fish is made out of, it’s basically made up of material that a bunch of people found in the ocean. Hence, the S.S. Stinky Fish.
I really liked the Craft Market, because there were items there that you could only get in Bermuda. While we were shopping in other areas, I was disappointed that many of the Bermudian items we found weren’t actually made in Bermuda. Not the case here! We picked up 2 lovely art prints and a cute Bermudian house ornament for my mother-in-law. It was difficult not to buy one of everything there.
Obviously we had to spend at least ONE day at the beach. We chose Horseshoe Bay Beach which was a short walk from the Fairmont Southampton. The beaches of Bermuda are certainly beautiful, and the water is the bluest I’ve ever seen in my life, but I’m a Cape Cod girl at heart, so I definitely prefer the Cape beaches. The sand is so incredibly fine (and yes, it is pink, although Horseshoe Bay isn’t as pink as some of the others) that it gets EVERYWHERE. And I mean everywhere.
I have to be honest, when we came to Bermuda I didn’t expect to learn so much history! It definitely shows that Bermuda is not just some pretty place with beautiful beaches, you will definitely learn a lot!

Bermuda – The Food

11 Aug

Hello my lovely readers! Did you miss me? I really wasn’t doing much, just relaxing on a beach on some remote island in the Atlantic.

Horseshoe Bay Beach

The husband and I spent 4 glorious (albeit VERY muggy) days in the beautiful island of Bermuda. Our main reason for running off to Bermuda was for a close friend’s wedding (post to come later!) but we decided to make a mini-vacation out of the deal.

View of the water from our cottage

Now you may assume that all we did on that island was lounge on the beach and soak up the rays and attended a wedding, but we managed to actually visit most of the island during our trip. You see, Bermuda is incredibly small, with a population of just over 65,000 and it’s about half the size of Nantucket. You can pretty much get to one side of the island (the main island) to the other in about an hour and a half by road.

During our stay, we stayed in the Parish of Paget, which is a great starting point. Literally a one minute walk from the Salt Kettle Ferry, we were easily able to get to Hamilton and beyond during our trip. While we did have a take a few taxi rides here and there, we were able to take public transportation most of the time.
We stayed at the lovely Greenbank Cottages, in a small room which included a bed, bathroom and even a small refrigerator. There was a small patio table, and just a brief walk to the dock and bam, you’re at the ocean. We took advantage of the dock and went swimming one night, and it certainly isn’t Cape Cod water! Included with our room was a continental breakfast, and while it was heavy on the carbs, it was still delicious.
One specialty in Bermuda is Bermuda Fish Chowder. Forget the white creaminess of traditional New England Chowder, Bermudian Fish Chowder is a lighter and more flavorful version. We tasted many a fish chowder while in Bermuda, the first being at the Hog Penny.  Another fun little trivia bit for you, did you know the Hog Penny was the inspiration for the restaurant Cheers? Betcha didn’t know that.
Surprisingly enough, many of the pubs we went to had Sam Adams on tap! We didn’t try it though, even though I was quite tempted to see if it tasted any different.
Besides using white fish in the chowder and the many spices, what truly makes Bermuda Fish Chowder different is the additional of Goslings Black Rum and Outerbridges Sherry Pepper Sauce. The fish chowder is made with the rum and sherry pepper sauce in it, but almost all restaurants will give you a bottle of each to add more. If you like an extra kick to your chowder, I would suggest adding more sherry pepper sauce. We ended up buying some of the sherry pepper sauce but not the black rum and as soon as I get my hands on some, you bet your butt I’m making some fish chowder. The chowder above was from the White Horse Tavern (not to be confused with the one in Allston, this one is much better) which is located in St. George’s.
Some other Bermudian specialties are other fish such as wahoo and rockfish, and even conch. We got to sample all the local dishes while we were in Bermuda, and they were quite delicious.
At the White Horse Tavern we sampled the fish bites, which were battered and fried local Wahoo served with a tartar sauce. These were one of my favorite dishes, it reminded me of a slightly moister cod cake.
We also tried the conch fritters. As I was happily munching away my fritters my husband mentioned to me that conch is actually a type of snail. ::pause:: I have to admit, it was a little tougher to try to eat these but I had to acknowledge that they were quite delicious. They are definitely on the meaty side.
Back over at the Hog Penny we sampled the crab cakes which was served with a roasted red pepper and corn relish.
I really enjoyed these. They had a nice crunch to them and the relish was amazing.
We also sampled some Bermuda Onion Soup. Bermuda Onions are on the sweeter side, and this was some of the best onion soup I’ve had. It’s probably spiked with rum, and I’m ok with that.
SPEAKING of rum, we definitely had our fair share of rum drinks while on the island. The two most popular drinks are the Rum Swizzle and the Dark and Stormy. After sampling a few of each, I’ve decided that I prefer the Dark and Stormy over the Swizzle. The Rum Swizzle is made with Goslings rum, citrus juice and a sweetener, generally grenadine. If you like sweet drinks, this is your girl. A Dark & Stormy, on the other hand, is fairly straightforward. Black Rum (Dark) and Ginger Beer (Stormy), it’s the perfect combination of sweet and tart. If you prefer more rum flavor, you can ask for a Darker and Stormy. If you like more Ginger, then a Dark and Stormier is your drink. The favored rum of choice is Goslings, however you’ll be surprised to know that the corporate headquarters of Bacardi is in Hamilton. I’m just full of trivia today.
On the day we went to the Dockyards, we had lunch at the Frog & Onion Pub, which is housed in the cooperage.
The Frog & Onion is home to the ONLY brewery in ALL of Bermuda, the Dockyard Brewery Company. Bermuda is obviously not known for it’s beer selection.
Dockyard Brewing offers 5 different beers; A Whale of a Wheat, St. David’s Light, Somer’s Amber Ale, Trunk Island Pale Ale, & Black Anchor Porter. Hubby got the flight of beers which was 6oz of each beer. (That’s 30oz if you’re keeping count).
After sampling each one to see which I liked the most, I went with a traditional English pint (that’s 20oz, try to keep up here) of the Whale of a Wheat. It’s a traditional German Hefeweizenand it was very tasty. H & I agreed that all of the flavors were rather muted, but they certainly did the job.
Joe went with the special of the day, which was the Curried Mussel Pie. Also something that is done frequently in Bermuda, it incorporated the British side as well as the Caribbean side. This pie was chock full of curried mussels, and the side of mashed potatoes went extremely well with the mussels. Very nice job.
Feeling a little peckish myself, I went with the Ploughman’s Platter, and I was VERY happy I did this. A warm French baguette, sliced of apple, tomato, carrots, and some of the best pickled onions I’ve ever had in my life. Also included was some amazing Stilton and Cheddar Cheese, gala pie (a pork and chicken concoction with a hard boiled egg in the center, brilliant), and finally, some Branston pickle (basically a bunch of veggies that were pickled in something amazing) on the side. I made a pretty impressive sandwich out of my offerings, and it was clearly amazing. I see myself making Gala Pie in the near future.
When it came down to dessert, we didn’t even need the menu. I knew they had sticky toffee pudding and when our waiter came around we said “One sticky toffee pudding please!” and when it arrived at the table, I may have shed a tear or two. It brought back fond memories of the most delicious sticky toffee pudding I had while in London and let-me-tell-you, THIS sticky toffee pudding may be my new favorite. Wonderfully moist, with an amazing ginger like sauce, I was in HEAVEN.
Basically, if you ever find yourself in Bermuda, GO TO the Frog & Onion. It’s a little touristy (the Dockyards is where most cruise ships dock. Bet that was hard to figure out) but the food is great.
We did go to a couple of other places that I failed or chose not to take photos of.  I’ll briefly list them in bullet form since this post is already terribly long. I hope you are still reading at this point.
  • We went to Cafe Acoreano which I was really excited about because it’s an Azorean bakery/cafe. Should have had the pastries but instead we had lunch. Disappointing
  • Before heading to St. George’s we stopped at Common Ground in Hamilton and I had an amazing concoction of Coconut milk, chai, and espresso which was frappeed into amazingness. I hesitated about getting it, but was not disappointed
  • At the Hamilton ferry terminal I had one of the best mocha frappochinos of my life at Diangelinis. It was creamy and chocolately with a good coffee boost. Amazing
  • Our last night in Bermuda we went out with some friends at the  Somerset Country Squire Pub. It was an interesting experience to say the least. The best thing its got going for it is the view. The service is spotty, the food is good, the drinks could be stronger (some of us MAY have added some extra rum to our drinks from the bottle we got for our chowder). But the Sox/Yankees game was playing at the time, so extra points in my book.
  • La Trattoria in Hamilton is home to the only wood burning pizza oven in Bermuda. We went for an early dinner and split a delicious pizza
  • At the Jasmine Lounge at the Fairmont Southampton Hotel, we splurged on some Afternoon Tea. I wish I could have taken pictures but I failed to bring my camera. It was a great deal for the amount of food you got ($24 per person). It included a pot of tea, 4 tea sandwiches, a couple of pastries, cake and scones. With jam and sweet butter. It was absolutely delicious and I HIGHLY recommend it! Worth every penny!
One additional note about dining in Bermuda. IT IS EXPENSIVE! A relatively cheap meal in Bermuda will cost about $15.00 for lunch, and around $20.00 for dinner. Additionally, many restaurants in Bermuda require reservations for dinner and the dress code can be pretty formal. Many restaurants require the men to wear a jacket. We lucked out on our trip and didn’t need to make any reservations and didn’t have to dress extra fancy, but that was mostly because we ate early. Also, if you are considering sharing an entree, most restaurants will charge a sharing fee. We almost only shared 1 set of afternoon tea, but they were going to charge an additional $12!!! so we ended up getting one set each.
So there you have it, the food of Bermuda in a nutshell. The next post I’ll be showing you all the OTHER stuff we did besides EAT in Bermuda.
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