Travel ~ 37. Blissful Bermuda

This past weekend, Jet Blue flew me to paradise.

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The British overseas territory named Bermuda became home for a few days. Divided into nine parishes, I couldn’t wait to explore.

My best friend, Lauren and I arrived at L.F. Wade International Airport to celebrate her birthday. Our friendly taxi driver welcomed us to the island. Driving along the narrow winding roads, the subtropical climate and vibrant houses were gorgeous. The crystal clear blue water, fruit trees and numerous yachts added to the scenic view. I can still feel the sunshine and warm air on my arm from that day or perhaps it’s the tan.

We stayed at the Fairmont Southampton, a lovely luxury resort in Warwick Camp. Our room, the Signature Suite was heavenly. The hotel staff expressed warm hospitality during every interaction. The hotel provided 9 restaurants, taxis on call, a wide range of activities such as water sports, horseback riding, fishing, diving, cycling, 6 tennis courts, an 18 hole golf course, 12 treatment rooms, a sauna, pool lounge areas and excursions for Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, Bermuda Forts, the Bermuda Aquarium, Royal Navy Dockyard and Crystal and Fantasy Caves all for additional charges. They are all well fun!

Soon enough, it was time for lunch. Taking a taxi, we headed to Mickey’s Beach Bistro. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the most the amazing man on the island and in my opinion he is the culture Ambassador for Bermuda, Cole Simmons. Also, he’s one of my best friends. Then we all enjoyed the colourful cocktails, savoury seafood and fun conversation with the servers including Gianni, Steven and Samy. Following that, it was inevitable to not walk along Elbow Beach. Let’s just say, the water was calling.

Then the heat and humidity must have taken a toll because we decided to rest for a while. A few hours later, Cole, Lauren and I made our way to Front Street to see what Hamilton had to offer. We saw loads of shops, stores, restaurants, bars and pubs as well as a water promenade. Eventually, it was time for drinks and dinner. Harry’s Restaurant & Bar was the answer for a taste of Bermuda. The marvelous manager, Manny made our dining experience a pleasure. The restaurant decor was beautiful too. First, I tried the fish chowder. Second, the mussels were yummy with a glass of Sancerre. Then our waitress surprised us with a treat. I recommend Harry’s as the dining destination in Bermuda.

After that, Cole, Lauren and I visited the Hamilton Princess Hotel to view the art on display. For evening entertainment, we drank at Hog Penny Pub and then we danced to Caribbean tunes at a Bajan bar called Spring Garden to end our Bermudian night.

The next morning, Lauren and I chilled by the pool while drinking rum swizzles. Surrounded by coconut palm trees, it was just what the doctor ordered for a holiday. In good time, we spent the afternoon at Horseshoe Bay Beach.

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Later for dinner, we checked out the Jasmine Lounge where a live band played local music. Our entrées were very delicious.

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The atmosphere was lively. Guests were jovial. Our waiter, Jaswyn was great. It was the perfect way to end our Bermuda adventure. I highly recommend to visit Bermuda to experience an #ahhbermuda moment 🙂

All photos taken by Niya Sinckler, Lauren Slinger and Cole Simmons.

Culture ~ Bar Goto

After devoting a few years at Pegu Club, talented owner Kenta Goto unveiled a new summer destination this week in New York.

The Lower East Side welcomed Bar Goto as a Japanese style cocktail bar accompanied by delicious dishes.

From the moment of arrival, there’s a bouncer checking ID – like you really need it but in we go. Dim lighting and moderate conversations fill the space around the dark furnishings. Bar stools or small tables are the option for seating.

The bar menu consists of quintessential Japanese beers and creative cocktails with an Asian twist including sake, wasabi, shochu and miso. Try the sakura martini or matcha milk punch to cool down. My drink of choice was the watermelon cucumber cooler shown below, a very light and refreshing mix.

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For food, chef Kiyo Shinoki prepares comfort bites such as tasty kobu celery and spiced miso wings. Practice using those chopsticks! Then the okonomiyaki (grilled as you like in English translation) is the highlight of the visit. These savory pancake small plates are offered in five different varieties. My choice was the Fisherman’s (octopus, shrimp and squid) accompanied by ginger and bonito flakes photographed above. To be fair, it was the best I’ve had outside of Tokyo.

If you’re looking for a Friday night lounge, quick drink with a colleague or first date venue, this Japanese restaurant is the place to be. Walk ins are welcome, enjoy!

Address: 245 Eldridge Street bet East Houston and Stanton Street. Tel: 212 475 4411

Culture ~ Nightlife

My highly recommended top 5 bars for a night of drinks in Manhattan:

1. Booker And Dax – 207 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10003 $$

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Booker And Dax. Photo: Venue.

Lovely lighting paired with spirited, shaken, stirred and sharp cocktails allow young twentysomethings to sip away and discuss affairs to alternative music in the background. Early evening is the best to arrive for seating in East Village.

2. Attaboy – 134 Eldridge Street, New York, NY 10002  $$$

Hidden with that speakeasy style with candles and cocktails. Creative mixologists keep the surprise alive all night making your every desire come true on the Lower East Side.

3. Sugar Factory – 46 Gansevoort St, New York, NY 10014 $$$

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Look for this logo. Photo: Sugar Factory.

The Meatpacking District is always buzzing and this candy crazed venue has everything to offer from candy canes, rainbow swirls, Swedish Fish to chocolate treats accompanied by massive cocktails. Think vibrant colors or pink and girls night out. Make a reservation and dress appropriately.

4. Corkbuzz Wine Studio – 75 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY 10011 $$

If you are more refined and prefer a glass of wine, this is the place for you. Cozy up in an intimate corner or people watch as the locals rush through Chelsea Market. Either way, you’re going to love this place for a nice glass, a wine tasting, a wine workshop or even a wine education session. Expand your wine knowledge tonight on the West Side.

5. The Polo Bar – 1 East 55th St, New York, NY 10022 $$$$

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Relaxing with a martini. Photo: Niya Sinckler.

Saving the best for last. Ralph Lauren’s sophisticated bar has a beautiful decor with a jazzy vibe to create the ambience for that opulent patron in Midtown. Definitely make a reservation for guaranteed entry.

These are perfect options to end the weekend in different parts of the city.