This is a trip we took 4 years ago. What attracted me was its reputation as the "culinary capital" of the Caribbeans. How could I resist?! Not only that, it is quite different from many of the other islands we've been to - half of the island is Dutch and the other half French which means we can visit two countries in a day!
We stayed at the beautiful Flemingo Resort on the Dutch side. The price was right and it came with an ocean view right outside of the balcony. The best way to enjoy the morning was to sample some baked goods from nearby french bakery with self-made scrambled eggs while taking in the scenary. The world stops at that moment.
Great food was indeed everywhere - even a grilled chicken wing or shrimp would tell you people here took their food seriously. To enjoy some haute cuisine, I set my eye on this chic place called L’Estaminet . It was located in the foodie Grand Case on the French side. The town used to be a small fishermen's village but now the streets are filled with trendy restaurants and bars. Our trip to enjoy the food was not easy. The first try was during the day around lunch time. We took a cab and after nearly an hour trip we then found out that the restaurants were not open for lunch. The next day, we took another trip and finally made it - including the cab fares, that was one expensive dinner. Fortunetly, the food was worth the expense (to me, not Mr. C) - refreshing and innovative, my kind of food. Just look at the dessert alone, I knew I picked the right place. A chocolate dish that looks just like a cigar with ashes!
Now let's go back to the begining of the meal. The lobster bisque was absolutly the best I have ever tasted and the goat cheese with wine poached pear and short bread cookie was the most refreshing appetizer ever period. Months later, I actually attempted my own version.
For my then 4-year-old Annabelle, we took her to this fun gelateria bar called Carousel. This might be the perfect place for her as it combines two of her most favorable things - ice cream and carousel.
The gelatos were certainly delicous and eye catching. But what blew our mind was the amazing carousel inside an artful 16-sided architecture in the backyard and right by the water. For a few dollars, you can enjoy a ride, even if you are the only one!
For Mr. C, the highlight of the trip was to the Sunset Bar & Grill to experience the sandy beach view right next to the airport and gigantic airplanes flying right at you! People sat there for hours to catch each of the flights. Watching how the crowd getting excited whenever a plane approaches was quite entertaining on its own.
All-in-all, we had a wonderful time in St. Maarten. It certainly lived up to its culinary reputation and has a lot of to offer for the whole family.