3 Days in Jamaica

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Day 1

MORNING The Seagrape Terrace at Half Moon serves breakfast sunny side up – outdoors by the sea.

MID-MORNING Visit the 6,500 acre Rose Hall Great House and try to avoid a run-in with the famous White Witch!

12 NOON Walking around a haunted Great House works up an appetite, and so does the 1ó hour car ride to Negril for an afternoon lunch on the edge of a cliff at “The Caves”.

AFTERNOON Photograph The Caves, the 7-mile beach and the Negril Lighthouse.

LATE AFTERNOON Revive your spirits at Rick’s Café. Enjoy the music and gawk at the local cliff divers. Order some nachos, a Red Stripe beer and you’ll be rewarded with a sunset like no other.

EVENING Drive back to Half Moon and dine at II Giardino, for a sumptuous meal prepared by the hotel’s famed Italian chef, Guido Gilardoni.

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Day 2

MORNING Twice the charm; enjoy another breakfast at the Seagrape Terrace.

MID-MORNING Drive to Ochos Rios and stop at Greenwood Great House, the finest antique museum in the Caribbean.

12 NOON Lunch at Evita’s is a must. The pasta house has served notable guests Naomi Campbell, Brad Pitt, and Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) to name just a few.

AFTERNOON Visit Dunn’s River Falls and get more than just your feet wet.

LATE AFTERNOON Stop off at the Island Village and Ochos Rios Craft Market.

EVENING Check into Chris Blackwell’s legendary resort, GoldenEye and enjoy a Blackwell Rum tasting before dinner in the tree house-like gazebo.

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Day 3

MORNING Enjoy Jamaican style bacon and eggs at the Bizot Bar.

MID-MORNING Visit Firefly, Noël Coward’s tropical retreat.

12 NOON Head over to Scotchie’s for authentic Jamaican jerk barbeque.

AFTERNOON Shop Wassi Art for Jamaican-made arts and crafts.

EVENING Before the sun sets, take a glass bottom boat ride and enjoy the sea life.

GoldenEye

  • Furnishings, like the bamboo and wicker drumtables and stone coffee table are simple and organic in shape. Classic Panton chairs tuck under the dark wood chess tables.
  • Black frames on a white bead board wall display images of Bond author, Ian Fleming at GoldenEye.
  • The unassuming white-washed bungalow with cedar shingles is perched atop an oceanfront cliff that leads to a private beach.
  • Sustainable wood furniture connects the interior to nature.
  • The textured ceiling gives the whitewashed interior a more intimate scale.
  • As the author said himself, “Don’t on any account fool around too much with colours. Keep everything white inside.”
  • Fleming's original desk (the one at which he wrote 14 James Bond novels) still resides at GoldenEye.
  • The villa also features a private outdoor spa bathroom surrounded by tropical foliage, blooming trees and bamboo fences.

 PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANGELA AUCLAIR

Where To Stay in Jamaica: Half Moon

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It doesn’t get much more perfect than the RockResort, Half Moon.  Named after its crescent shaped 2-mile private coastline, this oceanfront complex offers guests the prettiest beach in Montego Bay.

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PERFECT PARADISE
While indulging in the luxury of Half Moon, giddy-up and take a horse ride along the coastline. Guides will even lead the horses into the ocean with you in the saddle. The resorts activities include a world-class championship golf course designed by Robert Trench Jones, 51 swimming pools including an Olympic size lap pool, and a “Swim with the Dolphins” experience.

TIP:  Consider using the complimentary shuttle or rent a golf cart to get around the impressive 400-acre sprawling grounds.

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COCONUT COCKTAILS
Enjoy a fresh cut coconut from the many palms surrounding the decadent accommodations of Half Moon. 32 bedroom Royal Villas are situated along picturesque sunrise beach.  Each Villa is decorated in cool tropical colours, has it’s own private swimming pool, garden terrace, and is staffed with a cook, housekeeper, and butler.

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Everything is Irie! A Special Thanks to Jamaica.

I fell in love with Jamaica.  The incredible people, culture and cuisine was surpassed only by the fragrant fresh air, gorgeous beaches and coastal plains that give you the feeling you’re standing as close to heaven as humanly possible.

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One of the biggest pleasures I had on this adventure was meeting new friends. The Jamaican Tourist Board went out of their way to showcase Jamaica’s best.

Symerna Blake, our fabulous guide, is a knowledgeable ambassador for Jamaica. Thank you Symerna for making the trip so special.

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I’d also like to thank our ultra savvy driver Jermaine Smith from Paradise Travels whose road warrior skills and panache got us through some tough terrain… always on-time and in-style!

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With endless gratitude,

Nicholas Rosaci and Team Dabble

 

Design for Living

  • Sir Noël Coward, the legendary English playwright, actor, singer, director and composer was also known for his flamboyant wit and personal style.
  • Immortalized in this stone statue, Coward sits forever in his beloved garden, peering out onto an almost unchanged glorious natural coastline.
  • Inside, rooms are filled with Coward’s original furniture, artifacts, paintings and photographs.
  • A photo of good friend, Marlene Dietrich sits atop the piano.

East of Oracabessa, Jamaica sits Firefly, named after the glowing insects indigenous to these lush hills. Noël Coward’s famed mountaintop estate offers an unparallelled view of St Mary’s harbor, the original lookout for the notorious pirate Sir Henry Morgan (of rum bottle fame).

My sense of importance to small. On the other hand importance to myself to the world is relatively hand my sense of my own myself is tremendous.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANGELA AUCLAIR

Escovitch Dressing

Recipe courtesy Cook Like a Jamaican

Escovitch

Originally appeared in Issue 4

 

INGREDIENTS
½ each green and red bell pepper, julienned
1 medium carrot, julienned
1 small onion, sliced in rings
3 tbsp cooking oil (use leftover oil used to fry fish)
⅔ cup vinegar
10 pimento seeds (optional)
½ tsp salt
1 tsp pepper sauce
½ scotch bonnet pepper, seed removed
and chopped

DIRECTIONS
Cut vegetables and put aside.

Put vinegar and oil into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add carrots and pimento seeds and let simmer for about 1 minute. Add salt, pepper sauce and bell peppers and simmer for 1 minute.

Add onion and simmer for about 3 minutes or until the onion is transparent. Add scotch bonnet pepper and stir.

Place fish into serving dish and spoon dressing on top.

Serves 4

Jamaica: Top Spots in Montego Bay

Montego Bay has more than a few temptations. Here are 6 reasons (beyond spectacular beaches, lovely people and great food!) to visit now.

1. Pamper yourself with a leisurely massage at the Ferntree Spa, the ultimate relaxation experience at Half Moon RockResort.

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The Ferntree Spa at Half Moon RockResort.
Photography by Angela Auclair

2. Don’t miss the sunset at Doctor’s Cave Beach. The long pier seems never-ending, just like the legendary sunset.

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The pier at Doctor’s Cave Beach.
Photography by Angela Auclair

3. As far as haunted mansions go, Rose Hall Great Hall is the most notorious and the most beautiful one in Jamaica. Annie Palmer (aka White Witch) is the local spectre. It’s said she murdered all her husbands here, one-by-one. If you’re not afraid, you’ll enjoy a tour of the tastefully decorated interiors.

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Rose Hall Great Hall
Photography by Angela Auclair

4. Immerse yourself in Jamaican culture and art at the Old Fort Craft and Heritage Park. Meet artisans and crafters and find something unique to love and bring home.

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Handmade crafts at Old Fort Craft and Heritage Park
Photography by Angela Auclair

5. Located at the centre of Montego Bay and amongst the cobblestone streets of Sam Sharpe Square are heritage structures dedicated to Jamaica’s national hero, Samuel Sharpe. Samuel spoke out against slavery and was eventually tried and hung after the rebellion to abolish slavery failed. His bravery lives on.

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Heritage sculptures at Sam Sharpe Square
Photography by Angela Auclair

6. Take a walk through history when you visit this authentic sugar plantation at Greenwood Great House. The home features most of the original furniture and some rare musical instruments.

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Greenwood Great House
Photography by Angela Auclair

Jamaica: Top Spots in Ochos Rios

Ochos Rios is the ideal antidote to winter. Here are 6 warm reasons to visit now.

1. In 1955, the famed English playwright, Noël Coward purchased a retreat 1,200 feet above Blue Harbour for $150. Here he would build a simple house, which he named Firefly. The hilltop property boasts incredible views of the north coast of Jamaica which is open to the public for exploring.

Statue of Noel Coward at Firefly Photography courtesy Angela Auclair

Statue of Noel Coward at Firefly
Photographed by Angela Auclair

2. Famous for its Jam-Italian fusion cuisine, the restaurant Evita’s has hosted many celebrities including Princess Margaret and Brad Pitt. The menu celebrates creativity and has garnered a reputation as “the best little pasta house in Jamaica”.

Contributor Nicholas Rosaci poses with Evita and a Chef. Photographed by Angela Auclair

Contributor Nicholas Rosaci poses with Evita and Chef in the kitchen at Evita’s.
Photographed by Angela Auclair

3. Right outside Ochos Rios are the breathtaking Dunn’s River Falls, which are over 600 meters high and cascade through steps of crystal clear water into the Caribbean Sea. Be brave and climb the falls at Jamaica’s most famous water attraction or be led in a human chain by an experienced Falls Guide.

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Climb Dunn’s River Falls alone or with a Falls Guide.
Photography by Angela Auclair

4. Wassi Art is the premier place for a one of a kind Jamaican pottery. Local artists create beautifully sculpted and painted merchandise in plain view of their audience. If you are looking for something special, it’s worth spending an afternoon right here.

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See pottery being made first hand at Wassi Art.
Photography by Angela Auclair

5. Located on the Good Hope Plantation, David Pinto’s Ceramic Art Studio offers an immersive and educational look into the fundamentals of ceramic making. David’s world recognized work ranges from clay teacup to spectacular life size objects of art.

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Meet David and his team at David Pinto’s Ceramic Art Studio.
Photography by Angela Auclair

Jamaica: Top Spots in Negril

Jamaica’s top cities are top of our bucket list after seeing these great photos by Angela Auclair. Nicholas Rosaci shares his fave stops along the way!

1. Atop a limestone cliff, 12 colourful cottages make up Jamaica’s famous Caves – one of the best places to stay in Jamaica. This oceanfront resort has a tropical reef system that comes right up to the edge of the cliff and is one of the most beautiful places to dive and explore marine life. Cutouts in the ancient fossilized walls allow for the brave to dive up to 50 feet into the clear aqua water.

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Photography by Angela Auclair

2. Spend a late afternoon sipping a Red Stripe beer while you rock out to live reggae music at Rick’s Café. Watch experienced cliff divers show off their acrobatic talents as they fearlessly jump 30 feet into the seawater below. Even better, bare witness to a few brave tourists attempts.

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Photography by Angela Auclair

3. It’s worth climbing the narrow stairs of the historic Negril Lighthouse to experience the most famous sunset around. Be sure to tip the caretaker for helping you make your way up the (somewhat frightening) trip to the top.

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Photography by Angela Auclair

Jamaica Gallery

Old Time Jamaican Lemonade

Jamaican Recipes 4

Recipe courtesy Cook Like a Jamaican

Jamaican Lemonade Recipe
The Jamaican lemonade that I knew as a child is better described as limeade because we used limes instead of lemons. This recipe was created to taste like the “lemonade” I remember. We used wet sugar, which has a strong molasses flavour. To duplicate that flavour I added a few tablespoons of molasses. You may find this drink quite sweet, but that’s because you’re supposed to pour it over ice, which dilutes the flavour. If you prefer it less sweet, simply use less sugar.

Tip: slice 1 lime or lemon and put it in the jug with the lemonade for a beautiful presentation. This recipe also makes a wonderful mix for cocktails. Add some rum to a jug to make a quick punch.

Ingredients
8 cups cold water
8 juicy limes (you may need 1 or 2 more)
1 juicy lemon
2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp molasses

Directions
1. Juice enough limes and 1 lemon to make 1 cup of juice
2. Add brown sugar, juice and molasses to the water and stir until all the sugar has dissolved
3. Pour in a jug and refrigerate

Serves 8

Jamaican Rice and Peas

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Recipe courtesy Cook Like a Jamaican

Growing up in a family where food is the great connector, I’ve learned the unspoken rules of eating like a Jamaican. One, you always have soup on Saturday. Two, you must always eat rice and peas on Sunday.

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 can (19 oz) kidney beans with liquid

2 cups water

1 can (14 oz) coconut milk

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 small onion or 2 stalks scallion, chopped

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 cups long grain rice, rinsed and drained

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Pour kidneys beans and liquid in large sauce pan and add water. Add coconut milk, chopped onion, garlic, and dried thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil.

Add rice and boil on high for 2 minutes. Turn heat to low, cover pot and cook until all water is absorbed. Fluff with fork before serving.

Serves 6 to 8