22 MARCH 2007

As the style icon proved, even when they're a long way from home, there's nothing the British like better to keep them going than a nice cup of tea. Kate's tea break came as she took time out from shooting an ad campaign on the French West Indian island of St Barts.

Dressed in a white bikini the 33-year-old covergirl enjoyed the brew while topping up her tan on a beach lounger, before donning a baggy t-shirt and heading off for stroll beside the crystal clear waters. She's no stranger to region, having in the past holidayed on Richard Branson's island Necker and shot a Stella McCartney advertising campaign on St Barts two years ago.

It's not just Kate who's succumbed to the island's charms either. Nicole Kidman and her husband Keith Urban jetted into the tropical paradise earlier this month prior to the kick off of the singer's new tour, while Penelope Cruz rang in the New Year there.

Visitors are attracted to the sun-drenched isle by its winning combination of stunning beaches, relaxed atmosphere and tasty French food. While the temptation to stretch out on one of the island's 14 beaches and catch up on the latest bestseller is always there, the island also offers a more active sports scene. Diving, fishing and sailing, as well as golfing and horse riding are just some of the options. And although evening action tends to be of a local variety - recent films, usually dubbed into French are projected onto the concrete wall of the tennis court in Lorient - some restaurants feature their own lively cocktail bar.

And if you're set on boogying the night away, the Yacht Club on Gustavia Harbour, Casa Nikki and Le Feeling in Lurin represent the disco scene.

Photo: Rex
Kate takes her tea the way we'd all like it - on a lounger beside the sea on a tropical isle
Photo: Rex
Taking a break from topping up their tans, Kate and a pal stroll along the beach on St Barts