From fine dining to no-frills traditional Bajan fare, there's a whole host of must-try restaurants to visit when holidaying in the Caribbean isle of Barbados.
When you're met by a valet to park your bright green, and slightly battered rental car, you know that you've booked the right place for that 'special night' - the one you saved your new holiday frock for. From the moment you walk in the service is unbeatable, which given that everywhere on the island is full of friendly we're-not-in-London-anymore faces, makes it pretty hard to beat for that reason alone. The setting is utterly breath-taking, and as the name would suggest, the restaurant is perched cliff-side with flaming lanterns made from driftwood providing the lighting, while the small cove below is flood-lit, attracting tarpon, and even visiting stingray, if you're particularly lucky.
The food, whilst on the pricey side at BDS $265 per person for two courses (add an extra $45 for dessert), is well worth the splurge. The spicy tuna tartare was perfection, while the snow crab cake is probably the best you'll ever eat, the shrimp in mild Thai curried sauce is delicious and the aptly named 'sweet memory pudding' with its delicate chocolate cage on a bed of peanut brittle is indeed the stuff memories are made of. Before you leave make sure you head to the upper deck for a nightcap and take a peek inside their newly built humidor with its impressive collection, complete with its very own cigar club for the restaurants regulars. Thecliffbarbados.com
For those who miss home comforts, or more specifically, Nando's, then this is the haunt for you. Their jerk chicken gives peri-peri a serious run for its money, while the traditional Bajan side of rice and peas along with a mound of creamy coleslaw is the perfect accompaniment to the heat of the spicy jerk seasoning. Pescetarians, fear not, the menu offers up delights such as the grilled shrimp or blackened catch of the day which will also tempt the most steadfast of meat-eaters. This no-fuss-fare is just that – orders are taken at a window and when your food is ready you dine at a no-frills wooden table, which you'll more than likely share with the locals, along with any other in-the-know holiday goers. Justgrillinbarbados.com
Cin Cin By The Sea
Pronounced chin-chin, as in cheers or a toast to good health, this contemporary beachside eatery with its white-washed walls, sleek wooden decking and floor-to-ceiling windows providing unparalleled views of the sea, is bound to bring you feelings of calm and serenity (should you not already have managed to acquire a complete state of Zen on the island). Whether you choose to eat inside, snack on nibbles at the bar, or enjoy dinner al fresco, the fresh and inventive menu is bound to have you wanting to come back for more. From sautéed sweet tiger shrimp on a bed of deliciously al dente penne to Moroccan spiced rack of lamb the menu isn't your typical Bajan fare but instead a fusion of Mediterranean dishes with a Caribbean twist. Cincinbythesea.com
Jam-packed with colourful Caribbean artwork, sourced by the restaurant's owner with the concept that dining isn't just about the food, Tides is undoubtedly a treat for all the senses. This impressive former home, built from coral stone and mahogany, is set on the waters edge with open pillared sides so you can enjoy the peaceful sounds of the waves lapping the shore while you eat. Unsurprisingly, the menu focuses on fresh seafood and the catch of the day, which in Barbados is best served blackened, alongside meat and vegetarian dishes for those who aren't into fish dishes. Like many of the restaurants on the island Tides also caters for kids with a separate menu and mocktail list so that the whole family can enjoy pre-or-post-dinner cocktails. Tidesbarbados.com
The Lone Star
A must when visiting the island, the Lone Star is a converted 1950's gas station located on the famed platinum coast, which has become renowned for its buzzy atmosphere and celebrity clientele. Whether you're dining here, enjoying a rum punch sundowner at the bar or staying as a guest (it's also a boutique hotel) the décor, views and epic menu will not disappoint. Add to that the fact that the staff are all clad in the coolest uniform of white overalls, a nod to its past incarnation, and you'll quickly realise that attention to detail here is key.
The menu is a fusion of European fare with a local twist – highlights include the crispy coconut prawns, seafood linguine and the most delicious beer-battered cod, while the side of truffle mac and cheese is not to be overlooked. Come hungry and be sure to book. Thelonestar.com