How long can I say I’m a new vegan? It’s been about 10 – 11 months and it feels old and new at the same time. But this was my first time back to Barbados, as a vegan, so I’ll stick with new(ish) for now.
For the past few years we have stayed at Mango Bay Resort. We enjoy it but I struggled a bit as a vegetarian (lots of pasta, rice and potatoes as the vegetarian options) and children were allowed. (No offense but I don’t have children and I don’t want to go on vacation with yours, though I’m sure they are lovely!) With a little research we discovered that Almond Bay Beach Club & Spa, just a short distance from Mango Bay in Holetown, was an adults-only resort. My husband emailed to see how they might accommodate vegans. He received a prompt reply that they would absolutely accommodate my diet, offered a sampling of vegan meals they have made, and suggested that I meet with the chef upon arrival. So we booked the trip!
Welcome to Almond Bay Beach Club & Spa.
The view from our room.
We skipped high tea and headed directly to the beach side bar
where we saw this lovely bride and groom, who had just married beach side, Alan and Jude.
We enjoyed several drinks with the happy couple and are delighted to now consider them friends! (Dave spent Sunday afternoon with them at a local pub to watch an English Premier League match…I stayed poolside!)
When we checked in I informed them that I was a vegan and we were told that my diet would be accommodated. They asked me to write a note to the chef indicating what I would and would not eat, which I did. When we went to dinner that night I read the menu and saw that nothing would work for me. So I told the server my name and room number and that I had a special diet. The assistant manager of the resort, and the head chef, Matthew, came to our table. I explained my vegan diet and he said he would make me a lovely dinner and that we should meet the next morning to discuss my diet so that he could plan for the rest of the week.
Chef Matthew did not disappoint.
Yams, veggies and rice and peas = oh.so.good.
Good morning, our first full day in Barbados.
Dave and I both worked out while we were away. He ran several mornings and I went out for a run one morning and visited the gym two other mornings.
This is pretty much what I had every morning for breakfast:
A small bowl of beans with vegetables from the omelet bar and a bowl of fruit. Yum.
I met with Chef Matthew mid-morning and we had a conversation about vegan foods and then I let him know my dining plans for the week.
This is pretty much what I had every day for lunch:
The items on the menu were rarely vegetarian or vegan, but I could count on a nice salad bar experience.
Sunset on our first full day.
The resort has three restaurants. The Sunset Grill is the “main” restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Waterfront is beach side with limited seating (reservations required) for dinner. The evening we dined beach side Chef Matthew made me a salad with a poppy seed dressing
and a curried chickpea and veggie dish with roti.
This was superb and our friends Alan and Jude, sitting near us, commented that my dish looked better than some of the other items on the menu.
Here’s my typical day in Barbados:
Grab a raft, link my foot through the ladder to stay put, and Dave brings me a drink. I cannot complain.
Here’s a dinner that Chef Matthew made for me at the Sunset Grill
More curried chickpeas and rice (sensing a theme?)
The third restaurant, Enid’s, also requires a reservation, and we dined there mid-week.
Love my man.
I called Enid’s early in the day (because I knew Chef Matthew had the day off) to let them know I needed a vegan meal.
Yep, curried vegetables (though cooked in the romaine lettuce for a change) with rice and peas. While I was getting a bit curried out, it was very good.
Here’s another salad bar lunch. I loaded up on raw foods for breakfast and lunch to make up for the heavy curried veggies and rice I enjoyed most evenings.
The final morning we squeezed out three hours beach side
before heading to the airport.
It was a lovely vacation. Rest, relaxation and lots of fun. Chef Matthew was very accommodating (and I made a point to leave him a thank you card and tip for his trouble) and the food was fresh, flavorful and (mostly) healthy. Barbados is one of our favorite places to visit and I suspect we’ll be back for Thanksgiving 2011!
Have you stayed at a resort and requested a vegan menu? How did it go?