D Real Bamboo Bar

Stay: Castaway Carriacou

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"Without even realising it, we had been infected by something on Carriacou – not Ziko, dengue or any other mosquito-borne illness, but rather a realisation that life could be very different from the materialistic, fast-paced lifestyle we had grown used to in England" The Islands Issue of House of Coco Magazine is about to drop! As the mags dedicated Caribbean Reporter, I’m uber proud of the inspiring editorials dedicated to island life and travellers who desire connections to culture, people and lifestyle. It’s filled with fifty shades of beautiful blue, romanticising you with the Editors pursuit to remind us all why it's vital to ‘switch off from the world and escape’ and ‘take time away to recharge your batteries’. Words I lived by during a weekend getaway at a self-catered apartment aptly named Castaway in Carriacou. Funnily enough, The Islands Issue includes my travel feature, ‘Why Souls and Hearts are Stolen on the Island of Carriacou’, highlighting the story of a British couple who fell in love with this 13 sq mile island, also known as the ‘Land of Reefs’ for its stunning coral colonies. The irony of it all is that’s precisely what happened when fellow Brits Liz and Martin and owners of Castaway Carriacou visited in 2016. Castaway Carriacou is a brand new fully furnished 2-level, one-bedroom apartment nestled on a hilltop in Hermitage, offering 360 views of Tyrell Bay. Liz and Martin are incredibly hospitable and take pride in giving you a hotel concierge-style greeting with luggage assistance, recommendations and total privacy once your keys are handed over. Magical is the word that best describes waking up to that soothing sunrise and drifting off under a fiery sunset over the stunning views of Saline Island and White Island. You can blame Liz and a bit of Pinterest…

Laluna Resort Grenada: For Lovers and Dreamers

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“The absence of luxury is a luxury within itself.” I don’t need any excuse to saunter around Laluna, Grenada’s most romantic resort, but seen as its Valentine’s Day and you’ve virtually twisted my arm. I’ll be there, stuck in time overlooking the majestic Portici Beach succumbing to a soul-stealing sunset. Laluna is the epitome of barefoot beach chic and luxury lax living, and it’s my all-time favourite place and one of the most hypnotic locations in Grenada. Dear I say, it’s the ultimate destination for dreamers, lovers, intimate weddings and honeymooners in the Caribbean. It offers total peace and tranquillity with fertility statues stationed around the resort warning off children on the loose while welcoming couples looking to rekindle love and romance. Here are a few reasons why you should celebrate love at Laluna! Cosy Cottages: A blend of Balinese, Caribbean and Italian influences characterise the rich palette, which does an excellent job at placing you into a deep slumber. Each cottage faces far-reaching views of the ocean, and the wet room is no exception. An extremely addictive outside shower and plunge pool ensure you are constantly immersed in paradise. Imagine washing your worries away while gazing at the ocean. Just one sleep is all it takes to devote hours to lounging in bed and staring into space. What Laluna’s cottages offer is the absolute necessities any humans needing rest requires, and that’s long pillows, a four-poster bed with linen draping, ocean views, warm showers and cushions, lots and lots of comfy cushions. A Taste of Italian in Grenada: It’s certainly a treat that one of the owners is Italian so you can enjoy the authentic taste of Italy at Laluna’s beachfront restaurant. Under thatched-roof, dreamy candlelight, the finest Italian ingredients, and the allure of their illuminated pool at night, you’ll fall…

The Culture Man at Grand Anse Craft Market

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“Things may not be the way you want it all the time. If the path of a bank worker or doctor doesn’t choose you, no other work can be called a disgrace, as long as its an honest day's work for a fair day's pay” - Frank Belfon  It’s no secret I love hats and on one blindingly beautiful day I found the hat of my tropical dreams at Grand Anse Craft Market. The day I purchased that hat, I also learnt invaluable lessons from a businessman. Not the type with tasteful accents like a good watch and leather wallet that hints to their success. This businessman wore practical attire, his office was his booth, his hammock was his desk, and his bank account was his backpack. Meet Frank Belfon, Born in Paradise, St. Andrew and bred in St. George's. He is the owner of The Culture Man booth at Grand Anse Craft Market. On a weekly basis, he ensures the smooth operation of his booth, maintaining his production schedule, ensuring he has a sufficient supply of raw materials, manpower and production equipment to create his products. During opening hours he is focused on driving traffic to his booth, increasing sales and exceeding customer expectations. He is always devising training opportunities for the next generation and building partnerships throughout the region to maximise distribution to increase his profits. Let me share my talk with Frank… “I was 13 years old when my mother died. Before she died if you had asked me what I wanted to be, I would have told you a Manager in one of those fancy hotels. But, I had little brothers and sisters to look after. That was my reality, and I needed to focus on selling until they could fend for themselves. My mother used…

The Return

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“Go do it! Don’t wait for another day, another hour or another time… go and do it now!” - Kyrzayda Rodriguez | 8.18.78 - 9.9.18  This blog is called The Return. It’s a return to something I truly love, a return to sharing the things I’m passionate about, the culture and lifestyle I feel privileged to be a part of and the people who inspire me. I write this blog after news of the tragic passing of Fashion Blogger, Kyrzayda Rodriguez (@kyrzayda_) who lost her battle with cancer. Kyrzayda continued to create beautiful content that inspired bloggers around the world through all the heartwrenching changes caused by chemotherapy. Since 2013, she has motivated and inspired us all, a true lover of fashion with an unmatchable ability to compose stunning lifestyle shots until the day she left us. Her last words to her dedicated following included the quote above. It was a reminder to continue to do the things I love every day because no excuse beats the ability to stay motivated and consistent while fighting a life-threatening disease. So here goes… A Day at Maca Bana Resort + Aquarium Restaurant Following the IG feeds of bloggers and content creators you admire is like having hundreds of digital besties. It’s one of the reasons so many cherished Kyrzayda. If you ever get the chance to meet your digital best friend, the hope is that you hit it off in real life. That was me and Melissa Frusco, lover of all things fashion, travel, beauty and founder of lifestyle blog, The Incogneatist . We instantly connected after a conversation about her views on Grenada. Here’s a snippet… “It’s pure paradise!  Everywhere you look there is something beautiful. Grenada embodies everything that makes me happy! This is my seventh trip, apart from visiting…

Numad – All Natural Products For The Modern Nomad

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"A natural skincare brand that's good enough to eat" It was a so-called summer day in London. As I contemplated getting my calves out, I looked down on skin resembling a dreary-looking grayscale Google map. It was in that moment that I developed an immense appreciation for my ‘Island Gal’ glow. Cue, my long-awaited desire to find a product that bottles Grenada’s goodness so I could take it with me anywhere in the world! That product is Numad, namely my Nutmeg and Tangerine Body Butter infused with actual nutmeg, cocoa and essentials oils. It saved my legs that day! When Grenadian Designer, Developer and Digital Marketer, Kenroy George approached me with Numad, a newly launched all-natural skincare brand, it was luxury at first sight. Some years of commercial bombarding from skincare brands later, I can’t pretend that pretty packing does not appease me. So it was refreshing to see a Grenadian product with branding that would hold its own in the beauty hall of a high-end department store. Upon the first scrutiny of my Numad products, there was no mumbling, and confused squint trying to sound out ingredients. I was able to identify every single component, and you can bet your money that I’m one of those people who loves a hair and skincare product that’s good enough to eat. Ladies and gents, let me tell you! When I unscrewed the lid of Numad Chocolate Body Butter for the first time, I had a throw your head back and closed eyes moment. The smell was overwhelmingly amazing. After all, it contains real dark chocolate. And as the natural aphrodisiac should, I felt like a goddess after one layer of lathering. It gave my skin a radiant, hydrated and healthy glow, and with alluring aromas, it’s quite addictive, probably the next…

The Rumboat Retreat

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"Rum is a stitch in the fabric of Caribbean culture" The irony of a non-drinker loving a retreat dedicated to rum and relaxation is an entire post within itself, and if you’re a teetotaler who’s not into discussing your favourite tipple, don’t bounce off this blog just yet, because Rumboat Retreat is much more than the indulgence rum. It’s the steamed snapper with juicy okra bursting out the seams of a banana leaf. It’s the gum burns after an eager bite into a fluffy fried bakes filled with saltfish. It’s the wooden tipi hut cocooned by lush dewy vegetation creating a coolness and sense of calm. And, it’s Lisette Davis, the owner, romancing you with talk of her latest homemade mango stew and chocolate bonbon concoction. Are you there yet? Can you see, smell and taste it. Rum lover or not! Get yourself to Mount Nesbit in the parish of St. John and check in to a cosy guestroom at Rumboat Retreat. Kiki: I love the Rumboat Retreat concept. Tell me more about your career as a Rum Connoisseur and what inspired you to set up this business? Lisette: Rum is a stitch in the fabric of Caribbean culture, so becoming a rum connoisseur was a natural curiosity for me. At first, I just set out to understand the science of making rum, but I found so many variables that it became art in liquid form. It made my heart pound and had all of my attention. Every day it gives me great pleasure to teach rum tasting etiquette and provide a fun and interactive way to learn about the spirit of rum. The Rumboat Retreat concept came about from the many rum stories I would hear, and the voice of patriotism from each island who all believe their blend…

A Labour of Love

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"You want to earn money and be successful. Think harder, think deeper and think longer"  The hostility of this seemingly harmless vexed-face man departed when he handed me a bag. The wrinkles in his forehead softened as he anticipated my response to his unexpected gift. ‘Love You’ was the messaged stitched into the bottom of the vibrant flotsam and fishing net accessory. I pulled up a dilapidated chair, steady enough to serve some purpose and excitedly expressed, “Wow! Do you know how much these bags would go for in London?”. “Of course, that’s why my things cost $100 US dollar!”, he boldly replied, resting his head against the decaying texture of an abandoned wooden hut. Meet Jacob Scott, a forthright Vincentian artisan who turns washed up trash into treasure. Armoured with a silver thimble and needle, he painstakingly patches together his finds and transforms them into things that forward-thinking fashion followers would covet. Before I could inform him of this fact, he continued. “All of them love my things. I have been featured in all of those fashion magazines, like Vogue”. My bags go all over the world, stocked in a lot of shops, but I like it here, I don’t want to work for nobody, I like making my bags on my own time and letting them go and sell it to the famous people”. I quickly established that Jacob is my kind of guy. He knows that the value in his bags, made with disregarded materials, is in his ability to skillfully labour for hours. What’s more, he’s not afraid to show it. You can count on him to pull out his plastic folder of tearsheets from high-end fashion magazines. The kind that up-and-coming designers only dream about. In societies opinion, Jacob has nothing. No elaborate pillars on…

D Real Bamboo Bar

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There’s a place in the far north of Grenada, where mosquitoes don’t stand a flying chance. You can swing into the rugged shores of Saint Patrick Parish and listen to the sensational sound of conscious music. You can crack open a cold one and sweat it off on a beachfront gym or just meditate on matters in this mellow setting. I know, it sounds too good to be true, but it’s real, hence the name De Real Bamboo Bar located on Mt. Rodney Beach in Sauteurs. I spent a good bit of time with owner Lazarus Roderique a.k.a Laza after stumbling upon his bamboo clad beach bar that day. Laza, as he is known, is an unassuming but hospitable rasta. I drank a Carib while we held a profound meditation on the matter of realising our wealth as West Indians and encouraging the older generation to trust us with taking entrepreneurial risks that will break the cycle of poverty. I’ll never forget the wise things Laza shared with me. “Believe in yourself, because it doesn’t matter what you start, you’re always going to get bad advice” - Laza "Kiki, I opened this bar about two years ago, and it took me two years to build it. I’m not finished, but everything you see here has taken some time because I built it with my own hands. I had to learn how to work with Bamboo, now I have a better understanding of it, I’m going to do more. Tourist from all over the world pass, and they love it. They love the natural look. It’s peaceful, quiet and scenic. It’s for my people too, my community. I even built up the gym on the beach; it’s for anybody. It has a nice vibe here. You see, when I travelled to…

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