TRAVEL FROM HOME • August 2020
The Caribbean is calling. From its breath-taking beaches to its party spirit, not to mention the melting-pot gastronomy, there is an abundance of reasons to take off to the island countries. Until you can escape there for some winter sun, the British Airways eStore has ways to infuse your home with a piquant pinch of paradise
Don’t worry, don’t hurry. Island time is a real thing so, for that chilled vibe, choose your favourite reggae soundtrack, grab a glass of planter’s punch and sling yourself into a hammock (£44) or a weathered wooden rocking chair (£324). Garnish the scene with an outdoor rug (£44) and soft after-dark lighting, such as a bamboo lantern (£44) all by French décor brand, Maisons du Monde (2 Avios/£1).
Where sugar cane grows, the rum flows, and the lush islands of the Caribbean are fertile ground. Many former plantations are now distilleries, producing their own cockle-warming versions of the world’s most spirited spirit. Flaviar (1,500 Avios when you sign up) has a fine array of grog that packs a punch, including Kraken Black Spiced Rum (£20.99) from the Virgin Islands, Turquoise Bay Amber Rum (£29.99) from Mauritius and Gosling’s Old Rum (£61.99) from Bermuda.
James Bond and Jack Sparrow have left their footprints on many an alabaster-white Caribbean beach. Casino Royale saw Daniel Craig, in his first outing as 007, emerging from the sea in the Bahamas in a pair of unfeasibly tight trunks, while Johnny Depp’s been chased all over Dominica and St Vincent by various adversaries in Pirates of the Caribbean. Go even further back and there’s The Harder They Come, Jimmy Cliff’s gem of a film, which introduced Jamaican reggae to the world. All available to watch on iTunes (7 Avios/£1).
When it comes to natural abundance, earthly Edens such as Hunte’s Gardens (pictured) in Barbados confirm that the Caribbean is a botanical bonanza of showy flowers and giant, voluptuous foliage. Create your own totally tropical paradise with British-climate-friendly hibiscus, Caribbean lilies, gardenias, agave, banana plants and agapanthus from the home-delivery plant people at Blooming Direct (12 Avios/£1).
For immersion in island culture, start by dipping a toe into some of the region’s most celebrated writing. The Booker prize-winning A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James chronicles Jamaica of the 1970s (Bob Marley makes an appearance); poems by Nobel laureate Derek Walcott celebrate his St Lucian home; Patrick Chamoiseau’s Texaco is a creole chronicle of Martinique; and Jamaica Kincaid’s Annie John tells the story of a girl growing up in Antigua. All titles available at Waterstones (from 1 Avios/£1).
Food is integral to family life in Jamaica, with all hands to the deck creating sociable meals. The South London McAnuff brothers’ Original Flava (think ackee and saltfish and curry goat; published by Bloomsbury) is a great starting point for a cook up, while the Ziggy Marley And Family Cookbook is inspired by the meals Bob’s eldest lad grew up with, from Mancakes to Mama Carmelita’s flan. Both available at Book Depository (7 Avios/£1).
Picture by Matt Russell
Every time you spend £120 through eStore before 31 August, you’ll collect 200 extra Avios. For full terms and conditions, click here
This article has been tagged Destination, Travel Tips