Saturday 3 March 2018

My birthday in Barbados: our travel diary

I spent my birthday in Barbados last week, an exciting trip I couldn't wait for and a real dream come true. The past few winters I've struggled badly with SAD and dreamt of nothing but escaping the cold UK weather and jetting off somewhere hot and tropical. Most of you know I'm such a summer spirit with a wardrobe that beams towards the beach and is made for sand, sea, salt and...not much else. Barbados had remained blissful in many reveries of mine for a long while, so actually arriving there felt pretty surreal to say the least... 
Graham and I stayed at the Dover Beach Hotel which is in St Lawrence Gap, Christ Church. It was only about a 20 minute cab ride from the airport and as soon as we arrived we were told there was a barbecue going on and free rum punch (hello!) so that was a pretty paradisal start. The staff at the hotel were all friendly, we had a nice pool but the selling point had been the beach that was literally on our doorstep. We spent most of my birthday on Wednesday at the beach, chilling on sun loungers and reading our books before venturing to a gorgeous pizzeria in the evening for cocktails and dinner. On Thursday we ventured to nearby Maxwell Beach and spotted trademark Baywatch yellow lifeguard vibes (but no Zac Efron), before chilling by the pool and sipping on smoothies.  

Our room had a little balcony which overlooked another pink part of the hotel ($$$$ jackpot!!!) and a nice view of some pretty palm trees. At first I thought the balcony was a little impersonal as everyone seemed to be constantly wandering by but soon enough I discovered the relaxed vibe everyone radiated and whenever we went out there to read it was peaceful and tranquil. We snapped some blog pics over at the pretty pink neighbouring paradise, so I'm sure they'll crop up soon. 
Last Friday, the rainiest day of the holiday, we took a long walk to the nearest chemist and explored the area. Along the way we discovered a cute little lego house and Malibu cocktail bar that was closed. There are so many hot houses blasting with colour in Barbados and on the last day of our trip we learnt from our lovely cab driver that people are encouraged to paint their houses in bright vibrancy. Not like our old misery guts council here in the UK, eh? 
Our journey was complete once we'd found a lovely tropical hive in the form of the Coffee Bean Café, where we had cupcakes and the best coffee I've ever tasted (and I don't even drink coffee). The rain poured down but we got a good glimpse of the pastel houses shaded with palms and bubbling streams. 
We had a long stretch back in the rain, hiding in a local supermarket to seek shelter and then getting soaked as we made our way back via some deserted beaches. Even though Worthing Beach seemed a little abandoned and lonely, it was haunting and mystical. No soul was around; the shore and seaweed broke bold across a battered down beach bar and swaying coconut trees. 

On Saturday we took a trip to Oistins but unfortunately that didn't quite go to plan. As soon as we stepped out of the cab a local woman pounced on us and offered us a "free tour to see the turtles and island", we tried to shake her off but she wouldn't take no for an answer. We let her lead us to see the turtles and got a few photos but her motives became clear when she started trying to sell us stuff. She was also trying to get us to eat at her restaurant and after we'd made our excuses we took a tangled route the other way so as to escape her clutches. I was a bit pissed off to be honest, the last thing we wanted was someone hounding us like that, especially as we wanted to explore the place on our own. It was quite a small place and not easy to avoid her so in the end we decided to venture off and had lunch at a surf bar a few miles away. 

On Sunday we took a cab to Chattel Village in Holetown. A collection of brightly coloured shops and cafes, most of them were closed but we still had a good look around and found a pink phone box. Yes, let's have that in caps: A-PINK-PHONE-BOX. The heat out in full force we went to a shopping mall overlooking waterfall features and stony pathways and had some gorgeous smoothies and cakes to cool us down. Before going back to meet our cab driver we spent some time on Holetown Beach. 

After a few days of being out and about on Monday we decided to chill out nearby. We visited another Chattel Village down the road from us but didn't stop long as there wasn't much there. We also went back to our favourite pizzeria and got cheesecake and took a walk around the block capturing a bit of colour from the stunning sights around the St Lawrence Gap area. Once back we spent our last few hours of the day on the beach, winding down before an early check-out the next day.

Our last day on Tuesday was lovely because we really made the most of every moment. We took a trip to Harrison's Cave. Described as a "crystallised limestone cave characterised by flowing streams deep pools of crystal clear water and towering columns", we had a tour round on a vehicle and both enjoyed it, although afterwards we went on to the Flower Forest which we both agreed was better. The Flower Forest was a jungle of twisting palms and vibrant flowers, all stretching out to a gorgeous view of the island that both hypnotised and magnetised. It took our minds off the fact that we were leaving beautiful Barbados a little later that day and heading back to a snowy cold climate. 

Despite having quite a bad bout of travel anxiety before we left, after a few days of settling in I realised how safe I felt on the island. Posing for blog photos was brilliant as no one seemed to bat an eyelid as I posed in my tropical style set-ups. It was so lovely and relaxing and I honestly wish we could go back right away. Hopefully Graham and I can go back and visit someday, it's definitely our kind of paradise and I'm missing it so much already... 
We touched down on the tarmac this Wednesday morning and were thrown into a crazy winter wonderland which felt pretty disorientating given the blazing heat we'd been wandering around in only hours earlier! I'm glad we had fun at Harrison's Cave and exploring the tropical tranquility of the Flower Forest on our last day as it felt like we made the most of our last moments on the island.                                
The highlight of my trip definitely had to be spending quality time with Graham and getting away just us two. After a long night flight as we wheeled our suitcases through arrivals I felt the holiday blues hit hard and I hope we can visit again someday in the future. Thank you baby for looking after me as always and for making the holiday of a lifetime even more idyllic and paradisal! 

Have you ever been to Barbados?
Is it somewhere you'd like to visit? 
I'd love to know your thoughts! 



  1. What a beautifully apt way to spend your birthday, you really are a sunshine spirit! xx

  2. It looks really pretty and chilled! All of those brightly painted houses are definitely very you! ♥ I'm so glad you enjoyed your trip and I'm sure you will be able to go back sometime in the future! Aah, yes the weather couldn't be any more different could it! xxx

  3. So colourful - That's so you! What a dream way to spend your birthday. I'm so glad you enjoyed it xx

  4. OMG this looks like the most picturesque and otherworldly place ever! I bet you have had the most memorable birthday ever! How do you top that!?!?!? I need to go here!!!

  5. wow! amazing place!! happy bday sweety
    xoxo Sandicious

  6. Beautiful I'm so glad you guys had a wonderful time my Summertime Water Sprite! I love the article and it's well written. You make me want to pack my bags and explore the Island! You pics are so dreamy!

  7. oh wow! your photos are stunning xxx

  8. Extremely beautifulplace and your pictures are just stunning! Hope to visit Barbados one day.


  9. Wow I love your pictures. The sea looks lovely, and I love the turtle. That's awesome.

    Sarah x

  10. What a great place for holiday, I've never been to Barbados! The photos are all full of colourful houses and places, looks like it has a lot of nice things to visit and especially the beach. Thanks for sharing and lucky you to be away from the cold.

  11. What a gorgeous colourful location. So beautiful love your colourful outfit too. xoxo Cris

  12. Ah it looks and sounds like you had a magical birthday Sophie! It looks like your ideal place and you fit right in with all the bright and beautiful colours. I'm glad you managed to overcome your travel anxiety and enjoy yourself but just looking at the pictures and all the colours you can't help but smile. You have left me yearning for some sunshine now! :) xx

  13. Literally soooooo excited for you Sophie! Really happy to hear you had a fabulous time in Barbados last week for your birthday; what a way to celebrate - you lucky girl! It sounds as though you and Graham are absolutely made for each other :) And I've no doubt you adored every moment of the sunshine; the mass of colour is totally up your street! x

  14. Belated happy birthday, Sophie! I haven't heard of Barbados before but the place looks wonderful!

    xx, Richel V. |

  15. The colours here are gorgeous! I love the pastels of the houses and the bright colours of the chairs, it's so much brighter and prettier than rainy old Wales let me tell you. I'm only slightly jealous about you being in a gorgeous warm country, but living vicariously through your photographs is helping haha.

    Wandering Everywhere

  16. Definitely a place I want to visit some day. Look at all the radiance around, wow! You look wonderful!

  17. Such a dreamy vacation I must agree! You have a great boyfriend and so wonderful you got quality alone time with him in paradise. I have never been to Barbados and have thought about traveling there myself. It just looks like a tropical wonderland, the trees, light blue water, all definitely something that I would enjoy. My favorite place to travel is Hawaii and it's somewhere I deeply yearn to go back to. Right now I have my eyes set on Australia though. Wish me luck on conquering my dream!

    Much Love Babe,