Lunch at Lady Sarah’s Farms

I have been loving all the openings and re-openings this year, some after the hurricane and some entirely new faces appearing. It’s been so much fun having new and exciting restaurants, resorts and venues to add into our rotation.

Lady Sarah’s Farms is a bit of an anomaly in that it first opened as a tea room and cafe on Tortola in 1998 but sadly closed in 2002. Fortunately for us in the BVI, this closure wasn’t permanent though. Sixteen years later Lady Sarah’s Farms re-opened in their location on Main Street in June 2018 and has been gaining popularity ever since. Increasingly tough to get a reservation in this charming little cafe, Lady Sarah’s is a key venue on the Road Town working lunch options.

Open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday and serving up delicious meals with their farm fresh ingredients.

Lunch at Lady Sarah's Farms - Farm fresh ingredients in Road Town, British Virgin Islands

The menu changes daily and features, small snacks, sandwiches, soups and salads along with larger entree dishes. While no alcohol is served on the premises, the menu also features amazing fresh tea and lemonade options – like their refreshing and tasty watermelon lemonade or their lemongrass iced tea. The menu is full of Caribbean flavour and features all local ingredients, many of them produced on their own farm. I’ve been steadily making my way down the menu trying as many different dishes as possible over the course of several visits.

Lunch at Lady Sarah's Farms - Farm to Fork ingredients in Road Town, British Virgin Islands

The Bang Bang Conch was the perfect light and crispy starter – shared so that we didn’t feel like quite such greedy piggies.

Lunch at Lady Sarah's Farms - Farm fresh ingredients in Road Town, British Virgin Islands

The Calypso chicken with coconut jasmine rice and slaw seems to be something of a staple on the menu and for good reason – it’s the perfect sticky bbq chicken with a rich, dark glaze.

Lunch at Lady Sarah's Farms - Farm fresh ingredients in Road Town, British Virgin Islands

Aunt Becca’s seafood bowl marries together fresh mahi mahi and shrimp, with tropical fruit and just the right amount of heat for a really light and fresh lunch.

Lunch at Lady Sarah's Farms - Farm fresh ingredients in Road Town, British Virgin Islands

The quinoa salad bowl with chicken tasted as good as it looks.

Be sure to leave a little space for something from the bakery – the spiced apple donuts I tried were delicious and I hear good things about the pound cake!

Lunch at Lady Sarah's Farms - Farm fresh ingredients in Road Town, British Virgin Islands

This past weekend Lady Sarah’s Farms opened up on a Saturday for brunch. Sadly I wasn’t able to get over to Tortola this time, but I look forward to trying it as soon as possible – I have my eye on their banana pancakes and the ginger spice hot chocolate.

I see from their promotional material that they have some Sunday brunches coming up with live jazz music and different food stations. The first on Sunday 21st October and a further two penciled in for 18th November and 20th January, which sound incredible.

Contact +1 (284) 496 8011 to request your table, or visit their Facebook page – reservations for lunch are highly recommended. Will you be paying Lady Sarah’s a visit?

For more suggestions of dining options around the BVI, check my restaurant guide here. Are your favourites featured?

 

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Brunch-ing at Captain’s Kitchen

If you’ve been following along for a while you might already be aware that brunch is one of my favourite past times. It really is the perfect excuse for a weekend get together with friends – is it breakfast? Is it lunch? Who cares? It’s delicious, and it comes with mimosas! Count me in! 

 

Ever since their opening in January of this year, I had heard so many good things about Captain’s Kitchen and was determined to try it out for myself – so I hopped on the ferry and headed to Tortola this weekend, motivated by tempting brunch morsels and the possibility of a Bloody Mary once I reached the restaurant. I wasn’t disappointed!

 

I had read that the restaurant is small and that reservations are recommended, so we made sure to call in advance. It is also worth noting that parking is very limited in Macnamara, the residential area where Captain’s Kitchen is located, so car-pooling might be an idea. 

Brunch at Captain's Kitchen BVI - views over Road Town

Brunch at Captain's Kitchen BVI - all produce sourced locally

 Brunch was beautifully varied with a great menu and a fabulous specials board. There was a good selection of items including vegan and gluten free options. Everything is farm fresh and most dishes seem packed with different fruits and veggies. Definitely a chance to get in your 5-a-day! 

Brunch at Captain's Kitchen BVI perusing the menu

Brunch at Captain's Kitchen BVI - checking out the specials

All three on our table decided to order from the daily specials and we eagerly awaited our dishes, while we enjoyed a couple of mimosas and the view from their deck. The deck does benefit from those natural BVI breezes, but being September it was warm up there and I would have loved it if there had been a couple of ceiling fans to help circulate the air when the breeze died. 

 

Our meals arrived and I was thrilled with my choice; asparagus salad with roasted vegetables topped with poached eggs and drizzled with hollandaise sauce, garnished with beautifully ripe avocado and pieces of fresh fruit. I also opted for a cheeky side of bacon… Chef Fiona can tell you all about the local suppliers that she gets her vegetables, herbs, salad leaves and fruit from. Each item sourced locally in the BVI, mostly organic. 

Brunch at Captain's Kitchen BVI - Farm fresh and delicious dishes

Brunch at Captain's Kitchen BVI - Farm to table dining
The Chia pancakes (vegan but with optional side of bacon) and the fish burger (made with Bangamary fish) were also declared delicious and polished off enthusiastically. 

Brunch at Captain's Kitchen BVI - Vegan and Gluten free options

Brunch at Captain's Kitchen BVI - Vegan and Gluten free options

Brunch at Captain's Kitchen BVI - Fresh fish burger

 I look forward to updating this post with other dishes as I try them, as that certainly won’t be my last visit! I’ll be bringing my swimsuit too for a dip in their pool!

 

Have you tried the brunch at Captain’s Kitchen yet?

More information regarding where to eat in the BVI can be found in my restaurant guide here! Have you tried all my favourites yet?

 

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Are You for SNUBA? Underwater Exploring with BVI SNUBA

I am always up for an opportunity to experience something new in the BVI, be it a new restaurant, a previously un-hiked trail or new activity, and my list of fun excursions that I am keen to try is almost as long as my arm. I was thrilled to get the chance to experience one of the BVI’s newest water sports this last weekend on a trip out with BVI SNUBA. I wanted to tell you a bit more about it but I think that the pictures are going to do most of the talking for me.

A bit of a cross between snorkeling and scuba diving, SNUBA (Surface Nexus Underwater Breathing Apparatus) is the ideal activity for those that haven’t dived before but are looking for a bit of an introduction to the underwater action in the BVI. No previous Scuba diving experience or diving certification is required, which makes it perfect for kids and adults alike, and this would be such a fun family activity.

Underwater exploration with The Barefoot Angel and BVI Snuba - see more of the British Virgin Islands

Free to go down to 2ft, 10ft or even as deep as 20ft, your regulator is attached to a small harness which you can wear comfortably and linked to an air source on an inflatable raft on the surface of the water. In groups of two or four you explore the underwater paradise, with just a mask and fins, no need for tanks! With the air-line you have the freedom to dive to whatever depth you feel most comfortable (up to a maximum of 20ft) so that you get a more immersive experience than when you snorkel on the surface.

I’ve not really been able to dive much before, since I’m not certified and I never took the time to do a resort course, or my open water qualification. It has been hard to get the opportunity to go out. This has been particularly difficult for my experienced diver husband as I couldn’t ever go out with him. BVI SNUBA proved to be the perfect alternative and no previous experience is required. Finally we had the chance to go out together!

Underwater exploration with The Barefoot Angel and BVI Snuba - see more of the British Virgin Islands

Underwater exploration with The Barefoot Angel and BVI Snuba - see more of the British Virgin Islands

Underwater exploration with The Barefoot Angel and BVI Snuba - see more of the British Virgin Islands

We set off for Cistern Rock, a local area off Cooper Island known for great snorkeling.  There were 8 people aboard our boat but you go down in groups of two or four. Not everyone needs to SNUBA if there are younger members of your party, or those that can’t medically, perhaps they would enjoy a snorkel instead. The husband and I opted for the Duo Special when only two of you are in the water at one time, this means that you get slightly longer underwater as less people are sharing the air supply. A couple of others in the group chose to snorkel and the rest waited on Cooper Island with a cold beverage.

Underwater exploration with The Barefoot Angel and BVI Snuba - see more of the British Virgin Islands

Underwater exploration with The Barefoot Angel and BVI Snuba - see more of the British Virgin Islands

Underwater exploration with The Barefoot Angel and BVI Snuba - see more of the British Virgin Islands

We were fully briefed before our trip by the lovely Elaine and then off we went. The principles are similar to diving, and safety is paramount, but after just a few key rules you’re ready to head out.

There are six SNUBA commandments to keep in mind during your experience:

  1. Never hold your breath. Relax and breathe normally
  2. Never take your regulator out of your mouth unless you are at the surface and holding onto the raft
  3. Use your air line and the hand-over-hand technique to control your ascent and descent, and prevent contact with the bottom
  4. Always stay with your SNUBA guide and remain together as a group
  5. Don’t touch any marine life
  6. Don’t stir up or disturb the sea floor by kicking or standing on it with your fins

All pretty straight forward, right? We went over the important stuff and then got ourselves kitted out ready to get in the water. Mask, fins, regulator, weight belt and camera, check! We were excited to see what was down there, which fishy friends would we meet today?

Underwater exploration with The Barefoot Angel and BVI Snuba - see more of the British Virgin Islands

Underwater exploration with The Barefoot Angel and BVI Snuba - see more of the British Virgin Islands

Underwater exploration with The Barefoot Angel and BVI Snuba - see more of the British Virgin Islands

On entering the water I had a flutter of nervous excitement. After all, it’s a little counter intuitive to try and breathe underwater. But after a couple of shallow breaths trying out my regulator at the surface I soon relaxed and started to breathe more deeply, and we started our descent. Following Elaine, our guide, we used our airline to go down to around 20ft, pausing to equalize our ears at every foot. Soon we were all the way down on the reef and brightly colored fish of all sizes were everywhere. Very quickly I started to feel comfortable underwater and loved exploring my new marine surroundings.

Underwater exploration with The Barefoot Angel and BVI Snuba - see more of the British Virgin Islands

Underwater exploration with The Barefoot Angel and BVI Snuba - see more of the British Virgin Islands

Exploring underwater in the British Virgin Islands with BVI Snuba - The Barefoot Angel island lifestyle and travel blog

Underwater exploration with The Barefoot Angel and BVI Snuba - see more of the British Virgin Islands

Underwater exploration with The Barefoot Angel and BVI Snuba - see more of the British Virgin Islands

Elaine leads you during your SNUBA experience and she is wearing a dive tank. She is the perfect underwater host and is very attentive, while also letting you explore for yourselves. She pointed out lots of the smaller reef life as we moved around the area, the lobsters under the rocks and even a turtle (although sadly he wasn’t sticking around to play).

We saw needle fish, a puffer fish, rays, juvenile trunk fish, and a whole host of other sea life, big and small. She regularly checks in on you to ensure that you’re comfortable with your mask, your equipment, your ears and she’ll also periodically check your air supply. I felt very secure and comfortable in the water with her.

Underwater exploration with The Barefoot Angel and BVI Snuba - see more of the British Virgin Islands

Underwater exploration with The Barefoot Angel and BVI Snuba - see more of the British Virgin Islands

Underwater exploration with The Barefoot Angel and BVI Snuba - see more of the British Virgin Islands

Underwater exploration with The Barefoot Angel and BVI Snuba - see more of the British Virgin Islands

Underwater exploration with The Barefoot Angel and BVI Snuba - see more of the British Virgin Islands

The aspect of the activity that my husband and I particularly enjoyed was that we could share it together, despite our vastly different levels of experience. I would certainly encourage groups to give it a try – especially where one or two members might have dived before and they want other non-diving family or friends to experience it for themselves. It was a fantastic activity for us to enjoy together. I definitely can’t wait to go again and I can think of others that I would love to introduce it to.

Some practical notes:
  • Medical forms and liability waivers must be signed before you can take part in the SNUBA experience and there are some limited medical conditions that might mean that you are unable to take part.
  • The minimum age for the experience is 8 years old, so it is a fantastic family activity.
  • A degree of confidence in the water is good but you don’t necessarily need to be a strong swimmer – you will have the raft and your airline to hold onto. You do need to be able to propel yourself through the water.
  • You can do the experience in just your regular swimsuit and no special equipment is required (everything is provided) although if you feel like you would be more comfortable with a rash guard on, please bring one with you.
  • If you still feel nervous about going down to a depth you can also choose to ‘power snorkel’ with no weight belt – staying at the surface but with the support of the raft and air supply.
  • The SNUBA experience lasts around 30 – 45 minutes, or longer if you’re doing the SNUBA Duo experience.
  • Be careful not to put your feet down on the reef, don’t try to stand or touch anything with your hands. The reef life is incredibly delicate and it really is a case of look but don’t touch.

Rates for the BVI SNUBA experience start at $125 pp, and a discount is offered to BVI residents. If you’d like to give it a go on your next BVI vacation, contact them at +1 (284) 341 0660 or bvisnuba@gmail.com and check out their website here! Ask BVI SNUBA about putting together a day trip and including your SNUBA experience as part of the day out.

Does it sound like an underwater activity that you would like to try?

 

 

 

The Barefoot Angel was a guest of BVI SNUBA. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I would never feature an activity that I didn’t wholeheartedly recommend! 
* Turtles not guaranteed...

 

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Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption’s Learning Adventures

Mention that you live in the British Virgin Islands and many people immediately associate it with one of our most famous residents, Sir Richard Branson. Necker Island (just one of the 60 + islands and cays in the BVI) is the quintessential Caribbean playground of the rich and famous. Privately owned by Sir Richard Branson, it is his permanent Island residence and a working full-time luxury resort. Normally reserved for the mega-wealthy, a night’s stay on the island for you and 30 of your closest friends used to run you up to $80,000. Unless, of course, you have the right friends, or are attendees to the positive influence conferences and events the island hosts throughout the year. ‘Celebration Weeks’ are also held several times a year, where single rooms can booked, allowing a more affordable stay.

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

But, due to the generosity of Sir Richard Branson and the entrepreneurial spirit of one Virgin Gorda resident, there is another way to visit to Necker Island to meet some of their more exotic residents: Gumption’s Learning Adventures and their Necker Island Wildlife Tour.

Connected by their shared passion for conservation in 2013 Sir Richard granted exclusive access to Gumption to allow him to bring his groups onto the island, to meet the animals and learn more about the different species that call Necker home. Lemurs, flamingos, giant tortoises, iguanas, parrots and many other exotic (and usually endangered) animals live happily on this private island, cared for by their full-time wildlife team. Gumption used to work on Necker Island in Guest Services and Water Sports before having the idea for his Learning Adventures and his See It Clear Glass Bottomed boat. Always keen to foster young entrepreneurs (a mission which later developed into the Branson Centres of Entrepreneurship) Sir Richard encouraged and invested in the start-up business. Initially projected to only run for a couple of months, Gumption’s tours are now a must-do for visitors and locals in the BVI, especially for anyone with an interest in the wildlife.

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

Rubbing shoulders with the lemurs rather than celebrities (more fun in my honest opinion) you too can get the chance to experience a little of what Necker Island has to offer and get up close and personal  with some of Sir Richard’s favourite furry friends. I set off this weekend to meet Gumption and see more about what goes on on the animal tours.

Following catastrophic damage due to the direct hit by Hurricane Irma in September 2017, Necker Island has been closed for extensive repair and renovation and plans are for a re-opening in October 2018. Luckily for us though this did not extend to Gumption’s Learning Adventures and he started running his tours again in January of this year.

It is worth noting that Gumption’s tours are hugely popular, and that dates are limited. The tours are often booked up weeks in advance, as soon as the tour dates are released. Because the groups he takes over are nice and small (usually around 10-12 people) competition for one of those coveted spots is fierce. If a lemur selfie is on your bucket list (and, let’s face it, why wouldn’t it be?), once you have your holiday dates booked I would recommend making note of his website and their booking procedure and then checking back in the month before you arrive for available tour dates. Try to secure your tour as early as possible to avoid disappointment! I was thrilled that Gumption was able to find a space for me on one of his tours and jumped at the chance to attend!

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

Our morning started meeting Gumption and the rest of the group at Leverick Bay, Virgin Gorda in the North Sound. Currently no boat transportation is provided for the tours as Gumption’s boat was damaged during the hurricane. We arrived at 9:15 am and got settled for a 9:30 am boat departure with the rest of our group, armed with just a bottle of water, sunscreen and a camera. There was a real sense of excitement as we set off for Necker Island, keen to see all the animals and learn more about their conservation efforts.

Arriving on Necker Island we donned our hi-vis jackets and trainers (both are mandatory during the current re-construction on the island) before setting off to see the solar panel field. Necker Island has 1,200 solar panels which produce all of the energy for the island. It’s an impressive sight. This was also where we found our first Rock Iguana, indigenous to the British Virgin Islands but originally found on Anegada (and as far afield as Puerto Rico and the USVI), this critically endangered species has been struggling across many of the islands but flourishing on Necker. Now plans are afoot to capture and relocate over 300 Rock Iguanas from Necker Island back to Anegada in a conservation effort to help repopulate the dwindling numbers over there.

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

Next we hustled to go and meet the lemurs, stopping to meet Jewel the parrot and the Macaws on the way. We were anxious to get to the lemur enclosures in time for feeding. Undoubtedly the time spent with the lemurs is one of the highlights on the tour and it would be almost impossible to find an experience like it anywhere else in the world. Necker Island currently has 7 different species of lemur, including the instantly recognizable ring-tailed lemurs (I like to move-it, move-it) and red-ruffed lemurs. Very friendly, inquisitive (and motivated by the lemur snacks you have with you) they are keen to interact with you in their enclosures. They are happy to climb and jump on you, and enjoy gentle pets, head scratches and rubs. Be careful never to try and grab the lemurs, and always let them come to you. They are very light (weighing approximately the same as a small cat) with soft fur and their little hands and feet help them to leap and climb. It is fascinating to get so close to them and it obviously makes for some fantastic photo opportunities.

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

We eventually left the lemurs and went in search of the tortoises. Necker Island has 9 giant tortoises varying in age and size, we were lucky enough to spot 5 of them. Including a brief sighting of the very oldest. At 65 years old and weighing in at over 500 lbs, he was actually surprisingly difficult to see, blending in with his surroundings and seeking some shelter in a shady spot. We moved on to Joan’s Garden, the home of all the little tortoises. Red-footed tortoises, Burmese Star tortoises and even a snapping turtle. You can carefully handle these tortoises (well not the snapping one) as Gumption tells you more about the different species of tortoise, the differences between them and even how to tell male from female. I loved the tiny, baby tortoises, some of whom were only a couple of months old. We also met ‘ET’, a brave tortoise that survived the 2011 fire in the Great House, retreating for safety into her shell, but still bearing the scars.

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

I loved the emphasis that Gumption places on education – they really are his learning adventures and he is eager to impart all of his wildlife knowledge. Facts about the animals and the birds, pop quizzes and stories about the island and the Caribbean all play a part in the experience. This blogger definitely left with a few more Scarlet Ibis facts than she came with! And if you want to do well on the test you should probably learn the collective noun for flamingos, hint: it’s not a flock!

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

Our next stop on the tour was a quick visit to the flamingo pond, Necker Island has around 455 flamingos. Sadly there hasn’t been much laying since the hurricane but the keepers are hopeful that they will begin laying again very soon. We were careful to keep our distance and not disturb them, staying up at a little vantage point above their pond. Just close enough to get a good look at them but not so close as to alarm them.

We finished our tour with a hike up the hill to the Great House to take in the cerulean blue views of the Caribbean Sea and the gorgeous vistas of the surrounding islands. For a few minutes we stood and took in the scenery, watching the kite boarders and the boats coming and going and even a large ocean sun fish that was basking in the shallower waters. Gumption told us all about the various fish, turtles and even whales that you can occasionally spot in the clear waters off Necker.

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

The passion with which Gumption speaks of the conservation projects and the renewable energy efforts on Necker Island is infectious. As is the obvious pride when he talks about Richard and all the generations of the Branson family. A family that he personally feels very connected to. He is an ideal and engaging host on the tours and loves questions and feedback. One of his favourite phrases is that there are ‘right answers and wrong answers, but a person with a wrong answer is closer than someone with no answer’. He really encourages you to ask about all the different aspects of the animal care and the wildlife program on the island.

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

Necker Island Wildlife Tour with Gumption's Learning Adventures

Some practical notes:
  • Closed toed shoes (ideally trainers) must be worn along with a hi-vis jacket (provided).
  • Social media policy and liability waiver must be signed before the tour.
  • Tours cost $85 per adult and $48 per child (5-12), discounts are available for local residents, please inquire at time of booking.
  • A minimum of 6 guests are required for a tour.
  • There is no boat transportation currently provided. If you don’t have a boat of your own there are boats available for hire locally for around $200 or $25pp for a group of 8.
  • There is very little shade on Necker Island currently and I highly encourage wearing clothing that covers your shoulders as well as sunscreen.
  • Water is provided on the tour but I would recommend that you also bring some with you.
  • I would suggest not wearing white clothing, the lemurs are going to climb up on your shoulders (for a selfie, obviously) and their little feet are sometimes sandy. Large jewelry or items that could catch or snag are probably also ill-advised.
  • The tour runs for around 2-2.5 hrs, usually from 10:00 am until a little after 12:00 pm.

Finally it was time to head back to Leverick Bay – tired and happy and with memories of Necker and the wildlife that will last a lifetime. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to explore Necker Island with Gumption’s tours and highly encourage you to visit if you can! Tours are booked up now through to August 9th, but there are still a few spots open on future trips. Will you be going?

 

 

The Barefoot Angel was a guest of Gumption’s Wildlife tours and was grateful to be invited along. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own. I would highly recommend this experience.

 

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Days Out at Cooper Island, our Eco-friendly Beach Resort

So I have been dropping hints and sneak peeks about this beautiful island on my social media for weeks. (If you’re not already following me on Instagram you can find all my sunny adventures over here!) Ever since my visit to the re-opened Cooper Island Beach Club this very special eco-resort island location has been on my mind a lot! I knew that it was time to sit down, write a post and tell you a bit more! 

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Eco-resorts and sustainable tourism are exciting travel concepts that are becoming more and more popular. As we all start thinking more consciously about the environment and we make changes to our lifestyle, we want those changes reflected in everything we do from the cruelty free make-up that we buy, the recycling we do and now the vacations that we take. Once seemingly exclusive to yoga retreats deep in the jungle, now more and more resorts are making the effort to go eco-friendly, and Cooper Island is the perfect example of what happens when luxury meets sustainable! 

 

On the pristine white sand shores of Manchioneel Bay, Cooper Island in the beautiful British Virgin Islands, Cooper Island Beach Club is only accessible by boat. And I just so happened to find someone willing to take me over and explore. 

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Comprised of a restaurant, a rum bar, a coffee shop, a gift shop, a micro-brewery and ten adorable beach front cottages. There is so much to explore on the property. It’s the perfect place to spend a few hours relaxing. So that’s exactly what we did – starting with a quick iced coffee at the Coffee Box! 

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Once we were sufficiently fueled I really wanted to explore the gift shop. CIBC has a beautifully curated shop selling everything from rash guards to keepsakes, and it has a great selection of high-end ladies and gents resort-wear. I don’t often get a chance to shop in the BVI so an opportunity to browse some of the gorgeous clothes at CIBC could not be turned down! 

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Next, with the sun most definitely over the yardarm it was time for a cheeky cocktail and a peruse of the lunch menu. They were offering taco specials the day we went so the whole table ordered the same thing – but we made sure to save space for dessert! 

 

The lunch menu had some simple classics on there, salads, burgers, sandwiches and the like. But the dinner menu on their website had me salivating, so I need to find a way to get back and sample it! 

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Just outside the restaurant area is the outdoor lounge, with comfy seating and huge parasol umbrellas providing the perfect shady spot to sit and take in the view. There are wooden games that you can borrow and you’re right on the beach should you feel like going for a paddle. I didn’t have time for that though – I was keen to find out more about their micro-brewery, so I headed back to the Coffee Box to find out more! 

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club really makes an impressive effort to reduce their impact on the environment at every turn. Not content with producing all their own power and water, they decided to try their hand at making their own beers. Starting back in 2016 they launched their first three brews, a lager, an amber ale and best bitter. These were so successful that they added to the line in 2017 with a wheat beer, a pilsner and an IPA. Outside beers aren’t served at CIBC which helps to reduce the amount of waste that they produce. But you won’t miss them as the CIBC draft beers are delicious! Drink them by the glass or buy yourself a full Growler for $45 and refill it for only $25.

And speaking of waste, do you know what else you won’t find on Cooper Island? Single-use plastic… no plastic cups (only reusable ones) and none of those pesky plastic straws! Bravo Cooper Island! 

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

The Cooper Island micro-brewery was custom built to be as power and water efficient as possible. Since all their power and water is produced on-island, this was key. For every 500L of beer produced only 570L of water is used and this includes the clean down process. For now the Cooper Island beers are only available at CIBC but I heard rumors that they may be coming to other bars soon, so we should watch this space. Cooper Island are committed to more than just saving energy though, $1 from every IPA sold is donated to BVI Sea Turtle conservation. 

 

Lastly before we left we just had to visit the Rum Bar (purely for scientific purposes, you understand!) Cooper Island hosts different rums from all over the world, and has amassed quite the collection. Our friendly bartender was more than happy to talk us through the selection and make recommendations, which was so helpful when there were so many to choose from! I really enjoyed the infusions that they make in-house, but everything we sampled was super tasty. 

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

 Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Getting here: Cooper Island offers round-trip boat transfers for guests staying overnight in their rooms. For those sailing over there are 30 mooring balls available in Manchioneel Bay which operate on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be reserved in advance. Lastly if you wish to come over for the day from one of the sister-islands, dive companies like Sail Caribbean Divers and Dive BVI sometimes offer day-trips from Tortola and Virgin Gorda, contact them to find out more.  

Tragically I have never stayed on Cooper Island past sunset which is something I plan on rectifying just as soon as I can! There is a spot in the lounge that is just waiting for me, where I can sit and watch the sun go down. The rooms look beautiful so I think a staycation might be in order! (Hint, hint husband…) Next time I might have to do a little more of the water-based activities available, like snorkeling Cistern point or a spot of diving with Sail Caribbean divers who provide dive tours from Cooper Island. 

 

Until next time Cooper Island Beach Club… 

PS. Find out more about where to eat, drink and stay in the BVI with my BVI restaurant guide here.

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