Sunday Brunch-ing at Sugar Mill

Sunday Brunch-ing at Sugar Mill

Now you guys know that I love a good brunch (why do I feel like I preface so many posts this way?). So when I got wind of the fact that Tramonti (the beach side restaurant at Sugar Mill Hotel, West End) was serving a cracking Sunday brunch offering, I was rabidly tenacious in my desire to get down there and try it out. And, a few weeks ago, that tenacity paid off and I was rewarded with a delightful few hours sat oceanside, enjoying good food and a good few cocktails.

Brunch at Sugar Mill BVI - beautiful outdoor seating on the beach

Now, I’m not going to say that I plan my Sunday’s around brunch… okay fine, I plan my Sunday’s around brunch. But a long brunch with great friends is certainly a highlight of my weekend. And a Sunday afternoon spent at Tramonti was a Sunday done right.

Sunday Brunch at the Sugar Mill BVI - views out over the water

We started off at the bar with a couple of mimosas while we waited for the rest of our party to arrive. Before moving out into the restaurant. It really is a charming spot. Right on the water with the waves crashing below you and the pelicans catching their lunch. The kitchen is open along the back wall of the restaurant. I love an open kitchen (I think because I’m nosy and it builds a certain anticipation as I await my food!)

Brunch at Sugar Mill BVI - Views from the bar across the beach

Brunch at the Sugar Mill BVI - Mimosas before sitting down for brunch

Brunch at the Sugar Mill BVI - charming restaurant with open kitchen

Sunday Brunch at Sugar Mill BVI - Tables right on the waterfront

The menu looked amazing with brunch dishes you won’t find anywhere else in the Territory (like the kipper dish or the kedgeree) nuzzled alongside standard brunch fare like burgers and eggs benedict. I deliberated a few options before selecting the avocado toast with poached eggs and bacon (the Pancho Villa). The others on my table went for the burger, the steak frites and one of the salads. The whole group of us were thrilled with our picks and service was friendly and quick.

Sunday Brunch at the Sugar Mill BVI - Delicious and varied menu

Sunday Brunch at the Sugar Mill BVI - Delicious and varied brunch menu

My avocado toast (the Pancho Villa) was served on a toasted flat bread with plenty of chunky crushed avocado and perfectly poached eggs.

The burger is served in a pita bread instead of the conventional burger bun, which makes it a little lighter with the focus being on the juicy meat patty and toppings rather than the bread. It was a hit!

The salad choice with Brie bacon and tart cranberries was also a tasty option.

Brunch at the Sugar Mill BVI - Juicy Breakfast Burger

Sunday Brunch at Sugar Mill BVI - Avocado toast with poached eggs and bacon

Sunday Brunch at Sugar Mill BVI

Sadly we were all too full for dessert this time. But I definitely want to return to try the sweets. I’ve heard big things about their dinner menu too, so it looks like I’ll have to head back, hopefully sooner rather than later!

If you want to know more about current dining options in the British Virgin Islands, check out my restaurant guide here – featuring this place and many other gems.

Sugar Mill Hotel and Restaurant is located in Apple Bay, West End, Tortola.
Contact: +1 (284) 342 0940 or +1 (284) 495 4355 to arrange a reservation.
Open 7 days a week for lunch or dinner.
Follow:

From Farm To Table: Brandywine Estate Restaurant

From Farm To Table: Brandywine Estate Restaurant

For years the farm to table concept has been gathering momentum across the world and for good reason. Eating local, shopping local produce, farmer’s markets, organic and now the freshest of the fresh – straight from the garden to the plate – means that many of us are eating better than ever.

Finally, the initiative is starting to arrive in the BVI – first with local farmers and now the restaurants.

Chef Regis Bourdon, and his team at Brandywine Estate Restaurant, are the latest to embrace the movement and have been working hard to cultivate an impressive garden area, bringing all the herbs and vegetables out of the earth and right onto their menu.

Farm to fork initiative at Brandywine Restaurant, Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site!

Regis and his climbing spinach seedling army in the nursery – who knew there was climbing spinach? 

Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site!

It’s been no small undertaking, a labour of love – not without it’s challenges. Leveling the ground, building the beds, keeping out the livestock, improving the soil quality, irrigation, it’s still a work in progress and Chef Bourdon has big plans, but what they’ve achieved already is very exciting.

Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site!
Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site! Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site!

I took some time this weekend to go and explore this herby-oasis, their garden of green goodness in the midst of the Caribbean cacti and aloe plants. I sampled some of the harvest and wanted to hear a bit more about what they’ve been up to.

Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site!

Beautifully peppery arugula. 

Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site!

The plan is that once the garden is fully established it will be supplying all of the herbs and vegetables for the restaurant, (with maybe the exception of onions and potatoes). Even better news for the rest of us, Chef Regis estimates that some of his farm fresh produce will be available for sale since supply may well exceed the restaurant’s demand.

Brandywine recently changed up their lunch and dinner menus for the summer season – so along with our usual favourites there were a few new treats available. This and the new half-price bottles of Rose on offer on a Saturday lunchtime made for some big smiles and full tummies.

Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site! Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site!

Creamy Burrata and Parma Ham salad with their fresh arugula leaves

Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site! Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site! Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site!

The new salmon deviled eggs are a bit of a game-changer

Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site! Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site! Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site!

We typically ended up staying far later than intended (it miiiiight have had something to do with the half-price wine deal) but it’s just such a charming place to wile away a leisurely afternoon. We took ourselves up to the pétanque court, caught up with friends and spent ages just enjoying the views and the breeze on the terrace, until before we knew it we were the only ones left… (Oops!)

Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site! Farm to fork initiative and Brandywine Restaurant on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Delicious farm fresh produce grown on site!

The garden at Brandywine is just getting started and I can’t wait to see what they’ll be coming up with next. Looks like I have a few more long Saturday lunches on the cards, maybe I’ll see some of you there… 🙂

See more about Brandywine Estate Restaurant here, or call +1 (284) 495 2301 for reservations.

EDIT: Brandywine re-opened following Hurricane Irma in December 2018 after extensive renovations and something of a make-over! The same delicious dishes are being served for lunch and dinner although the farming is not yet back up and running. 

PS. See more about where and what to eat when visiting the BVI here.

Follow:

The Dove Restaurant: The New Kid in Town

The Dove Restaurant: The New Kid in Town

Years ago, when I first set foot in the BVI, my boyfriend at the time took me straight from the airport to the Dove (like literally straight there – still in my comfy, travel athleisure gear and without so much as 5-minutes to run a brush through my hair).

More than a few espresso martinis and a touch of jet lag means that I don’t remember much of that night, but I’ve been a loyal fan ever since.

A little wooden building right in the heart of Road Town, the Dove has long been a hugely popular restaurant and bar – an institution on the fine dining scene for the last 12 years. But after the original owners moved on to other projects, she has changed hands a couple of times and been out of commission for the last 12 months.

Now she’s back – the new version, managed ably by the team behind CocoMaya, and a second kitchen for Head Chef Lee Cowie – the latest incarnation of the Dove restaurant opened on Friday.

Extensive renovations have taken place, but the changes are subtle. Die-hard Dove fans can be reassured that the same familiar charm has been retained with this sympathetic restoration. A lick of paint, new concrete floors, a brickwork bar and a gorgeous polished concrete bar top have been added. They have screened off the outside patio area with the twisted vines, in a nod to their sister restaurant on Virgin Gorda, and the Mango tree is looking better than ever.

But enough about the decor – you want to hear about the food and you won’t be disappointed.

They are currently running on a smallish menu (three choices each for starter, main and dessert) – but that just meant that we got to try (almost) everything!

We started with a bottle of prosecco (and a ginger, grapefruit, thyme cocktail, because why not?) along with a portion of calamari (from the bar snacks menu) to nibble on while we waited for the rest of our group to arrive. Crispy little morsels of tender squid paired beautifully with the perfectly chilled fizz.

Once our table was ready we happily got carried away with our ordering.

The burrata cheese salad was a hit with everyone. Melting mozzarella with the bright, fresh tomatoes and the salty olive paint – the perfect counterbalance to the creamy cheese. Edible flowers, the crunch of fried basil leaves and the paper thin garlic crostini.

Delicate tuna sashimi with its soy mirin dressing and salty ikura pearls.


Tender beef tartar – just how flavourful the New Zealand beef was surprised everyone. Totally worth the air miles, I’m told.

Korean rice cakes with kimchi and mixed vegetables.

Flaky miso-glazed red snapper with the rich scallops and warm shiitake mushrooms was a real winner.

The deconstructed cheesecake could have done with a bit more of the biscuit base, but all those that tried it declared it to be delicious nevertheless.

Sinful chocolate plate combining chocolate mousse, chocolate ice cream and chocolate cake on that glossy, decadent chocolate paint.

The Dove was always known for her fine wines and extensive wine list and you’ll be pleased to hear that the new management wants to continue that legacy. The wine list still comprises 250+ wines and we sampled a couple of the excellent Sancerres (all in the name of research, you understand).

Even more good news is that the old champagne happy hours may also be coming back, boys and girls.

The Dove Restaurant is definitely one to watch – and I’ll be sneaking in for another cheese salad very soon! I suggest that you do the same…

Open from Tuesday through Saturday, reservations are essential – +1 (284) 494 0313.

Don’t forget to check out my full BVI restaurant guide here – for a bite-sized review of where to eat and what to eat.

Looks like I’ll need to be adding these guys to the list! 🙂

EDIT: Unfortunately the Dove restaurant suffered significant damage during Hurricane Irma in September 2017. The restaurant is closed until further notice and no re-opening date has been announced as yet. We look forward to welcoming the Dove restaurant back onto the BVI culinary scene at some point and will update you once we know more. 

Follow:

CURRENTLY LOVING

Geometric Resin Earrings
Geometric Resin Earrings
Light Leopard Hoops
Light Leopard Hoops
FOREO Luna Play Cleansing Brush
FOREO Luna Play Cleansing Brush
OPI Nail Envy
OPI Nail Envy
Faux Wrap Dress with Ruffles
Faux Wrap Dress with Ruffles
Michael Kors Open Circle Pave Necklace
Michael Kors Open Circle Pave Necklace
Rodial Vit C Cleanser
Rodial Vit C Cleanser
Round Rattan Bag
Round Rattan Bag
Rodial Face Mask
Rodial Face Mask
Michael Kors Watch
Michael Kors Watch
Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey
Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey
Studded Buckle Bracelet
Studded Buckle Bracelet
Cut-out Wedges
Cut-out Wedges
Bamboo Ark Bag
Bamboo Ark Bag
Brightening CC Serum
Brightening CC Serum
Sunday Riley Good Genes
Sunday Riley Good Genes

Archives