IT’S AS if I’ve stepped back in time as I arrive in Bermuda from my non-stop flight from London. Situated in the North Atlantic, about 1,000 miles north of the Caribbean, its affluence is immediately evident on the short drive from the airport to Front Street, the harbour-side thoroughfare of the capital city, Hamilton. I pass by the immaculate candy- coloured shops and dwellings with their white- slanted, rainwater-collecting roofs, the harbour vista accompanying me all the while.
My driver tells me, in his strong mid-Atlantic accent, that Bermudians are the best mannered, most courteous and happiest people in the world. With a year-round temperate climate, daily sunny skies and famed pink sandy beaches, it is easy to see why. The British territory is also noted for its Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, which dates back to 1845 and is the third oldest royal yacht club in the world.
Sailing in Bermuda. Photograph: John Singleton
Rosewood Bermuda Palm Court Pool. Photograph: K Hayden
I’m here to celebrate the annual weekend festivities of the Bermudian Carnival, which falls each year on the third weekend in June. This non-stop party features a plethora of celebrations including food and drink pop-ups, musical events, kids’ activities and the star attraction for me, Raft Up, which I enjoyed on a yacht, with my Rum Swizzle in hand. This is one of the liveliest events I’ve witnessed, and the most friendly, with hundreds of vessels partaking and revellers from other boats hopping on board for a drink or two.
Festivities conclude with a dazzling street parade, marking Bermuda’s National Heroes’ Day, a holiday which pays homage to islanders revered for their courage and outstanding achievements.
I spruce up for dinner over at Huckleberry, a restaurant which prides itself on a sea-to-farm-to-table philosophy utilising seasonal and sustainably harvested ingredients. I’m seated upon the white-washed veranda within an enclave of tropical trees and edible flowers. I begin with a pillow-soft brioche bun served with a generous knob of home-churned butter followed by the chef’s recommendation – Huckleberry salad crowned with the Bermudian catch of the day and topped off with the most more-ish umami sesame dressing.
The St. Regis Bermuda Resort
I’m staying a couple of nights at Rosewood Bermuda, a smart beachfront property, adjacent to Tucker’s Point, the upmarket gated neighbourhood. The laid-back vibe continues with the preppy Hampton- style atmosphere with casual furnishings in splashes of nautical colours accompanied by the lashings of light that flood the communal spaces. Each one of the smart 91 rooms and suites offers an ocean view. The nautical theme is mimicked in my suite with a marble bathroom, spilling onto my terrace with a hexagonal mirror that reflects the sunset as I relax upon my sun-lounger for the majority of the day.
The resort’s swanky Beach Club Restaurant on the Rosewood complex is where I spend my evening. This shore-side eatery is an Instagrammer’s paradise complete with cosy booths, romantic fairy lights and views of the South Shore beach and Atlantic, conjuring a relaxed, sophisticated atmosphere. I order a plate of made-to-order sushi that hits the spot, accompanied by a glass of chilled rosé. It’s the place to people-watch and admire the glamorous crowd that begins to gather as darkness falls.
I head off to The St Regis Bermuda on my final day, situated in the eastern tip of the island, five minutes from the historic town of St George’s which was first settled by the English back in 1609. Comprising 120 rooms and suites, this contemporary property is home to Lina Restaurant. Featuring a light Mediterranean menu with a focus on fresh fish and seasonal produce and overlooking the hotel’s infinity pool and St Catherine’s Beach, I’m ensconced in the perfect spot to enjoy a laid-back poolside lunch in the sunshine before my journey home.
by Ashleigh Jacobs
A Harbour View King room at Rosewood Bermuda on a bed and breakfast basis starts from $675 per night.
To book, visit rosewoodhotels.com/en/bermuda
A Partial Ocean View room at The St Regis Bermuda Resort on a bed and breakfast basis starts from $499 per night.
To book, visit marriott.co.uk/hotels/travel/bdaxr-the-st- regis-bermuda-resort
For more information on Bermuda, visit gotobermuda.com