Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Hi Friends,

Hope you're doing well! As you may know, I was recently in Jamaica for some much-needed vacation.  Matt and I spent 7 days in paradise with beautiful scenery, amazing hospitality and most of all delicious food and drinks!  There were a few overcast and rainy moments but overall, the weather was so warm and sunny.  We couldn't have asked for a better trip.

We stayed at the Jewel Paradise Cove Resort & Spa in Runaway Bay.  The resort was absolutely stunning with sparkly blue beaches, manicured lawns and beautiful gardens and pools.  The food and drinks were non-stop! From the International Buffet, pool bars/grills and four À la carte restaurants, there was always something to satisfy your cravings.  Some of our favourite spots were the Irie Cafe, Court Jesters, Moonstone by Sophia and the Coral Cafe.  Some other restaurants on the resort were the Platinum, Jade Samurai and Golden Sabre Sushi.

The Irie Cafe was perfectly located right outside our building! With coffee, espressos, cappuccinos and so much was surely our favourite spot for our caffeine fix.  We even made our own affogatos with double espressos and soft serve vanilla ice cream from the Coral Cafe. 

The Coral Cafe (International Buffet) was a staple for us, which we frequented for the majority of our breakfasts.  They had a variety of cultural foods, healthy options and classic Jamaican dishes.  During breakfast, they had fresh juices and a smoothie bar.  Despite being a buffet, the food was so tasty and all the meat dishes were cooked perfectly.

Moonstone by Sophia was an Italian Restaurant right on the water.  The food and sunset view were phenomenal. Matt ordered Rosemary Lamb Chops with a Parmesan cheese crust and herb roasted potatoes. While I had the Seafood Cioppino, a mix of seafood with a citrus rosé sauce. We both really enjoyed our meals. Matt raved about the lamb...said it's the best he ever had. We even ended up visiting for another dinner.

Our favourite lunch spot was the Court Jesters with their tasty home made woodfire pizzas! Matt's favourite was the Jamaica Jamaica with smoked jerk pork, shredded coconut, sweet potato slices and jerk sauce.  My favourite was the Hawaiian Calypso: chicken, pineapple, scallions and a spicy mango chutney. So good...I wish I could eat one right now!

We definitely had our share of yummy Jamaican dishes like ackee and saltfish, festivals, breadfruit, fried dumplings, brown stew beef and plantains. Not to mention, tons of jerk chicken and Red Stripe beer by the Aquamarine pool bar.

A lovely breakfast at Platinum with mimosas and of course, coffee! 
Jerk Chicken & Fries - Aquamarine Bar & Grill

Some of our other favourite dishes on the resort:

Duck Salad - Jade Samurai
Spicy Jerk Tuna Roll  - Golden Sabre Sushi

Aside from the fabulous drinks and food, we had a great time enjoying all that Jamaica has to offer.  As part of our resort package, we did snorkelling just off of our resort.  The water was warm and as blue as could be. We saw lots of fish and coral, it was awesome for a free excursion.  In addition, we also went to Konoko Falls (similar to Dunn' River Falls but less commercial) where we climbed up the falls and dipped in the natural springs.  The falls were gorgeous and lush with tropical trees, vines and flowers. It was a sight to see. As part of the excursion, you are guided through the River Gardens and visit the zoo, museum and bar. We had such a fun time!

We also went on the Blue Hole excursion in Ocho was definitely not what we expected.  The excursion consisted of climbing up the 20-foot waterfall and jumping from various points into the water.  Due to rain from the day prior, the water was not it's normal blue colour but instead a merky brown. The excursion was quite adventurous which was not expected based on the description but we did have a great time.  We finished off the tour by visiting Usain Bolt's Tracks & Records restaurant for some jerk chicken/jerk pork.

We had such an amazing trip to Jamaica and we will definitely be going back some day. The island was beautiful with amazing food, gorgeous scenery and friendly hospitality.

What is your favourite island in the Carribean?
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