St Lucia might be synonymous with gorgeous beaches and lush jungle, but it’s also a wonderfully cultural destination with a fiery Caribbean passion and tasty Creole flavours.
Since there’s no better way to connect with a local culture than through its food, here’s a round up of some of the best foodie experiences in St Lucia…
Gros Islet Jump Up Street Party
Friday nights is traditionally fish dinner night in St Lucia. In the small village of Gros Islet they’ve turned that into a weekly excuse for a party.
Originally born as a street food market, the Jump Up Street Party takes place every Friday night and is now one of the most popular things to do in St Lucia. The street is closed to traffic, and instead becomes filled with stalls selling barbecued seafood and potent rum punches. Everyone eats at shared tables in the street, with speakers blasting Caribbean beats into the night and a fantastic community atmosphere.
Visit the Hotel Chocolat Plantation
I’m sure you’ve heard of the gloriously decadent chocolate shop, Hotel Chocolat. But did you know that they take their name from an actual hotel? Hotel Chocolat is a beautiful boutique hotel found on the company’s enormous cocoa plantation in St Lucia.
Visitors can pop by to tour the plantation and find out more about how cacao becomes chocolate. You can even take part in a ‘bean to bar’ workshop to make your very own chocolate bar, from scratch! Or, simply make a reservation at the stunning Hotel Chocolat restaurant.
The menu packed full of tasty local dishes – many featuring a chocolatey twist – and the dessert round-up is a sweet-lover’s paradise.
Explore Castries Market
For a true taste of island living, don’t miss the chance to visit a local market on St Lucia.
The capital city, Castries, has the biggest market – and it’s the perfect place to learn a little more about food on the island.
Castries Market is an explosion of colour, with stalls piled high with tropical fruits. Grab a fresh coconut for a refreshing drink as you explore, and be sure to try some of the more obscure local fruits.
Soursops, fat pokes, banana cane… you’re sure to find a few things you’ve never come across before! The market is open everyday, but the best time to visit is on a weekend, preferably in the morning.
Learn Creole Cooking at Home with a Local
Experiential tourism is on the rise, and St Lucia is embracing the idea with a passion. Several tour companies can arrange traditional cooking lessons, which is a great way to learn more about island living and Creole culture.
Luxury hotel Cap Maison offer a fabulous experience at home with the mother of one of their very own chefs. You’ll learn some traditional Creole recipes, many of which are cooked in traditional clay pots over a coal fire in the garden, before dining with the whole family.
A true taste of the Caribbean, and a great way to connect with local life – while enjoying some tasty food, of course!
No visit to the Caribbean is complete without trying a few of the local rums!
On St Lucia, the island’s only distillery is found in Roseau Valley. St Lucia Distillers produces over 25 different rums, including the well-known local tipples Chairman’s Reserve and Bounty.
Visitors can tour the distillery and get an insight into the production of the Caribbean’s favourite drink. At the ‘rum-buffet’ tasting area, you can try up to 17 different rums… although I recommend opting for a few less than that!