I’ve lived in London all of my life, moving only once and that was just to down the street! So I guess you could say I was a bit set in my ways. I know London like the back of my hand, getting around, where to eat, where to shop have all become second nature. So the prospect of starting afresh in a new country at the other side of the Atlantic was terribly exciting, as well as pretty terrifying!
My destination was Saint Martin, the area I was to move to was Grand Case (pronounced Grand Cass I was politely told upon arrival!). All I’d read about the little corner of the French side of the island before arriving was that it was the culinary capital of the Caribbean, so as you can imagine I was eager to arrive and put that title to the test!
On arriving, the view had me. I knew calling this place home wouldn’t be very hard at all. The vibrant colours, smiling faces and clear air captured my heart as soon as I stepped from the taxi. The energy of the Caribbean was palpable and I was eager to get to know the streets of Grand Case better.
Grand Case isn’t your picture perfect, commercial holiday destination. It doesn’t have every European amenity scattered across the sea front. Every building isn’t in pristine condition, without a crack in sight and there isn’t a single high rise hotel to be seen. And that’s why I love it here. It feels real, as if someone hasn’t covered it with a corporate paint brush and removed its character.
The sea front is unspoiled and totally breathtaking. The sea is honestly as clear as any swimming pool I’ve swum in, though maybe there’s a couple more fish in it!
The main street is a mix between clothes shops, gourmet restaurants, local restaurants, bars, boutique hotels and apartments.
Its the most colourful place I’ve ever been. Everything’s bright, happy and inviting. With such beautiful scenery it’d be understandable why you may use muted colours on buildings and let the surroundings do the talking. But here every wall seems to have its own character; covered in bright blues, pinks, yellows, you name it! It brings the place to life.
My apartment lies in the middle of Grand Cases’ main street and sits atop a small flight of stairs, it too is more colourful than I could have hoped for!
The view from the balcony by day is pretty spectacular…
Beaten only by the view as the sun falls…
I’m yet to try any of the world renowned restaurants (I’ll let you know when I do!) but I can’t imagine it beating the local food. In the middle of town there’s a cluster of outdoor restaurants under a sort of wooden canopy. My boyfriend introduced me to one the day I arrived and it’s the best thing he’s ever done for me!
Lolos sits in the centre of the cluster and it’s no nonsense food is to die for! They cook all the meat right there on the grill in front of you. The spicy, woody aroma will greet you as you arrive and remain a while as you wander home feeling hugely satisfied!
The birds love the food there almost as much as me!
I feel very lucky to be surrounded by so much beauty, I can’t wait to get to know this place even better as the months roll on. I’m filled with excitement as I think of discovering new places and learning more about the island I now call home.