It’s not only on islands that people are more than a little interested in what is available by way of places to eat and drink. But on island, I suggest, it becomes more of an obsession. After all, there’s no popping over to the next suburb or calling Menu Log to deliver from a long and varied list. So, a little about St Helena’s social and sustenance offerings.
Ann’s Place: run now by Anne’s daughter-in-law Jane, it’s the most reliable option as it’s open ‘9 til late’ every day including Sundays and it has wifi. It has a lovely garden setting. This is where I spend most time because of the wifi. There are burgers and toasties (in fact I’m yet to find a restaurant or café that does not offer burgers and toasties) and usually a good selection of local fish dishes including excellent St Helena fish cakes.
Donny’s: it’s the weekend late-night option with music and sometimes guest DJs but no food. It takes the staff a while to clean up in the days following.
Sanray’s Bistro: takeaway near Donny’s so it gets late night business. It’s not what I’d term a ‘Bistro’ – more a take away food hut.
The Mule Yard: usually the Friday night drinking spot but it wasn’t open last Friday or the Friday before – we’ll see if it is this week (although I believe I’ve been booked into a sunset cruise for Friday night). It, like Donny’s, is on the ocean front. Called thus because mule’s waited in this yard to help unload ships (I am guessing, haven’t managed to get to the archive or the library yet). And it’s so very steep and rocky I can see why donkey’s and mules were the preferred transport.
Reggie’s takeaway: Haven’t tried yet but I know it will offer burgers and toasties and probably ‘Plo’ the tasty local rice dishes that takes its name from ‘Pilau’ I believe. There’s a Reggie’s Takeaway in ‘the country’ too.
The St Helena Coffee Shop: is open fairly often and apart from burgers & toasties does a fine BLT roll. It’s very popular on ship days (that’s more or less twice a month). The first pic is me and The new Catholic Bishop, Hugh, who became a good friend (I even went to a Mass).
The Consulate Hotel: classiest establishment currently in Jamestown (the capital). The bar is sometimes open 11am-2pm weekdays and on Friday and Saturdays but there’s no food currently. There is a superb dining room partly made of old ships’ bits: an old, slightly pockmarked mast now forms the central ceiling beam, panels from ships line the walls and there’s also some very fine salvaged china.
Certainly, the most atmospheric bar, open on the weekends, is Amphibians. It, quite literally, a tent on the ocean front. No food and terrible wine but hell, with that view who cares?
More on this tent restaurants and bars to follow.