In the land of sun and sea, it's sandal season year-round. This means travelling light is an achievable goal not only reserved for the seasoned travelers among us. Once-a-year amateur packers, rejoice!
Brunch. The word is a whimsical neologism combining the words 'breakfast' and 'lunch'. A pairing as immediately pleasing to the ear, as the pairing of 'eggs' and 'bacon' is to the palette. The idea originated in England in the late 1800s by English author, and presumably heavy-drinker, Guy Beringer, in an essay appropriately titled: 'Brunch: A Plea'.
In the essay, Beringer explains that the intention of brunch is to share anecdotes of the previous night's shenanigans over a spicy Bloody Mary, a refreshing Mimosa or both. He goes on to explain that a lively brunch affair aims to nurse the Saturday-sin-induced headache and satisfy the sometimes insatiable hangover-hunger for food AND company. This, he argues, can be accomplished with a delicious meal and a generous helping of 'hair-of-the-dog'.
The brunch has since evolved. In Cayman, though still keeping to these old brunch traditions, a brunch now also serves as the go-to manner in which to celebrate special occasions - birthday brunches, mother's day brunches, engagement brunches, the very many 'farewell' or 'welcome back to island' brunches. Then there are also the (slightly) less raucous baby shower brunches and in recent years, the newly popularised divorce-party brunches. What's the dress-code you may ask? Well, it's a Sunday brunch, it should go without saying, that it is to be attended in ones Sunday (very) best!
In honour of the tradition and history of the brunch, we've selected, in no specific order, our tried and tested favourite places to brunch in Cayman:
1. Seven at The Ritz
Elegant and upmarket yet in keeping with the laid-back island-style one comes to expect of our Caribbean holiday. Wash down expertly crafted cuisine with a golden glass of French champagne while taking in the 180-degree views of Seven Mile Beach from the terrace or the glamorous dining room.
Italian restaurant, LUCA, offers guest the choice of enjoying brunch in the luxury and comfort of the sleek and sophisticated dining room or on their patio overlooking the infinity pool and the jewel-toned waters of the Caribbean. The brunch menu includes authentic Italian dishes, prepared simply and with fresh ingredients. Enjoy your delicious Italian fare with bottomless Prosecco - the Italian way.
For those with a taste for the slightly more exotic, Mizu delights with a brunch menu that showcases delicious Asian flavours and table service - a welcome change from the more traditional buffet-style brunch setup that one comes to expect on the island.
The menu includes Sushi, dim sum, rice and noodle dishes like fried rice, Nasi Goreng, Singapore fried noodles and Kung Pao. Traditional Japanese rice wine or 'Sake', well-drinks and house wines are all included in the all-you-can-eat brunch price. Mizu offers a five-star experience on a cheap and cheerful budget. The interior is reminiscent of an upmarket new york nightclub with impressive light features set atmospherically low, high-shine sequinned pillows and a striking Japanese graffiti mural that acts as a talking piece and draws the eye in. All-in-all an all-around enjoyable experience and a sure-favourite on our list.
4. Ave at Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa
Come with the whole family or sneak away for a romantic dinner at Kimpton Seafire Resort & Spa’s Ave restaurant to experience fresh local seafood and produce infused into coastal Mediterranean recipes. Our Executive Chef Massimo De Francesca has crafted an approachable menu featuring seasonal plates that appeal to your whole party...
5. Ferdinand’s at The Westin Grand Cayman
With free-flowing sparkling wine, a Margarita Bar and a wide variety of mouth-watering Caribbean and international food stations, Westin Grand Cayman's Ferdinand's has safely secured its spot on our list. Every Sunday, guests are invited to enjoy a lavish feast of breakfast items, pasta options, cured, slow-cooked or braised meats from the carving station, dim sum and sushi, a selection of hot dishes and near sinful desserts. Come indulge in classic Caribbean cuisine in the casual-cool interior or on their outdoor patio while taking in the breathtaking sea views, every Sunday from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm.
6. Anchor & Den
Taking the cake, both literally and figuratively, is the Anchor & Den Brunch at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort. Their signature Boulangerie Brunch includes globally-inspired dishes and bottomless glasses of bubbles served in a Nautical-themed dining area which is at once playful and contemporary. Each Sunday, the area is transformed into a treasure trove of unique food stops - a chocolate display, raclette cheese station, pop-up cocktail bar, fresh juice bar, gelato and sushi stops and a charcuterie carving station, to name but a few. It is, in our opinion, impossible NOT to have a good time at this brunch.
It's no secret that parks are important contributing factors to the overall health of our communities and environments. Parks play a vital role in our everyday lives, improving mental health and providing us with all manner of social, environmental, economic, and health benefits.
Parks and protected public lands not only assist with our mental and physical wellbeing, but they benefit our environment - providing habitats for wildlife and protected species (in our case the Blue Iguana) and offering people a place to connect with nature and each other. Though Cayman is small and suffers similar sustainable development challenges as most islands, it prides itself on it’s parks and the efforts made to preserve their natural, exotic beauty.
The Dart Family Park was founded in 2005 and has been a favourite amongst families ever since. The Dart Family Park is one of the largest public parks in Grand Cayman. The park has 180-degree ocean views, a 'lickle' beach area as well as an amphitheatre. The picturesque picnic spots are shaded by wild almond trees, towering palms and dotted throughout with indigenous, sweet-smelling tropical flowers.
The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park is a two-acre park boasting exotic tropical wildflowers, lush greenage and some of Cayman's most beautiful native birds. The Botanic Park is home to the Woodland trail, the Blue Iguana breeding programme and all the indigenous fauna and flora of the Cayman Islands. Take a stroll or relax under a shady palm while you take in the beautiful surrounds.
Barker’s National Park
This park runs over 261 terrestrial beachside acres and is accessible from a barely noticeable path near Pappagallo Restaurant at the farthest end of West Bay. The park offers stretches of secluded space for leisurely activities like splashing in the beautiful blue waters of the Caribbean, lounging on its beaches shaded by large mangrove trees or exploring the grounds in search of its variety of indigenous wildlife.
Full and plentiful blooms in springtime in Cayman herald in the arrival of butterfly breeding season at the Cayman Turtle Centre's Butterfly Garden. These fragile little creatures are integral part of the Cayman ecosystem and responsible for the vital process of pollination necessary to keep our biodiverse tropical island region healthy.
Mastic Trail and Reserve
Cayman's most iconic and well-known hiking trail can be found in an expansive nature reserve. The Mastic Reserve is home to a wide variety of fauna and flora unique to the Cayman Islands and or the Caribbean. Though the Cayman Islands are no longer abundant in the larger tree types like mahogany and logwood trees, the nature reserve and some smaller parks protect the remaining species and some smaller Caribbean varietals such as coconut, thatch palm, seagrape, almond and casuarina (Australian pine). An afternoon meandering through the rich tropical nature reserve is an afternoon well spent, by far one of Cayman's most enjoyable inland activities.
For more information on Cayman's protected parks and nature reserves contact the Cayman Islands Tourism Association or visit their website: www.visitcaymanislands.com
WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO MOVE HERE?
Toronto, Canada is where I was born and raised, the baseball diamond and golf course is where I spent most of my days. What brought me to this picturesque island was merely a change of scenery with a short-term forecast, coming up on 3 wonderful years later. With having West-Indian roots, father is from Grenada, the tropical sunshine and Caribbean lifestyle run in the veins.
WHAT GOT YOU INTO WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY?
What initially started as a hobby developed into a career that I’m extremely fortunate for. With an education and past work experience in Finance & Business, I always felt that something was missing. After taking photos with my iPhone I realized that I loved capturing more than an image. Within every frame there is a story to be told. It was amazing to me that every photo I took on my phone was sending a message. Fast forward a few months and leaving my financial profession, I decided to approach wedding photography, because what stronger message is there than love? I have been so fortunate to travel and do what I love and have come to make lasting friendships with the couples I meet.
ADVICE FOR PEOPLE LOOKING TO VISIT CAYMAN?
Seven Mile Beach is a must see attraction, with miles of white sandy beaches and blue, clean waters. Unless you are staying on the beach, beach access can be hard due to lack of parking, however parking is available at public, governors, cemetery, and west bay beaches.
People drive on the left and is not that hard; just follow the cars. There are lots of roundabouts; you have to yield to cars on the right and once inside you have the right of way.
Because the country is a religious nation, Sundays are taken very seriously. Every business except gas stations, resorts, some restaurants are closed all day Sunday. Bars stop serving alcohol by 12:00am Sunday.
The island is a conservative place in which that beach attire is inappropriate outside the beaches, even though it is a casual place. Cover your attire when leaving.
With growing development on the island, traffic can be quite bad to and from Georgetown during rush hours when cruise ship traffic is at its peak so try and avoid if possible.
FAVE RESTAURANT FOR BREAKFAST?
With so many great restaurants on the island, its difficult to narrow down to one favourite. Hence why Grand Cayman is known as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean. A few locations are: Vivo, Anchor & Den, Bread & Chocolate.
WHERE TO GO FOR LUNCH?
Vivo, Tukka, Coccoloba, Andiamo, Czech Inn, Chicken Chicken.
WHERE'S GOOD TO GO FOR DINNER?
Luca, Casa 43, Aqua, Papagallo.
YOU CAPTURE PEOPLE'S MOST ROMANTIC & SPECIAL MOMENTS, WHERE'S THE MOST ROMANTIC PLACE ON ISLAND IN YOUR OPINION?
Romantic locations vary based on the individuals and their personalities. A stunning and calming sunset view along Seven Mile Beach never disappoints. Also just taking a drive with no destination in mind to witness all the beautiful that the island has to offer .. stargazing on the east / north side, where there is very little light pollution is probably my place to be.
WHAT'S YOUR ADVICE FOR PEOPLE GETTING MARRIED IN CAYMAN?
Be aware of all the marriage requirements in terms of all the right documentation that is required. Dress accordingly to the weather and style of the wedding. The Cayman dress code is typically smart Casual unless formal is indicated. Plan accordingly regarding buying the wedding necessities. The island has a vast array of shops for gifts and favours, but nowhere near the same variety you’ll find in the US and Europe.
I’d recommend getting off the beaten path and explore .. botanical gardens, mastic trail and then experiencing Stingray City via a jet ski tour. Being on the water, zipping across the crystal clear waters is an exhilaration that’s difficult to match.
ANY EXCITING TRAVEL PLANS WITH YOUR CAMERA?
I’m quite fortunate to be in a position to travel the world with my camera and capture destination weddings, elopements and general travel imagery. Some of the upcoming locations for 2019 are: Moab-Utah, Germany, Ireland, Turkey, Ukraine, North Carolina, Toronto, Nova Scotia.
Pirates Week is a personal favourite for many of the locals in Cayman. It’s become a lovely tradition for families, teenagers and adults alike. It’s been going on for over 40 years and is still wildly popular.
The traditional activities begin with the ‘invasion’ of the pirates, capturing the Governor and taking him/her on-board their pirates ship. Everyone lines the streets in town to watch this light-hearted, pirate-filled showcase. Following this, the festivities are kicked off with a bang! Quite literally, as wonderful fireworks light up the night.
Life on a tropical island revolves around laidback activities like strolling along the sandy shorelines in search of sunset spots and shore-side snacking. But on the weekends the island awakens from its tropical slumber and offers up a myriad of activities that appeal to individuals of all sensibilities.
Such is the experience of flying into Grand Cayman that it can be compared to an assault to one’s visual faculties. The soft pillow-like clouds give way to an almost obscene palette of crystal-clear blue waters in shades one’s mind struggles to comprehend. The kind of tropical island scene one expects to see in a Hollywood blockbuster.
‘Mystery bus tour invite’ popped up in my inbox one sleepy Monday morning peaking my interest and distracting me from my video editing timeline. Full of intrigue, I clicked to find details of a Taste of Cayman media bus tour to sample some of the culinary offerings we’ll see at this year’s festival. Free food & drink and an afternoon out of the office - why not?