Growing up in paradise: Insider Guide from Eilidh Bridgeman

Where are you from and why did you decide to move here?

I’m Eilidh Bridgeman, 25 years old and I work for the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee (CIOC). I was born in George Town hospital in the Cayman Islands but my parents are originally from Fife, Scotland and Oxford, England. Their one year working abroad on a tiny tropical island, far from the wet and grey UK, turned into 30 years and counting - shocker! Luckily for me we got to grow up on the coolest little Island, my childhood was so different to most, in the best way possible.

Best thing about living here:

From the beaches and sea-life to the close-knit community surroundings, it’s hard to choose what the best thing about living here is… For me, it has to be the weather. I tried to hack the cold for University and quickly retreated back to life in a bikini. I absolutely love the heat and it means we can do so many activities outside without worrying about the forecast (most of the time). 

Worst thing about living here:

The worst thing for me might have to be the expense of living on the Island. Once I’d gone traveling I was shocked at how much I could get for my dollar. Cayman’s cost of living is just high. It’s hard to save when you first get back from University, have just started as an intern, trying to save enough to get out of your parents house and be fully immersed in the real world.  Having said that, Cayman is also getting better in that there are more feasible, alternative options available. You can definitely try to source out the cheaper way of doing things. 

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Advice for people looking to move:

If people are looking to move to the Island my advice would be to sign up for as many corporate leagues and social activities as possible. The friends and the friends of friends and the connections you make on the Island are always needed when you move over without knowing anyone. But CaymanKind is not just a saying; there is a lot of love to be shared on the Island. Cayman is so social, therefore the best way is to immerse yourself - you don’t have to be talented at the sports to be on the corporate league team, it’s all just fun. You also don’t need to be a drinker to enjoy everything else (although it helps). 

Fave restaurant for breakfast:

I personally, am a big breakfast girl – I love the salt the sweet, you name it – and am probably trying to decide between it.  My best friend and I rock the breakfast combos at Eats regularly. When you want a big portion for a cheap price and you want options from just about everything in the book – Eats is the place to go.  

Eilidh Bridgeman

Where to go for lunch?

One of my favourite lunch spots would have to be Tasters Choice for some local food. If you’re looking for a large portion of great food for a cheap price, I wouldn’t go anywhere else. The menu changes daily from all assortments of Caribbean and local cuisine. Not to mention, it’s quite central in location, which I love. But of course brunch needs to be talked about… Every Sunday you will find many people indulging in all-you-can-eat and drink at some of the most stunning restaurants and hotels on the Island. My personal favourite would have to be brunch at the Marriott – I’m currently drooling over the thought of those crepes.. 

Where's good to go for dinner?

The thing about the restaurants in Cayman is that there are so many great places to eat! I love the location of Casanova’s as well as their great service, amazing view and Penne al Salmon… I also love places like Over the Edge out in East End for some of their catch of the day, not to mention that drive up through some of the Island that’s hardly been touched. Then there’s the regulars, the restaurants I hit up (almost) on the daily like Yoshis! Where sushi anywhere else just doesn’t compare. 


Most romantic thing to do on island?

The most romantic thing to do on the Island is anything in front of that sunset! The sunsets in Cayman I could swear are better than anywhere else. They are the pull-over-on-the-side-of-the-road-almost-crash-your-car-staring kind of sunsets and should be shared with your loved one.


Favourite memory in Cayman so far:

How can you pick just one favourite memory when you grow up on this tiny slice of paradise?  One of my favourites has to be camping on one of my best friends piece of land every Easter until they built the house of their (and my) dreams. This same land is where I am now planning my wedding years later.  Other favourite memories would include sailing camps every school break, when I was little. Fast-forward fifteen years, to waiting eagerly for lobster season. Bribing my brothers’ friends with beer to take me out on their boats, so we can try to catch some before dinnertime.  Or just any other memory that involves the ocean to be honest… 

Fave thing to do:

My two favourite things to do are on opposite sides of the spectrum. I love playing squash at the South Sound Squash Club. There is something addicting about working to get fitter and faster to improve my game. I have been lucky enough to be able to compete for Cayman, which I find hugely motivational. On the flip side, when my body is cooked or I just need to regroup there is nothing better than laying on Seven Mile Beach with a book. Amiright? 

Must-see attraction:

The number one, must-see attraction for me, has always been/will always be Stingray City. I find it incredible how we have this sand bar in the middle of the Sound where magnificent, wild, friendly sea puppies aka stingrays congregate. Not only are they amazing but the water is like crystal, it is truly stunning. The reef is also next to it, which is perfect for snorkelling and checking out the coral. You know it’s got to be an incredible place if you’re amazed by it every time you go. 

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