Saturday, March 03, 2007

February 7, 2007 - Mustique, SVG

Last night we fell asleep to the sounds of the blues fest coming from Basil's Bar, one of the more famous Caribbean bars. Part of the notoriety of Basil's bar is a result of his personal life.

Mustique is a private island, developed by a member of the English peerage. The 100 or so houses are owned primarily by people with titles, with a few rock stars thrown in for variety - Mick Jagger, Shania Twain, and Brian Adams (clearly we're using the term "star" loosely). Approximately 30 years ago, a European countess came to visit some friends on the island, met Basil over dinner, and they fell deeply in love. While Basil is certainly tall dark and handsome, I doubt that he is what the countess's family had in mind for her paramour. Pictures of the two of them traveling with her two towheaded children from her prior marriage regularly appeared in the gossip columns at the time.

Basil still owns his bar, and every year he hosts a blues fest in January and February. We had arrived just in time for the closing night gala, complete with celebrity guests (last year it was Jagger) and a roast pig.

After meeting the pig, which the chefs had named "Randy" after one of their colleagues, we made reservations for the BBQ. Then we went off to wander around the island for a bit.

Mustique is one of the prettiest islands that we've seen. It is one of those places that makes me so glad that we are doing this trip. Mata'irea provides us with the means to to travel to places that we otherwise wouldn't be able to go, whether it is a private island with exorbitant villa rental prices or an isolated island, like Barbuda. She's a bit of a magic carpet.

When we showed up for dinner, there were some other folks at our table, which was close to the bar. While waiting for them to move on to their own table, we had some rum punches by the bar. As they got up, I spoke to the host, who quickly set the table for us. As I sat down to hold the table and keep and eye on our drinks while Sten and Suzy got in the buffet line, some folks off of a charter boat tried to sit down too. I smiled and explained that we had a reservation for this table.

A few minutes before, Sten had noticed the senior guy in the group (dad?) palm a $20 to one of the waiters. He was non-plussed when I stubbornly refused to give up my seat. All those years of guarding parking spots in the face of irate drivers in Chicago and Boston while Sten turned the car around or circled the block came in handy. When the charterer realized I wasn't backing down, he went off to find the waiter that he'd paid off.

Really, we should have all saved our money. The food was terrible and over priced. After three dismal meals out, and many more excellent meals aboard, Suzy isn't too interested in trying any more of SVG's restaurant options.

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