Dining out for Christmas
BARBADIANS ENJOY having a traditional Bajan feast on Christmas complete with lots of ham and turkey along with jug-jug and black cake.
However, more and more people are not making this feast themselves and are in fact going out to eat as hotel restaurants appear to be a prime spot for Christmas lunch.
Two such spots are the Hilton Barbados Resort and Savannah Beach Hotel.
At Savannah, operations manager Tricia Greaves said more and more people were booking for Christmas Day with them every year.
“This is our third year and we have seen an increase in the number of people who want to come out and dine for Christmas. My personal feeling is that it is probably attributed to people wanting to unwind and not having to go through the trouble of cooking,” she said.
Greaves said they were catering for 125 people in Rachel’s Restaurant, all locals, while the hotel guests dined elsewhere in their other restaurant. She said they offered a wide menu at an affordable price.
Executive chef Cecil Gill said they kept the menu traditional, with turkey, ham, macaroni pie, salads and Christmas cake.
“We are fully booked for the day. I have a wonderful team who are hungry to work, so it is easy,” he said.
Leroy Blackman is no stranger to the Savannah as he makes it a point to come on a regular basis.
“Savannah has some of the nicest meals and the people are friendly too. I come on Old Year’s Night; some holidays and on Christmas depending on if I can’t get someone to cook for me. I will probably be back for Old Year’s Night,” he said.
It is for these same reasons that Douglas and Colleen Martindale and their friend Allan Burton go to Savannah.
“We come once a month and this is our third time here for Christmas. The food is good and the staff very pleasant. We will have a bit of this and a bit of that,” they said.
For Ferdinand Moore, eating out for Christmas is his tradition, but he said it was the first time at Savannah, adding that he hated to cook. His wife, Sandra, had been to Savannah for lunch before and decided to come back for Christmas lunch as it was one of the few places actually serving lunch for Christmas. She said she was looking forward to “lots of turkey and ham”.
The numbers were even greater at Hilton where more than 500 people were digging into the sumptuous feast.
General manager Matthew Mullan said the increasing numbers meant they had some thinking to do.
“Today is our traditional Christmas Day festivities. We have 320 people in the ballroom and another 200 in the Lighthouse Terrace Restaurant, the majority of who are locals. The demand is growing and the restaurant is at capacity so we utilize the ballroom. We will have to be creative going forward,” he said.
Mullan said the menu was international with a traditional Bajan flair, featuring ham, turkey and jug-jug.
He went on to speak about other initiatives the resort had already done as well as future events, such as a jazz breakfast for 300 people earlier and a Christmas Day parade later on in the day.
In addition, Mullan said their New Year’s Day event would be held on the Carlisle Bay side this year for 1 000 resort people. He said the move would be done so more people would be able to see the fireworks.