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Purely Dominica

Purely Dominica

heavens best guesthouse in Dominica

It’s not difficult to write enough good things about Heaven’s Best Restaurant.

We had a wonderful dinner there. We never had the opportunity to stay there, because we’ve had our own home in Dominica as long as the restaurant and guest house has been there, but if you surf to you’ll see a very, very attractive full-service resort run by Heskeith & Evelyn Clarke. He’s the chef.

They must have learned a lot from their son, a graduate of Johnson & Wales, the renowned institute for the hospitality, who is now a hotel chain’s executive.

I started with the Octopus Salad blended in soybean oil, vinegar, scallops, onion and herbs appetizer. It was so tasty! For entrées Ruth had the Chicken Sensation Chicken and Italian sausage simmered in onion, scallion, garlic, parsley and nutmeg – served over pasta and I stayed with my favored seafood, having the Fish tip and Shrimp Mire Poix. Somehow we found room for desserts, having the warm homemade Apple crisp & Ice Cream, and Rumalade Sundae, respectively. I’ve cut & pasted these food descriptions form the website on purpose – to illustrate the high degree of menu choice.

It’s not hard to find Heaven’s Best in Savanne-Paille. Pass through Portsmouth heading towards the Cabrits & Fort Shirley, and take the right turn shortly after passing the Purple Turtle. Now you’re 2 miles away. Pass Douglas Bay and ascend a narrow road to where you see signage directing you towards Capuchin on the left and the Northern Link Road on the right. Take the left fork and go around about two bends and it’s on your left.

A reviewer must be evenhanded so I have to make a critique of some sort. It isn’t easy. But we wondered why the restaurant isn’t facing the bay. And although the prices aren’t excessive, we wonder about the addition of 10% for service, when it’s the owner serving.

But that won’t keep us from returning. We recommend you try it. For reservations, call 445-6677 or 277-3952.

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Domcan’s Retreat: Restaurant and Guest House

We live in Calibishie and way back in the 1980s when we first started coming to the Nature Island, that’s where Domcan’s was.

We ate there then and in some ensuing years and it was always great: The food was wonderful, the prices reasonable, and the view from the table and the ambiance were admirable. Only one thing has changed since – Domcan’s has moved to Castle Bruce.

You can visit Domcan’s virtually by visiting Domcan’s Retreat dot Com. Castle Bruce is a village about midway down on Dominica’s east (Atlantic) coast. From Roseau take any road inland that goes to the Pond Casse roundabout and then head east toward the Emerald Pool. Keep going until you reach Castle Bruce, then turn left and head uphill.

Domcan’s will be on your right within about a mile. From Melville Hall Airport, turn right at the airport exit and go through the town of Marigot. After Marigot, at Hatton Garden, turn left as if you were heading to Carib Territory (passing the entrance to the now closed Silk’s Resort). Proceed through Carib Territory. There are occasional road signs giving the distance to Castle Bruce, and Domcan’s will appear on your left before you reach the village proper.

Domcan’s Retreat: Restaurant

Harry is an expatriate Dutch via Canada. His wife Grace is Dominica. She’s the cook, and a terrific one!

I recommend calling 767-445-7794 to check to see if what you would like is available on the menu. Call a day or two ahead if possible, because although Harry & Grace call Castle Bruce “centrally located”, it is far from any other dining amenities.

We’ve never stayed at Domcan’s but we’ve seen the lodging accommodations they offer. They’re very nice, clean, and modern (with cable TV) and very reasonable priced at US$70 per night with meals at the restaurant 10% off to lodgers.

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brandy manor guest house in Dominica

Brandy Manor is a family owned Guesthouse, not just a restaurant, which caters to nature lovers, and especially horse lovers. Travelbarefoot dot Com website, which houses information about Brandy Manor Vacation packages directs you to horseback riding “nearby” but now Jasmine the owner has her own horses at Brandy Manor.

Brandy Manor is close to Portsmouth, on the road leading to Melville Hall Airport. It isn’t easy to find. Look for a very steep cement drive descending on the right side of the road before you reach the “S” curve lined by royal palms. Head down that drive and cross the concrete bridge over a creek at the bottom and then just keep going down the dirt track, which gets rough just before you reach Brandy Manor on the left. It has an iron gate and a sign.

The ambiance is lovely, boosted by Jasmine’s gardening. When you go, ask to wash your hands – the bathroom is done up in shells and quite a sight to see. You’ll enjoy the sound of the Brandy River, unless you’re there at night where the sound of the generator drowns it out. Jasmine has a CD collection that helps overcome the generator noise. There are also a few musical instruments around and if you bring yours you may be able to strike up an impromptu jam session.

The food at Brandy Manor is quite good, but in this writer’s experience, not worth the price. Prices are high at Brandy Manor. They appear low on the web site, but they are per person, so double them for a couple.

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