Heading to the perfect pink sands of Bermuda for the America's Cup? Here's a list of island jewels that are worth a look while you're in the area. With Cup Match just around the corner, we give you London wine buyer and Bermuda regular Maggie Macpherson's guide to the top restaurants and bars.
Best Bermuda bars and restaurants for wine lovers
For most of the year I work as a wine buyer for a large importer in London, but am lucky enough to call myself a regular to Bermuda’s pink shores. My other, but certainly not better, half spent his formative years there and his parents are still enjoying the island lifestyle.
I’ve made the seven hour flight across the Atlantic many times, for family visits, weddings, and to one of the best national celebrations I’ve experienced — Cup Match.
Bermuda is best known for losing ships (let’s hope this isn’t the case for the America’s Cup), boasting over 300 shipwrecks around the island.
However, in more recent years Bermuda has built a name for itself, with Gosling’s Rum championing Bermuda’s national drink ‘Dark n Stormy’ around the world. You’ll never find yourself thirsty on this little island, however where do you go if you’re looking for things wine shaped?
Most of Bermuda’s wine lists are American heavy with lots of recognisable producers so they’re easy to navigate, but there are some places starting to challenge the norm. First, let’s look at where you want to head after a hard day’s sailing around Fish Hook Island on the dreamy turquoise waves…
Read more about America’s Cup 2017 on our sister title, Yachting & Boating World
1609 is my personal favourite. Drop off the boats and sit back with some classic cocktails – make sure you order a Dark n’ Stormy here and bask in the beautiful views which are absolutely some of the best in Hamilton. The wine list is well put together and covers the classics from Europe, but is heavily influenced by American wines.
Next on the list, and just a bit further up the road from 1609, is Harry’s Bar. Sit out on the terrace people and boat watching over the waterfront, while enjoying an ice cold glass of Möet et Chandon Impérial NV Champagne, America’s Cup Limited Edition.
Finally, if you’re looking to escape the crowds head to Mickey’s and sink your toes into the famous pink sands at Elbow Beach’s restaurant — as it’s actually on the beach. Boasting one of Bermuda’s better wine lists, match the sand and order a magnum of Whispering Angel Rose!
Now we’ve covered a couple of places for aperitifs we need to move onto the main event – dinner! Bermuda’s food scene is dominated by seafood, in fact it’s hard to go wrong ordering seafood here as it all tends to be excellent, but look out for local wahoo, rockfish and tuna especially.
Bermuda, like everywhere else in the world, has gone brunch crazy. But only one place can claim the top spot, and that is without a doubt Marcus at the Hamilton Princess Beach Club. Marcus Samuelsson, of New York’s acclaimed Red Rooster restaurant is at the helm here and he’s paired the traditional Bermuda Sunday Brunch with unlimited Veuve Cliquot, a steal at $75 per head. Unlike its British counterpart, this is a lengthy affair (aim to book a spot at 12, you’ll need the full 3 hours), which covers all the breakfast faves – eggs any style, bacon, sausage. There are also lunch favourites like sushi, rockfish and wahoo.
Devils Isle is undoubtedly one of Bermuda’s more exciting restaurants. For food, go tapas style and share everything! Make sure you get the truffle fries, rockfish tacos and short ribs! For wine, look out for some Austrian gems and also the Butterfield Puligny Montrachet “Les Folatieres”, which is actually produced by a Bermudian winemaker. To finish the evening ensure you order an espresso, Devils Isle boasts the best coffee on the island, and it’s roasted in their own coffeeshop next door.
No trip to Bermuda is complete without a sushi extravaganza, and for mine I always head to Pearl. Start of the evening downstairs at Port o Call – check out the saké cocktails, these are killer! Then head up the stairs, if you can handle the heat grab a seat on the balcony to watch Front Street come to life. All the rolls are excellent, but my favourite is the ‘Gabby’ roll. This isn’t actually on the menu but my friends introduced it to me a couple of years ago and now I’m addicted, it’s similar to a spicy tuna roll but is just way better – trust me and order it!
- Maggie Macpherson is a wine buyer for Enotria & Coe, based is London.
Editing by Laura Seal for Decanter.com
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