Hot on the heels of Shontelle's debut album, 'Shontelligence', the Barbados-born rising-star shares her inside secrets on where to see and be seen on island this winter
PRESS RELEASE - 2008
Bridgetown, Barbados (November 21, 2008) - Barbados-born singer Shontelle Layne has unveiled her own 'Hidden Barbados' in the hope that it will allow visitors an insight into her personal favorite things to do in Barbados, helping visitors experience an insiders guide to the island.
With her debut album 'Shontelligence' set to take the US by storm following its November 18th debut, its no coincidence that Shontelle is riding the wave the Barbados music revolution, with her own phenomenal style, honey-sweet voice and sultry lyrics, there is clearly something in the water in Barbados which breeds fabulous new singing talent.
Shontelle says, "I remember growing up with music being an important entity in all aspects of life in Barbados. We sang at morning assembly at school, at lunch and break, for sports and in church. Music is a very important part of Bajan culture and I believe the many competitions for locals on island builds major excitement around music from a very young age.
Barbados' action packed night life and major tourism industry also call for great entertainment, which Bajans are more than happy to provide. Perhaps because Barbados is small with a relatively large population, it's easier to single out great talent. All I know is I feel blessed to be born in a land where there is so much talent and opportunity! Barbados Rocks!"
Experience Shontelle's Hidden Barbados:
Favorite places to dine with friends: For large groups of friends Shontelle recommends: Champers, Zen, The Coach House, Tides or Wispers on the Bay. Shontelle loves The Cliff, The Restaurant at Southsea, Carambola, Il Tempio and Calabaza, and says that Just Grillin' is also always a fun hang out spot. Shontelle comments, "Lemon Arbor in St Joseph is one of my favorite places to go on Saturdays with friends for Pudding and Souse, a popular Bajan dish."
Shontelle's favorite Bajan dishes: "Pudding and Souse! Cou Cou and Flying Fish or Saltfish come in a close second, put that with some Fish Cakes and Bakes, Sweet Potato Pie, Bajan Hot Sauce and Mauby and I'm in heaven! I wish we could have Conkies and Black Cake all year round! I also love to snack on Sweetbread, Tamarind Balls in syrup, preserved Gooseberries, though you don't see those much these days. I love Nut Cakes and Ginger and Dark Sugar Cake too."
Top cafe's, bars & lounges: Cafe Blue, Cafe Jungles Tree House, Scarlet, Lord Willoughby's Tavern, Bubba's Sport Bar & Restaurant, The Ship Inn, Waterfront Cafe, Limelight Cafe, The Boatyard, Mojo, Cafe Sol, The Mews or "anywhere in St. Lawrence Gap or 2nd Street as a matter of fact!"
A 'must see & do' for visitors while on Barbados:
"Harrison's Cave or any Safari Tour of the island. The Atlantis Submarine is also incredible as is fresh grilled fish from the guy with the big flaming grill at Oistins Fish Market! The line wraps around the market especially on Friday nights and it's clear to see why."
My Favorite beaches:
"The one thing I MUST do every time I go back to Barbados is go to the beach! Brown's Beach and the beach at Sandy Lane by The Coach House are perfect for swimming and people watching. These are great locations for snorkeling and water sports and the reefs make great waves for surfing, especially body boarding. I prefer the west coast beaches over the south because the water can get a bit choppy in the south, but for scenery Long Beach and Harry Smith beach in the south east are breathtaking.
Miami Beach/ Enterprise in Christ Church, where I often went as a child, and Accra Beach are always alive and bustling with tourists and locals alike. The Soup Bowl, Tropicana and Bathsheba are perfect for extreme and professional surfers but beware it can be dangerous if you're not used to the big waves!"
The best places for a Friday or Saturday night:
"Personally, I hit Oistins Fish Fry for grilled fish then Harbour Lights, the best spot for action on Friday night where visitors and locals party together in an open-air beach setting. There are also good parties at Jumbies, Reggae Lounge and Club Xtreme. The Ship Inn is the best on Thursday nights and great if you like live performances. Taboo and Club Xtreme are packed and full of action on Saturday nights and serve great after-hours burgers and sandwiches. I really miss Baku Beach Bar!
For grown ups and those seeking a 'sexy' Saturday night, check out The Plantation Garden Theatre for its 'Back in Time Party' on the last Saturday of every month or Virtuosity band at Sandy Lane."
Favorite boutique or shop:
Red Boutique, NuLook, Fashion Conscious, The Runway, Bedazzled, NKM, Black and White and Cave Shepherd.
Shontelle's favorite Barbados hotels:
Sandy Lane Resort...Colony Club...The House...The Crane...The Hilton...Fairmont Royal Pavilion...Glitter Bay...Almond Village...Tamarind Cove...Savannah?Mango Bay...and ...Sandpiper
Barbados provided Shontelle with inspiration for many of the songs on 'Shontelligence', including, 'Focus Pon Me', which she comments "Definitely was inspired by the exciting party-life in Barbados. It's like I'm saying 'Focus Pon Bim!' I wanted to write a song that features the music and language of Barbados, but that would appeal to music lovers and people who love to dance all over the world. It's the song that feels the most like Barbados to me, full of life and excitement! The best thing about that track is that it was produced by Bajans, Classic Soul Productions, and partly recorded in Barbados with Kirk Arthur of Room 112 Studios in Barbados. 'I Crave You' was actually Scott Galt's idea and he brought the track to me. Evan Rogers and I then wrote the lyrics and De Red Boyz fully produced that track. I was in Barbados when I started writing it. I'm very proud about all of this."
Shontelle adds, "Barbados, the most easterly island in the Caribbean is small, completely accessible and a friendly wonderland, booming with life, wonderful people, vibrant culture and art; the best beaches; top rated hotels and resorts; award-winning restaurants and the best local food on the planet! If you are a nature lover, it doesn't get much more beautiful than Barbados.
"You get the best of both worlds in Barbados because we have the comfort and convenience of all the modern and contemporary infrastructure and facilities and better health and educational programs than most developed countries, yet the island is not a concrete jungle. Barbados is very much compared to New York in the sense that it is fast becoming the Mecca of the Caribbean and is a melting pot of many cultures. Make sure you see the whole island! It's small so you have no excuse! If I'm there I'd be more than happy to be your personal tour guide..."
The island of Barbados offers the most authentic Caribbean experience with its exceptionally rich culture and history rooted in remarkable landscapes, including The Crane beach, St. Philips, voted one of the world's sexiest beaches for 2008 by Concierge.com. Barbados is the first and only Zagat-rated Caribbean island with numerous internationally renowned chefs who masterfully put signature spins on local delicacies and traditions. Barbados is also an ideal stage for world-class events and has hosted numerous athletic championships, including the ICC Cricket World Cup Final 2007 and the 2006 PGA World Golf Championship-The Barbados World Cup. Accommodations range from picturesque plantation houses and villas to quaint bed and breakfasts to award-winning five-star resorts. The newly renovated Grantley Adams International Airport offers non-stop and direct service from a growing number of U.S. cities via Air Jamaica, American Airlines, Delta and US Airways, making Barbados the true gateway to the Eastern Caribbean. The Barbados Tourism Authority has provided excellent service for 50 years and is a proud member of the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association. For more information on travel to Barbados, contact the Barbados Tourism Authority at 1.800.221.9831