Averil Byer

December 6, 2019


Missed Rihanna when she was home for Kadooment?  Well, it is not too late to take a peek at some of the places on the island associated with the iconic Bajan entertainer.   First stop: Rihanna Drive, formerly Westbury New Road, renamed on November 30, 2017.  This road defined Robyn Fenty’s neighbourhood before her meteoric rise to stardom.  You can see the exterior of the very house in which she lived. Next, you can make your way to The Mighty Grynner Highway, previously known as Spring Garden.  Renamed in honour of Barbados’ top Road March King, it is the site of the Kadooment finale.  Rihanna tries hard to make it home for the culmination of every Crop Over Festival, donning a costume and joining in the revelry.  On leaving the Highway, you can take a drive out to Combermere School, Rihanna’s old high school and stomping ground.   If you travel along  […]
October 8, 2019


The cherry tree because they know that the Barbados cherry is one of the richest sources of Vitamin C in the world, exceeded only by the rosehip.  One cherry can contain 134% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C, which is a known anti-oxidant, good for building collagen, protecting mucus membranes and preventing scurvy.    It is also an excellent astringent.  (The cherry is also a significant source of Vitamin A.)  Used in both modern and folk medicine, it treats liver complaints, diarrhoea, dysentery, coughs and colds.  It is even used to fight cancer, especially that of the colon.
October 8, 2019


“…a palace with which Aladdin himself might have been satisfied.”  JAMES ANTHONY FROUDE (1818-1894), British historian and editor, Fraser’s Magazine, on Farley Hill in its heyday. Today, Farley Hill is a charred ruin and a national park of Barbados, but for 100 years it was a breathtaking wonder of a great house where Sir Graham Briggs, a rich British planter and legislator, entertained the crème de la crème of Barbadian society and even British royalty, including Prince Alfred, Prince Albert and Prince George (who later became King George V).  The original building, Grenade Hall, was built in the 1800s by Sir Graham’s father, and he bequeathed it to Sir Graham in 1856.  Sir Graham renamed the property “Farley Hill” after a British school of which he had happy memories.  Folklore attributes 99 windows to his dream of a mansion.   However, after his death in 1887, the building gradually became dilapidated […]
September 3, 2019


Fancy a coconut?  If you longingly imagine a machete-wielding vendor on the roadside presenting you with an expertly cut shell, which serves as a natural cup for coconut juice drunk with a straw, you are not necessarily a visitor but quite possibly a Barbadian.   The novel presentation appeals to both visitors and locals and the coconut water, perfect for quenching thirst and pleasingly low in calories, also appeals to both groups.  The coconut water has other merits as well.  It helps deal with problems of the kidney and bladder of concern to all. Coconut water is not the only gift of the coconut.  Coconut jelly, when grated, makes an excellent ingredient in coconut bread, sugar cakes and ice cream, served in hotels and homes alike, and is also a great treat when eaten, scooped out straight from the coconut.  
August 3, 2019

Barbados’ Second City – SPEIGHTSTOWN

Looking for an outing for the kids, and indeed the whole family?   We suggest a trip to the north of the island to Barbados’ second city, Speightstown, also known as “Little Bristol” because of strong trading links with that English city in the past.  This is not a bustling city like the island’s capital, Bridgetown; indeed, it is rather sleepy and quite quaint but wonderfully rich in history and culture. First stop should be Arlington House, one of the island’s best-kept secrets.  Dating back 300 years, this ‘single house’ of Charleston style was restored by the Barbados National Trust and eventually opened to the public in 2008.  Despite its historic setting, this museum could not be more modern in its use of technology, creating an interactive experience extremely educational and enjoyable for all ages, but especially for those of primary or early secondary school age.