Few restaurants in the world are inside a building that is over 200 years old but here in Saint Lucia, Barnacles presents just that! Fancy a slice of history with your meal? Then pop over to Pigeon Island to enjoy the food, the architecture, the setting and the ambience.
Step inside Barnacles and it feels like stepping back in time, to the days of cannons and muskets. The brick building was constructed around 1780 and was originally the cellar of the captain’s quarters, army personnel having been stationed on the island – in the days when it really was an island – during the era when English and French forces constantly battled for control of Saint Lucia. Nowadays this atmospheric structure houses Barnacles Restaurant and Bar. Typical of old buildings, the entranceways are on the low side so, if you are tall, mind your head as you enter and exit!
There has been a previous bar on this site but Chef Didier, with his French roots and skill in the kitchen, has introduced a touch of fine dining, and at remarkably reasonable prices. The basic menu includes rotis, burgers, fish and chips, jerk and barbecue chicken, baby back ribs and curried crab. Each day sees specials on the menu. For the popular Sunday lunch we were spoilt for choice with chicken wings, jumbo shrimp, deep-fried calamari, seafood gratin, curried octopus, pan-roasted marlin (my choice, and a wise one) and curried goat with rice and peas (my partner’s selection and to his satisfaction). Presentation is excellent – fit for a high-ranking army officer. Enquire about the day’s availability of home-made desserts.
Quality, fresh, local produce is used but, as meal options change daily, there is no printed menu detailing ingredients and sauces so, if you have any allergies or specific dietary requirements, do speak with your server or the chef.
If you want to top up your tan while enjoying your meal, there is outdoor seating with views and sounds of the ocean. We opted to sit indoors at the bar, partly for the shade, definitely for the breeze that permanently cools but, above all, to study the delightful array of bottles including locally brewed IPAs and an intriguing selection of rums, some available nowhere else in Saint Lucia.
Barnacles opened at the beginning of the year and has rapidly gained a reputation for good food and atmosphere. Chef Didier has plans to arrange rum tastings and to open a nightclub: Igloo Bar. He is happy to accommodate private parties and dinners and, at no extra charge, can organize catering for beach events and weddings.
Barnacles is open from 11am daily. If you are not a member of the Saint Lucia National Trust you will have to pay the admission charge to gain access to Pigeon Island by day. Our advice for visitors is to explore the island, wander around the ruins, climb Fort Rodney and admire the panoramic views, and then reward yourself with drinks and lunch at Barnacles before chilling out on the beautiful beaches. At the end of the week the bar and restaurant stay open late with Friday and Saturday evenings seeing a busy mix of locals and visitors, all possibly watched over by the spirit of a former army captain!
On Pigeon Island
Open seven days a week.
Tel. 286 6944.