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Winter Sun Holidays: Beautiful Barbados

by Moderator October 2011 - last edited October 2014

It's one of our most popular destinations, and it's not hard to see why. Tropical Barbados has year-round average temperatures of 75 - 85 degrees, with the cooling trade winds of the high season making the winter months especially appealing.

What we really love about Barbados though, is that there's always something going on. It's not known as the 'Cultural Capital of the Caribbean' for nothing, and today we're highlighting a handful of events and activities coming up over the next couple of months that will easily entice you away from the beach...


Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival

Caribbean cocktails by Ang Hui Hoen on Dreamstime.com

Caribbean cocktails by Ang Hui Hoen on Dreamstime.com


Taking place at Ilaro Court, the official residence of the Prime Minister of Barbados, the 2nd annual Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival looks set to become one of the island's most enjoyable events, with a schedule featuring workshops (put our names down for the 'How to make the Perfect Rum Cocktail' session) and entertaining lectures, including an evening with Garrett Oliver, author of The Brewmaster's Table and one of the world's foremost beer experts. Expect great Bajan food stalls, the inaugural Caribbean Alcohol Beverage (CAB) Awards, and er... line dancing.

Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival, Ilaro Court, St Michael - 28/29th October 2011

Clobi Cup World Masters 2011

Kensington Oval Cricket Ground in Bridgetown, Barbados by Aliaksandr Nikitsin on Dreamstime.com

The Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados by Aliaksandr Nikitsin on Dreamstime.com


Clobi stands for the Cricket Legends of Barbados International, and the Clobi Challenge cup competition is open to retired international cricketers of 35 years or more. The week-long tournament brings together some of cricket's sporting legends, and this year the England side will be led by Michael Vaughan, former England captain, who will take on the West Indies in a three-match series at Bridgetown's Kensington Oval.

Clobi Cup World Masters 2011, Kensington Oval, Bridgetown - 11th, 13th and 15th November 2011


Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival

Because one food and drink festival is simply not enough, there's another one a few weeks later; a new and important date on any serious food lover's calendar. The Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival is also in its second year, and is an epicurean extravaganza of interactive tasting sessions and world renowned chef demonstrations at various venues across the island.



For fanatical foodies, the main highlight of the four-day event will undoubtedly be the cookery demonstrations featuring an international cast of top chefs including Bruno Loubet, a previous head chef at Raymond Blanc's two Michelin-starred Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, who recently opened his own bistro at the Zetter Hotel in London's Clerkenwell.

Also high on the to-do list is a Bajan style fiesta where Barbados-raised chef Paul Yellin will demonstrate the art of cooking authentic Bajan dishes, with interactive demonstrations for kids.

Taking to the water, festival-goers can enjoy an afternoon of cruising on the famous "pirate" ship, the Jolly Roger with chef Tom Brodi of Toronto's TOCA Restaurant, who'll also be preparing local fare with the help of endless rounds of "pirate brew". There will also be opportunities to explore one of Barbados' most distinctive rum distilleries at St. Nicholas Abbey, and dine with a soundtrack of crashing waves at beloved beachside restaurant The Cliff, in the company of American TV chef Tom Colicchio.

Check out the video above for a flavour of last year's event.

Various locations, Bridgetown, St. Michael, 18th - 21st November 2011

Cocktails photo © Ang Hui Hoen | Dreamstime.com,  Kensington Oval © Aliaksandr Nikitsin | Dreamstime.com

Virgin Atlantic operates a daily flight to Barbados from London Gatwick. For accommodation and a bespoke Barbados holiday tailored to your exact requirements, visit Virgin Holidays. 

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JohnMann October 2011
I agree with Maxine - Barbados is excellent fun for winter sun, and sets you up for facing the worst that the British weather can throw at us!

If you want to be able to find your way around Barbados, I suggest my free gps map of Barbados, John Mann's BajanNav from http://www.accu-nav.com/BajanNav/ - and our Barbados-centred search engine http://www.BajanNet.com.

I'll be there in December - hope to see you!

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JoeK October 2011
The Barbados Food, Wine and Rum Festival should be an even bigger hit this year! The "Bar-B-Cruise" is what I'd be looking forward to most.
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About the author: Maxine

Maxine Sheppard

Maxine is the editor of the Virgin Atlantic blog. Travel and music are her joint first loves, and despite having written for Virgin for more years than she cares to remember she still loves nothing more than jumping on a plane in search of new sights and new sounds.