Vegan Barbados

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2015 by yvettemartyn

For the last few years I’ve been taking all my holidays in Los Angeles where being a vegan is as common as wearing shoes, but thus when my annual leave came around in March I didn’t want to risk coming back without a suntan so I settled on Barbados.

The island is 21 miles long and 15 miles so everything is accessible including a selection of vegan restaurants.  If you want to taste some Rastafarian vegan culinary delights, then I’d recommend hiring a car.

Before you go, check the opening hours, a lot of places only open for lunch and many aren’t open at all on Sunday’s.


The Good Life


This place is a little gem, nestled away behind a shopping plaza.  It’s a small building with an outdoor feel as there are large openings at the front which blow the warm sea breeze in.  It’s run by Rastafarians who are incredibly nice.  We felt so welcomed by the two men working there, they spoke in such a calm friendly manner, it was impossible not to feel relaxed in such a tranquil setting.


Everything is vegan and the menu is a mix of faux meats in wraps alongside traditional dishes with an elaborate smoothie menu.  I had a tofu pitta with bbq chicken on the side and my partner had a mild coconut curry.


The Good Life, Rockley, Saint Michael, Barbados. 


On Hastings Main Road you’ll find the Quayside Centre Shopping Plaza, this looks a bit like a strip mall with a convenience store, cell phone store etc.  Stand and look at the shopping centre, walk to your right around the circumference of the centre towards the rear and you’ll see The Good Life, it’s a small building with it’s logo painted on the wall alongside it. 
Opens daily 10am-10pm




Although listed as “Vegan Friendly” on HappyCow, this place is so much more than that.  It has the vibe of a takeaway but there are a couple of tables, and a total of six chairs inside if you wanted to perch somewhere to eat your meal.  The owners are a couple who eat a vegan diet, completely free of dairy and egg but they do serve fish.


There is a large selection of vegan dishes which include: standard burgers, chick’in burger (tofu and chick pea), hot dogs etc.  They also serve a selection of fish (perfect if you’re partner isn’t a vegan).  They have an excellent selection of drinks including their “fruitis” which consists of vegan milk alongside fruit concoctions.


Their philosophy is to provide dishes made with local food and they even hand prepare a range of vegan ice cream using ingredients sourced locally including: coconut, seamoss, coffee and mango.  If you’re vegan you should definitely stop by.




How to find:
Hastings Main road, Christ Church
This is on Hasting’s Main Road opposite the Healthy Horizons Beach apartments


Currently opens 10am-9pm Mon-Sat


Sweet potato hummus and sweet potato fries

Sweet potato hummus and sweet potato fries

This is an all round beachside cafe serving meat, fish and some vegetarian options, it made it on my list because the staff were incredibly accommodating.  When I mentioned I was a vegan they checked with the kitchen and even brought me the pita bread wrapper so I could check the ingredients, they also offered to make additional dishes for me which weren’t on the menu.  They’re as accommodating with other diets such as Coeliacs and stock gluten free pasta.
I went for the sweet potato and garlic hummus which comes with vegan pita bread alongside this I had the sweet potato fries.  They also offered to make a stir fry or salad up for me as well.  This was a compromise with my partner (meat eater) who was recommended the blackened barracuda, which the waiter stated was the catch of the day and my partner found this excellent.


You cannot beat the views, we sat on a table looking directly at the ocean, with the sea waves coming in a few feet away. Take a brief stroll and you’re at Folkestone Marine Park, which has areas for swimmers to snorkel away from jet ski’s and a lifeguard on duty.




How to find:
Highway 1, Holetown.
This is in Holetown, an upmarket resort.  You access the restaurant from Highway one (the main road through the resort) where there is ample parking on site or you can come in directly from the beach.


Mon-Sat 11am-11pm
Sun 11:30am-11pm


Vegan Cottage
A medley of vegan cuisine at Vegan Cottage

A medley of vegan cuisine at Vegan Cottage

This place is a must for all vegans, it’s a little cottage transformed into a restaurant, and is the most “restaurant like” of all the vegan places I visited on the island, with formal seating and table clothes.


We were greeted by a lovely lady who asked a bit about our diets, I told her I’m a vegan and I’m not into spicy food and she was happy to accommodate.  She is genuinely interested in getting to know her guests and asked with interest about where we’re from and what our holiday plans were.


After a few minutes we were brought a plate of food, there are no menus here and you are dished up a mix of lovely vegan food which included: pasta, grains, split pea mash, mince, sausage, greens and salad.  The mix of flavours in the traditional Barbados cuisine made this place one of a kind.


We were also offered a refreshing home made juice (also lovely) and for desert we were brought a cassava flour muffin.  Total cost was 25BBD each (£8 a head for a main course, dessert and freshly made juice- you can’t beat that price!)




How to find:
Black Rock Road, Bridgetown, Barbados
Various people have explained how to get here on the web with quite confusing instructions, my advice is just to drive down Black Rock Road and keep your eyes open, it’s on the side of the road which is closest to the sea.  I’ve put a map here with it’s approximate location.

Evening dining by the sea at Naru

This is a Japanese beachside restaurant in Christ Church and the most upmarket restaurant on the list, it too serves meat and fish alongside vegetarian options.  But has a separate vegetarian menu, the restaurant has a “mock duck” which is suitable for vegans and the waiters are extremely attentive.


We were sat on a table next to the sea, with fire lanterns lighting up the sand as the waves broke just meters away.


The staff were able to check suitable items on the menu and accommodate my vegan diet.  When my partner and I wanted to share a starter of sushi but I wanted mine vegan without jalapeños and he wanted his half as spicy as possible, they let us know that this would be no problem at all.
I had the braised mock duck with rice, it was a bit sweet for my liking but my partner tells me this is what a traditional Hoisin sauce tastes like (I wouldn’t know).  My partner went for the catch of the day again and found it was cooked to perfection within a coconut and ginger emulsion.




How to find:
The Shak Shak Complex, Hastings, Christ Church, Barbados
(On The South Coast Boardwalk)
Top tip: when making a reservation, ask for a table by the sea


How Sainsburys caused a small tragedy

Posted in Uncategorized on January 1, 2012 by yvettemartyn

It’s my New Years Resolution to write more so I have started the year with my first piece of writing, an email to the customer services department of Sainsburys.

Dear Sir/Madam

Yesterday I was faced with a predicament, I chose the option which would harm the environment the least, however events unfolded in a unpredictable manner and unfortunately due to decisions made by Sainsburys it resulted in a disastrous outcome.  Please allow me to elaborate.

I live 1.3miles from my nearest Sainsburys supermarket, I often have to decide whether I should drive or walk, if I drive I can use the reusable carrier bags I keep in the boot of my car, if I walk I do not have this luxury and must utilise the carrier bags at the checkouts.

On this particular day I chose to think laterally about my options, in my 2003 Peugeot 206cc those 1.3miles would have generated 390 grams of carbon emissions.  Now if we take the energy required to make one plastic bag as 1.21 gigawatts, which is the best estimate I could find during my brief research, it would mean that for every 1.3 mile journey I make in my car approximately 100 carrier bags could be produced.

It seemed a no brainer, to save the environment I had to walk to the supermarket and utilise the carrier bags provided at the checkout.  The decision to go on foot also gave me the added benefit of walking my dog and exercising, which in the long run will decrease the risk of cardiovascular medical conditions which would therefore reduce my carbon footprint further as I would not need to utilise energy for electrocardiograms and other such cardiovascular monitoring investigations in the future.

With the decision made I walked to my local Sainsburys, I tied my dog up outside the store and popped inside to purchase the groceries I required.  It was like any other shopping experience at the retail change, with one minor difference.  Upon packing my produce into the carrier bags provided I realised that the plastic seemed thinner than usual.

I understand the pressure placed on supermarkets to decrease the volume of carrier bags they provide but, surely the supermarket didn’t have so little respect for their customers that they would provide them with bags so thin that their groceries were at risk of falling to the ground.

My orange squash, pine nuts and two bags of mixed nuts hurtled to the ground. 

The thickness of the bags passed briefly through my mind and I thought little of it, that was until I was walking home and disaster struck.  I was walking on the pavement along Castle Boulevard when suddenly one of my carrier bags split, my orange squash, pine nuts and two bags of mixed nuts hurtled to the ground.

The split carrier bag and the products I had to pick up which are now covered in mud.

As a supermarket I’m sure you are aware that orange squash is contained within a cylindrical container, this meant upon hitting the pavement my orange squash rolled into the road and into a puddle of muddy liquid, my other items remained on the pavement but were also covered in mud.

You might think this is a pretty terrible situation but imagine dealing with this incident whilst walking a dog, but wait, it gets worse I was also recovering from a severe fracture through the two bones in my forearm which I had recently had surgery on.  Luckily there were no road traffic accidents as a result of the incident, but imagine the carnage if the bottle of orange squash had rolled off the curb and into the path of an oncoming cyclist.

Clearly you will tell me that I must in the future reuse my carrier bags which would give me the additional benefit of gaining nectar points.  However, I am sure you will understand that it can be difficult to continuously carry empty carrier bags just in case one decides to make a spontaneous trip to the supermarket.

I have thought long and hard about how Sainsburys can apologise for this occurrence which I feel is entirely the company’s fault due to the production of flimsy carrier bags.  For the embarrassment of scrambling around for my groceries in the mud with a dog and a broken arm, for the increase in my water bill I will have to pay after I unexpectedly had to clean my groceries and for the stress I faced whilst retrieving my orange squash from the road, which was both dangerous for me and other road users: I would not like vouchers to replace the groceries and I would not like extra carrier bags.  I feel the only way to prevent this situation from happening again and for the company to compensate me well enough to allow me to grant forgivness: I will need to be provided with reusable keyring bags which are compact enough to carry on my person at all times.

Let me negotiate further

You as a company may feel that I am asking for a lot, so let me negotiate further, as a deal breaker I have come up with a number of ways the supermarket chain can be improved, now this advice would cost a fortune if it came from an independent business adviser so I’m sure you can see how much you have benefitted.

  1. Stop making flimsy plastic bags, people will only end up double bagging which will cost a greater amount to produce than the original bags.
  2. Install a computer and the end of each aisle which enables customers to search for products, this program will then direct the customer to the aisle and section of the aisle the manufactured goods are contained within.  Alternatively produce an iphone app which works in the same manner.
  3. Put vegetarian and vegan labels on all products including the bakery items.
  4. Stop discontinuing lines without warning such as choices Dairy Free Confectionary Chocolate Caramels 125g, only to restock them months later.
  5. Provide small cubicles with pet baskets, water and lockable doors for customers with dogs to place their beloved animal somewhere safe whilst they partake in brief shopping sessions.
  6. Provide nectar customers will free reusable key-ring bags, this will encourage valued customers to become nectar card holders, it will also enable the store to advertise the brand on the reusable keyring bags which I am sure they will use for other purposes besides carrying the supermarket’s products.

Thank-you for taking the time to read through this message, I hope you can provide me with the reusable key-ring bags as compensation for the horror I have experienced.

Best Wishes

Hollywood club review: Drai’s

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2011 by yvettemartyn

Girls dance with their backs against poles wrapped in tutu dresses adorned with crystals, the Hollywood glitterati are strewn across white beds surrounding a pool whilst bursts of fire shoot out into the night’s sky, a gold hummer limousine waits outside the door, this is one of Hollywood’s hottest night spots, Friday night at Drai’s nightclub.

At Drais with my friend African supermodel, Joyce Mandi

Amongst the star scattered sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevards sits the club that’s nestled into the Hotel W, bouncers guard every edge of the rope separating the streets from the Aladdin’s cave inside.

A guy called Sunny walks up and down ordering doormen to lift the rope when people reach the owners expectations and are approved entry into the club, those who get in are usually beautiful young women or very rich men who have ordered table service.

Once through the sacred rope guests ascend to the club in elevators and pay a $20 cover fee, the clientele are composed of mainly women with a few men with large wallets scattered throughout, they are seated at tables covered in expensive drinks.

Girls flock around them awaiting the men’s approval so they can attempt to climb onto the first rung of the Hollywood ladder giving them a chance to soar high enough in the future to live the American dream.

Fire thrusts around attempting to escape the grasps of its bell jar.

Every time a table orders a bottle of Grey Goose vodka, cocktail waitresses put on a show with the liquid being brought out by two females, one holds the bottle above her head whilst the other has her hand raised in the air holding onto a glass vessels containing lit sparklers, as they walk through the crowd the fire thrusts around attempting to escape the grasps of its bell jar.

The club is composed of a large rectangular room, three females dance on podiums dressed in beautiful white dresses with full bodied skirts and corset tops encrusted with crystals.  The DJ spins R&B and a rapper with dreadlocks occasionally takes to the podium and tells guests to stick their middle finger in the air.

The dance floor is small and centrally located between the DJ booth and some tables, dancing guests can expect to be nudged as people attempt to walk to the bar.  This faux pas on the clubs front has been bypassed by allowing club goers to dance on the tables and podiums.

The music occasional skips outside the realms of social norms as dirty gangster rap slips into the mix, with lyrics composed of words more likely to be heard escaping from a prostitutes mouth than that of the LA in-crowd.

Guests are seated around a bonfire

Outside the main room is a patioed rooftop terrace with a pool in the centre, white outdoor furniture sits perfectly around the edge of the water and a few large beds are dotted around.  Flames are enclosed in black metal cages and a small gas bonfire provides a feature for guests to sit around.

Men approach the clubs women, for me this entailed conversations with a car dealership owner, a Jewish grad student, a Boston based businessman and a group of Kazakhstan millionaires who work in the oil industry.

As the night draws to a close the girls surrounding rich men become more and more intoxicated, a pair give lap dances to their beverage buyers, and another girl makes an epic fail as she falls from the pole whilst trying to seduce her money men.

We take this as our cue to leave, as we descend in the elevator and through the doors we are brought heavily back down to earth by a Mexican man who gave me a sob story in an attempt to steal my phone by asking to make a call, he scurried off when I told him I would make the call for him and not actually hand over the phone.

The dusty car park across the street and the dirty pavement slabs are a million miles away from the sparkling pool, pristine furniture and crystal clad dancers, but sadly until another night the dream is over.

How to get in:
Girls: Wear sexy dresses team with stilettos, flawless makeup and glossy hair.
Guys: Order table service to avoid the line

Chris Jeffries: Sacrificed by the media

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2011 by yvettemartyn

On Christmas Day the body of young architect, Joanna Yates was found, her landlord was brought in for questioning on suspicion of her murder leading to a feeding frenzy by the press.

Chris Jeffries has been sacrificed by the media. Image: mjsonline

Joanna’s partner was so disgusted that he released a statement saying: “Jo’s life was cut short tragically but the finger-pointing and character assassination by social and news media of as yet innocent men has been shameful.”

Allegations in the media about the 65 year old retired teacher Chris Jefferies include questions about his sexuality, a story about him leaving his mother whilst she was dying and the nicknames “Professor Strange” and “The Strange Mr Jefferies”.

Had he been the victim of a murder I’m sure the press would have been quick to acknowledge that this is a gentleman who is an upstanding member of the community, a retired teacher and a Liberal Democrat party activist who runs a neighbourhood watch scheme.

Instead however they are assassinating his character, pulling up people who knew him only as children and describing his behaviour in the classroom.

Now I’m sorry but I think I could pull up a story about every one of my teachers behaving peculiarly, because children tend to have imaginations and what we thought we saw as children could be very different or exaggerated to what we would see as adults.

Why are the press doing this?

In England and Wales the Contempt of Court law prevents reporting of anything that could sway the jury once a case is active, for a case to be active somebody needs to be charged.  As of the time this post is published, Jeffries has not been charged.

Prior to online news this wasn’t a problem, the media could call somebody every name under the sun because if they then went on to be charged by the time the case began and the jury was selected, the reports would be lining the cages of budgies nationwide.

However the Contempt of Court law never made it into the modern age and online news agencies are allowed to archive all previous reports for anybody to see.  Meaning the jury members could be swayed by reports accessible on the internet despite the fact they were written prior to a case becoming active.

The media also have another friend on their side, the law of defamation, defamation is the damaging of a person’s reputation in the eyes of the society.  This means it’s easy to defame somebody seen very highly in society but it’s very difficult to damage the reputation of a criminal.

The only problem is: this man is not a criminal, he has not been charged or convicted of a crime, the only group putting this man on trial is the media.

The coauthor of McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists has written a similar blog post on this subject.

Image: mjsonline

The one with the Daily Diary

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 25, 2010 by yvettemartyn

As 2010 approached I made several New Years Resolutions, now as the year comes to an end I’m going to reflect on why I failed almost all of them.

Being slightly over the top I decided to make a huge amount of resolutions and being unable to follow through with spur of the moment decisions, they didn’t go too well.

My first resolution was to give blood … I didn’t do it, no idea why I didn’t, but if it’s any consolation I did join the organ donor register.

Next there was to own a pet lobster, now I did look into this but came up with a few issues, firstly lobsters are quite hard to get hold of, the ones in fish shops die pretty soon after purchase.

Then there are the logistical problems, lobsters require a refrigerated tank, they tend to hide for their first year, live for a ridiculous number of years and since I have issues cleaning out the litter tray I don’t like my chances of cleaning a tank containing a sharp clawed animal.

My third resolution was very optimistic, as I tend to eat mostly crisps and bread, I decided to eat one apple a day, it lasted until mid-January when I found myself on a work placement, I am very fussy about having my apple peeled, cored and sliced before eating them and I didn’t fancy my chances of carrying a knife around central London to do the said apple preparation.

My next choice was to become a Goth for a week, ok now I didn’t manage a week but following the persuation of my friends I did get through one day, but after being followed round the local waitrose by a security guard, I decided it probably wasn’t for me.

I then decided to learn the dance to Michael Jacksons, thriller, no excuses for this, I just didn’t bother, I did attempt at finding a youtube tutorial, but I got no where.

My final resolution was to take a picture of one thing a day and upload it to a “daily diary” now this I actually achieved, every single day, whether I was in uni, at the hospital, on a work placement or in the Big Brother house (thanks go out to my friend Sam who added the pics during that time) I managed it!

And here in video form is: A year in the life of Sunshine!


Ghost hunting

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2010 by yvettemartyn

After watching paranormal investigations on tv and being petrified of everything that goes bump in the night I was so excited to go on my very first ghost hunt.

Steve and I preparing for the ghost hunt by drinking champagme, Mario doing the same, but with a McDonalds fanta

The ghost hunt was for Children in Need, I’d been asked to come along with BB’s: Mario, Steve and Corin alongside Lisa Mafia, Romeo Dunn and Mis-teeq’s, Su Elise Nash.

limousine picked me up from the station courtsey of Lady Jayne Limousines and took me to two locations in Manchester, one was Foxdenton Hall, Steve told me he had looked the place up and children had been locked in the basement.

I looked it up and found nothing except, apparently, it has a secret tunnel.   Needless to say we didn’t go in the basement or secret tunnel anyway.

The other location was a town hall, which is today used for registering deaths and marriages, the confetti outside the entrance certainly didn’t conjure up feelings of dread in me.

The group was split into four, with Steve staying with his friends that had come up with him, Mario with Corin and Lisa, Romeo and Su Elise together and me, you got it, on my lonesome!

“I’ve done crop circles”

People had paid to come along so every group was given a team of ghost hunters and a pair of celebrities or me.  My group had a man in it who told me he is a paranormal investigator, when I asked him what he’s done before, he replied: “crop circles” I told him: “ah I wondered who was making them!”.

We started out in Foxdenton Hall, now I was open-minded, but sceptical.  Put me alone in my flat at night and I get paranoid of the slightest shadow! But I am now a firm non-believer.  The group I was with wouldn’t stop: “I see a man”, “something pulled my hat off”, “I feel terribly cold here suddenly”.

I shot back a logical explanation for each: “it’s the shadows playing with your eyes”, “your hat probably wasn’t on properly” and “you are standing in front of a window”.  Every time someone said they saw something I moved to that area, and still the people continued to see things, but I however saw nothing.

We then went upstairs into a room where a Ouija board was set up. Someone was freaking out, pointing at a chair and saying: “I can’t sit there, somethings there”, I looked at them and said: “cool, can I sit there then?” surprisingly the mysterious being chose not to bother me.

We all put out fingers on the board and sat for an hour…it never moved.

A mysterious black pillar appearing

We then moved onto the other location to perform a séance,  we held hands and tried to communicate with the spirit world, they must have been shy though because nothing happened.  Except for one girl claiming there was a black pillar in front of her, there was of course an actual  black pillar in the room, directly in front of her.

The group were then going to do a séance elsewhere, I bit the bullet and told one of the organisers I wanted to do a lone séance, to sit on my own in a haunted room and see if I get scared.

A security guard from the Town Hall took me to a room, I whispered to him: “I get the feeling this place isn’t haunted” he replied: “I’ve worked here for two years and I’ve seen nothing but the lady who works in this room always feels like there’s someone watching her.”

He shut me in the room in pitch darkness and absolutely nothing happened at all, no noises, no shadows, no sudden decreases in temperature.

So despite my open-mind and real willingness to experience something paranormal, I felt nothing.  In my opinion when you put a number of people in the dark they will start to “see” things, their minds will play tricks on them and the thrill of being that special person who is touched by a ghost is all encompassing.

So either ghosts do exist, but just not in these locations or the entire spirit world is a figment of the imagination of people who chose to believe, either way everything that happened that night could be explained by logic.

It was a fun evening but I’m going to need some more convincing, so bring it on spooks!

Image: heritagefutures

Sunshine’s top five ridiculous UK holidays

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2010 by yvettemartyn

“It’s a night where we burn an effigy of someone who failed at blowing up parliament, we let off fireworks to represent the gunpowder which never exploded”, I said to a guy who asked me about the origins of November 5th, his jaw was dropped the whole way through my explanation.

Oh watch out sir, people might think you're a Guy Fawkes effigy and throw you on the fire. Image: Dominic's pics

The guy, an international student at my medical school had never been told about the tradition and he just couldn’t understand why we have such a morbid holiday.  I guess reminiscing about happy times I spent as a child stuffing my dad’s clothes with leafs to make an effigy before throwing it on the fire were a little too vivid.

So bonfire night has gone down as one of my five top ridiculous UK holidays, so what else made the grade?

The Queen’s Official Birthday

Despite the Queen being born on April 21st we celebrate her “official” birthday in early June.  Well the weather is usually better in June, pefect for a parade and isn’t it always a good idea to have 2 birthdays?

Royal Variety Performance

Every year the Royal Variety Performance is held for the Royal family to watch, except every other year the Queen doesn’t bother to turn up and sends Prince Charles in her place.  To make it an even more formal affair Simon Cowell runs a tv show which picks one of the acts who will perform.

Pancake day

Traditionally Christians gave up luxury food for Lent so in preparation they used up their ingredients by making and eating pancakes right before.  Now very few people actually give up anything for lent but that won’t stop them from celebrating this holiday and thus most people still gorge on pancakes.

April Fools day

There are a number of theories about the origin of April Fools Day (some say it was invented in the book Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales).  Whatever the origin the unofficial holiday is a chance to play light hearted pranks on your loved ones, after all nothing says I love you like cling film covering the toilet seat.

Image: Dominic’s pics