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AUTUMN 2009I sea& iI41 islandlife cuisine. The best place to experience a real taste of the island is during the International Creole Day ( known locally as Jounen Kweyol). The day kicks off with the St Lucia Food and Rum Festival where foodies will delight in cooking demonstrations at Rodney Bay and other venues across the island. One of the best hurricane holes in the world ( and the perfect safe haven in a storm), Marigot Bay is also a popular watering hole with The Hurricane Hole bar at Discovery being one of the most famous in the Caribbean ( along with Basil's and Foxy's). Here you can find yachties mixing with celebrities enjoying local rum alongside fine cuisine. Piano Piano at Cotton Bay is one of the best restaurants on the island. For a change from the catch of the day, try Moroccan-style lamb chops with hot local sauces. The Edge Restaurant at Harmony Suites Hotel, Rodney Bay, also comes highly recommended. Radio ahead from your yacht and order the dish of the day, and enjoy with a cold Piton lager beneath the spectacular setting of the same name. The bustling marina and beach at Rodney Bay is home to Charthouse - one of the island's oldest restaurants. The simple menu includes steak, spare ribs and all manner of fresh seafood depending on the catch of the day. Finally, The Coal Pot over-looking the bay of Castries is an intimate restaurant that has been serving international cuisine since 1966. It is famous for its combination of French dishes served with local sauces. ¦ December to May is a good time to visit St Lucia. For further information on Discovery at Marigot Bay, visit www. discoverystlucia. com. For information on cruising around St Lucia and the Caribbean's Windward Islands, please contact your CNI broker, see page 8. Right: tranquil waters at sunset Below: the Hurricane Hole bar Opposite page, clockwise from top: the distinctive outline of the Gros Pitons; colourful island flora; the island has long attracted yachts - both small vessels and world- class superyachts restaurants and bar area to the marina and a mini shopping mall, all built in a bright wooden colonial style reminiscent of New England. Just over the bay, accessible by the hotel's tender, is a small beach area that has only recently been developed into a St Tropez style beach club. It is set to become one of the most chic destinations on St Lucia's cruising map. Further along the coast, the Jalousie Plantation boasts an equally impressive setting. Nestled between the Pitons, the resort is scattered over 192 acres of rainforest and has a stun-ning beach. Having once been known as the best resort on the island, it has recently undergone refurbishment and now shares its crown with the likes of Discovery at Marigot Bay. ISLAND DINING Simple grilled pig tails, crab backs, callaloo, roasted breadfruit, green fig and saltfish are all local delicacies of St Lucia's Creole

All 1,200 of the Maldives islands are gems, but it pays to know which ones have been polished up to sparkle the most By Miriam Cain Sparkling seas 42Isea& iIAUTUMN 2008 maldives