I’ve complained in several posts now about how terrible bakeries, bread and cakes are here in St Kitts (and in most of the Caribbean). Honestly, I can’t say I’ve been moved to even mild joy by any of the bread here, which is functional but lacks any real artistry. Having so little nearby is one of the reasons I have been so excited to visit San Juan in Puerto Rico, where the pastry tradition is alive and well.
It makes perfect sense, then, that a visit to French St Martin is going to bring numerous wonderful bakeries and patisseries into my path (such a shame). After not too much sniffing around on my part, I discovered the marvellous Sarafina’s in Marigot, the capital of the French side of the island.
It’s a large bakery and patisserie, open early and with a large local following. Comfy red wicker lounges line the external row of the sitting area, and they even have some scrummy-looking ice cream, in addition to the looooong display of cakes, quiches, filled baguettes, pizzas and other baked goodies.
I made a couple of stops here, including for breakfast where I had one of the BEST almond croissants of all time (flaky, moist, full of almond paste but without that odd almond essence aftertaste) and grabbed a baguette with jamon, fromage and salad (I don’t know the French word for salad…) for sustenance on the day’s sightseeing. I even brought two loaves of crunchy bread back with me St Kitts to supplement the very ordinary local supply 😉 (I had to declare it to the Customs Officers, but luckily they only cared about electronics, something St Martin has in cheap droves)
Since I know the readers of this blog are rather fond of food shots, I made sure to grab as many snaps as possible without looking too embarassing.
Of course, I have already booked my follow-up visit to St Martin in about 4 weeks’ time, where I plan to take a day trip to the famous St Barths, which is reportedly even more French than St Martin (read: less friendly) but nonetheless absolutely beautiful and home to many of the Rich and Famous crowd.
I wonder what their bakeries are like…