Cool Wisdom from Traditional Caribbean Houses

A breath of fresh air! That’s what I felt, literally and figuratively, when I walked into the beautiful wooden home of a Bequia acquaintance. We had come to see the quaint, chattel house-like studio up the hill, but fell in love with the open great room of the main house. Its awesome airiness derives from a tall doors, 9’ outside walls, 4’ x 4’ glass-less windows, the shade of a deep wrap-around porch, and a steep, spacious ceiling uninterrupted by the partition walls—all made of bright-white … [Read more...]

When Churchill Visited Bequia on Onassis’s Yacht

David Ridley sent Emmett and me this mention of Bequia from the memoirs of Clarissa Eden. In the late 50s, her husband Anthony, lately British prime minister, had retired from politics after undergoing numerous operations for a gall bladder problem. “On the excuse that Anthony should avoid colds and flu, we took to going to the West Indies each winter. Thus we visited Mustique, which had just been bought by my friend Colin Tennant. From there we saw on an adjacent island a white … [Read more...]

Building Your Tropical Dream Home in Bequia

by Chris Kaye, guest blogger (Chris and Rose, his wife, own Ijeoma, adjacent to Ocean Ridge Estates in Crescent Beach, Bequia. To see more photographs or to rent the finished house, go to Building your dream home can be a fraught and painful process even at home where you know–or think you know–the tricks and are familiar with the legalities and the construction process. Doing so in another country far from home with a different culture and values poses a big … [Read more...]

Spying Sedan Porches in St. George’s, Grenada

by David Webber, guest blogger (See David's photo website at Attempting to retain one’s dignity and cleanliness whilst walking through congested public thoroughfares in the days of open drains and night soil thrown from first floor windows was a major problem for the 17th to19th century gentry. Consequently, the opportunity to be carried in relative comfort in a fully enclosed sedan chair (after Sedan in Northern France) was something of a godsend and … [Read more...]

Fretwork and Other Followup

As recently as late March, when I posted Mike Connell's comments about building Caribbean cottage style in Bequia, I didn't know what fretwork was. (Many thanks to Emmett's friend Dave O'C for clarifying the difference between fretwork and gingerbread in his comment on that post.) So imagine my surprise when "fretwork" showed up in the May issues of both Martha Stewart Living and House Beautiful--twice in the latter, in fact. Left and below are these recent examples of this relatively … [Read more...]

Bequia Home Repair: Who Ya Gonna Call?

Between the salt spray and the sahara dust, the Bequia climate is hard on our house--and even harder on our vehicles. Fortunately, Bequia has many skilled tradesmen (and women). Here is a list of those whom Emmett and I have called recently. Whom do you call when something breaks?  (To add your favorites or print this list for your refrigerator, click on the headline above to go to our site and scroll to the bottom of the post: printer icon on right, comments blank at very … [Read more...]

What’s on Your Bequia Bookshelf?

Don’t you love to browse a friend’s bookshelf? You can skim and find books worth buying, while learning lots about the other person. Discussing what you find prolongs the pleasure. In that spirit, I reveal below some favorites on Caribbean homes and living from my Bequia home library. Readers, won’t you please suggest some of your favorites in the comment space below? (Email subscribers: To comment, click on the title above to go to this post on our website, then scroll down to the bottom of the … [Read more...]

Bark for Bequia’s BARCC

by Muriel and Sam Tull, guest bloggers Bequia is home to many wonderful dogs. The vast majority appear to be happy and well taken care of. For the unfortunate dogs that have no one, it is heartbreaking to see the homeless and unwanted animals that walk the streets dodging cars and struggling to survive day to day. Boxes of newborn puppies are left by the side of the road and dogs are “dropped off” with the hope that someone will care for them. It doesn’t have to be this way. Bequia … [Read more...]

Days of Stronger Stuff in the Caribbean

by David Webber, guest blogger (See David's photo website at Completed in 1895, the Sendall Tunnel is a shortcut through the hill separating the Carenage and the Esplanade in St. Georges, Grenada. Look closely at the cliff face as you leave the tunnel in Bruce Street. There is a sign stating Females Only. Definitely a class divide. Note not “Ladies” but “Females.” In the days of long dresses when female modesty of any class in theory precluded showing … [Read more...]

Georgian Architecture in the Caribbean

by David Webber, guest blogger (See David's photo website at There is a commonly held belief in Grenada that, after New Orleans and London, St. Georges has a higher percentage of Georgian architecture than any other city in the world. Sadly, there does not appear to be any substantiating written proof as over the centuries both man-made and natural disasters have destroyed most of those records which were available. However….. Take a walk along … [Read more...]