THE LONGBOARDER BAR AND GRILL
I love summer Sundays… or as my children put it; ‘Schwapping Sundays’. Those are the days that postlude the usually busy Saturdays and the ongoing questioning of ‘what are we doing tomorrow? What are we doing tomorrow?’ – such an exciting subject to ponder in this beautifully diverse island of Jamaica. This past Sunday, the resounding answer to that question was the Longboarder Bar and Grill in St. Thomas on Jamaica’s southestern coast.
Just an hour’s drive from our home in Kingston, it’s the perfect spot to spend a nice, lazy afternoon… unless you surf, and then it won’t be such a lazy afternoon for you. Situated on Roselle Beach, the Longboarder is also a surfer’s paradise. Alas, the whole concept of the restaurant arose from co-owner, Peter Silvera, an avid surfer, desiring a place to chill and knock back a beer with friends after a day of surfing. Thank God he’s been nice enough to share his beach with us ‘afraid of high waves and fish bigger than our arms and water deeper than our chests’ kinda people. My appreciation of those surfing waves is confined to sitting on the grassy cliff above the beach to admire their foaming crash on the pebbled shoreline.
Even sworn ‘unromantics’ will be wooed by the scenery of hills, beach and ocean. As my family sat on tree trunk stools at the rustic wooden tables, we were struck by the presence of all of Jamaica’s beautiful geography in this one spot. In the several visits we have made to Longboarder throughout the year, the sun has set in a different place every time, and each time we are left breathless by the different hues of gold captured by the hills and splayed over the surrounding landscape. Trust me, if you decide to take a walk along the beach, make sure you hurry back up on the hillside to witness the Longboarder’s beautiful sunset. Indeed, all our trips there have been planned around it, seeing us leave Kingston at about 4p.m so that we can settle in with cocktails and dinner before the sun sets.
Different Sunsets With Each Visit
The menu features a fare of fish soup, burgers, shrimp, lobster (when in season), jerked chicken and steamed or fried fish…all served with delicious sides of fries, bammi or breadfruit. As simple as it sounds, the food is delicious! And my favourite part ….they have a selection of red and white wines. The problem is, the later you go, the higher the risk that the wine supply might be low (especially if I get there before you), so before you go, make a quick call to the lovely Natasha Chang (co-proprietor) and check if you’ll need to bring a bottle or two with you.
As the sun gets ready to set, the bonfire is made up ….and as the last ray bids farewell, the dancing gold of the fire takes over. In the cooler months, the heat from the fire is greatly appreciated as the temperatures actually drop to sweater garb.
The beat of Longboarder’s ‘house’ music may have you chilling by the fire or dancing barefoot under the lit trees. This past Sunday my family opted to play cards and behave rambunctiously as we argued over the scores. I apologise to all who were there, especially since I may have drunk all the wine too.