Having been at the pinnacle of my “must-visit” destinations for quite some time, it would be an understatement to say that I was excited upon receiving an invitation to review a new restaurant at Seven Stars Resort in Turks & Caicos.
The sandy white beaches, those turquoise waters…it’s really stunning and the photos barely do it justice. Grace Bay Beach also happens to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. And while I’m not a huge fan of water activities (we’ll get to this), I love the views and the sounds of the waves gently crashing against the sand. It’s so relaxing. And if you’re a regular on my page, you know I’ve been needing something resembling a vacation for a while.
To be transparent, this wasn’t REALLY vacation, since it was technically a “press trip,” aka I was invited (along with a few other influencers/bloggers) to cover the opening of a new restaurant within the hotel. Our job is to document our experience, write about it, post about it on Instagram, etc. I’m hardly complaining about a comped trip to a gorgeous island, but you do have an itinerary that is planned out for you. That said, this might have been one of the best itineraries for a press trip I’ve ever seen – they gave us a ton of down time to explore on our own, even offered a comped activity and spa experience! And you know my rickety limbs were in need of some massage time…
I didn’t include in this list below, but here’s a bonus “thing” to do! Get a massage at The Spa at Seven Stars. I got the Signature Candle Massage, which uses the scent of a spa candle combined with warm massage oil and let me tell you, as someone who suffers from chronic neck pain, it helped loosen up my muscles A LOT. My massage therapist was a wizard. Spa brochure here.
As someone who’s been doing this a long time, I can’t tell you the amount of press trips I’ve been on where they have you carted around and schedules planned down to the hour. It can be really, really stressful, but this one was a real treat from start to finish. They even let us extend our stay for one night due to the smoke/air quality situation in NYC that week. Couldn’t have asked for better accommodations!
Alright, now that you have some background, let’s get to it! Be advised that my recommendations are based partially on my resort experience, which was comped, but I don’t recommend things I don’t enjoy. Anything outside of the resort was chosen on my own.
1. Breakfast/brunch at The Farm on Grace Bay: This is the new restaurant opening at Seven Stars Resort, complete with it’s own small (320 sq ft) but mighty hydroponic farm. This is quite literally a “farm to table” experience! Here, they grow 24 varieties of greens (lettuces, herbs, and microgreens) 365 days/year, reducing food waste and improving food quality/shelf life. We were given a private tour by Chef Edwin Gallardo, and while it was a tight squeeze, it was really cool to see! For breakfast, I thoroughly enjoyed the egg and prosciutto tartine with fresh microgreens and salad on the side. Made me feel ok about the prosciutto and cheddar. Because #balance.
2. Private Dinner at The Tasting Room at Seven: Another restaurant within Seven Stars Resort, and I absolutely loved this dinner; partially because of the wine pairings, which is something I rarely, if ever, say. I can’t drink too much wine because it gives me headaches, but for some reason, these pairings were light (even the reds) and just went so, so well with each course. Having a somm who knows what they’re doing can really elevate the experience, so thank you to Mia! Chef Edwin put together an excellent menu for us, with greens from the hydroponic farm as well. The Diver Scallops with cauliflower puree and black garlic jam was one of my favorite dishes – beautifully balanced.
3. Da Conch Shack: This was one of those recommendations that flew in a bunch of times on Instagram. I can’t say I was blown away by the food, but the drinks were strong, music was great, and the vibes were on point. This place sits right on the beach, with a gigantic conch graveyard (basically) in plain sight. It’s cool and also a little creepy? But if you can look past that, it’s fun and otherwise a gorgeous view. Plus they have this giant pink chair and a tire swing, ideal for photo ops.
4. Island Fish Fry: Every Thursday night, this event brings local vendors together for a night of food, music, and more. You can find clothing, art, handmade jewelry, handbags, soaps and perfumes, shot glasses, etc. amongst the vendors, and of course, various food and drink options. We tried Jerk Chicken from Kool Runnings which was really tasty, and I got some fried fish (because it’s a fish fry) and mac n cheese from a different vendor (Taino’s, I believe). Might have been one of the best macs I’ve had in a while. I also bought some handmade soap from Island Organics Apothecary, considering I showered 3x/day due to the humidity, that felt like the right move.
5. Clear Kayak Drone Photoshoot: You’ve probably seen these photos on Instagram or somewhere in a magazine (or in the main image of this blog post). I actually didn’t know that this was a “big thing” for T&C, but I’m glad the staff at Seven Stars alerted me to it, because even though I got REALLY seasick from the experience, it was definitely worth the photos! Keep in mind, I am VERY sensitive to motion sickness, so I don’t believe this reaction is the norm. The smaller the boat, the worse the motion? I’m sure there’s an actual saying for that but my point is: you feel every little thing and the kayak sits about 6-10 feet in from the shore, so you get hit by all the waves. I didn’t think of this, and I got horribly nauseous and dizzy for hours after. I took enough dramamine to put a horse to sleep, so eventually I felt ok, but it really messed with my equilibrium. I booked through Island Adventure TCI, and they were SO nice about it – got me a chair in the shade and a bottle of water – and they turned around my photos (unedited) within 24 hours! Edits take a few more days but thankfully I can edit on my own. Best photos ever! See IG post with a few of them here.
Speaking of editing, if you haven’t checked out my Foodie Lightroom Presets on Etsy, click here! $4.99 for 10 of them and they make editing food photos (and other photos) a breeze. Works best with food shot in natural lighting, and most of them are subtle but SO helpful. All the food photos you see here and on my IG have been edited with these.
Thank you to Seven Stars Resort for hosting me, your staff is truly incredible and I know now why you have such a high return guest rate!