Entertainment parties

A few observations on Beach House and Bliss…

Everyone’s already doing it so there’s no sense in tip-toeing around the issue and acting as if Crop-Over party-goers aren’t comparing the two all-inclusives.

Both the kings in their respective countries, this year was the first time that the two went head to head as Beach House branched out  from their home base in Trinidad and ventured over to Barbados (check out our interview with the Beach House team in the summer edition of Islandista magazine).

For the sake of our loyal readers, 😉 the Islandista team went to both events to assess and here’s a few observations about how the two events stacked up.

Beach House – Thursday, August 1 @ Cornwall House, St. Joseph

Attention to to detail makes all the difference. Beach House hit all the right notes with fantastic food from local caterers and restaurants such as Country House, The Mews and Lemon Grass. There was no waiting for food and it was nearly all excellent. The spare ribs from The Mews fell off the bone and jumped in my mouth and the Pad Thai from Lemon Grass was quality. However, I was not enamoured of the desserts that were left by the time I arrived (early-ish at minutes to 5). Sugar cakes and guava cheese are lovely and Bajan but it’s not exactly all-inclusive fare if I can get it at any gas station.

However, where the desserts disappointed, the drinks delighted! I’m still dreaming of that champagne bar. At one point, the brisk Atlantic Ocean breeze sent one of my glasses of champagne flying. For a minute I was chagrined and then I realised it was no thing because there was lots more where it came from! Indulgence at its best!

And while food and drink service make all the difference between ultra-premium and just ok (more on this later in our Bliss review), at the end of the day, the music is the most important and here Beach House and in particular DJ Private Ryan stood right up.

Private Ryan deserves all the kudos he gets. He was the closing DJ and his mixing was supremely smooth. One minute we were wukking up to Rupee, next thing we were dancing to The Wanted’s “Glad You Came” and it seemed perfectly natural.

We will definitely be back and I am sure many other Crop-Over partiers will be as well.

Now on to Bliss.

Bliss – Saturday, August 3 @ Golden Grove Plantation

Now this pains me to say because I have been a Bliss supporter from the very first one (Old Year’s Night 2005) but Bliss was not up to scratch this year.

And the gentlemen of Esquire Entertainment clearly knew it because they posted an apology on their Facebook page early this morning. And even with the apology, there were still several salty comments from angry patrons.

The food service at the event was a let down. Two hours after the official 3 pm start time, 5 of the 6 food tents in the main food service area were unmanned. So even though there were not a lot of people there at that point in time, long lines were instantly created as the staff of the one food tent (the sushi station) that was ready struggled to meet the demand. 

They never caught up and the lines just got longer and patrons angrier. Bad words flew and people got testy when they felt that others were cutting in ahead of them or that people were being served ahead of them. For BD$230 (USD$115) that should never be.

Oh and aside from the sushi and the desserts (which were excellent and the lines were not too long) the food was generic. As with the guava cheese and sugar cakes at Beach House, plain rice and veg or pasta with tomato sauce is not ultra-premium.

It was a pity because once you got past the main food service area, the event was fantastic. There were more than enough bars and you never had to wait for a drink. The drinks were premium quality and the Remy cocktail bar was fab!

The music was hype and there was much pooch spinning. The slightly old school soca sessions (circa 2000-2004) were definitely appreciated by the crowd.

The venue was ok and unlike most Bliss locations, was one that had already been used before (two weeks earlier by Brewster’s Road for their breakfast party Awaken). The extras were nice – the fans were greatly appreciated and the cut flowers for the ladies (and a few dapper gents) added a summery vibe.

But at the end of the day, Esquire Entertainment knows they will need to come better for Bliss next time around – not just for Old Year’s Night but especially for next summer because that is the one that has the visitor attendance from the diehard carnival fanatics who are not Barbadian and will switch their allegiance easily.

Wishing them luck next time.

By Me

island ~ ista
From Latin -ista via Portuguese -ista
one who follows a principle; an adept.

As an islandista I live, embody, exude the spirit of the Caribbean islands.

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