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Saint Barthélemy: The Best of France

Dartblog’s world headquarters has moved to Saint Barthélemy for ten days. No whales here, but that lacuna is compensated for by the graciousness and refined French culture of the people on this island. Imagine the best of Paris in the Caribbean or la Côte d’Azur aux Caraïbes, if you will:

Eden Rock.jpg

Perhaps the clearest sign of the wealth here is the wine selection at the local Marché U. Nowhere else in the world (and I’ve looked) can one find such a range of extraordinary wines in a supermarket. We’ve written about wines from Domaine Jacques Selosse in the past. Back in France the waiting list for these unique Champagnes is closed, but in Saint Barth’s one can buy them off the rack — though the manager limits people to a few bottles each. He routinely denies requests to buy his entire stock:

Selosse Marche U1.jpg

The island has no water of its own, so it has been at best sparsely inhabited over the centuries. Today Saint Barth’s all-immigrant population is mercifully free of the simmering racial tensions that mark other Caribbean islands.

Addendum: The Euro is the currency of choice here, and the best one can say about prices is that Saint Barth’s is less expensive than Paris.

Addendum: An alumnus writes in:

My wife and I have visited St. Barths numerous times … but not for 20 or so years. When we first went there 40 years ago, farmers would drive their cattle down an empty Saline beach and Cheeseburger in Paradise had not yet been written. I understand that the mega-yachts are now rife in Gustavia harbor over Christmas week. I think I prefer it like it was back then when things were simpler but just as French.

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