Friday, November 06, 2009

a little video showing the Tides

I had a scheduled meeting today that i had to rush to after having a nice lunch at the tides, but when i got to it I found it had been cancelled. Anyway, using that time i strung together a few clips of The Tides to give you a better idea on what it looks like. As i mentioned in my earlier blog, today's lunch was for family and freinds to help the management and staff practice their skills. There is no doubt that this is a good idea and there were plenty notes being taken. The first thing we were told when we arrived was that they didn't need any praise at all and wanted only constructive criticism. We were given pens and paper to write things that we noticed could be made better. My table was filled with some very tough critical people so there was list of things for them to fix and work on before the place officially open. This is the best way to start a business i think, and it's a shame when so many places don't have the time or the money to do this kind of development. I'm sure that by the time this phase of training is done, they will be top notch. Here is a video to show you what it looks like:

A new Restaurant on the North side of Antigua is opening

My uncle Nick who is known usually by "Doctor Fuller" is a workaholic and a very productive one indeed. A medical doctor by profession, he has many other passions, hobbies and businesses. His latest project is probably his most challenging, but I think will be the most rewarding. He's no stranger to challenges as he's been facing them since he was a teenager. My grandfather was no easy man! The Tides is his new restaurant and will open Wednesday night for the first time to paying clients. After this coming Wednesday night The Tides Restaurant will open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday for lunch and dinner. If you would like to be one of the first to "taste their hand" as they say here in Antigua then please give them a call on 462 TIDE.
The restaurant was designed exactly as Uncle Nick wanted and more importantly exactly where he wanted. Dutchmans Bay is where several generations of Fullers grew up. In fact my Dad was born just next door on what was a US Base once upon a time. There are videos and endless photos of my uncles and aunts playing on this windward facing beach. My earliest memories of life on the island are all from the beach there, and for a long time it felt like our hidden secret. Some people don't like windward beaches with all the flotsam and jetsam that float up and much prefer the totally calm and spotless beaches found on the lee side of these Caribbean Islands. I guess I'm different because i have always loved beaches like Dutchmans, Jabbawock and Half Moon Bay.

That fresh breeze that's just come across the atlantic over the ocean is hard to beat. With all the family history and fond memories associated with Dutchmans Bay I was delighted when i heard that Nick was going to buy the extra land he needed to build a restaurant. Already, my cousin David and his wife Erin had developed the space that was once the famous Bucket of Blood Disco. Of course you have to be over 50 years old to remember the days when the hottest and most happening disco on the island was The Bucket. Hurricane after hurricane in the 90s finally finished it off and my cousin David ended up developing the area into Dutchmans Bay Cottages. If you are coming to Antigua and want a peaceful place to hide out please have a look at the website before you decide on where to stay. They even do rooms for a day which is perfect for those who want to check in to their flight and have a nice relaxing day just five minutes away from boarding time.
Anyway, Uncle Nick spent every last cent he had saved up and poured plenty of it together with a mix of blood sweat and tears into The Tides. It sits very close to the ocean which gives you a panorama of the entrance to the North Sound with all it's little islands in the distance and nice trade winds to cool you down. Designed to make the most of both of those things, The Tides is what i would describe as a modern colonial type building. Because it is so close to the sea, the foundation was supported by dozens of concrete piles which go way down into the sand. Speaking of sand, a huge amount of sand was imported to build up the area around the restaurant and if you look carefully you can see the tiny pink shells which help to make up the sand. Because almost all of Barbuda's exported sand is used for concrete mixing and construction, I think very few people buying Barbuda sand actually put it on a beach. The place is finally finished to the point where it can actually open.

Of course Nick will be up there trying to make his small garden as impressive as the building, but for now it still is a lovely place. "Didier" is the manager of the tides and brings a wealth of experience in Food and Beverage management after working among other places at the prestigious Blue Waters Hotel and The Gallery in English Harbour. Their Chef was the number two chef at the five star Carlisle Bay and has impressed both Didier and Nick with her skills. I hope to be as impressed later today when the majority of the Fuller family and some friends will be invited to lunch. To be honest, I don't even know what kind of food theme it will be, so this will be a big surprise for me. The restaurant is on the water and has quite a nautical decor inside which is not surprising if you know uncle nick's many hobbies. Today we are the guinea pigs and the most willing ones you will find indeed. I know it's going to be hard to give a proper balanced critique, so i will try to take my camera to help me to the job. More to come soon.