It’s hard to beat the romantic moments that can be made in the Caribbean, but some are more memorable than others. One, in particular, that stands out to me is the experience of dining at the Jardin Malanga Hotel, on the Basse-Terre side of Guadeloupe.
The hotel, situated on a historic plot of land with an original plantation house dating back over 100 years, is special. You can tell this instantly when pulling off a quiet road, through the gates, and into a literal Garden of Eden. Wild flowers, greenery and small wooden bungalows dot the small property. Unfortunately, I wasn’t here to stay the evening – but to try their renowned food that has had both guests and outsiders traveling for miles just to get a bite.
The dining room is on an elevation and offers views of Guadeloupe’s lush hills and open sea. You can peer over the mountains straight to the island of Dominica, which is beautiful at sunset. The restaurant is simply called, “The Host Table”, and offers just a few tables for guests to indulge in the magical setting and food.
The restaurant is lit by candles and offers French cuisine that is adapted to local ingredients – which includes native spices, fruit, seafood and more. Over the course of two hours, I dined on everything from homemade bread to sautéed fish. The meal was elegant yet casual and the food not overthought. In its simplicity, there was still beauty and the flavors were out of this world.
Any visitor to Guadeloupe should make a night here with someone special.