Birthday at Blue Cave Castle (Teddy's Hideaway)

One of my favorite days on a trip with many, many favorite days, was my birthday. I woke up that day to my friend Nene bringing me coffee and suggesting a mimosa at LTU Pub for breakfast.  Lovely start to the day.



After relaxing around the pool at Catcha Gardens for a bit we decided to visit friends staying at Llantrissant, a beautiful private villa located between the cliffs and beach in Negril, with its own private beach. The group gathered into a van while I rode my scooter behind them and we enjoyed a lovely afternoon swimming, playing croquet and just being together.

Llantrissant villa

The "main" beach as seen from Llantrissant

Looking out from Llantrissant

The private beach, good for swimming and snorkeling

Croquet on the lawn
Winning :)

 As the afternoon waned we made our way back up to the cliffs to get ready for evening. We talked about going to Just Natural, a restaurant I really enjoy that has moved from the mid-cliff area out to Hylton Avenue in the deep west end. I went by on my scooter to check it out. It's lovely, but the largest table I saw was for 6-8 and even though we have only 6 people talking about coming to dinner, I know from experience that this is likely to change. Also, rain threatened and Just Natural has few covered areas as tables are set out in a garden.

So I remembered that a place I have loved for years and stayed at several times - Blue Cave Castle - now has a restaurant called Teddy's Hideaway. We decide to go.  I call ahead and speak with Petrona, the hotel manager. She informs me that only Teddy (the chef) is there, no other staff, but to please come on down for dinner if we are cool with that. 

Blue Cave Castle from the sea
As it happens we are gathering at Catcha Falling Star for sunset and our group of 6-8 turns into 17...not surprised but definitely pleased :)  We get two vans together and head down.  As we arrive at Blue Cave I tell Petrona how our group grew (Petrona actually doesn't work at the restaurant but at the hotel, but jumps in to help us right away)  and we all assure her we will do everything we can to  get us all drinks and dinner, and so it begins.  Some of the guys move the very heavy wooden tables and chairs into one huge table by the sea. You can see the area where we sat in the left of this photo, by the sea wall.We moved ALL of their tables to that spot.

The yard at Blue Cave

It was dark and Petrona brought out comfy pads for all the chairs and hurricane lamps for the tables and between those and the rope lights on the wall we had a beautiful setting in the yard of a castle by the Caribbean sea looking out towards the beach. If that setting sounds hard to beat, then you are picturing it right. 

My friends - who are all just amazing, awesome people - are helping Petrona and Teddy take drink orders, getting menus and bringing out table settings. A few of my friends have brought instruments to dinner - guitars, mandolin, ukelele, and play and sing.  I didn't see many guests at Blue Cave, if they were there they were probably out to dinner, but I did see the silhouette of two guests up by the penthouse and tower room, dancing and hanging out listening. I hope they enjoyed our invasion of the castle for the evening :)

I didn't bring a camera with me but thank goodness some friends did....

Max playing for us

The awesome Jenn, waiting on us
One of the friends helping out here is Jenn, who evidently had a latent unfulfilled desire to wait tables because she was AWESOME. I mean, look at her with that tray. She took over orders, helped in the kitchen, and brought all of our food out (with help from good friends Lisa and Genean).  (My favorite line of the evening as she brought out our food: "Be careful, the plate is hot....no it's not really, I just always wanted to say that!")


party


KrisB and Max playing

The music never stopped. Well except while we ate.


Lisa's artsy table pic?

The key waitstaff/kitchen help/bartender volunteers :)

Chef Teddy with my friends in the kitchen

Teddy, friends and Petrona in the kitchen
The group walked down into the cave for a bit to check it out. When it's calm you can go down here and swim out from under the yard.

A very happy birthday girl

In a week of concerts, weddings, engagements and at least two other birthdays, I wasn't trying to have a "birthday party". This was just a group of friends spending the evening together. But when Teddy found out it was my birthday, Jenn tells me he literally sprinted down to a bakery to get me a cake. And so a toast was made, candles were lit, Happy Birthday was sung,  and the night is one I will always remember.  HUGE thanks to Teddy and Petrona and everyone for being such awesome hosts!


A final few photos from the night.After 3-4 hours, we headed back up the cliffs to make the night last a bit longer with music and one more dip the pool.

I DO have some of the best friends ever. I love you guys :)

Corinne playing her ukelele



(and thank you Lisa, Genean, Jamie, Corinne and Shana for these photos!)

Oh, and here is the menu at Teddy's. Stop by sometime, it's delicious and the folks are super :)

3 comments:

Allison Boyd said...

Sounds like an incredible night!!!

liz m said...

It was Allison...and a totally unplanned, serendipitous thing, which makes it all the more fun I think :)

Ben Neidigh said...

Have yet to get to Teddy's. Headed down tomorrow for 2 weeks. Definitely on the list.