Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Fisherpond Great House-Part of Our Barbados Series

The exuberant greeting from Fisherpond's owners John and Rain Chandler prepared us for a fun afternoon to come. But nothing could have prepared us for the extraordinary experience that followed. As we entered the 350 year-old plantation house, set amongst hundreds of acres of sugarcane, we entered a tableau that any A-list party goer would be impressed by. We've coordinated a few extraordinary events in our time, but never have we seen a dining table for four set with such abundance, style and joie de vivre.We were invited to a private luncheon, but John and Rain offer up their home and grounds every Sunday when up to 80 guests join them for lunch. We were delighted to hear that weddings, parties and rehearsal dinners also can take place on the magical property too. John's table for us was set with bouganvilla, hibiscus, palm, orchids and breadfruit leaves, all from their property.
A long shot of the gorgeous antique mahogany table.
Now to the food. Rain is the resident chef. Let me preface this by saying this was our best meal in a week of wonderful meals. Fisherpond is rated by Zagat's as the Best Bajan (local) cuisine in Barbados. And they are right. The food was fresh, delicious and perfect.
While Rain was in the kitchen, John regaled us with tales of the provenance of the antique-filled home, the famous guests they've hosted (including Prince Harry, who was evidently ill-behaved), and stories of his colorful life. One story we like is that Rain's father ran a sugar plantation and wished for two things: rain for his crops and a daughter. He got both and named the little girl after the elixir that provided their livelihood. (To top it off Rain's daughter is Summer Rain and grandaughter is Aurora Rain...)
John and Rain have a massive cache of china, crystal, silver, linen and accessories which they like to coordinate for any given event. Most of the pieces are valuable antiques -- they use the Tiffany glassware for their weekly luncheons and love the mix-and-match. So did I!
I topped off my lunch with a delicious espresso served in a paper-thin antique espresso cup and sterling silver spoon.
John loves orchids and the home and grounds are filled with gorgeous specimens.
The rooms of the house are available for parties and events -- they just use or push aside the furniture as needed.
Each of the rooms and spaces are stylized -- ready for a photo opportunity.
The upper lawn can hold a ceremony, cocktail party or large tent.
The lower lawn has twin palms between which couples often marry, the vista behind is sugarcane.
Close-up of the lower lawn which can also be tented.
In a lush upper garden John and Rain house exotic birds. This ancient water purifier (rain falls in the top stone bucket and slowly is filtered until it's clean) serves as an alternative ceremony backdrop.
Within the lush garden are sweet table settings, perfect for a meandering cocktail party.
Fountains, exotic flora and surprises lay around every corner.
John calls this his English garden; it links the upper and lower lawns and is yet another picturesque spot for ceremony, cocktails or photos.
The Chandler's home is blissfully peaceful; I suspect that every guest feels immediately at home here. Fisherpond is a magical place for a wedding -- I hope someday to plan one here.

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