Polo, Food and Rum in Barbados
The Barbados Food and Rum Festival takes place on the island for just four days in the middle of November each year. It is strongly promoted by the tourism authority as celebrity chefs converge on Barbados to reinforce its reputation as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean.
One of the events organised as part of the Food and Rum Festival was Taste the Spirits of Polo which took place on Saturday 18th November 2017 between 3pm and 7pm at Holders Polo Field, Holders Hill. We were in Barbados at the time so took an afternoon out to experience our first polo match and taste some of the food and wine on offer as part of the festival. Tickets cost US$97.50 per person and included plentiful food and drink throughout the afternoon and early evening.
The polo started at 4pm and was an exhibition match between two Apes Hill Polo Club teams. It was a little bit difficult to follow for us as newbies to the sport - particularly as a polo field is pretty large (270 metres by 150 metres or around 6 times the area of a football pitch) so you inevitably have to follow the action at quite a distance for much of the time. It was pretty fast paced however and the skill of the players was very evident.
For the most part, however, it was the food and drink that seemed to be the main attraction for most visitors. The dress code was smart and the conversation was free-flowing - particularly as the sun went down and as the wine and cocktails continued to be poured.
There were many small dishes to try with 'different takes' on local favourites including Fried Chicken and Plantain Croquettes, Smoked Braised Black Belly Lamb, Smoked Breadfruit and Pulled Pork Gratin and (my favourite) Crispy Pork Fries. There were some delicious sweet treats too and of course, a wide variety of rum-based cocktails to try. We thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon which was the perfect mix of food, drink, sunshine and an easy introduction to the game of polo. We will be back.