Fern Hill, Upper Jessups, Nevis, St Kitts and Nevis, West Indies
Fern Hill consists of three little groups of stylish modern houses, all with swimming pools and colourful tropical gardens, on the tranquil, jungly western slope of Mount Nevis overlooking two sparkling miles of the Caribbean Sea towards the sunset and the sister island of St Kitts.
It is a five-minute drive from the best beach on the island, Pinney’s, a long, wide stretch of sand that is often completely deserted except for the plummeting pelicans and a fishing boat or two, even in the high season.
Pinney’s Beach is home to four simple little open-air bistros (including the famous Sunshine’s bar) as well as a smart French restaurant, the Coconut Grove, and a luxurious Four Seasons resort with three restaurants, a huge white beach, calm, protected ocean swimming, two pools, tennis courts, shops, a spa, and an immaculate 18-hole Robert Trent Jones golf course.
Nevis’s capital village, Charlestown, which is a ten-minute drive from Fern Hill, is a delicious little settlement with buildings dating back to the 17th century, among them the old Bath Hotel, which was the height of luxury in the 18th century and a mecca for European visitors (including the English poet Coleridge) who sailed the Atlantic to bathe in the hot volcanic springs at Bath village.
Charlestown has two museums, one commemorating Admiral Horatio Nelson, who married a pretty young local widow, Fanny Nisbet, here in 1787; the other the 1757 birthplace of Alexander Hamilton, who emigrated to the United States when he was fifteen and became one of the USA’s founding fathers and first Secretary of the Treasury.
Among the many delights of Nevis are the old sugar plantation houses, some of them in ruins, others now elegant, picturesque hotels: the Montpelier, the Hermitage and the Nisbet. And the island is perfect for lovers of walking, hiking, horse riding, sailing, fishing, scuba diving and water skiing.
Favourite restaurants near Fern Hill include the remarkably inexpensive Gallipot (delicious lobster and fresh fish caught by the chef himself), the Double Deuce, and the Nisbet Beach Club, where a steel pan group plays throughout Sunday lunch.
In fact Nevis is suffused with music: the bouncy reggae and calypso rhythms that waft from balconies and doorways all over Charlestown; the delightful Humming Birds string band that plays its simple but haunting homemade instruments, and the equally charming Honey Bees, who play sometimes during dinner at the Hermitage; the Tuesday night guitar and drums jamming sessions at the Oualie Beach Hotel, where everyone is encouraged to join in, if only to shake a tambourine or maracas; the fabulous local rock band, Kasanova, whose lead singer has a voice like an angel, that plays on the beach at the Nisbet Plantation until late every Thursday night; the Saturday night discos at Cades Bay.
"If music be the food of love, play on”. .. At times it seems that Nevis must surely have been the musical, magical, enchanted island that inspired Shakespeare to write The Tempest.
Written by Graham Lord – Owner of Property 403036 in Fern Hill, St Kitts and Nevis