An Elevated dining Experience

Omar Tomlinson

Thursday, February 20, 2014    

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What better way to celebrate one of The Rock's iconic dining experiences than dinner at 3,100 feet, with fab 360-degree sights? High atop the city in the scenic Irish Town, Strawberry Hill Hotel — celebrating its 20th year this October — welcomed the Jamaica Observer Food Awards judging panel, accompanied by three guest judges, attorney-at-law Cindy Lightbourne, Janus Strategic Marketing Services Managing Director Lisa Hogarth and hilarious firecracker media personality Khadine 'Miss Kitty' Hylton, on Monday to break bread and, as was the case for some, rediscover that intrinsic Strawberry magic.

The gorgeous boutique hotel, part of music and real estate guru Chris Blackwell's Island Outpost hotel collection, has quite a history — transitioning from its origins as an 18th-century coffee plantation, to a guest house which Blackwell bought in 1972 and hosted famous friends, and eventually to the 12-room luxe destination it is today that have seen an eclectic mix of bold faces the likes of Sting, Richard Gere, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, the Rockefeller family and Snoop Dogg resting their heads there, or pulling up seats to dine.

Sprinkled with animated discussion, the commute by an Island Car Rental bus, driven with smooth expertise by Ronald Parker, saw the judges in chatty road trip-mode as they took in the stunning natural vistas up the ascent.

Our party of 13 were refreshed with Blackwell rum punch cocktails by the infinity poolside, which showcased the distant city below on the right and mountain peaks to the left. While we imbibed, general manager Gregory Shervington outlined the hotel's history and the dinner menu to come.

Regaled with rib-tickling jokes by guest judge Miss Kitty and Food Awards judge Rushaine 'Dutty' Berry, the judging panel nibbled on tasty hors d'oeuvres, stuffed plantains with callaloo and cheddar served with a tomato salsa coconut shrimp in coconut sauce, and chicken teriyaki, before being ushered into the Bamboo Dining Room to enjoy a three-course dinner of signature Strawberry Hill menu items.

Thursday Life invites you into the hills to share our latest culinary journey.

— Omar Tomlinson

Strawberry Hill Hotel

Irish Town

Telephone: 944-8400


Reservations are preferred





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