by Lise van de Kamp | Jul 14, 2020 | Fruits, Fruits & Veggies, Hotel, Nature, Restaurant
Dominica is called the Nature Island of the Caribbean, once you will enter the country (by sea or air) you will understand why.
At Hotel The Champs we are not farmers but because it is so easy to grow fruits / veggies (plants, flowers and trees) we decided to put some herbs / veggies in the soil. Please check below in the first picture you see an eatable hibiscus it tastes like a wild spinach (also growing in Dominica) and some basil (tea / pesto / salads etc) In the second picture you see a small paracetamol (tea) and a patchouli oil: an essential oil derived from the leaves of the patchouli plant, a type of aromatic herb. In order to produce patchouli oil, the leaves and stems of the plant are harvested and allowed to dry out. They then undergo a distillation process to extract the essential oil and is used in perfumes, cosmetics, and incense. Tea: hot or cold.
Below our pool deck we made a special “bed” to grow some nice juicy watermelons;
Top 9 health benefits of eating watermelon.
- Helps You Hydrate. …
- Contains Nutrients and Beneficial Plant Compounds. …
- Contains Compounds That May Help Prevent Cancer. …
- May Improve Heart Health. …
- May Lower Inflammation and Oxidative Stress. …
- May Help Prevent Macular Degeneration. …
- May Help Relieve Muscle Soreness.
Don’t forget our crispy cucumbers. Its so nice to pick a fresh cucumber for your salads
7 Health Benefits of Eating Cucumber
- It’s High in Nutrients. Cucumbers are low in calories but high in many important vitamins and minerals. …
- It Contains Antioxidants. …
- It Promotes Hydration. …
- It May Aid in Weight Loss. …
- It May Lower Blood Sugar. …
- It Could Promote Regularity. …
- Easy to Add to Your Diet.
And what to think about our fresh chives delicious with every salad, on your eggs in the mornings in a salsa. In front of our Garden Rooms you will find some Papaya plants. Deliciously sweet with musky undertones and a soft, butter-like consistency, the papaya was called the “fruit of the angels” by Christopher Columbus. In Dominica we eat the Papaya ripe (orange inside) as sweet fruit or green in a salad or cooked in coconut oil.
Our last plant / tree in the garden is the Moringa. Moringa is believed to have many benefits and its uses range from health and beauty to helping prevent and cure diseases. The benefits of moringa include:
Moringa seed oil is beneficial for protecting hair against free radicals and keeps it clean and healthy.
Moringa appears to protect the liver against damage caused by anti-tubercular drugs and can quicken its repair process.
Moringa extracts might help treat some stomach disorders. Due to its antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties, moringa extracts might combat infections caused by Salmonella, Rhizopus, and E. coli.
Moringa also contains calcium and phosphorous, which help keep bones healthy and strong. The powerful antioxidants found in
Moringa extract might help prevent cardiac damage and has also been shown to maintain a healthy heart. Extract of moringa has been shown to help wounds close as well as reduce the appearance of scars.
Moringa helps to reduce the amount of glucose in the blood, as well as sugar and protein in the urine. This improved the hemoglobin levels and overall protein content in those tested.
And much more but I am sure for those who like more information about the benefits of Moringa will “google” and find the answers.
by Linda Baudoin | Apr 30, 2020 | Hiking, Nature, Syndicate, Waterfall
Nestled on the foothills of Dominica’s tallest mountain, Morne Diablotin, and close to the Picard River Gorge is the Syndicate Nature Trail. From hotel the Champs it is just a 10 minutes drive on the main road before you take the turnoff just before Dublanc into the mountains for another half an hour. The easy loop trail through the rainforest on the western slopes of Morne Diablotin is beloved by birders for the good chance of spotting Dominica’s endangered national bird, the Sisserou parrot, and its cousin, the Jaco parrot. The best spotting time is in the early morning and late afternoon. Also watch for hummingbirds and several dozen other feathered species. If you are a bird lover, we can also arrange special guided bird watching for you in this area.
Syndicate also has a diverse array of flora. It is a key location for research and educational purposes and has lovely view points along the walking path. Once on this trail there are incredible high, prehistoric-looking trees, beautiful varieties of textures and patterns. There are areas with large clearings and nice lookouts where you can experience how beautiful this ecosystem is.
After you hiked this nature trail, you start your way down again by car. On the way down you stop for the second hike to Milton Falls. The other name is Syndicate Falls, named after the area.
The trail to the fall starts where the Milton Falls signpost and a large mango tree are. At the beginning of the walk you wander through farm land. In them you can spot peppers, coffee, passionfruit, grapefruit, papayas etc.
Before the next part of the path you finally see a ‘gate’ and a little house which takes your $5 or $10EC donation for entering private land. After passing the final bit of farm land the path take you into thicker bush, high grasses, citrus trees dripping with moss and vines with mystery green fruit. You find yourself in a green valley surrounded by high peaks and flowing rivers. You make your way up rocky banks, crisscrossing the river, finally spotting the waterfall through the trees. It is absolutely stunning and a nice spot to take a swim and have lunch!
After some relaxing it is time to move forward. Another nice stop on your way down the main road is the Free up farm. Free Up Farm is a 7-acre farm where they have over 300 trees planted, an assortment of unique fruit and medicinals including Cacao, Mangosteen, Soursop, Moringa and Neem. The farm will serve as a demonstration site for the sustainability and profitability of permaculture and organic farming methods. The owners Aubrey and Lulu are more than willing to welcome you (www.freeupfarm.com)
After this food and veggie experience it’s time to go back; your cocktail at Hotel the Champs is waiting for you…..
by Edwina Simpson | Feb 14, 2020 | Dining, Hiking, Travel Tips, Waterfall
The second part of this daytrip includes the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site – Emerald Falls – but lets not forget from last week that after the hike to Salton Falls lunch is now in order.
Turn right out of Salton Falls and after about 2 minutes driving a straight road you will arrive at Pond Casse roundabout. You take the second exit/go straight across it and after about another 3 minutes you will see Zeb Zepis Bistro on your right.
Zeb Zepis Bistro
We’re big fans of this restaurant – a mixture of French and Creole influences; some really delicious and creative locally sourced food. Cash or local cheques only. Closed Mondays.
After lunch you can turn right out of the restaurant and head towards Emerald Falls; you will see a road that turns to your left and the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Emeralf Falls is after on your left, well signposted. But before you get there you will come across a vegetable and fruit stall on the left side of the road known as the Farmacy, the proprietor of which will no doubt introduce you to a fruit or vegetable you’ve never heard of.
Emerald Falls is part of the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. You can buy a one time entrance ticket for $14ECD or $5USD of pay for a week’s pass to many other sites on the island for $33ECD or about $12USD. The path is well paved and walks gently round and down to the beautiful pool and fall of about 50 feet/15 feet.
Emerald Falls and pool
The approach to Emerald Falls
There are a few curio shops at the entrance you may want to check out on your way out. You simply drive back the way you came to The Champs Hotel. We will be waiting to hear all about it. You may wish to stop at the beautiful Mero Beach on your way home if you have time and fancy another swim (you can swim in both Emerald and Salton pools), or just wait for a swim at our pool with a cocktail from the bar.
We can tell you about Mero beach in another blog sometime…
by Edwina Simpson | Feb 2, 2020 | Environs
Many of our guests who stay on a Friday night enjoy an early morning walk to the Saturday market in Portsmouth.
You see rainbows regularly in Dominica
We wanted to illustrate what the journey is like. It was a slightly overcast day which made it cool at 7am and more chance for rainbows. There is lots to see en route.
We start with a short walk down the hill through Picard, then round the bend past a local supermarket called LA Enterprise. One can find more than just the essentials here as well as some fresh items – but better to wait to see all that at the market.
Cabrits National Park behind Caribbean sea to your left as you walk to the market
The road then bends around sharply to the right when you meet the Caribbean Sea.
From here you can see the Cabrits National Park in the distance, to your left while you continue to walk along the road adjacent to the Caribbean Sea.
You will cross the Indian River, looking up it your right (Caribbean sea to your left) . Tours up this river to see wildlife are very popular, often ending with a drink at a rum bar. Speak to us for how to book when you’re here.
The bridge crossing the Indian River
Flowers on the roadside
The Indian River
As you proceed further you will pass the bus stop to your left from where you can catch rides south and also Dee’s, a small shop where you will find souvenirs and groceries. You will no doubt find many people to talk to along he way.
Minibuses at Portsmouth T-Junction
Dee’s Mini Mart – Groceries and curios can be found here
You will have passed the NBD bank on your way (to your right) if you need cash, as early in the morning the one next to Dee’s is locked (see left photo green building)
You will soon arrive at the market… you definitely can’t miss it!
Approaching the heart of the market
The market is busy early in the morning, as farmers from all over the north come to sell their wares. Make sure to go to the back of the market by the waterfront to see the undercover area also (you may also see meat and fish available)
You will find it’s better to ask people before taking their photo.
Our kitchen uses fresh produce grown and caught locally from this market and other local sources. You will find that our menu changes daily in accordance with what is fresh and available.
the market is busy from early mornings
a variety of fresh produce locally grown
If there is anything particular you’re interested in trying do feel free to talk to us about it. We will make every effort to incorporate it into the menu during your stay. We hope that you will feel absorbed in island life and culture and take amazing memories home with you, and possibly even a few new recipes!
Bananas, plantain, avocado and pumpkin
The under cover part of the market