As is often the case in the island, this area is lively but laid back, plain but very much full of character. Set on a small cliff, Moontown, on first sight, appears to be very unassuming; a typical village like all others, with a little shop set amid a few traditional chattel houses and other cheerful modern dwellings. Upon closer inspection, you will see that Moontown possesses a current of activity that is vigorously fuelled by the only three businesses in the immediate area and is magnetic to all who go there. Packed tightly to the narrow road that serves as an artery to the rest of St. Lucy, is a fish market, Merton’s place (an open-air restaurant) and the all-encompassing St. Elmo’s Supermarket, which also maintains a bakery, bar, restaurant and hardware in the space it occupies.
If your purpose for travelling to Barbados is to experience Barbadian culture then Moontown is where you would go. It is a hub for community tourism and the people here are welcoming and exude comradery. It is the classroom for learning how to “lime” and pass time like a Bajan; like the men and women drinking a cold beer while playing cards or dominoes and hailing others who pass by in cars, buses, ZRs or on foot. Here in Moontown lively discussions and debates that can be compared to those that occur on the floor of parliament are had, in the fast-flowing dialect/twang that St. Lucy natives are known to have.
Below the cliff on which the fish market stands is an almost forgotten beach which can be accessed from the main road. As with most beaches in Barbados - it is spectacular! And the contrast of walking down the steps from the village to the shore is symbolic of leaving the hustle and bustle of everyday life behind to be sequestered in paradise. The beach’s powdery sand is kept cool by heavily laden breadfruit trees and other tropical plants.
Here, fishermen can be found in the early mornings detangling their nets on the sand and setting out to sea in their little Moses boats. On evenings when the fishermen haul their boats in, the catch is not always bountiful but it is more than enough to feed those who come to purchase. In the fish market, the variety of jacks, tuna and mahi-mahi are cleaned and prepared by the fish vendors in the view of the beautiful setting sun.
Next door at Merton’s Place, those who have an affinity for fish are often hard-pressed to choose from the variety of dishes at their popular weekend fish fry. Here, your lunch or dinner is prepared with pride & local seasonings at this alfresco restaurant, your fish roasted on coal pots, along with the breadfruits picked from the trees of the beaches below. The fried or pickled octopus is known to Bajans as “Seacat” is a coveted local delicacy and consumers who come from all miles around to purchase these savoury meals often find themselves hunting for a place to park just to get theirs.
Across the road, St. Elmo’s never sleeps, as those familiar with the area say they have never seen the doors closed, not even while there was a passing storm. Something is always going on in this shop! The street view of st. Elmos reveals what appears to be a small, quaint but brightly painted structure – but never judge a book by its cover. Inside, there is a hive of activity and enough room for you to eat, drink, dance, socialise and sing some karaoke. And for those who so desire, roadside seating allows for a great view of the sea. Drinks here flow through the night and a bus stop is conveniently located directly on the outside where buses can take you from Moontown to any stop on the way to Bridgetown.
Fulfil your desires for authentic Barbadian cuisine with a visit to Moontown; an unspoilt fishing village with a stunning beach, a warm welcome and a weekend fish fry that should never be missed!