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A Proustian Travel Guide to Antigua

antigua

An award-winning bartender in Antigua gives us some local tips for the best island stay.

Name: Tramaine Lake

Profession: Bartender

Age: 31

Location: Antigua

Tramaine currently leads a team of 22 servers as lead bartender at Blue Waters Resort & Spa in Antigua. A guest favorite, she’s racked up several awards for her mixed drinks and sterling service. 

What are three things you wish people knew about you?

1. It would surprise everyone to know that I love action movies like Fast & Furious.

2. I have two energetic daughters who love to watch action movies with me.

3. I make a mean red hibiscus drink – all can attest – try it sometime! I am a bartender, but I hardly drink. Shh!

What are you most proud of?

My ability to make guests happy, and mixing up special cocktails according to their favorite spirit. Also, balancing my life – work, fun, my girls – is no easy feat in this industry. As a single mom, I am holding down the fort.

What is your most cherished possession?

A diamond ring given to me by my mum before she passed. I wear it always; it never comes off.

What was the best gift you ever received?

My two daughters, Kitana and Amilia. They changed my life! Kitana is easy going and cheerful and Amilia is a dynamo. There is never a dull moment with them.

What is your favorite thing to splurge on?

Perfume, especially Coco by Chanel. I wore it for the first time four years ago – it was given to me by my current boyfriend for my birthday. He has great taste and every time I wear it, I think of him. Hmm, I need another bottle!

When traveling, what do you never leave home without?

My passport, naturally, but I need to have a photo of my girls with me all the time and everywhere I go. I can’t leave home without that.

Where is your all-time favorite travel destination?

Barbados, because it is different to my beloved Antigua. It is a change, but there is no place like home.

Describe the perfect weekend in Antigua.

Dinner at Papa Zouk’s, followed by clubbing – any club with Bob Marley or Reggae, and sometimes Lionel Richie. He was in Antigua and I was so close to meeting him. Next time…

What makes someone a local in Antigua?

They must enjoy the food such as pepperpot (vegetable stew with salted meat) and fungi (like polenta), or salt fish and chopped spinach. They must know and love to play the wonderful game of Warri. You have to experience the whole culture, from the roadside stops for the coldest Wadadli beer to going to church on Sundays (any one of our many).

Tell us about your favorite restaurant in Antigua.

My favorite is Papa Zouk, a local seafood restaurant and rum bar. Delicious pan-fried local fresh snapper is the dish to order and I drown it in our local Susie’s hot sauce, but not everyone can handle that pepper. Sometimes I might have lobster but the snapper is a must have, as well as the rum. 

What is the perfect souvenir from Antigua?

Handmade necklaces from seashells and sea glass, and of course an Antiguan connection. Real friendships are easy to make here!

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