How It All Started

I get asked ALL the time how I ended up in Nevis. Here it is in a nutshell, leaving out all the gory bits.

I have lived a rather nomadic life… Trained as a classical dancer, but far too fond of pies, from the age of 16 when I spent a summer dancing in a night club Heraklion, Crete, I was hooked on a life on the road.  The next 16 years were spent traveling around the world and living for months at a time in exotic and slightly "dodgy" locations.  Working with an Argentinian dance group in Istanbul was a highlight.  After losing that job, due to having a cracked rib, I funded my ticket out of there by selling carpets to unsuspecting American tourists in the Grand Bazaar.  This might give you a clue as to what "Bananas" actually refers to… my state of mind!

After almost 20 years as a professional dancer, some seriously great "gigs" and also some really "interesting" ones, I could no longer fit into my G string, so I continued my itinerant lifestyle by going into the hotel business.  I worked with Relais & Chateaux, Hilton International, Disney and Sun International, starting as chamber maid and quickly working my way up to management.  I soon realized I was stifled in the world of International hotel management, but also that I loved the world of hospitality!

Landing in Nevis in 1998, (en route from St Martin to Cape Town) I discovered Ozzies bar in Cotton ground, and turned this rum shop into a cute little bistro selling toasted sandwiches and using a simple blackboard menu… thanks to an old classic "dog eared" Delia Smith cookbook and a stack of old "Gourmet " and "Bon Appetite" magazines.  Unbelievably, my customers both ate and PAID for the food!  Bananas was born! I literally opened on a shoe string and begged and borrowed EVERYTHING.  I had a two ring gas stove and ran practically a one man show, with the help of a couple of really great staff. It was the most challenging thing I had ever done, (aside from topless ice skating in South Korea) but really exciting to see how I had discovered a niche for myself in Nevis.

Now of course I have a large "family" of people working here and they have been with me many years... not to say we don’t fall out now and then!  After several successful seasons at the Cliffdweller location, I took a chance and bought the land at Hamilton and finally built a permanent home for Bananas, and also a small cottage for myself and my 11 dogs! It has been a very challenging ten years, and without the help of a lot of people I would not have succeeded.  Now I am lucky to be able to leave the restaurant and the dogs in the capable hands of the staff for part of the year, and I spend the summers in Greece and Turkey where I am inspired by the Mediterranean culture, pick up inspiration for the menu and spend all my time looking after the Greek village cats!  I also got married for the first (and last) time in 2011 and my very understanding husband, Charlie, lives mainly in London. He is also lovably nuts... thank goodness!

I really believe that there is a difference between service and hospitality. At Bananas we want you to feel that our welcome is genuine and we are truly happy to be here to serve you, regardless of whether the knives and forks are in the right position.  Our food is fresh and tasty, prepared by hardworking local ladies who have learnt most of their culinary skills from a Can Can dancer!!!