I’ve been lucky enough to visit the Caribbean on several occasions and of the many islands that make up the West Indies, St Lucia is far and away my favourite. It’s everyone’s idea of a tropical fantasy with palm-tree lined beaches, tropical forests, waterfalls and parrots flitting in the trees. So when my producer contacted me to suggest we go there to make a film about tourism and food I was champing at the bit.
As usual in my films for This Morning, we try to bring something fresh to the places we visit. In my case I was to do a morning’s mountain biking, which is a great way to see the island, get round some quite remote parts and work off some of those cocktails…
The heart of St Lucia is very mountainous so we travelled by boat to get to some of our more remote filming locations which was a fantastic way to get around.
No such problems getting to the historic town of Soufriere with its amazing volcano and sulphurous mud-pools.
The capital Castries is also worth a visit for its massive daily market. We had a ball walking round filming the various stalls, not least the amazing fruit and veg stalls, having a laugh with the stall-holders. Sitting down at cafes to eat with the traders and locals was a world away from the Caribbean’s tourist resorts – I loved it.
One stand-out memory for me was visiting an old Colonial banana-growing plantation, now an open-air museum dedicated to preserving the old St Lucian ways of life. Here we made cassava bread. Cassava is a root, the process is fascinating and the results are delicious! – watch the film and you’ll see what I mean.
Make a beeline for Malgretout South of Soufriere for a wonderful unspoilt beach and waterfall. You won’t see it on our film but it’s a must to glimpse paradise.