Dining In the TreesPosted by in Travel
When my daughter and I visited St. Martin, we spent a lot of time at the beach. Sun, sand, and sea are irresistible to us, not to mention the gigantic infinity pool we enjoyed at our resort. We ventured away from the water to shop but also to eat (two primary needs for survival). Although the best dining we had in St. Martin was in the tiny town of Grand Case, we headed inland for a visit to the Hidden Forest Cafe, at Loterie Farm, in Pic Paradis.
Loterie Farm is a private nature preserve in the hills. This former
plantation (dating from 1721) is now an adventure zone, with zip lines, hiking trails, and obstacle courses. Getting there is a bit of an adventure as well. We carefully drove our rental car up the rocky, steep incline through what felt like a leafy uninhabited area until we came to the sharp turn down the very steep and narrow driveway to the farm . The parking lot was very full, but we managed to squeeze our way in.
We walked up several steep ramps to get up to the entrance, where you could choose from the menu of activities,
head to the Tree Lounge for cocktails, or follow a covered walkway to the Hidden Forest Cafe. The restaurant is up on tall stilts, so you really are in the trees. The view is not stupendous, but it is tropical, green, leafy and very pretty. Two walls are open, with big curtains keeping out the elements. The breeze blows through, making it very comfortable. You do feel as if you are on a special escape somewhere.
The service was typical Caribbean. It took a while for anyone to notice us. The tree house itself is quite large, but there aren’t many tables, maybe 12 all together. They seem to have a limited supply of menus (possibly only about 6) so we had to wait for some to become available, then we waited to order, waited for our food, and at the end of the meal, we followed the lead of other guests and just went to the bar to get our bill and pay, rather than sit and wait another half hour. There were also some shenanigans with a couple near us. They were originally seated at a large table for 6 but told if a big group came in, they would have to be moved – this despite the fact that there was a table for two available, but it seemed to have only one chair. They were eventually moved, and another
The atmosphere in the cafe is lovely and relaxing. You feel you are in an airy tree house, close to nature. And in fact, nature made its way into the tree house to visit us. There were several chickens who pecked their way through, looking for scraps. A dog also meandered through.
The Tree House has a long list of specialty frozen drinks, so we had to sample those. We ordered Sex in the Trees, but got the nonalcoholic version. It was essentially a
strawberry smoothie with fresh ginger and lime, which gave it a very biting, fresh kick. It was delicious.
I ordered the farmer’s salad. The best part was the big, super ripe chunks of fresh tomato (when we were there in March, it was a sight for sore eyes!) and my daughter enjoyed a mahi-mahi sandwich with mango salsa, cole slaw and fries. We loved every bite.
The bathrooms were a bit dicey – out behind the restaurant in little cubicles that were run down, dark and unpleasant.
Although we were far too chicken to try any of the activities (zip lining is on my bucket list though and some day I will get up the nerve to try it!), we enjoyed our time here and highly recommend it for a a very different dining experience in St. Martin.
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