Roast Pheasant

One of the few good things about the colder months in England is that it is game season. There are few things DonQui likes more to eat than game.

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A trip into Southwold to the excellent Mills Brothers’ (and sisters) butchery reveals that they have some rather lovely looking locally shot hen pheasants all trussed up and ready for the over. Pausing only to decry the ridiculous new business tax hikes that threaten high street shops within giving the likes of Amazon a discount, DonQui hands over his cash and takes a pheasant home with him.

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Previously DonQui has cooked his pheasants in a clay pot (Römertopf). This is because without any fat, pheasant can dry out and toughen up when roasted conventionally. Since this particular bird has been barded with bacon by the nice Mills boys, DonQui decides to try simply roasting it openly in the oven.

This is how he does it:


Taking the pheasant out of the fridge an hour before to bring it up to room temperature, he browns it on all sides in a pan in which he has melted a little butter together with rapeseed oil.

Then he pops it in the oven which has been pre-heated to 180º C and lets it roast for 30 minutes, checking in at the half way point. Meanwhile he prepares the sauce which is a variation of his rich meat sauce with the addition of a few crushed juniper berries.

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Then he takes the cooked bird out of the oven and lets it rest for at least 10 minutes. Pouring off the excess oil from the roasting pan he deglazes it with red wine, scraping up the brown bits on top of the stove on a low heat and then adds this to the sauce pot.


DonQui serves it with wild rice cooked in chicken stock along with green beens, peas and a little redcurrant jelly on the side. A French Burgundy or other pinot noir wine is the perfect accompaniment.

A Leisurely Lunch

As a last treat before leaving St Lucia, DonQui has a long leisurely lunch at the Dasheene Restaurant which is part of the  Ladera resort just a short trot down the road from Fond Doux where he is staying.


All the locals raved about it and they were right. The setting is idyllic. The view overlooking Sugar Beach is surely unbeatable.

Few things please DonQui more than lingering over an alfresco meal in hot weather with a good bottle of rosé and excellent food.


The food is great with lots of tasty fish dishes on the menu which are perfect for a hot afternoon.


DonQui reckons there is always room for desert but he is glad that he chose a relatively light main course to enjoy it properly.


He hopes that one day he will return again.

Relaxing at a Cocoa Plantation

After the indulgent luxury of Sugar Beach, DonQui decides something a bit more rustic, authentically Caribbean and affordable is in order.


So it is that he finds himself up in the rainforest above Sugar Beach at the wonderful Fond Doux (Sweet Valley).

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Fond Doux is a working organic cocoa plantation owned and run by local St Lucians. Nestled on the hillside, tucked in amongst the lush vegetation are 15 colonial style holiday cottages.


There is no TV, no air conditioning but there is wifi. The comfortable welcoming cottages are well designed to be airy and cool even when it is hot outside.


DonQui is quite happy to make friends with the resident gecko who shares the cottage. He is glad that it is a lizard not a spider keeping the insect population down as DonQui has issues with spiders.


The spacious verandah is a perfect places to sit out and let the day slip slowly by. DonQui’s even has its own plunge pool.

At night the insect noise from the forest is so intense that DonQui uses ear plugs when he tucks himself into bed beneath the mosquito net. At around 05:30 the insects take cover as the birds begin to wake up and salute the rising sun with a deafening dawn chorus.


It is a perfect place to laze about, take the odd walk or two through the lush vegetation or lie by the pool with its soothing artificial waterfalls.

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The Bamboo Restaurant on site may not offer fine dining but it is it pretty good with St Lucian staples such as goat curry, jerk chicken, roti, and locally caught king fish and mahi-mahi on the menu.

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Goat curry with rice, plantain, and a bit of jerk chicken which DonQui stole from Duchess’ plate. DonQui washed it down with a couple of chilled glasses of the local Piton beer while Duchess experimented with various coconut and chocolate cocktails.

DonQui highly recommends Fond Doux if you want a few days to chill out and relax. He also highly recommends booking a massage. It is probably not the place to go if you are looking for action-packed days or a beach holiday. There is a daily shuttle which goes to sugar beach but DonQui did not bother taking it as he much preferred to simply laze about on the plantation.

The staff are super friendly and helpful, The owners Lyton and Eroline are often around and are more than happy to chat with guests. On Thursday nights they host a cocktail party for guests, staff and local dignitaries.

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The ebullient Lyton Lamontagne holds court at his weekly cocktail party