Vibrant art set against subtle tones of soft blues and inviting greys combine to create the perfect ambiance while dining at The Mews restaurant.
Chris Hoad, owner and managing director of the Holetown eatery, has a vision to continually highlight the remarkable talent of the artists and creative minds which his country has produced. One way this is done is through the presentation of local artwork which tastefully adorns the walls of the restaurant. While Hoad does not consider himself to be an art aficionado, he does know that the art has to fit the atmosphere of the restaurant.
The pieces on display tell stories that warmly embrace, while humbly emphasising Barbadian culture. Hoad notes that art is such an admired feature of the restaurant that much effort goes into the rotation of the pieces.
“They change the art quite regularly so that there are fresh conversation pieces for people to look at while they are here, especially the regulars,” he explains, during a conversation an early October evening with us.
The depth and character of The Mews are by no means limited to its art selection. The building, originally constructed in 1931, is a true historical masterpiece. The walls which enclose the culinary gem, tell a story of a Barbados of decades ago. With such an interesting background, the visual representation of the restaurant is carefully crafted to ensure that it stays true to its name. In places such as London, mews houses refer to simple yet beautiful quarters which are situated close to or behind more extravagant homes. In fact, Hoad lovingly refers to the restaurant as “a charming old house.”
A quick tour will reveal the designers’ commitment to the homestyle, yet elegant feel of the space. In the same way that each part of our home reflects a different mood or purpose, so too do the dining areas of The Mews. Diners may choose from the cozy balcony which overlooks the famous Second Street or they may opt instead for the lively atmosphere of the bar which greets visitors on their arrival.
Within each room, there are variations to the furniture, mainly in the choice of dining chairs. Of this, Hoad notes, “The style of in here was always like a home … in our houses, we have different rooms. So, different styles of furniture fit better in different rooms.”
The Mews has been successfully satisfying the palettes of both visitors and locals alike for over two decades. During this time, several changes have been made as it remains a step ahead in terms of class, charm and modernity.
“We’ve gone through a bit of changes over the years,” the owner says on reflection. One such difference is that from open-air dining to a now semi-enclosed space. While dinner in the open may sound amazing to some, the restaurant’s management noted that this left too much up to chance as it relates to surrounding noise, potential odours and our Caribbean heat. The newly renovated dining areas definitely provide a relaxed and charming space to enjoy one of The Mews’ highly reviewed meals.
The creation of the perfect atmosphere is wonderfully complemented by the superb dishes which have become synonymous with the restaurant. Head chef, Anife Best, along with the management team, agreed that the menu be revamped to highlight the commitment to local businesses while also providing tasty options for those who are health-conscious amongst us. For this reason, there is the farm-to-table initiative of which the staff of The Mews is very passionate. “I believe in sustainability,” Hoad says, adding, “when our chef Anife joined our team four years ago, he had a similar vision to mine. We didn’t necessarily want to switch up the style of cuisine which The Mews is known for, which has always been a Euro-Caribbean fusion, so we said that we would look at maintaining the style but our emphasis is on as local, as organic and as farm-fresh as possible.”
So, whether it be a quiet anniversary dinner, a small reception, or just drinks at the bar, The Mews is a diner’s dream. Warm, welcoming décor, plenty of local art and, of course, fresh, wholesome cuisine make it the best culinary stop on the west coast!