Planning a trip to St Barts? Offering everything from boat rental advice to beach (and beach club) recommendations, Agnes Fischer of FISCH swimwear has your Caribbean holiday sorted.
Agnes Fischer expertly creates swimsuits that you can both swim in and wear as part of an outfit to dinner. We quizzed the founder and creative director of FISCH swimwear on where to head for either eventuality while in St Barts. While a boat or a beach house may seem like the most apt locales to don your togs, Agnes had a whole host of suggestions.
Low-key lunches, juice bar drive-bys and beach clubs worth the hype (and the bed charges), have all been accounted for. She's got info on boat rentals, must-visit beaches (and the swimwear to debut at each) as well as why a Kia rental is the best way to travel.
In truth, you'll feel so prepared for your trip to St Barts after reading this guide you could move up your departure date to tomorrow.
How would you define your brand, FISCH?
It's about colour and the sea.
Your line is created from regenerated fishing nets and ocean waste. How challenging is it to source sustainable fabrics?
It is challenging to find variation when it comes to sustainable fabrics; the colour options and textures are limited, which is good in a sense because it narrows down the design process. Right now, I only work with one type of fabric. If I want to create an entire new look, I can't just switch to a glitter fabric or a jacquard knit - I need to design a new print or a new silhouette from scratch.
Best beaches to bathe on in St Barts?
Colombier, Saline, Shell Beach and Gouverneur.
Where should we go for a low-key lunch?
Grain de Sel, which is located right next to the car park by Saline Beach. It has the best salt cod fritters and creole specialities on the island. Don't go there in a rush though - good food takes time.
Best spots for vegan food?
Tom's Juice Bar for breakfast. Hotel Villa Marie has the best coffee on the island - with some nice vegan options for brunch. So'Cuisine or Café Gloriette are my go-to lunch spots.
Great dinner spots for couples?
Maya's has a very genuine, romantic atmosphere and a beautiful view over the boats in a small bay called Public. The menu here is concise with delicious, simple dishes. Bonito is sophisticated in its design, with a great view over Gustavia - go for ceviche and cocktails. Then there's Tamarin and also Baz Bar which is low key and serves a menu of sushi and tapas-style dishes - it's a great spot for drinks when you have no set plans for the night.
One beach club not to miss…
Where's the best place to wake up?
Inside a mosquito net.
Where can we do an early morning workout?
The Colombier hike. It's a beautiful natural reserve by the beach on which can spot the iconic abandoned Rockefeller house. It's a tough workout, bring water and wear proper shoes. You haven't been to St Barts if you haven't been to Colombier.
For Sunday brunch book a table at…
Shellona or Cheval Blanc, but if you like loud music and people dancing on tables then go to Nikki.
Great day trips include...
The island is so small, it takes just 30 minutes to drive around the entire thing. A visit to the natural pools in Petit Cul de Sac or by Grand Fond is a nice way to spend an afternoon. Alternatively, rent a boat or take a jet ski around the island - it's an incredible experience.
One place only locals know about is…
The fish market in Gustavia, which is only open early in the morning. It's where the restaurants and locals go to get their fish of the day, all sustainably caught in local waters. If you're renting a house and like to cook, then this is a must visit.
For a nostalgic afternoon, head to…
The lighthouse in Gustavia right before sunset.
Must-visit shops in St Bart's include…
A book to read before we go (or while we're there)?
The White Album by Joan Didion. A beautiful - and slightly political - assembly of short essays that you can finish in between your island activities.
What one souvenir should we take home?
A t-shirt from Le Select. It's the oldest most iconic restaurant on the island. It serves cheap beers, cocktails and burgers - it's great.
Where should surfing enthusiasts base themselves?
Nature junkies should head to…
Book a diving session with Serial Divers in Gustavia. There are some cool spots where you can see sharks and turtles.
Any advice regarding boat rentals?
There are a few of them; MasterSki Pilou is good.
Best way to travel around the island is…
By car. Rent a small one - Kia or Daihatsu Terios - as the roads are narrow.
How should we spend the final day of our trip?
Have classic French breakfast at either Pâtisserie Carambole or La Petite Colombe bakery, then head for some morning sun at Saline or Gouverneur beaches. Pay a repeat visit to your favourite beach restaurant and spend the rest of the afternoon at Shell Beach. Go to Gustavia to buy your souvenirs and finish with a burger at Le Select or pizza at L'Isoletta.
And finally, what's in your SUITCASE?
Swimsuits, cameras and dog food.