A world in which Rihanna is able to dance wildly through the streets of Bridgetown feels a long way away at the moment, but there’s some comfort in the fact that, in the not too distant future, the original Bad Gal will be back in Barbados in full Crop Over regalia. Despite leaving the Caribbean nation at just 16 years old to launch her music career, RiRi has remained devoted to the paradisiacal island through the years, returning as often as her gruelling schedule allows. Here are some of her favourite spots to visit when she does go home.
Sandy Lane Hotel
There’s no shortage of five-star resorts in Barbados, but Rihanna is a diehard fan of this particular Bajan institution, built on the site of a former sugar plantation on the west coast of the island, and its private beach. Do as RiRi does and head up to L’Acajou for dinner at sunset, where the ocean is visible through a beautiful grove of mahogany trees.
For a romantic dinner, RiRi recommends Daphne’s, which serves Italian classics updated with local ingredients—see their linguine with Caribbean lobster and gnocchi made from breadfruit.
Rihanna has a weak spot for Chefette, the island’s main fast-food chain—best known for its spicy, delicious roti.
View this post on Instagram
a day my people and I will never forget! all the lessons, running around barefoot, nosey neighbors, braiding hair on the step, playing in the cemetery, walking to the beach, rum shop karaoke keeping the whole street awake til 4am ("only the lonely" by Roy Orbison is playing in my head as I type this) , stealing Sammy pomegranates from his tree, begging my mother to let me walk to Jan's shop cause she had American snacks, selling plastic/glass bottles to Peter so I could buy those American snacks, getting my hair hot combed for Harvest at church, doing my homework on my front step while Miss Hyacinth yells "ya gon get belly hurt from dat cold step" across from her veranda, watching iFE walk past with her dreads dragging on the floor like a couture gown, all the times I thought Melissa came to hang out with me, turns out she was dating my next door neighbor all along, rushing to do dishes when my mother's high heels start hitting the pavement as she gets off the bus from work……right here on this street! WESTBURY is more than a community, we're family!!! Thank you for all that you've poured into my life and the woman I am! It takes a village, and I'm glad my village was you!!!! To God be the Glory!!!! #RiRiDrive
Saint Lawrence Gap—known to locals simply as The Gap—boasts the island’s hottest nightlife. Wander in and out of the local rum shacks and bars, or head to reggae club Cove to dance.
Oistins Fish Fry
The town of Oistins, on the south coast of Barbados, remains the island’s key fishing port—and plates up some of the best seafood in the world. Go to Oistins Fish Fry, a Rihanna favourite and a local institution, on a Friday night for grilled swordfish and plaintain washed down with ice-cold bottles of Banks. Expect to find half the island there with you, ready to party.
This article was originally published on British Vogue.