Different events to attend and spots to hang out while on a trip to the Southern Caribbean island of Trinidad
by Jodeci527 on January 9, 2013
D' Avenue is the nickname given by the locals to what can be found on the map as Ariapita Avenue. This avenue is akin to what Las Vegas is to California in this island nation. Here is where everyone goes to party, to hang out in laid back lounges, or even just to be seen. However, while D'Avenue may be bustling at night, it's still very much quite alive during the daylight hours. Countless restaurants have been established along the stretch of road, flanking on both sides. The opening hours vary from place to place, but restaurants that serve breakfast open their doors at around 9am, while others who cater for lunch and dinner will begin business at 11am. There is a eatery for every taste, from seafood, to Asian, with Italian and International thrown in between. Some of them are laid back with budget prices, such as Drink! Wine Bar offers patrons wine and deli sandwiches etc for an affordable price (about $7 USD). On the other hand, fine dining can be found at the majority of the more upscale establishments will charge your wallet $100 USD and upwards. Street food can be found all around the avenue: $4 for gyros and $0.75 for doubles mean that even visitors on a tight budget can happily get their munch on.The majority of the hottest nightclubs on the entire island can be found on D'Avenue, so it's no surprise that it's a huge liming spot on weekends. Nightclubs such as Coco Lounge and Frankie's are usually packed to capacity, while others will simply gather outside on the pavements to drink and socialize. Drinks are usually decently priced, with beers at $2-3, and mixed drinks from $3 USD. Several Sport Bars are also on the avenue, and their happy hours attract large crowds from anywhere around 5pm, when the working crowds find their way to places such as Stublin' Sports Bar. Most of these bars have a few pool tables for patrons to unwind and play a couple of games. Large LCD televisions would show the sport channels, and during football or cricket season, it's almost impossible to move around once you're inside!One of the main drawbacks to D'Avenue however, is the lack of proper parking facilities. Drivers are forced to circle for as much as five minutes, while looking for a free spot. The only spots which may be available after midnight might be a good seven to ten minutes walk from the action. Some places have private parking lots, which cost about $3 USD for the night. Using public transportation during the day to get to and leave D'Avenue is quite ok, but not recommended during the night. For visitors who do not have a rental car, I suggest hiring a taxi. It will be expensive (US $50) depending on the distance travelled, but the cost is worth it to ensure your safety.I love hanging out on D'Avenue. The options of things to do and places to go is so varied, that visitors are spoilt for choice. This is definitely a must for any visitor to Trinidad!
Movie Towne in Trinidad is home to a large cinema complex, featuring ten state of the art cinemas showing the very latest movies to hit the global scene. Movies are usually always released on time, and the cinemas are modern, very spacious and offer comfortable seats. There are there two Movie Towne locations on the island, one in Port of Spain and the other in the smaller municipality of Chaguanas. The cinema's lobby is expansive, with several life size characters from your favourite movies hanging about, such as Spiderman, Alvin and the Chipmunks and Harry Potter. Giant film themed decorations and sculptures are suspended in the air from the ceiling, helping to increase the excitement about the film you intend to watch.The usual cinema food and snacks are available at the counter, and ordering a combo will shave off a few dollars from your bill. M&Ms, Skittles and sour worms are some of the candies available for purchase, and hot dogs, nachos and popcorn are constantly being made so that your order is always fresh. Combos of a large popcorn and a large drink start from US$4 and up. However, even if you don't want to watch a movie, Movie Towne offers many other options for you to enjoy. Aside from the movie complex, Movie Towne has a large shopping plaza featuring several stores and fashion boutiques for all different budgets. Everything from jewelry and electronics to children's toys and books: there are relevant stores all within a short walk from each other.If you've finished watching your movie and you're in the mood to eat, most likely one of the many restaurants and bars at Movie Towne will entice you. For meat lovers, Texas De Brazil is a great choice with over 100 different meats to choose from. If your'e feeling for Asian, The Shanghai Experience is worth a visit. If you are looking for cheaper options, fast food favourites such as Burger King and Popeye's are right nearby.To end off the night, grab a night cap at one of the bars/lounges in the plaza. J.Malones Irish Pub has a great selection of beers and ales, and Zanzibar Restaurant and Bar has an extensive menu of wines and champagnes to tantalize your taste buds. I've had drinks at both establishments, and the prices weren't too bad (around USD $3 for a beer and $4 for a glass of wine).If you're looking for a relaxing night out, Movie Towne has lots of places to go. Given the close proximity of everything, you could do a lot in one night! If you're in Trinidad even on an overnight layover, this is a great spot to pass the time!
by Jodeci527 on January 8, 2013
Trinidad is home to several locally owned breweries, one of the most famous being the House of Angostura. You may have heard of Angostura Bitters, which is a widely used ingredients in cocktails all over the world. Here is where the Angostura Bitters is produced, as well as a number well loved rums.The factory is located in Laventille, just outside of the city gates of the capital, Port of Spain. During the Rum Festival held at the brewery, free sample tours of the factory were being offered, and I was curious enough to sign up. The tours were of approximately 15 minutes duration, and three were carried out per hour. We started off visiting the large steel vats where the molasses is stored. Since Trinidad's sugar industry has basically become non-existent on a wide scale, the majority of the molasses used at the factory is imported. The few local farmers who still produce sugar cane, help to supplement the large demand. The molasses is then treated and different strains of yeast are added. Each yeast strain produces a different type of rum after the fermentation process is complete. Our guide then showed us one of their warehouses, where the aging process takes place. The oak bourbon barrels which are utilized, are brought in from North America, and small modifications are made by local workers who the factory trains specifically for that purpose.The brewery is quite modern, and from what I could see, all of the equipment being used are either new or well maintained. Production is on a large scale and some of the rums which are made and exported include Angostura 1919, the highly potent Forres Park Puncheon Rum and a local favourite, White Oak Rum. As mentioned before, Angostura Bitters is manufactured here, and this product is exported to over 100 countries around the world. You can find it being used in most bars and restaurant, to make some of your favourite beverages such as the Hurricane and the Genuine Singapore Sling.The free tour of the brewery was a condensed version of the real tours which are offered by House of Angostura. Visitors to Trinidad can register for a more detailed version of my encounter for a nominal fee of $10 USD. This tour offers free samples of the rums which are produced, and lasts for a longer time period. I found the experience to be very enlightening, and I encourage anyone who is interested in the production of rum or even simply drinking it, to give it a try.
by Jodeci527 on January 7, 2013
Advertisements for the event were everywhere. They were on the radio stations, on local websites and in the newspapers, so naturally my curiosity got the better of me and I decided that I should go to the Angostura Rum Festival. This festival is held by the House of Angostura Rum, a brewery/factory located in Laventille, Trinidad, a short distance from Port of Spain.We arrived at the event quite early, so the large crowds hadn't arrived as yet. We took advantage and signed up for one of the tours that they offered for the guests. The tour we chose was of the brewery where the rum was manufactured, and it was quite informative. Aside from the tour, there was a lot to learn about at the festival. A bartender showed the guests how to create a few cocktails and other drinks, using the Angostura Bitters. We were able to taste a few of the cocktails, and they were absolutely wonderful! Other events were taking place, such as a cooking demonstration.The price of admission for the festival was $50 TT, or approximately $9 USD. This provided you with 4 chits for drinks from any of the many bars and booths which were set up inside of the grounds. Some booths housed a bar which served drinks made with one of the rums manufactured by the House of Angostura. I cashed in my chits at these booths at various points during my visit and two of the drinks I received particularly made a large impression.At the 'Rumcocktails' booth, I chose an iced cocktail with two fruit flavours, strawberry and pineapple. It had just the right amount of sugar and alcohol to pack a punch, and the fruity flavours were quite distinctive. The second drink consisted of LLB (a Lemon, Lime and Bitters drink, manufactured by House of Angostura) and Angostura 1919 rum, and the combination was fantastic. There was a live band at the event playing some of the best soca songs for the year 2012. People were dancing, drinking and having a great time all together. A few food items were available, to give persons something to munch on while they consumed the alcoholc beverages. Trinidad Doubles and Corn Soup were the main meals, and ice cream was also being served. The cost of these were included in the admission fee. This festival takes place every year in the month of in September, and the event is always well attended. Tasty beverages, good local food and Trini Soca makes a sweet combo, and I hope to experience it again in the not too distant future!
by Jodeci527 on January 1, 2013
Coco Lounge is one of the swankier clubs on the party street in Trinidad, known as D' Avenue. This street is filled with clubs and bars on either side, and this is where everyone comes to get their groove on. Although I've tried out several of the clubbing venues in the vicinity, my favourite hang out spot is definitely Coco Lounge.From the outside, the club resembles a quaint yet elegant wooden house, with a white lattice front porch. Small coconut trees are placed in wooden pots along the wall of the building, as well as all over the front lawn, representing to 'Coco' in the club's name. The overall décor is charming and very pleasing to the eye.The Coco Lounge may be a bit on the small side, but that fact doesn't serve as a deterrent. It practically guarantees that the club will be packed on any given weekend, and one can expect to have a great night out. I'd say approximately 150 people can comfortably hang out in the Coco Lounge at the same time. Price of Admission varies, depending on the event of the night. There's University Wednesdays, Addictive Fridays and Chameleon Saturdays with the door charge being anything from $7 to $10 USD. For all-inclusive events which take place ever so often, expect to pay $20 USD. The Coco Lounge may cost a few dollars more than other clubs, but there is always security guards at the door who try to keep the perimiter safe. Looking about your safety while in Trinidad is always a good decision.The clubbing experience at the Coco Lounge is really good. The dancefloor is air conditioned, and special effects such as a smoke machine and laser lights tend to really bring out the party atmosphere. The Djs that play at the club are talented and a wide range of music is played, such as Techno, Hip Hop, Soca, Pop and Indian music. The music selection never gets boring.What is a lounge worth without knowledgeable and friendly bartenders? There are at least three on duty on a nightly basis, and service is very efficient. There is a large rum selection, and they don't scrimp on the amount of alcohol being used to make your drink. White Oak and Black Label seems to be the two most popular rums used to make drinks such as Rum Punch and Screwdrivers. Expect to pay $3 for a mixed drink and $2 for a beer. If you had a stressful week, or you're simply looking for a good place to let your hair down, the Coco Lounge is an ideal venue. It's safe, the drinks aren't expensive and the Djs know what they're doing. I definitely recommend!
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