Devon House in St. Andrew, Jamaica makes the best ice-cream I’ve ever had in my life. International critics agree too, ranking the Devon House I-Scream parlour as serving one of the world’s top 10 best ice-creams. I recently relocated to a next corner of this beautiful island so Devon House is no longer as accessible for me, but I do crave a delicious ice-cream scoop set against the lovely antique theme of red brick and cobblestones ever so often. That being said, there’s so much more to Devon House than ice-cream and being home to Jamaica’s first coloured millionaire. Devon House has evolved into an exciting village with gourmet à la carte restaurants, a relaxing day spa, quaint souvenir shops, a first-rate bakery, clothing stores and interesting delicatessens which slip below the radar when we brand Devon House solely as a mansion and award-winning ice cream parlour. Thus, this week I decided to share 10 other ways to enjoy this beautiful property.
1) Check out the artisan village.
There are several tiny white wooden shops by the entrance of Devon House which slip below the radar of many patrons. Collectively known as the artisan village, you can find just about anything here ranging from soups and hotdogs at Bad Dawg Sausages whose unique toppings bring the humble dog to life, trendy dresses and shirts at Gimi Cool Cottons, chic jewelry at Rosie’s Bead Shoppe and delicious flavoured popcorn at Fruit Pops Popcorn. Its latest entrant is The Commissary, which replaces the raw food delicatessen Wright Life Eatery. The Commissary offers a delicious medley of luxurious treats you didn’t know your pantry and palate needed such as smoked marlin dips, crab dips, guacamole, yoghurt parfaits, boozy popsicles, and a sinfully delicious chocolate mousse and tiramisu. I don’t see this brand leaving Devon House any time soon, unless of course they choose to upgrade to a larger spot to contain the deliciousness.
2) Wash off your heart at Coco Raw.
Coconuts are fruits of the coconut palm tree, a popular tree grown in the tropics, and from which water, milk, oil and a tasty meat or jelly are obtained. The coconut is well-known to the Caribbean diet for its flavour and potential health benefits, and at Coco Raw, coconut features in every single smoothie, shaved ice and juice from the menu. What a lovely way to beat the Kingston heat! Their smoothies go great with patties from spot #3.
3) Bite into a curry goat patty (& other yummy pastries) at the Devon House Bakery.
Jamaica’s most popular street food is the Jamaican patty– a savoury flaky pastry filled with beef, soy, fish, curry chicken, goat or lobster. There’s happiness in every bite, and the bakery which offers the most gourmet delectable version is the Devon House Bakery! It’s almost too beautiful to eat. My only regret after eating a Devon House patty is that it finished too quickly– honestly. It’s pricier than the average patty but worth the treat. Patties aside, this bakery also sells cookies, tarts, pones (what we call pudding in Jamaica) and cakes– and there’s now a sister store called Devon House Too next door selling more European-style treats such as macaroons, parfaits, mousses and so much more. This store is a can’t-miss once you stop by Devon House. Check out their top 10 must-haves on their Instagram page.
4) Push your foot into new sandals from D’Nex Step.
At kiosk #24 you can find comfortable locally made sandals by D’Next Step. This store specializes in hand-crafted leather sandals which are as stylish as they are durable. It’s about time I invest in a pair myself.
5) Have a coffee break at Island Coffees Cafe.
With the smorgasbord of local coffee shops in Jamaica, there’s really no need for foreign chains. Island Coffees Cafe is a cozy spot which serves up lovely blends like cappuccinos, frappucinos, pumpkin spice lattes and more signature drinks like Bailey’s Iced Latte and Devon Trouble. Add this cafe to your list of stops for coffee breaks and productivity in the corporate area. If coffee isn’t your thing, their selection of loose leaf teas is a great alternative.
6) Enjoy fine dining at their numerous restaurants.
Grog Shoppe at the Devon is an excuse to dress up in the corporate area, featuring an extensive à la carte menu with local and international cuisine. Table service is available both indoor and al fresco. If classy dining isn’t what you’re in the mood for, visit their sister establishments of La Pizzeria or the Mahogany Tree Bar for an equally riveting culinary experience. Also, the Steak House and newcomer Pimentos are trendy spots for the lunch hour rush.
7) Indulge the senses at Starfish Oils.
Aromatherapy lovers rejoice. Starfish Oils specializes in locally-made candles, all-natural soaps, oils, bath salts and scrubs to delight the senses. In this stressful day and age, we can use all the relaxing we can get so be sure to check out this store and pick up something which will give you lasting happiness long after the ice cream cone is finished, like a peppermint or lavender oil-infused candle. If you’re not located in Jamaica, however, you can purchase products from their online store.
8) Spice up your outfit at Reve Jewellery.
It’s amazing how much the right accessory can make even the blandest of outfits pop yet I still don’t take my own advice. Yikes! My wardrobe is desperately in need of some accessories, and hopefully 2020 is the year I rectify that rather trivial matter. Anyway, Reve Jewellery at the Devon is another option for your local jewelry needs, featuring bold vibrant colours alongside subtler earth-toned pieces. Be sure to check out their store or catch their pieces at local pop-ups and exhibitions around the island.
9) Get Loose Leaf Tea at the Lemongrass Café & Tea Shop.
This quaint tea shop stocks a variety of quality loose leaf tea blends lined up in neatly labelled jars. They also carry unique teapots and other tea paraphernalia to help you enjoy a simple afternoon brew or the finest high tea. Be sure to check out their store for a hot or iced brew.
10) Pick up a souvenir at Art Connect Ja.
The perfect way to remember your trip to Jamaica or to take a piece of home with you overseas is with craft made by local artisans rather than that mass-produced foreign-made stuff which some other Jamaican craft stores sell. When you support local talent, you provide jobs for our people and help develop the local creative industry. What could be better than that?
I hope you’ve appreciated this city oasis even more.
10.5) Read next: Touring the Devon House Mansion– what to expect. Inside the mansion is very beautiful and well-preserved, and the tour is pretty informative so feel free to add this to the list of things to do at Devon House. NB- The tour comes with a treat of your choice e.g. an ice-cream (single scoop, which by the way is pretty large as pictured above) or a patty.
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