By Nadia Hall
“Local is Lecka!’ Chef Tom Laberer exclaims in his native Afrikaans. “Lecka,” for the unfamiliar ear, means good! The recent makeover of The Hamilton Princess’s Lobby Bar may look a far cry from its upholstered, colonial inspired, pastel-hued predecessor, but the menu, like the new name, continues to celebrate Bermuda. The clean lines and pared back aesthetic haven’t prevented them from having a lot of fun. Crown & Anchor is a simple dice gambling game played by spectators over Cup Match. There is no casino gaming in Bermuda and this friendly game of chance is popular with the locals. The cocktail menu is a play on all things cricket. “The Name of the Game” is our tipple of choice with nutty amaretto to lift the tropical flavours of Malibu, pineapple and sweet Southern Comfort.
The menu is in a state of flux, changing “every couple of weeks,” according to the chefs, as they tweak the offerings, eliminating and adding responding to the customer and the warming season’s affect on appetite and local produce. Sous Chef Takemore Mukazika, Tom’s “neighbour in Africa,” hails from Zimbabwe and has been at the hotel the longest. The newest is Kevin Pannier, a pastry chef from France. Upon arrival he unearthed a Carpigiani gelato machine “the Rolls Royce of ice cream makers” that hadn’t worked for 12 years. In 12 days he had resurrected it and churned out his first batch of home made ice creams. He’s told me to expect some unique combinations in the future: lemongrass and ginger, caramelized onion; with his artistry, the possibilities are near endless.
Some favourites remain. Late summer will see the return of the beloved Afternoon Tea, a nod to our British beginnings. The signature Fish Chowder, Maitre D Shawn Lekki tells me, “has always been the same.” One Chef, Thapa, makes this soup for the entire hotel to honour consistency, going through 100 liters a week in peak season. This consistency is paramount to their all day dining concept. Dishes and cocktails can be enjoyed on the new outdoor seating area, set in the attractively landscaped gardens, overlooking the new Marina and guests are encouraged to drift effortlessly between the three bars and eateries. Uniquely, a la carte breakfast is available until midnight with a stunning breakfast buffet in the mornings. Formerly known as The Heritage Court, this new restaurant has everything to offer. Please contact concierge for reservations. 441-295-3000
Breakfast: 7:00am – 11:00am
Lunch: 11:00am – 5:00pm
Dinner: 5:00pm – 12:00am