Dawn breaks over the Royal Naval Dockyard. The only sounds are the gentle laps of waves against the shore and the twittering of birds in the early morning light. A jogger emerges from between the old stone buildings, enjoying a solitary run. A merchant arrives to open up her shop, and a chef throws open the doors of his restaurant. The rich aroma of coffee and fresh pastries fills the air. This peaceful scene at the westernmost tip of Bermuda would have been unthinkable 200 years ago when slave labourers and convicts, overseen by Royal Engineers, began work on a military facility aimed at protecting British naval and Colonial interests. Wellbuilt wharves, barracks and an enormous keep to store ammunition served the Crown well until the installation was phased out in 1951. Dockyard’s buildings and land were returned to the Bermuda government, and for three decades they remained an all-but-forgotten historical curiosity in the quiet West End. That was then. This is now! Today Dockyard bustles with activity of a different kind as locals and visitors alike enjoy its shops, galleries, beach, watersports and a variety of restaurants and pubs. The Commissioner’s House, designed in 1822 by Edward Holl, chief architect of the Royal Navy, is of special interest to anyone intrigued by architecture. Cast iron, rather than wood, was used for much of the construction. The castings were made in England following Holl’s detailed instructions and sent to Bermuda by ship. After decades of decay, the Commissioner’s House underwent massive restoration and today is the site of informative exhibits about Bermuda. Development of Dockyard has been guided by WEDCO, the West End Development Corporation, with a variety of events and amenities for adults and families in mind. WEDCO’s goal, says Joanna Cranfield, assistant business development manager, is to continue developing in Dockyard “a worldclass destination built proudly on the past but looking firmly to the future.” Testament to WEDCO’s success, the challenge for most visitors is choosing what to do first. (234-1709, www.thewestend.bm) Retail Therapy Morning is a great time to shop. The search for a little something to bring home as a souvenir or the perfect gift for a loved one is a great excuse for popping into Dockyard’s shops and galleries. Since 1984, the Bermuda Arts Centre, on Maritime Lane around the far end of Dockyard, has prided itself on fostering appreciation and understanding of the arts. “Our Astwood Room provides an ongoing display of paintings, sculpture and pottery,” says Jo Stanton, director of the Management Committee of the Bermuda Arts Centre. “The Print Gallery carries an extensive range of prints by local artists, along with notecards, books, calendars and jewellery. ” The Bermuda Arts Centre, voted Best of Bermuda’s Best Art Gallery 2006, is one of the island’s premium galleries. It features both traditional and contemporary art. On location are four working studios where you can meet the artists and see them at work, including an oil painter, a cedar-wood sculptor, a jeweller, and textile and ceramic artists. No one need leave empty handed. The centre is open daily 10 a.m.–5 p. m. (234-2809, www.artbermuda.bm) Bermuda Clayworks is a full-time production pottery open yearround, and is one of the primary cultural attractions in Dockyard, with on-site working studios. It has evolved into a collective gallery for ceramics, incorporating the work of several artists offering a broad range of styles. Bermuda Clayworks Designs offers functional tableware in vivid contemporary and traditional designs, as well as the popular customised house plaques seen island-wide. Jon Faulkner creates unique, salt-glazed, studio ware fired utilising recycled vegetable oil. The range of ceramics also includes jewellery, sculptural vases and wall hangings. (234-5116, www.clayworks.com) After leaving the arts complex, stroll along picturesque Maritime Lane towards the main entrance of the Cooperage Building, where dockyard coopers made barrels for shipboard storage of salted beef and fresh water. Here you will find the Bermuda Craft Market. The Department of Tourism and the Chamber of Commerce established this craft market in 1987. It is the largest, most extensive such outlet in the islands, featuring the works of 60 Bermudians. Every day you will find artists here who are happy to explain their crafts as you watch them work, and many will produce customised crafts as unique gifts. Candles, Bermuda cedar work, ceramics, jewellery, fabric art, painted glassware, three-dimensional decoupage, Canvas, Christmas ornaments and quilts are just some of the items available. The co-operative opens Monday to Saturday 10 a.m.–6 p.m, and 11 a.m.–5 p.m. on Sundays and public holidays. Hours are extended when the cruise ships are in port. (234-3208, www.experiencebermuda.com/dockyard) Your tour of Dockyard is just heating up. Temperatures really rise as you approach Dockyard Glassworks. “Artists and in-training apprentices blow, form, pull, pinch, cut, shape and fuse colours into silky molten material,” explains Wendy Sherwood Avery. At this spacious studio, artists tempt your senses with their glass creations. Visitors can relax in an armchair theatre and watch for hours as master Tony Johns and other talented craftspeople transform the red-hot molten glass. Purchase Bermuda glass collectibles such as the whistling tree frog, honeymoon hogs, and multicoloured fish and birds. The colours — the pinks and golds of an island sunrise, the aqua of the sea, the greens and yellows of local flowers — will bring back memories of Bermuda long after visitors have returned home. The glassworks opens daily 8 a.m.–6 p.m., until 9 p.m. when ships are docked. (234-4216, www.dockglass.com) Dockyard Pharmacy opened its doors in 2009 as a division of Phoenix Drug Stores. The pharmacy stocks a wide selection of European and American prescription and over-the-counter medicines, as well as vitamins. It carries an assortment of local and international newspapers and magazines, health and beauty supplies, snacks and beverages, postcards, greeting cards, souvenirs, beach gear and suncare products. Open Monday to Sunday 8 a.m.–6 p.m. (279-5410, www.phoenixstores.bm) With the sun high overhead, thoughts turn to a swim and other watersports. Everything a visitor needs for “fun in, on or under the water” is available at Makin’ Waves, says co-owner Stuart Joblin. While still at university, Joblin and business partner Douglas Patterson started the company by sewing more than 1,000 pairs of cotton “Bermuda baggies.” Upon graduating, the two opened their shop, Bermuda’s headquarters for active sportswear for over 20 years, featuring surf brands such as Quiksilver, Roxy, Fox, Hurley, O’Neill and Billabong, sunglasses from Oakley and Maui Jim, and dive and snorkelling equipment by Sherwood, Mares, Dacor, Atomic Aquatics and U.S. Divers. With two locations — Front Street in Hamilton and in the historic Royal Naval Dockyard — Makin’ Waves has been supplying residents and visitors alike with the very best in active sportswear for island fun in, on or under the water. (234- 5319, www.makinwaves.bm) Time for a Break The traditional Bermuda rum cake may have its culinary roots in the British Navy of old. In the 1700s, sailors often ate hardtack, a dry biscuit flavoured with vanilla and lemon. By law, the sailors were allowed a daily tot of dark rum to accompany their meal. Today the same rum and flavourings are incorporated into rum cakes. Follow your nose to the Bermuda Rum Cake Bakery! Enjoy a taste of the islands with traditional rum cakes baked in the Cakery, a microbakery custom-designed for this island indulgence. Rum cakes here are made exclusively with Bermuda’s signature Gosling’s Black Seal rum. Back home, indulge yourself with a mouth-watering duty-free cake. Flavours include traditional black rum, rum and ginger, rum swizzle, banana rum, coffee, coconut rum, and rich darkchocolate rum, but the traditional taste remains the most popular, says Wendy Avery, who develops all the flavours. The traditional rum cake evokes the easygoing island lifestyle here. Open daily 8 a.m.–6 p. m., and until 9 p.m. when ships are in port. (234-4216, www. Bermudarumcakes.com) Take to the Water For many visitors, swimming with dolphins — or at least visiting with them dockside — is the highlight of their Bermudian stay. Dolphin Quest, located at the National Museum of Bermuda, is a place where you can let loose, laugh and have loads of fun swimming with the dolphins. Feel the thrill of a lifetime as you touch, swim with and even kiss a dolphin! Programmes are available for adults, children, families and groups. “Dolphin Quest was started in order to promote a spirit of connection to the marvels of the ocean,” explains Jason Price, director of sales and marketing. “It is a place where people and dolphins can share the wonder of a close personal interaction.” Dolphin Quest is open daily from 9:30 a. m.–4:30 p.m. Reserve your encounter in advance. (234-4464, www.dolphinquest.org) Splash into fun with Fantasea, Bermuda’s No. 1 provider of recreational tours, diving, watersports and yacht charters. Whether looking for a leisurely experience or a true island adventure, Fantasea has the activity for you. Experience the luxury of a private yacht charter, explore the depths of the Bermuda Triangle on a diving or snorkelling trip, or enjoy one of the many scenic eco-tours by land or sea. Visit the dive and watersports centre at Pier 41 Marina in Dockyard, or on the Web. With over 20 years of experience, the largest selection of top-of-the-line equipment, and the friendliest staff around, Fantasea has the resources to make your Bermuda vacation truly memorable. (236- 1300, www.fantasea.bm) Helmet diving — a personalised tour with the friendly fish while strolling under the sea and breathing normally — takes place nearby at Hartley’s Under Sea Adventures, which gladly picks up guests in Royal Naval Dockyard. (234-3535, www.hartleybermuda.com) Get ready to have the time of your life with K.S. Watersports (Jet Ski & Parasailing Adventures), Bermuda’s No. 1 watersports company for fun and excitement, offering Jet Ski rentals and parasailing out of Royal Naval Dockyard and St. George’s. Experience an adventure of a lifetime on one of the ultimate Jet Ski tours, where you splash and dash through Bermuda’s aqua-blue waters, passing many reefs, shipwrecks, forts and beautiful landmarks located around the eastern and western ends of the islands. Regular tours are 75 minutes long and perfect for families and solo riders who seek fun and excitement in their vacations. All ages are welcome, but you must be 16 or older to operate a Jet Ski. Instructions are provided for beginners. Fancy something a little more daring and exciting? Then experience the high-flying thrill, panoramic views and pure excitement of parasailing in Bermuda, the best way to see the islands and all the beauty they have to offer. Soar over crystal-clear waters onboard the Thrill Seeker. The powerful winch boat allows you to take off and land without getting wet, unless of course, you request a dip. The professional crew assures you a safe and memorable experience. All ages are welcome, and no experience is required. (238-4155, www.kswatersports.com) Dockyard’s Snorkel Park Beach may be the most fun beach in Bermuda because all of the exciting watersports and activities you want are in one fantastic beachfront location. Rent a Jet Ski for a guided island tour. Kayak or snorkel with a digital camera mask over stunning coral reefs just feet from the Sheltered beach. Relax and enjoy spectacular views, sunsets, great food and refreshing drinks at Hammerheads Bar & Grill or CLUB SPB nightclub. Day into night, it all happens at Snorkel Park Beach (234-6989, watersports 234-2100, www.snorkelparkbeach.com). Join their Facebook group and fan page! EvEning at DockyarD As dusk falls over Dockyard, the dining and nightlife amp up. Dockyard’s newest dining experience is at Bone Fish Bar & Grill. With an exquisite view of Bermuda’s breezy Great Sound, an award-winning chef at the helm, plenty of fresh fish, and top-grade meats, how can you go wrong? Bone Fish Bar & Grill offers locals and tourists alike a reasonably priced menu with seafood, homemade pasta, great wines from around the world and desserts to die for. Dine in the main restaurant or alfresco on the sun-drenched deck. All are welcome at the newest happening place to eat in Dockyard. (234-5151, www.bonefish.bm) An Italian family-style restaurant in the heart of Dockyard, Café Amici brings friends and family together to enjoy the spirit of Italian culture and cuisine, enjoying laughter and exceptional food. Executive Chef and Owner Livio Ferigo has created a menu with many of dishes that he enjoyed while growing up in Italy. The café offers a friendly, intimate atmosphere, with casual attire and uncomplicated, affordable Italian fare, as well as a traditional Bermuda codfish-andpotato breakfast every Sunday from 9 a.m.– noon. Located at the corner of Clocktower Mall, the staff of Café Amici looks forward to serving you a flavourful, relaxing meal, open seven days a week, serving breakfast 9–11 a.m., lunch to 4 p.m. and dinner 6–9 p. m. Buon appetito! (234-5009) At Destination Dockyard in Royal Naval Dockyard (held on Monday nights from May 31 until August 2, from 8 to 10:30 p.m.), the celebrations include crafts, entertainment and food, plus the Clocktower Mall and surrounding shops, restaurants and pubs stay open late. Dressed in costumes adorned with feathers and ribbons, Bermuda’s Gombey dancers perform routines that incorporate traditions from Bermuda’s diverse heritage. Night owls enjoy entertainment that sometimes includes a party at Snorkel Park Beach. The casual Freeport Seafood Restaurant, Bar and Sushi Bar serves up fresh local fish and other family favourites. Surf the Web or e-mail your friends at one of four computer terminals in the cyber café. Just inside the Royal Naval Dockyard gate, Freeport caters to all appetites and budgets. (234-1692, www.freeportseafood.com) Step back in time and drink up the historic atmosphere in the English pub-style Frog & Onion. At this unique pub in Royal Naval Dockyard, you can enjoy casual meals or elegant dinners. Children love the large game room. Join the Frog & Onion for one of the fine brews from its on-premises microbrewery, Dockyard Brewing Company. The Pub’s unusual name is a legacy of its founders, a Bermudian (“Onion” is a friendly nickname for a Bermuda citizen) and a Frenchman (“The Frog”), explains “Onion” owner Carol West. (234-2900, www.frogandonion.bm) Hammerheads Bar & Grill at Snorkel Park Beach is the place to relax and unwind island style. Enjoy delicious food, snacks, and the most refreshing frozen cocktails and swizzles at the huge terrace bar while you take in spectacular beach and ocean views. When the sun goes down, the nightlife heats up at the open-air, top-40 CLUB SPB nightclub. (234-3100) Once upon a time, the icon of Royal Naval Dockyard was the old storehouse, with its twin 100-foot towers — one for a clock, one for a tidal indicator — and its walls 3 feet thick. Clocktower Mall still serves as an icon of the old fort and as a storehouse of sorts, although updated a couple centuries and filled with arts and crafts, Bermuda tea towels and bun warmers, cedar oils, coconut cakes, Cuban cigars, dolls and puzzles, fragrances at duty-free prices, hand-painted wood carvings of tropical fish, ice cream and frozen yogurt, island teas and spices, ladies’ fashions, pink Bermuda cottages, sachets, shoes, sterling silver, snorkel gear, T-shirts, wind chimes, and such. Modern Clocktower Mall reopened in 1990 with 10 shops. Today, with more than 24 shops, it brims with major department stores and interesting boutiques. The mall opens seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from April 1 to Dec. 31 (until 9 p.m. on Monday evenings during Destination Dockyard), and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Jan. 1 to March 31. Gift Stores, boutiques and more In the Clocktower Mall at Dockyard is a branch store of A.S. Cooper & Sons Ltd., which features a selection of merchandise from the A.S. Cooper family of fine stores in Hamilton. Discover ladies’ fashions and accessories, gifts and souvenirs, as well as fragrances at duty-free prices. (234-4156, www.ascooper.bm) The Bermuda Triangle shop is full of treasures and is the most eclectic shop in the mall, packed with interesting items. Most of the products are Bermuda-inspired and unique designs, so they are not to be found outside of the island. Merchandise includes island summer clothing; a large selection of costume jewellery, many pieces made with shells; hand-painted wood carvings like boxes, tropical fish, doorstops and magnets, many with the signature pink Bermuda cottage design; candles; wind chimes; sterling silver; Bermuda Christmas ornaments; plus T-shirts for the whole family. There are gifts for any price range. Step inside and get lost! (234-0837) Caesar’s Health Store offers a wide selection of souvenirs and T-shirts, including many must-haves for family and friends back home, all at reasonable prices. Don’t leave without some of their island teas, spices and sauces. Take home a Bermuda windbreaker, great for breezy days. Caesar stocks a range of health, beauty and toiletry supplies for personal care, as well as non-prescription Medications and other essentials like suntan lotion, snorkel gear and beach equipment. Of course you can find drinks, snacks, locally made cookies and coconut cakes, and English chocolate bars. They look forward to welcoming you. (234-3728) Crisson Jewellers embodies Bermuda’s finest and most cherished traditions. A family business since 1922, the Crisson name is synonymous with quality and value. In Dockyard’s Clocktower Mall, you find a Crisson store offering boutique shopping with a distinctly old-world flavour. The atmosphere is relaxed and intimate, yet you find the same eclectic collections, values and prices as in Hamilton. (295-2351, www.crisson.com) Daisy & Mac is where it’s at! Your No. 1 shop for great kid’s stuff, including dolls, dollhouses, stuffed animals, puzzles, Playmobil products, trains, books, arts and crafts, educational toys, and the latest in children’s fashion and care items. Check out the wide selection of European specialty toys and items from around the world. “Our goal is to wow the most discerning customers the minute they walk through the door,” says owner Dawn Zuill. “We are the biggest little store in town!” (234-7477, www. Daisyandmac.com) Dockyard Linen and Gifts is the place to shop when you are looking for elegant — but not too expensive — gifts to remind you of Bermuda. Its fine collection of Bermuda tea towels, bun warmers, tablecloths and place mats, as well as novelties and accessories, makes excellent gifts for any special occasion. (234-0341, email@example.com) Duchess Boutique, located in the Clocktower Mall at Dockyard, is where you can find the latest women’s trends — clothing for all ages: shoes, accessories and handbags. In addition, you can find lingerie, a fine line of shimmering makeup and Crave by Duchess body oils and lotions, which are made locally. All can be great as gift ideas. (234-3824, firstname.lastname@example.org) The Fair Trade Bermuda Shop, where “trade is aid,” is the place to find exotic, one-of-a-kind items from Bermuda and Around the world, including arts and crafts, instruments, Asian eccentricities, clothes and household furniture. Enjoy this old-style shopping experience in the Clocktower Mall store, where owners Boyd and Muna Vallis work to serve you. As they say, “We are in sales, not storage, so everything is priced to sell.” There is something for everyone in this most interesting of shops. (232-7781, email@example.com) The Littlest Drawbridge Gift Shop is packed with unique hand-made gifts from Bermuda featuring the aromatic Bermuda cedar treasures, including boxes, pens, goblets, vases and bowls, as well as sachets, cedar essential oils and incense cones. In addition, you will find authentic Bermuda bags with cedar handles, jewellery, Cuban cigars and Royal Naval Dockyard souvenirs. (234-6214, www.littlestdrawbridge. free.bm) No visit to the Royal Naval Dockyard area is complete without a visit to the Nannini Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream Parlour in Clocktower Mall. Featuring only Häagen- Dazs ice cream, sorbets and frozen yogurt. Treat yourself to one of the 16 flavours in a cone, sundae or milk shake. It can even be packed for you to take home. Nannini also offers a variety of indulgences from Italy. So give yourself a treat and visit the Nannini Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream Parlour.
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