Suga Enjoyed Breakfast in the Mountains for Heroes’ Weekend!

Gabrielle Burgess a.k.a Suga enjoying rhe freshwater river pool by Rafjam Bed and Breakfast in Irish Town, Jamaica

Suga’s Ratings for RafJam Bed & Breakfast’s Restaurant

Date and time of visit: Sunday, October 18, 2020 at 9:30am

No. of diners: 2

NB. Ratings fill 5 stars maximum

Parking: ★☆☆☆☆

Ambience: ★★★★

Décor: ★★★☆☆

Comfort: ★★★★★

Service: ★★★★

Speed: ★★★★☆

Food quality: ★★★★★

Serving amount: ★★★★

Plating: ★★★

Value for $: ★★★★

Suga’s Breakdown: 

After 3 years, I finally made it. Imagine it took a German friend visiting Jamaica to tell me about RafJam Bread and Breakfast. Then I was reminded about it by Jamaica’s 1st Blue Mountain Coffee Festival a bit over 2 years ago when they drafted their Culinary trail and posted signs all along the way. Look out for them!

RafJam Bread and Breakfast is nestled in Red Light District, Irish Town, also known as Backpacker District. It’s the Right turn after Craighton Estate, i.e. the 2nd Right turn after Cafe Blue. When you make that right turn leading downhill to RafJam, follow the signs and beware that the road is a bit ‘Raf’. But difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations right?! Indeed it did.

My husband, Randy and I, parked walking distance away so we wouldn’t block in anyone and arrived at the quaintest house tucked away in the Blue Mountains. We were greeted by owner, Susan, telling us immediately what was for Breakfast as if she was welcoming us home from a long trip on the road. It is indeed her home. Susan inherited her parent’s house and decided to transform the lush, tropical paradise into a magnificent Blue Mountain getaway. 

I was initially disappointed that we missed out on the Ackee & Callaloo, leaving limited choices of Salt Mackerel or Saltfish and Baked Beans, but I was prepared for simple, Jamaican cuisine. We both ordered the Salt Mackerel.

We sat outdoors with an instant reminder of how beautiful Jamaica is. We overlooked, lush, green vegetation by a river and small waterfall. Tropical Paradise. Sweet Jamaica. Jamaica Land We Love.

Randy Burgess and Gabrielle Burgess, Owners of Suga Lifestyle.

Our Breakfast arrived and it was far from simple. It was freshly cooked, homemade, farm to table goodness! Salt Mackerel with boiled food to equip you to make a small climb up to see their 15-ft waterfall, and a side of fresh watermelon.

It was cold, but we enjoyed the freshwater river pools, didn’t take the clean, fresh air for granted and had a few drinks from their Tiki Bar before we headed back downhill to make curfew.

RafJam’s Tiki Bar

Upon leaving we heard them telling a few European visitors what was for Lunch, a more expanded menu, with more Jamaican goodness. We were very tempted to stay, so will return to RafJam, hopefully one day soon. #SugaEndorsed

RafJam Bed and Breakfast

Location: 6 Springdale Cove, Hopewell Road, Red Light District, Irish Town, Kingston. JA.

Ph: 876.897.4767; 876.516.5442

Website: http://www.rafjam.com

Instagram: @rafjambnb

By: Gabrielle Burgess (Founder/Owner, Suga Lifestyle)

If you liked this Blog, follow Suga Lifestyle Online, on Instagram (@sugalifestyle), Twitter (@sugalifestyleja) or like the Suga Lifestyle Facebook page.

TGIF! The Blue Mountain Coffee Festival Starts Today!

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The 2nd annual Blue Mountain Coffee Festival starts today! Blue Mountain Coffee has the reputation of being one of the most expensive and sought-after coffees in the world over the past few decades.

This event hopes to attract tourists and international coffee buyers, as well as create awareness of the rapidly growing coffee culture amongst us as local consumers.

Friday, March 1st – Trade Day

The Festival kicks off today with a networking and learning experience for farmers allowing them to showcase their coffee and coffee byproducts.

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Saturday, March 2nd – Festival Marketplace

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Last year’s view from Newcastle at the 1st staging of the Marketplace at the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival

After you finish with Suga Lifestyle’s Nutrition session tomorrow, the Festival Marketplace in Newcastle will be buzzing with activity. You can then browse and purchase coffee to put in your protein shakes each morning!

There will be coffee galore, coffee byproducts and live demos if you are a barista at home, as well as live musical entertainment and crafts on showcase from local artisans. You would also learn about coffee related tours.

Festival Marketplace Ticket costs: $1500 (Adults); $500 (Children 2-12 years and students with ID)

***Complimentary round trip Shuttle Services will be provided from UTECH Library Car Park to Newcastle starting at 9am***

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If you would like to make a weekend of it, there are activities on Sunday too!

Sunday, March 3 – The Culinary Trail (Reservation Only)

There will be a Coffee-themed Brunch at Strawberry Hill and other eateries along the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Trail should have a signature Blue Mountain Coffee infused dish on their menu that day.

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Enjoy!

By: Gabrielle Burgess

If you liked this Promo, follow Suga Lifestyle Online, on Instagram (@sugalifestyle), Twitter (@sugalifestyleja) or like the Suga Lifestyle Facebook page.

Connect with Mount Pleasant Chocolatiers December 15 at SL Christmas Connection!

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Mount Pleasant Chocolatiers is a Selected Suga Artisan!

See their story headed by Chocolate and Cocoa farmer, Averell French and what they will have for sale this December 15 at Suga Lifestyle’s Christmas Connection here.

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Did you Know?

Mount Pleasant Chocolatiers make Chocolate Wine and Chocolate Face masks too. You can order Chocolate Wine from them and the Chocolate Face Masks are at Adam and Eve Day Spa in New Kingston!

Buy Local, Buy Jamaican this DECEMBER 15! 🇯🇲

Mount Pleasant Chocolatiers

Instagram: @mountpleasantchocolatiers

By: Gabrielle Burgess

If you liked this Promo, follow Suga Lifestyle Online, on Instagram (@sugalifestyle), Twitter (@sugalifestyleja) or like the Suga Lifestyle Facebook page.

St. Ann Infirmary receives a Water Tank from Rotary Ocho Rios East!

The Rotary Club of Ocho Rios East is a Non-Profit Organization that serves in their Communities and offers various Benefits to their members, just as other Rotary Clubs. The Rotary Club of Ocho Rios East is a part of Rotary International, in particular, Rotary District 7020 with clubs from Jamaica and other Caribbean islands.

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Members of the Rotary Club of Ocho Rios East happily donate a well needed Water Tank to the St. Ann Infirmary in March 2018.

Earlier this year in March, Rotary Ocho Rios East donated a Water Tank to the St. Ann Infirmary. They also found time in the same month to Plant 18 Trees, representing each of their members in the Blue Mountains area.

While the Blue Mountains area has a lot of vegetation, it is also a World Heritage Site. They chose that area to plant the trees because they saw it as an opportunity to contribute to its maintenance and of course preservation of the environment.

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Members of the Rotary Club of Ocho Rios East planting trees in the Blue Mountain area earlier this year.

Rotary Club of Ocho Rios East has a new Instagram page and I encourage readers to follow it. For my Suga Bears in Ocho Rios, if you are above 30 years, I would like you to consider joining their Rotary Club. You wouldn’t only be helping less fortunate Communities and others, but you will help improve yourselves too.

Rotary Membership Benefits

● Opportunity to give back to the Community
● Personal Growth and Development
● Continued Learning
● Networking Opportunities
● Friendship
● Fun, Fellowship and Entertainment

Keep up with @RotaryClubofOchoRiosEast2 on Instagram and see the impact they have on Communities in Jamaica, International affairs and their own Club members.

#ShareYourLoveForRotary

Rotary Club of Ocho Rios East

Meeting Location: Hibiscus Lodge @ 83 Main Street, Ocho Rios. Ja.

Meeting Day & Time: Thursdays at 6:30pm

Instagram: @rotaryclubofochorioseast2

By: Gabrielle Burgess

If you liked this Feature, follow Suga Lifestyle Online, on Instagram (@sugalifestyle), Twitter (@sugalifestyleja) or like the Suga Lifestyle Facebook page.

Suga revisits Blue Ridge Restaurant in the Mountains

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Suga’s Ratings for Blue Ridge Restaurant and Cottages

Date and time of visit: Sunday, August 12, 2018 at 3:30pm

No. of diners: 4 adults

NB. Ratings fill 5 stars maximum

Parking: ★★☆☆☆

Ambience: ★★★★☆

Décor: ★★★★☆

Comfort: ★★★★☆

Service: ★★★★☆

Speed: ★★★★☆

Food quality: ★★★☯️ ☆☆ (3.5)

Serving amount: ★★★★☆

Plating: ★★★★★

Value for $: ★★★☆☆

Comments: Panoramic view of the mountains, good service, tasty cocktails and savoury dishes and desserts with excellent presentation at a high price. Prices could be reduced for full value for money. Also, quite a few items were unavailable from the menu. Perhaps more preparation should be made for busier periods when the cottages are full and persons drive up to escape the heat on the flats.

Suga’s Breakdown

After some disappointing visits earlier this year in April and May from Suga Bears with regards to poor quality food and slow service, I was relieved to have a pleasant experience last Sunday from start to finish. I was impressed with my first visit to Blue Ridge Restaurant almost 3 years ago, so I was curious about what could have changed. I was told that one of their Chefs is no longer there for about two months now. We may not know for sure, but that could be one of the reasons. General Manager, Zoe Alexander was present and seen overlooking operations of the restaurant. Kudos to her and her courteous staff for a memorable visit.

What did we have?

Appetizers

My husband, Randy and Suga Bear friends, Ashleigh and Tennyson Arnold, started off with a tasty Tortilla soup, tomato based with black beans, corn, carrot and Chipotle seasoning, topped off with crunchy tortillas and cheese ($850 JMD + Tx+S.c).

However, I think everyone was quite jealous when I had the very last Creamy Crab dip that the restaurant had to offer. It was served with artichokes and roasted garlic ($1600 JMD +Tx +S.c). The taste of the crab was rich and it was delicious.

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Cocktails

The cocktails were excellent. We had Sangria, Mojitos and Moscato infused Strawberry slushies.

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Suga’s Moscato infused Strawberry Slush

Entrées

Tennyson enjoyed his Land and Sea Special, which was Chicken breast stuffed with seasoned crab topped with grilled shrimp and creamy garlic sauce ($4300 JMD +Tx+Sc).

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Linguini with Shrimp in creamy cilantro sauce ($3800 JMD+Tx+Sc.)

My husband Randy enjoyed his Shrimp pasta. The sauce was not too heavy and was zesty with the right amount of herbs.

Ashleigh and I had the Salmon fillet in cilantro cream sauce ($3800 JMD + tx+Sc.) with a side of garlic mashed green banana ($400 JMD tx +Sc.).

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Potatoes may be scarce at this time of year, but the mashed green banana as a side needs to be replaced. It was too chunky with no evidence of garlic.

We were quite satisfied with the healthy serving of well cooked Salmon served on veggies, that was enough on its own.

Dessert

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Oreo Cheesecake ($1200 JMD+tx +Sc.)

I was going to pass on dessert, until I took a bite of Randy’s Oreo Cheesecake and ordered my own to pile on those calories that were definitely worth it.

Ashleigh and Tennyson fought it out too. It was a similar situation, where Ashleigh probably regretted ordering the Hot Chocolate, although she enjoyed that too.

It was a great day out and a refreshing break from routine activities and the humidity of the flats. If you decide to head up there and give them a try or revisit, ensure that you go up early to make it back before night-time and in a vehicle that can handle the rocky road.

Make the best of the rest of summer and head on up to Blue Ridge Restaurant, because they are once again, Suga Endorsed!

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***Reservations recommended***

Blue Ridge Restaurant and Cottages

Location: Salt Hill Lot 9 East Rural, St. Andrew, Blue Mountain

Ph: 876-562-7580

Website: www. blueridgeja.com

Email: info@blueridgeja.com

Instagram: @blueridgeja

By: Gabrielle Burgess

If you liked this Article, follow Suga Lifestyle Online, on Instagram (@sugalifestyle), Twitter (@sugalifestyleja) or like the Suga Lifestyle Facebook page.

 

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Most Innovative Product at Expo Jamaica for Suga!

Expo Jamaica was quite impressive this year. The show that was put on weekend before last at the National Arena and Indoor Sports Centre, displaying and offering products that were ‘All Things Jamaican’ had tremendous support. It was great to see that especially after seeing the hard work and effort that went into putting on the expo. It was bigger and better, the logistics were as good as they could be given the space and the quality of products were sensational. Not to mention the deals! The Farmer’s Market was a big hit too. I shopped till I almost dropped.

There were hundreds of booths but Suga will highlight a few in weeks to come.

Most Innovative Product for Suga?

Mountain Flavor’s Instaperk Coffee!

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Just tear the top of the bag as indicated and add hot water, wait about a minute or two and you have 2 servings of instant percolated coffee! Great for travelling or when you are on the go.

Mountain Flavor is from coffee farms along Jamaica’s Blue Mountains and the flavour was evident.

Mountain Flavor’s Instaperk comes to the market soon! Look out for it!

By: Gabrielle Burgess

If you liked this blog, follow Suga Lifestyle or like the Suga Lifestyle Facebook page.

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Live Entertainment and Eats at EITS Cafe this Saturday!

Limited seating, but great opportunity to enjoy live entertainment and dining in the Blue Mountains. Book your spot if it isn’t too late! #SugaEndorsed

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EITS Cafe at Mount Edge Guesthouse

RSVP to FullMoonFrolic@gmail.com

Ph#: 876-944-8974

Address: 17 Mile Post, Newcastle. St. Andrew Jamaica

By: Gabrielle Burgess

If you liked this Promo, follow Suga Lifestyle or like the Suga Lifestyle Facebook page.

 

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Blue Ridge Restaurant and Cottage disappoints a Suga Bear

Suga Bear, Sacha Riley’s Ratings for Blue Ridge Restaurant and Cottages

Date and time of visit: Monday, April 2, 2018 at 2:30pm

No. of diners: 3 adults; 2 kids

NB. Ratings fill 5 stars maximum

Parking: ★★☆☆☆

Ambience: ★★★★☆

Décor: ★★★☆☆

Comfort: ★★★★☆

Service: ★★★★☆

Speed: ★★★★☆

Food quality: ★★☯️☆☆ (2.5)

Serving amount: ★★★★☆

Plating: ★★★★★

Value for $: ★★☯️☆☆(2.5)

Comments: 

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Impressive views and well maintained grounds. Décor could incorporate more of the cottage theme though. Menu had a sufficient variety of items. There was a tasty selection of Appetizers such as Popcorn Shrimp and Chicken, encouraging one to look forward to the main. However, the main dishes disappointed. Ribs were overcooked, failing to slide off the bone and the Pork Chops that lacked seasoning had a Guava glaze sauce, which did not meet its elaborate description to complement them. The Mac and Cheese was said to have ‘too much Tasty Cheese’ as it was too heavy. They then failed to redeem themselves with Dessert for a good end to the meal. The Very Berry Blue Cheesecake was said to be just blue and wasn’t ‘very berry’ at all.

Service and speed were commendable, but the quality of food did not meet the standard required for the Restaurant to be worth the drive.

Blue Ridge Restaurant and Cottages has been known to be an enjoyable place for myself and others to visit for savoury food with a view. Suga hopes this bad experience was an anomaly. If not, I hope they get back on track soon. Afterall, they are on too steep a mountain to take such a fall.

Blue Ridge Restaurant and Cottages
Location: Salt Hill Lot 9 East Rural, St. Andrew, Blue Mountain
Ph: 562-7580
***Reservations recommended***

Instagram: @blueridgeja

By: Gabrielle Burgess

If you liked this Review, follow Suga Lifestyle or like the Suga Lifestyle Facebook page.

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Jamaican Breakfast in the Mountains

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Suga’s Ratings for EITS Cafe at Mount Edge Guesthouse

Date and time of visit: Sunday, April 1, 2018 at 10:30am

No. of diners: 2

NB. Ratings fill 5 stars maximum

Parking: ★☆☆☆☆

Ambience: ★★★★★

Decor: ★★★★★

Comfort: ★★★★★

Service: ★★★★☆

Speed: ★★★☆☆

Food quality: ★★★★☆

Serving amount: ★★★★☆

Plating: ★★★☆☆

Value for $: ★★★★☆

SuGa Endorsement: ★★★★☆

Comments:

Exquisite ambience and scenic view with hummingbirds in full flight while you wait for your food made fresh to order.  Menu items were quite reasonable in cost. My husband and I had the Jamaican breakfast that included Ackee and saltfish, along with sides of our choice. I thought that they needed more filling in their Fritters, but their Ackee and other sides such as boiled banana were spot on.

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Ackee and Saltfish with Fritters and Fried Dumpling ($900JMD+12.5% serv. charge)

The father-daughter duo who run EITS, Michael and Robyn Fox, were hospitable, making us feel right at home.

Their high standard as a must-stop on the Blue Mountain culinary trail has been kept. Suga snaps for EITS.

EITS Cafe at Mount Edge Guesthouse

Ph#: 876-944-8974

Address: 17 Mile Post, Newcastle. St. Andrew Jamaica

Stay tuned for 2 spots that have gone downhill on the Blue Mountain Culinary trail for Suga Bears next week!

By: Gabrielle Burgess

If you liked this Review, follow Suga Lifestyle or like the Suga Lifestyle Facebook page.

 

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Two Spots Fail for Suga on the Blue Mountain Culinary Trail

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Suga’s Ratings for Crystal Edge Restaurant

Date & Time of Visit: Sunday, April 1, 2018 at 1:00pm.

No. of diners: 2

NB. Ratings fill 5 stars maximum

Parking: ★☆☆☆☆

Ambience: ★★★★★

Décor: ★★★☆☆

Comfort: ★★★★☆

Service: ★★★☆☆

Speed: ★★★★☆

Value for $: ★★★☆☆

Suga Endorsement: ★★★☆☆

Comments: I went specifically for the Oxtail, but the quality has fallen off majorly. It lacked seasoning and did not slide off the bone this time, but still had good texture. Diners at another table were expressing the same sentiment. The taste of Coffee was lost in the Coffee infused Chicken. Both dishes in chipped plates were served with Steamed Vegetables and Rice and Peas, but were swimming in gravy. Mediocre service and food with a breathtaking view.

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Oxtail from Crystal Edge, Irish Town

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Crystal Edge’s Coffee Infused Chicken

Suga’s Ratings for Café Blue

Date & Time of Visit: Sunday, April 1, 2018 at 1:00pm.

No. of diners: 2

NB. Ratings fill 5 stars maximum

Parking: ★☆☆☆☆

Ambience: ★★★★★

Décor: ★★★★☆

Comfort: ★★★★☆

Service: ★★☆☆☆

Speed: ★★☆☆☆

Value for $: ★★★☆☆

Suga Endorsement: ★★★☆☆

Comments:  Staff was pleasant but inattentive. Crystal Edge’s staff were seen more around that side than the Café Blue waitresses. Desserts were dry. We had the Chocolate Mocha Cake and Strawberry Cheesecake.

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Strawberry Cheesecake from Café Blue, Irish Town

For such a long commute, disappointing experience thankfully overshadowed by the picturesque view of the Blue Mountains with cool, fresh air and the taste of rich, authentic Blue Mountain Coffee.

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Cappuccino from Cafe Blue, Irish Town

After the boost of the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival 1 week before my visit, I expected more from Crystal Edge and Café Blue. Hope they get back on track soon. Not worth the drive.

Did You Know?

Strawberry Hill is now charging $2500JMD at the gate to include a welcome drink if you do not have a booking or reservation.

I was passing by for a drink in between Breakfast and Lunch. So for persons like myself and others who happen to be nearby and spontaneously choose to stop and may end up staying for Lunch etc., I think an entry fee is ridiculous. It would be similar if The Jamaica Pegasus would charge you to enter.

Stay tuned next week to see where is worth the drive on the Blue Mountain Culinary Trail!

Crystal Edge Restaurant

Location: Irish Town, St. Andrew

Ph: 876-944-8053

Opening Hours: Tues. – Sun. @ 9am – 7pm

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Café Blue, Irish Town

Ph: 876-944-8918

Opening Hours: Mon. – Fri @ 8:30am-4:30pm

By: Gabrielle Burgess

If you liked these Reviews, follow Suga Lifestyle or like the Suga Lifestyle Facebook page.