There are places you go when you travel far from home that feel like home, or, to be more precise, you WISH were your home. And when I'm in places like this I always take notes and try to bring back new ideas for my own home (or my fantasy home one day). Here are a few pics of a trip we took to Mustique, courtesy of a friend's family, which is one of those special places.
Mustique is a strange combination of public and private. Part of the country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Mustique is small, at just over 2 square miles, was a way station for pirates in the 17th century and then became a European run sugar plantation in the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1958 the entire island was purchased by Colin Tennant, a Brit and also the 3rd Baron Glenconner, who began to slowly develop it into a rustic retreat for his British friends and notables, from Princess Margaret to Mick Jagger. With less than 100 homes on the island, the feeling of endless house parties under the stars and amidst the lush landscape is palpable.
We stayed in one of the houses, named Cactus Hill (all the homes go by name and there are no addresses or street names to work off of), which our friends have rented from the owners for many years. Set on top of a hill and right next to the house that Prince William and Princess Kate stayed in just weeks earlier, it has five bedrooms, a library and outdoor living and dining rooms that overlook the island. It was very traditional, but amazing. The indoor/outdoor feeling of the house was memorable, and watching the sun set over the sea in the distance unforgettable.
Many of the homes on the island can be rented, and there are also two hotels with rooms to stay in, but it is a very private place. Harder to get to (you need to fly in on a small plane from St. Lucia or Barbados), set up for house living (not hotel or resort living) and pricier than other places, many people don't know about it and can't be bothered to go the extra distance to get here. It's worth it, but the best thing is to be invited by friends or go with friends and experience being barefoot and having a home for a week or two in the islands.
Images: Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan