PENELOPE SPENCER: My favourite spots are Drink Lounge & Bistro; Fiesta Plaza at MovieTowne; Frankie’s to name a few, along with any beach in Trinidad or Tobago! The Big Black Box usually has some form of entertainment during the whole year — parties, readings, workshops, shows on most weekend right there in the heart of Woodbrook.
LAURA DOWRICH-PHILLIPS: As I get older I prefer more sedentary activities preferably over a bottle of wine. Uncorked wine bar on Tragarete Road is a popular hangout. You can purchase a bottle and enjoy it in-house with friends. They also support local artists with an exhibition every month by a different artist. CSpot Sip n Paint studio in St Clair provides a fantastic way to enjoy an evening with friends painting and connecting over cocktails. Drink Lounge and Bistro is one of my favourite hangouts too. It’s a joint where many creatives hang out and they serve the most amazing meatballs and Sangria. I also love hanging out at Kaiso Blues Café because they are a haven for live music in a very intimate atmosphere.
NIGEL CAMPBELL: Port of Spain, the capital city, has been targeted as a must-do in the Caribbean. Unlike those sleepy island towns, Port of Spain has an energy that resonates throughout the year. The Ariapita Avenue strip in the “urban suburb” of Woodbrook boasts a mile of bars, eating places, and a few live venues that come to life in a huge way on weekends. For a live music experience, Kaiso Blues Café, which has moved down to Wrightson Road close to the downtown hotels, is the premier space for intimate live performances from a wide range of genres. Upscale bars pepper the city, with the restaurants and bars at One Woodbrook Place offering an urban oasis of sophisticated nightlife. Increasingly, the casino, or members club as it is formally known, is showcasing a number of popular and prominent performers in the local scene. Island Club Casino in Grand Bazaar has become a new hot spot for live music outside of the capital city. Woodford Cafe in Chaguanas offers live performances in music genres outside of soca, and Space La Nouba and Sting Nightclub in La Romaine in south are major hot spots for rubbing shoulders with the reality show set — a hybrid of nouveau riche and wannabe looking for an external frame of reference. Dancing and contagious fun never stops and drinks flow all night. Not to be left out, Tobago offers Jade Monkey and The Shade as all night spaces that revel in the energy that comes alive at night.
About our Roundtable
Nigel is a music businessman who writes for newspapers and magazines, including Caribbean Beat (caribbean-beat.com), doing music reviews and covering the music business. He is a producer and promoter of Jazz Artists on the Greens (jaotg.com), publishes Jazz in the Islands magazine (jazz.tt), and co-hosts the Music Matters podcast (iradiott.wordpress.com), which looks at the music industry in the Caribbean.
Laura has been a journalist for over 20 years, and is currently the Regional Lifestyle Editor for Loop News, a regional digital news platform. She co-hosts the Music Matters podcast (iradiott.wordpress.com), which looks at the music industry in the Caribbean. She is passionate about positioning the Caribbean on the global stage and educating the world about the region she calls home.
Pennie has worked in the entertainment industry for over 30 years as an actor, writer, director, teacher, producer, television host, and casting agent. She co-hosts OMG Live on Facebook and The Sisterhood on TV6; and is the artistic director of Necessary Arts School/Productions. She recently completed her first children’s book with Lylah Persad, Tales from the forest.