As the world continues to open back up this fall — albeit with limitations — getting away means more than just a masked, hand-sanitized trip to the grocery store.
It means travel.
It means hopping on a plane and heading somewhere warmer, somewhere sunnier, somewhere beachier and … perhaps somewhere lobsterier.
For as well as being the beginning of the frosty times in this part of the planet, the months of September through March also happen to be the alway-anticipated, spiny lobster season in the beautiful North Atlantic island territory of Bermuda.
Regular lobster season, in Canada’s Maritime provinces and the east coast of northwest United States, really hits its groove in the summer months, but for the spiny lobster, things are kicking off right now.
The difference according to the Bermuda Tourism Authority?
“Unlike its distant relative, the Maine lobster, spiny lobsters have a harder shell and don’t have claws, which means nearly all of the meat is found in the tail.
“For the purists out there, all that tender tail meat needs is a little time under the broiler and a few brushes with some butter. (Pro tip: If you’re up for the challenge, try snagging the meat from the legs and antennae — it’s considered to be some of the tastiest.)”
So. Chase the tail.
Travel and accommodations
Getting to Bermuda from Alberta is a lengthy (14 to 16 hours on the low end) but relatively painless and, frankly, cheap journey (you can get a return ticket for under $1,000 depending on the time of year). Air Canada offers connecting flights from Calgary through Toronto, along with other airlines such as American and Delta Air that also connect through other hubs. (Westjet’s flights to Bermuda via T.O. start back up again in November.)
Once you’re there, there are any number of accommodation and experiences on offer, from hotels and resorts to Airbnb, bed and breakfasts, inns, cottages and even private islands.
Go to gotobermuda.com/places-to-stay for a list of recommended properties from the Bermuda Hotel Association, as well as lists of packages including wellness, golf and tennis getaways.
Local lobster hotspots
But, again, you’ll want to keep your eyes — and mouth — on the Bermudian prize, which is those spiny lobsters and what the local chefs do with them, which is, well, everything.
According to the BTA, here are some local favourites with must-try spiny lobster and what they have on offer:
Wahoo’s Bistro & Patio
“Make mine with Bermuda lobster!” From September through March, that’s all you have to say at Wahoo’s, and you’ll be treated to chowders, salads, tacos, pasta dishes and more made with fresh spiny lobster. Or just ask for the “special” — half of a Bermuda lobster filled with crabmeat stuffing.
With a name like Lobster Pot, you know it’s gotta be good. Serving satisfied customers since 1974, this city of Hamilton hotspot knows just the right way to prepare spiny lobster. Ask about their baby spiny lobster appetizer – though these rare delicacies usually disappear fast!
A favourite among locals and tourists for spiny lobster, this restaurant and pub boasts beautiful South Shore views and a charming old-world atmosphere. Don’t miss the sushi, either.
One of Bermuda’s finest steak and seafood eateries, the Barracuda Grill in Hamilton is always a good source for fresh Bermuda lobster during the season (or Maine lobster year-round). Try the Lobster & Shrimp Spring Roll, with a delectable sweet and spicy Thai sauce.
Catch & Cook
Want your spiny lobster extra fresh? Catch your dinner with local licensed lobster divers and cook it that evening for dinner – a unique and totally memorable, “sea-to-table” experience.
Purchase just-caught, live whole lobsters in Hamilton Parish, which you can take back to your resort, hotel or Airbnb and cook up your own way. Get there early! These often sell out fast.
(Note: Review the Quarantine and Testing instructions you must follow, based on your immunization status, travel history and age, before departure, on arrival and during your stay in Bermuda at https://www.gov.bm/coronavirus.)