Thank you to everyone who offered me advice before our trip to Bequia. Unfortunately I can't head it under 'Piperie Villa' at present.
We travelled from London (BA via Barbados then onwards with SVG) in one day. A very smooth journey with only 2 hrs at Barbados. We took an overnight bag in case, but luckily it wasn't needed.
Accommodation. We rented Piperie Villa above PM beach. The location was perfect for us; the beach was everything we could've hoped for & so quiet. We were able to walk into town or over to Lower Bay & get a taxi back. Piperie offers beautiful views, from a large terrace, over the beach & only a 2 min walk away. It has a rather inconvenient design of 3 separate buildings which is a bore to lock up. The upstairs den with tv, while attractive, has no AC so not really usuable in august. The 3 bedrooms are spacious. The housekeeper Cass kept it really clean. There are 2 stray dogs who live there who we became rather attached to.
We booked the villa through Grenadine Island Villas who were incredibly helful; answering all my questions before hand, arranging supplies in the villa on arrival & generally being a great source of information whilst we were on the island.
We certainly didn't go hungry! Knights & Doris's had most things we needed, supplemented by the bakery below Julie's guesthouse. Although some restaurants were closed we found some great places to eat; chicken roti at Porthole, conch curry at Dawns, lovely food at Cocos & of course Mac's pizzas. In the interests of research I think the best cocktails were at Happy Hour at Maria's French Terrace...
I had imagined that we'd do masses of trips but we did seem to spend a lot of time lolling on the beach, fishing off the jetty & deciding where to eat.
We did go on the Friendship Rose to Tobago Cays. The rest of my family loved it but I'm afraid the Dramamine didn't work for me (not discreet Jon & Jo!). It's a beautiful boat, the food was great & the Cays are glorious. My only reservation would be the lack of shade if the boat was full.
We used Dive Bequia. In the absence of Cathy it was run by a friendly & professional English couple, Chris & Liz. They take safety seriously but are also great fun. My sons took the PADI Open Water course ( having read the theory beforehand) with Suzanne which was a very positive experience. They were given excellent tuition with plenty of time. We then all dived as a family.The whole dive centre is superbly run & highly recommended.
We fully intended to hire a car but found it more cost effective to take a taxi. Julian Olliviere was friendly & reliable.
Any downsides? Well, in low season it is really quiet. This was a bonus for us; all the local residents were friendly, we didn't need to make reservations. All the other holiday makers were really friendly.
The weather was great but I understand that maybe we were lucky to avoid a lot of rain.
Thw mosquitos were out in force, despite Deet/Off/coils/nets we didn't escape them & have the bites to prove it!
A final comment about Jacks Bar; we found the staff to be the least friendly, the meals were $$ & I understand that in high season they play live music without regard to residents of the area. They also built a high wall blocking the path from PM beach to PE...we decided to give it a wide birth.
Would we go back to Bequia? Yes probably next year. Most likely to PM beach, but not Piperie (maybe Princess Hill, Gumbo Limbo or Flamingo). We'll use Grenadine Island Villas & Dive Bequia. We'll take plenty of Off & dream about it until then..or we could always read Selmas poems (yes I know!!)