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A Day at Somerset Falls + Dinner at Hotel Mocking Bird Hill

Somerset Falls, Portland, Jamaica

Somerset Falls is yet another beautiful spot of nature that the parish of Portland, Jamaica boasts as one of its own. On a weekend adventure that included Frenchman’s Cove and the great eateries of this parish, Somerset Falls certainly took my breath away and gave up some amazing pictures. There’s so much to do at Somerset that you can plan an all-day adventure here with your whole family.

The pool at Somerset Falls

The Attractions At Somerset Falls

When we arrived at Somerset, the lunch spot was still yet to open and we were starving so we decided to stay put at the front of the property awaiting lunch to be ready. The pool area provided our entertainment while we waited around. It has a large shallow area making it perfect for kids. Munchkin had a whale of a time.

Shaded area at Somerset Falls

Once we had our lunch of jerk chicken and rice and peas, we started off on our adventure to explore the falls.

Somerset Falls

Somerset FallsSomerset Falls

The light blue colour of the water was mesmerising. I was ready to jump in. But first, we went upstream to check out the “hidden falls.” The tour operators take you by small boat into a cave underneath the falls. Prepare to get wet! Trying to take pictures didn’t do it any justice.

Somerset Falls

The Hidden Cave beneath Somerset Falls

Boatride to the Hidden Cave Beneath Somerset FallsThere are ample seating nooks all along the path where you and your friends or family can set up for sightseeing and having a picnic. There are also quite a few birds, bunnies and other animals along the trail up to the falls and down by the pool area for you to take a nature walk.

Riverside seating at Somerset Falls

There’s also a little play area at the attraction with swingsets and trampolines and other activities kids will love. The trampoline is netted making it super safe for munchkin to bounce around in.

Trampoline Attractions at Somerset Falls Swingset at Somerset Falls

To top it all off, there’a black sand beach right across the road if you really wanted to get your toes int he sand.

Black Sand Beach Across from Somerset Falls

At the end of such an amazing adventure, Woody’s Burgers seemed a little inadequate. I knew there must be somewhere in Portland that offered up great food.

Dinner at Hotel Mockingbird Hill

Munchkin’s poppa went the conventional way of asking the receptionist at Frenchmans Cove where we were staying for the weekend. She told him about an Italian restaurant nearby. I did it the techie way and fired up the places app on my android. Hotel Mocking Bird Hill was the closest place and when I clicked through to their website I was sufficiently impressed.

Something about the menu, the description of winning the Jamaica Observer’s Best Kept Secret Award, and the kind sir who answered the phone and pretty much read out the menu and the price ranges to me so I could have an idea of what my meal would cost won me over. I promptly made reservations.

We set out to find it and even though it was less than 5 minutes away from the resort at Frenchman’s Cove, we missed it because the road isn’t quite lit and the signs are buried deep in the bush. I started to slowly feel regret kick in. After being presented with the choice of an Italian restaurant I was really hoping I made the right decision here because I LOVE Italian.

When we finally found it and got to the parking lot we were greeted be two humungously huge (yes, I know) dogs and in the lobby were about 6 more! ok so there were only two more…but they were big so it seemed like lots. They seemed friendly and controlled as we didn’t even hear them bark. I’m not a big pet person and was slightly uncomfortable when they came around to sniff at us.

But Anton, our waiter and our everything else for the evening, such a charming gentleman, rescued us and took us upstairs to the bar to await our meal.

We ordered a bottle of wine and Anton brought up something to welcome us. It turned out to be a divine egg salad on saltine crackers. One bite told me I had made the right decision. I make egg salad regularly at home and this was nothing like that. It was amazing and even munchkin who’s not fond of eggs was asking for more.

Pro tip: If you go, try to catch the sunset that they boast about on their website. We unfortunately missed it but the drive up told me that the views had to be some sort of amazing.

polenta amuse

After some time Anton finally told us we could come downstairs where we served with an amuse. Forgive me if I linked the wrong type of amuse there….Anton informed us ours was made of polenta. I knew from watching enough Food Network that polenta was some sort of what I know to be cornmeal. It wasn’t bad at all. It seemed that our meal would be coming in small bits and pieces and I was enjoying the culinary adventure.


Anton brought out fresh homemade bread and informed us that the owners, who were German, made all their bread onsite to accompany each meal.

Bread Assortment


crayfish and bammy

The red pepper bread changed my life. I swear. It was a little on the salty side but man was it flavourful. It was accompanied with flavoured butters and in the mix of all this was a salad that was amazing. We were served lime and cilantro, a yogurt base and a tomato based house dressing for us to choose from which were all delicious.

I was beginning to wonder where I was gonna put my main course! I ordered the jerk chicken pasta and he ordered the crayfish with a bammy substitution for his side. He asked for them to be steamed even though we were told they were fried and this was accommodated. Ready to see the main course?

jerk chicken pasta

Now, when you say jerk chicken pasta you immediately think about the comfort food goodness that is well known at any sports bar in Jamaica. Erase erase erase. This is fresh, homemade pasta made with love! I feel as if Julia Childs or Emeril himself cooked this for me and said “BAM!” when he finished. The chef put his foot in this!!!

It was SO good and SO different from anything I ever had. And do you see all that crayfish he got? It was good too! I was so happy that my plate was so tiny too cus at this point I was feeling like a Turkey on Thanksgiving. But if there was more, I would have eaten every last bite. It was that good!

There was a dessert spread too but when that hit the table a camera was the last thing on my mind. Sorry, killer sweet tooth over here!

I immensily enjoyed my dinner here and will recommend them for years. I can’t wait to go back! My aunt, whom I saw the next day and told about my adventure, confirmed that she stayed there last year for her anniversary and everything was as superb.

Next stop on this island adventure, Grand Palladium Hotel on the other side of the island. Click here to read about our stay here!

Have you been to Somerset Falls recently? What was your favourite part about the attractions?

Visit the beautiful Somerset Falls in the lush parish of Portland, Jamaica. Explore the hidden cave underneath the falls and then relax in the pool on the property. The kids will enjoy the playground area and the birds on the nature walk at this popular natural attraction.

First posted in August 2011, this post has been updated for content and relevance.

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4 thoughts on “A Day at Somerset Falls + Dinner at Hotel Mocking Bird Hill

  1. Thanks for the compliment and we at Hotel Mocking Bird Hill strive for sustainable excellence at all time so it was my pleasure serving you and your family. Just a few corrections my name is Anton and they are 4 dogs. Thanks again and looking forward to see you dinning with us soon.

    1. woops…sorry about the name mix-up but thanks so much again for everything that night! hope you’re there whenever we visit again

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