When planning this entire trip, Daisy and I were adamant that we had to include a visit to a small town in North West Guadeloupe called Deshaies. Deshaies has a very pretty church and some bars overhanging the water and is best known amongst non sailors as the setting for the BBC series, Death in Paradise. I know there will be lots of you out there who share our guilty pleasure in this long running show, so I’m sure you’ll be pleased to hear that filming on the next series starts again this month. They’d actually closed off the set in preparation but the very charming location manager came and opened up for us.
The police station itself is a permanent set and is exactly as it looks on film. The girls took a turn at JP’s, Florence’s and the Inspector’s desks and had a good rummage through their drawers.
Daisy running the financial checks at JP’s desk.
On the shelves are ring binder folders of past cases, all labelled correctly 2016/April/Mooney/216-2569 etc. Pinned to the walls are genuine regulations about noise abatement and court procedures. It’s just a delight.
They have a crew of approximately 70, both English and French and they film from April to September each year. They try and film within a short radius of Deshaies otherwise it gets too complicated accommodating everyone, and the Location Manager said she was always delighted when a new fancy house or hotel was built as she was running low on locations.
Dora looking for the resident goat in the cells.
Daisy with the Inspector’s magnifying glass. Behind her on the wall is the map of St Marie (v similar to the butterfly shaped Guadeloupe) with all the rivers and place names written on.
The Inspector’s beach house is a few miles to the North, on Anse Perle, which is not as deserted as you might imagine. Dwayne is sadly not coming back, much to everyone’s sadness. Pilgrims come from as far as New Zealand, Estonia, France, Canada and Russia to leave their messages of admiration on a replica of the Inspector’s white board, and then pop down the hill to the Madras restaurant which is is the set for Catherine’s bar.
We had a great stay in Deshaies, which Tom has already written up. One high point for the girls and I was the spotless and air conditioned municipal library where we’d retire for 3 hours a day to get some schoolwork done in unusually comfortable conditions. So now, when I arrive in port, I look for showers, a supermarket, a laundry, a tourist information office and a municipal library. It’s glamour all the way.
That reminds me to mention our showers in Basseterre, Guadeloupe. The staggeringly grumpy marina manager would not let us use their showers, even though we offered to pay. She directed us to the showers by the local beach, which are two sided, beach one side, petrol station the other. So Tom and I had the unusual experience of showering al fresco, on full display to those filling up their cars on the way home. Of course we were in our swimwear but it made me realise that in your late 40s you just don’t really care much and would do anything for nice clean hair.