Celebrate all things Bermudian with this seasonal bucket list.

Bermuda’s winters can be chilly, but the temperature never gets so low that you can’t enjoy combing the beaches for natural treasures. So zipper up your fleece and head to the sandy shoreline, taking with you a magnifying glass and bucket so you can see your finds close up. Keep a special lookout for mermaid’s purses (egg cases belonging to oviparous sharks, skates and chimeras), violet sea snails, sargassum, sea beans, sea glass and trash, which you can take home and dispose of properly.

Make Bermuda Pumpkin & Stilton Soup
Bermuda-grown pumpkins are mottled green and white on the outside and bright orange within. Paired with salty bacon and crumbled Stilton and you’ve got the perfect soup for a cold evening.

3 lbs Bermuda pumpkin, peeled, cubed
4 strips smoky bacon, chopped (or link of chourizo sausage, chopped)
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp ground thyme
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp salt
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup light cream
3 tbsp Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
4 or so dashes of Outerbridge’s Sherry Peppers
1/2 cup Stilton cheese, crumbled, for garnish

In a pot large enough to hold all the ingredients, sauté the bacon (or chourizo) until crispy. Remove, drain on a paper towel, crumble and reserve for garnish. Now sauté the onion and garlic in the bacon fat until translucent and well glazed. Drain off excess fat. Add the pumpkin and sweat covered over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the sage, thyme, allspice, salt and pepper and stir well. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for a half-hour or until the pumpkin is soft. Puree the soup in a food processor or blender until smooth. Return to the pot, add Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and most of the cream and reheat, but don’t boil. If it’s too thick, thin with more cream or milk. Adjust seasonings with salt and white pepper, then add the sherry peppers sauce.

Serve in warmed bowls, garnished with crumbled bacon (or chourizo) and Stilton cheese. Rich and satisfying.

Statue of Sally Basset, sculpted by Carlos Downing, is located in the front garden of the Cabinet Building in Hamilton (105 Front Street).

Celebrate Black History
You’d expect us to celebrate Black History in October along with the UK, but instead we tend to follow our neighbours to the west and observe Black History month in February. This season, educate yourself on Bermuda’s history of enslavement and racial segregation by taking a dive deep into our African Diaspora Heritage Trail, which includes stops at the statue of Sally Bassett, Cobbs Hill Methodist Church, the home of Mary Prince, Pilot Darrell’s Square and Jeffrey’s Cave at Spittal Pond. In addition to doing your own research and exploration, you can join the Mary Prince Legacy Bus Tour, hosted by Titan Tours. Departing from the Visitor Service Centre on Front Street, the bus tour will offer you a look into the untold story of Mary Prince and her contribution to emancipation in Bermuda and beyond. Visit www.titantoursbermuda.com to learn more.

City of Hamilton After Dark
The Corporation of Hamilton does a phenomenal job of dressing our city up for the holidays and the minute the sun goes down nearly every tree and lamp post on Front Street explodes into a kaleidoscope of light and colour. This winter, treat yourself to a cocktail at The Birdcage and enjoy looking out over Front Street aglow.

Make Loquat Jam
Come February our island will blossom with our beloved loquats. Harvest your own and use the fruit to make homemade loquat jam which you can enjoy long after the season is over.

6 cups seeded loquat quarters
6 cups seeds
1 cup water
4 cups sugar
1 ounce peeled and grated ginger root

Cut loquats into quarters, reserving the seeds. Tie seeds in a muslin bag and combine with loquats and water in saucepan. Cook until tender. Discard bag and add sugar and ginger root. Cook until thickened, stirring occasionally. Store in a jar and enjoy on toast.

Celebrate St. George
While the Bermuda National Trust is forgoing their annual walkabout again this year, you can still visit and explore St. George this winter. Full of history and small town charm, St. George is ideal for meandering slowly to take your time, wander the narrow streets and take a peek inside the independently-owned stores that call this town home. You can plan ahead and join one of Kristin White’s history tours (visit www.longstoryshort.life for tour schedule) or visit The Bermuda National Trust’s Globe Museum before stopping fora late lunch or dinner at one of the award-winning local restaurants.

Visit a Museum
This winter, make it your mission to learn more about Bermuda’s history, ecology and art with stops at these local museums and galleries:

Natural History Museum at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo
Bermuda’s natural history is heavily influenced by our geography as an isolated island, giving rise to many endemic species. Visit the museum at BAMZ to chronicle the volcanic beginnings of Bermuda, and discover how the island’s settlers influenced Bermuda’s landscape, flora and fauna.

Bermuda Heritage Museum
Founded in 1998, the Bermuda Heritage Museum has a wide array of artefacts and exhibits dedicated to Bermuda’s Black History. From enslavement to emancipation, the Theatre Boycott and social change, the Bermuda Heritage Museum (located on Mullet Bay Road, St. George’s) is a must-visit for anyone (young or old) looking to learn more about Bermuda’s history.

Masterworks Museum of Art
For only $5 you can immerse yourself in art at Masterworks, exploring works by international artists such as Winslow Homer, Georgia O’Keeffe and Henry Moore who drew inspiration from our island. Masterworks is also dedicated to providing our island with accessible local art. In addition to the Charmin Prize (an art competition that encourages Bermudian artists to showcase their work), Masterworks features local work in its Rick Faries Art Gallery.

National Museum of Bermuda
With five centuries packed into one historic location, the National Museum of Bermuda is committed to the preservation of Bermuda’s history and identity. Among the shipwrecked treasures, early maps and celebrated Graham Foster mural in the Hall of History, the first floor of the Commissioner’s House houses an exhibit devoted to 200 years of enslavement, from the early years of settlement through emancipation. There are also lovely walks to take up on the cliffs that offer incredible views.

Bermuda Arts Centre Dockyard
Across from the National Museum of Bermuda is the Bermuda Arts Centre, a place that provides a platform for creative Bermudians to showcase their work. Its studio spaces and revolving series of exhibitions include original work from the best local painters, photographers, sculptors and textile artists. It is a place that nurtures and showcases Bermudian talent.