Selange Gitschner of Dasfête, the Bermuda-based sustainable design and events company she runs with her husband Matt Strong, admits she has perfectionist tendencies. They serve her well when it comes to pulling off the stylish, one-of a kind events she is known for on Bermuda and abroad, especially in Europe. On-island, she and Matt seem to be connected to all the right people, when it comes to knowing what it takes to throw a party. “At Dasfête, we craft events around who our clients are. Our driving belief is always sourced with a story and beautifully designed and every project is bespoke and inherently unique. We also do things a little differently, too. Everything is produced with sustainability in mind, so our clients can enjoy their occasion knowing that they’re feeding beauty and resources back into the surrounding area.”
How long have you been living and working in Bermuda?
My mother is fourth-generation Bermudian. We’ve lived all over the world and visited Bermuda often growing up. After graduating from Texas State University, I decided to move to Bermuda for a year, but like most people I fell in love with the island, the people—and my awesome husband—and haven’t looked back since.
What do you love most about the island?
There is so much to love, outside of our incredibly stunning beaches with pink sand. But if I was going to pick one, it would be our community. I love walking down Front Street in Hamilton and waving and chatting to friends and family. I love the warmth, kindness, smiles all around… it’s ingrained in our community to wave, honk, smile, be kind and helpful.
How is Bermuda changing or evolving?
Over the past few years there has been a surge of incredible artisans, entrepreneurs, young Bermudians returning home. In the past, a lot of young Bermudians went into the international business sector, but now with the renaissance we are experiencing with regard to tourism, young Bermudians are seeing more and more opportunity in the tourism/hospitality sector. Bermuda also just recently hosted major international events like the America’s Cup, which pushed our community to hone their skills, start that business and go above and beyond.
Related: Just Back from Bermuda
What is your favorite thing to do in Bermuda?
That’s tough, because there is so much to do: In the spring, whale-watching. It’s incredible every year that Hump Back whales grace our shores. If you’ve never experienced this, add it to your bucket list. They are majestic! In summer, snorkeling out at Northrock, weekend raftups, Cup Match, paddleboarding in Harrington Sound and beach bonfires. In the fall, adventure walks on the railway trail and spelunking in one of our beautiful caves and lobster hunting (from September to March). There’s also the Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts and exploring the beautiful town of St. George’s. All year round, I love going to the farmers market on Saturday mornings, codfish breakfasts and eating overpopulated Lionfish—the saying on the island is `Eat’em To Beat’em!’
Do you have a favorite shop?
Any shop on island that supports our incredible local artisans and sells their products is my jam. I’m really really loving Naked Bermuda, 1609 Design, & Partners, Atelerie, Escape Home, Coral Coast and TABS, The Authentic Bermuda Shorts Shop.
Any favorite restaurants?
My husband and brother are incredible chefs and we love using local ingredients, cooking at home. And having friends over for a yummy local meal. However, as a daughter of a master chef, I love food, food, food! A few of my favorite places on the island include:
- Woody’s, for the best Fish Sandwich
- Om Juicery, for amazing cold-pressed organic juices and salads
- House of India, for a delicious curry
- Devil’s Isle, for brunch and amazing coffee
- Yours Truly, for the best cocktails ever! [Full disclosure: It’s her brother’s speakeasy.]
- Bistro J., for the quaint and cozy space with a menu that changes daily!
What three things do you think every first-time visitor to Bermuda should do?
Only three? Definitely spend a day out on the water—sailing, snorkeling, diving, fishing. We have the most incredible backyard, the Atlantic Ocean. Go to the National Museum of Bermuda, which is housed in Bermuda’s largest fort, The Keep at the Royal Naval Dockyard. The history and artifacts in Bermuda will astound you. Go spelunking in one of the island’s 150 limestone caves. Grab a fish sandwich from Woody’s and wash it down with a rum swizzle. Or hang out with us—a local will show you the best of the island!
Favorite place you’ve been so far beyond Bermuda and why?
We try to do one big trip a year in our off season. Recently we explored South America. Patagonia was amazing, but the highlight for me was Peru. The culture has been preserved more so than anywhere else we have traveled, and the food scene in Lima is one of the best in the world.
What’s next on your travel hit list?
We’re heading to the Philippines in February, Vienna in March, California in April and Italy, Germany and Switzerland in August. Morocco is a definitely on our radar for 2019. Also the Northern Lights in Finland, camping in the Grand Canyon, exploring the food and architecture in Singapore, and hiking through New Zealand.