The story of the Raintree Restaurant in St. Augustine reads a little bit like a romantic novel.
On the thirtieth of March, 1979, the MacDonald family, consisting of father and mother, Tristan and Alex, and son Gaere, and daughter, Lorna, left England in their 45-foot yacht, Intsholo III, bound for the U.S.A., just as their countrymen had done in the seventeenth century, and for just about the same reason. They felt frustrated and restricted by high taxation that limited their ambitions and sought a new country in which to realize their dreams. Hence, they sold everything, business, house, cars and most of their furniture and said goodbye to Europe and their friends.
At 5 p.m. on Nov. 7, 1979, they left the safety of the Canaries for the open Atlantic as bells rang and horns blew on the boats that were still outfitting for their own adventures. Ties with the Old World had been cut. The crossing took 17 days and six hours before Intsholo III anchored at Bridgetown, Barbados. The next step was across to Florida and then north to St. Augustine. In November of 1980, the MacDonalds found the old house at 102 San Marco Avenue that was to become the Raintree Restaurant after ten months of renovation and restoration. As you walk up the path leading into this old house of more than twelve decades, you'll feel the warmth of time and enjoy the decor that says, "welcome." In the restaurant is a replica of the yacht (photo above) that brought the MacDonalds to America.
Since opening in 1981, The Raintree continues to be recognized nationally and internationally as one of Florida's top destination restaurants. A visit to St. Augustine would not be complete without an evening at the Raintree.