It’s taken me a little while to write this post about Anguilla, as I had SO MANY PHOTOS to wade through. Every time we turned another corner, I took reams of snaps… which has made my job very tricky! So please forgive the enormous amount of photos in this post and I hope that they go some way in transporting you to this very special Caribbean island, where time is measured in coconuts, smiles are wider than the ocean and everyone says good morning as though they have known you for a hundred years…
Anguilla is a small island 16 miles long and 3 miles wide) in the British West Indies. It has over 30 stunning beaches in various shades of champagne and congnac, has the freshest Caribbean fare, Mother Nature is bursting out of every nook and cranny and the climate, although rainy at times, is warm warm warm. It also requires some travel dedication to get to, (after arriving in Antigua, we then boarded a tiny 7 seater plane for a 45 minute flight to the island) which adds to its remoteness, making it a firm favourite with celebs.
The island has a sense of magic and fairytale to it, with its picture postcard beaches, Johnny Cakes and Ting and names such as ‘Rendezvous Bay’, ‘Sandy Island’ and ‘Crocus Bay’…..
Here is my guide to this gorgeous island, and if you do make the trip, perhaps you could pop me in your suitcase?
Where to Eat
We sat on the beach in Crocus Bay and took in the magnificent sea views as we devoured deliciously fresh seafood…
GWEN’S REGGAE GRILL
What a joy this place is – Gwen’s Reggae Grill’s vibe stretches far and wide down the beach, with locals and tourists flocking in for her famous ribs! We arrived just as they ran out (get there early) so had burgers and Ting… and as the Anguilla Scratch Band serenaded us, we danced in between bites…
Dale might be the most enthusiastic chef on the island, priding himself on cooking up some of the tastiest dishes on Anguilla! We popped in to try his famous conch fritters, and they were, absolutely, and undoubtedly, tasty.
You need to jump on a private boat shuttle over to Sandy Island, which houses a restaurant, a few sun loungers, many palm trees and some hammocks… specialities include Grilled Lobster, Crazy for Crayfish and Rack em up Ribs!
Mabel Gumbs has been making her soup for the past 25 years.. and even though she is 82 years old now, there are no signs that she’ll be stopping any time soon… find her roadside, perched under a gazebo with various friends and family every Saturday morning, serving up her famous corn soup, pigtail soup and fish soup as well as johnny cakes and sweet potato pudding…
Chef Jo is a bit of a whizz i the kitchen, it turns out. There were all kinds of theatrics being performed as we watched him spin, throw and catch all kinds of ingredients, that he used to create some of the most delicious food I ate on the island….
North Hill Village
In 2006, Carrie (a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY) and her husband Jerry, sold their 12 year restaurant “Empire” and made the big move to this tiny island in the Caribbean… fine dining in Anguilla doesn’t get any better than this.
Things to do
We went paddle boarding with Anguilla Watersports and I LOVED IT. The waters were crystal clear, the shoreline spectacular and highlights included the owner Judson, diving for starfish, which we could all then see up close…
They also offer kite boarding and kayaking, in glass bottomed kayaks!
We actually went on the boat one of the more choppy days and found ourselves having a very different sailing experience! But when the seas are calm, this would be the perfect way to take in the sunset and indulge in the amazing picnic spread, free flowing drinks and snorkelling as the nesting pelicans watch on…
Learn the secrets of the chef at Cuisinart! We wandered though their incredible Hydroponic Farm, marvelling at all the produce, before heading back to the kitchen to make a delicious garden salad with Chef Jasper, which we all then devoured, polished off with an amazing dessert…
If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a mermaid… now is your chance. You can learn all the tricks of the Mermaid trade and if you complete the course, you’ll receive a certificate to PROVE that you are in fact a professional mermaid. Now there’s a conversation starter…
Moonsplash is a chilled, colourful, relaxed, laid-back, HAPPY weekend music event in Anguilla that has been taking place since the ’90s and it was all started in 1991 by Bankie Banx and Sheriff Bob Saidenberg. the intention for Moonsplash has never changed: it is a music-filled beach party, outdoors, at night under the full moon and stars and is now the oldest independent music festival in the Caribbean… We piled into the ramshackled but so so cool Dune Preserve to enjoy some of the best local and international reggae acts we could have hoped for… No one knows who’s playing when, it’s a kind of organised free-for-all…kinda. And even though it was packed, it wasn’t overly crowded…. a very, very special festival to seek out for all music, reggae, Ting and happy vibe lovers.
Where to stay
Ce Blue is cluster of villas on a cliff between two coves, where all five of us could share a private pool, our own kitchen, outside lounging area and spectacular sea views…
Cuisinart is an enormous and luxurious hotel, nestled in the crescent curve of Rendezvous Bay. It’s right on the beach, where friendly folk are waiting for you to hand you a bottle of water and a fresh towel before you take a dip. There are 98 luxurious suites and private villas with pools, there is fine dining and plenty of culinary activities including the cooking class we did and wine tastings. They also have an award-winning Venus Spa and a stunning 18 Hole Greg Norman Signature Design Championship Course…
It really was the most incredible trip and I can’t wait to go back!
Thank you to the Anguilla Tourism Board for having me – I was their very lucky guest and I’ll never forget it.
This post was shot on my LEICA D-LUX – dinky but dynamic ;)