20 June 2012

Anguilla: Old Favorites and New Discoveries

Our upper unit, #14
Our first day waking up on the island is something I never tire of: the play of the early light on the water and that glorious warmth the moment I step outside on the balcony.  I thought our unit might have a sunrise view, but I miscalculated.  Still, it's a lovely morning and my husband will lay abed for at least another two hours, so the earliest hours are mine to hoard treasure.

We'd arranged with Maria, the Arawak proprietor, that we'd like breakfast around 8:30, which seems like a very civilized way to play it when the hotel isn't at full occupancy.  DH opted for the Arawak Breakfast Special, which comprises two eggs, toast, bacon, coffee & juice for $12.50.  I opted for the croissant with butter & preserves for $4, plus coffee and juice, too.  It was incredibly pleasant sitting outside in the sun, but with such a strong breeze that there wasn't a moment of discomfort from the heat.

Our breakfast table
We chatted with Maria and her daughter, Katie, for a bit (I requested an extra set of pillows for the room, which they delivered right away) and walked around the property to discover a couple of benches under a grove of palms that looked quite inviting. After that we packed up bags and headed to Elodia's for the day.

We arrived a bit too late to grab one of the cabanas, but Vincente set us up with two umbrellas and two chairs, so we ended up with plenty of shade nonetheless.  I rarely take the full sun on Anguilla between 11:00 and 4:00, and never on my first day, so I wanted to ease myself into things.  Reading & swimming took up the rest of our morning and we ambled up to the pavilion to eat at 1:00.  Unfortunately they weren't grilling that day, so we opted for a couple of hamburgers--which are always perfectly good, but not really where the food shines at Elodia's. 

Ceiling in our room
Unfortunately, I don't have any picture to show from our afternoon on Shoal Bay East because I discovered after the fact that I have neither the charger nor the computer connector for my digital camera, so I will be conserving it as much as possible, and I didn't take my phone with me to the beach.  I also used my husband's fancy-pants camera, but while he did remember to bring his camera charger, he also neglected to bring the computer connector.  So the only photos I can put in my blog while on this trip are the ones from my phone.  Alas!

We left SBE around 5:00 and headed for the Arawak pool for a little while.  We'd been debating about where to try for dinner that night, and decided to give the little place across the main road from the hotel our custom for the evening.  Well, all I can say is that it was fabulous, and one of the best damn values I've ever eaten on this island.  BJ's Big Spring French Cuisine, y'all.  Try it.  Seriously.

Their regular menu--they also offer several specials, of which we both partook

Akio, the son of one of the owners, was our server, and once we learned that the escargots wasn't available, we selected the swai (we'd never heard of this fish before) in curry sauce (DH) and the chicken in tarragon sauce (me).  Mine was quite good, but that piece of fish was as well prepared as any fish I've eaten on this island, including some places known for their seafood. It moved beyond excellent to outstanding.  Each entree came with rice and a green salad, and a beer and small bottled water brought the total to only $32, plus tip.  The food was far better than what we'd eaten at supposedly moderate fine dining places like E's Oven and less than half the cost. 

My tarragon chicken

DH's curried swai
Although we were the only folks dining in that night, there was a pretty constant stream of locals picking up their take-out for the evening and (I love this) they all, down to the youngest little boy, greeted us as they came in.  I remarked to my husband that it is extremely pleasant to be in a country where common courtesy is a valued commodity.  Would that there were more places on earth where it was so.  

Akio, inside by the bar
NB: I went back and added photos that I took today and put them in the blogpost about yesterday's activities. 


  1. Awesome. That sounds muchly relaxing. And now I want tarragon chicken.

  2. We, too, thought Big Spring was quite a find when we were there in January. Alas, we discovered it just days before we returned home, but managed to have a dinner and a lunch there--both delicious. Be sure to try the profiteroles before you leave.

  3. I'm loving your posts...thanks so much for your insight!!!

  4. Love your comments and pictures.....please, sir, may we have some more??

  5. Swai is river-farmed catfish from Southeast Asia...quickly becoming popular as it is very inexpensive ($3/pound in the US)

    BTW, your blog is great! Thanks for posting.

  6. Your pictures of the Big Spring meals look delish! And your Arawak digs look charming. But $12.50 for the breakfast special!!! Clearly not a bargain. Enjoy!


Please, sir, may I have some more? (Comments, that is!)