28 June 2012

No Crayfish Left Behind: Part Deux

Okay, we wake up with less than a week left on the island, which creates in us a sense of urgency to do more, see more.  With that in mind, we breakfast early at Geraud's (where I forsake the usual pastries for a very tasty granola with yogurt and an iced latte) and are on Meads Bay by 9:00 in the morning.  We park by the empty Malliouhana (sad) and set up our chairs under the large almond tree at the eastern end of the beach.  It's pretty quiet there--a few locals walk up for a swim, and a couple from Carimar snorkel our way, but that's about it.  After getting to a stopping place in my reading, I clamber up on the rocks by Malliouhana, only to be flabbergasted by the tiny, perfect cove on the other side.

Beautiful Meads Bay, eastern edge
I try to figure out a way for us to get down there (or more precisely, to get back up from there, with the last concrete step poking out rebar in all directions, about 3.5 feet above the water) that doesn't involve either rock climbing or swimming the whole way 'round, but it's a no-go.  So instead I just admired that tiny piece of beach perfection and took lots of photos from the rocky outcrop.

Seriously, how gorgeous is this?

The aforementioned rocky (and by that I mean coral) outcrop

We stayed there until the sun started creeping around the fronds of the almond branches, which incidentally was just about the time our bellies started rumbling, so we went to Blanchards Beach Shack for lunch.

Tree graffiti
It was just as good as our previous dinner takeway, but a much hotter setting.  There's not what I would call a surfeit of breeze in that part of Meads Bay. Very hot, very calm air--thank goodness there's plenty of shade there! We ordered the fried shrimp (DH), the grilled mozarella, tomato, & pesto sandwich (me), a Ting, and a most refreshing virgin passionfruit daiquiri.

After lunch we opted for a change of scenery and went to Rendezvous Bay for the afternoon.  We loved the constant breeze off the water in front of the Anguilla Great House, so we plopped our chairs down in the shade under the palms and started a tab.  While reading our books, a rather foolish young med student decided it would be better to drive out onto the sand instead of backing his vehicle down the lane to a place where he could turn around: big mistake!  We lent what little help we could, but in the meantime our paths crossed with Peter from Straw Hat and we had a nice chat--I'm glad we ran into him, as we would have otherwise missed him at dinner that night during a rare evening off. 

Exterior of Straw Hat

View from our table

We just love Straw Hat--it's slightly less expensive than the other grandes dames of Anguilla dining, and the service is the most congenial, which is a winning combination.  After dropping off an armload of children's books, we had a table at the sand's edge and Armel took great care of us for the evening. Except, that is, when I asked her if they could make me a smaller portion of the crayfish.  I remembered how huge the plate was from previous experience and she assured me that it would be no problem.

Shameless minx! Does this look like a diminutive portion to you? Luckily I had just enough fortitude to polish off that delectable Anguillian shellfish (no crayfish left behind!), most of the plantains, and a slice of grilled eggplant. It was only through sheer gumption and cussedness that I could make any headway through dessert at all.  If those caramelized bananas had been any other dish, I'm not sure I could have conquered them, but they are one of two of my favorite desserts on this island.  Grilled bananas, caramelized to a crispness, with homemade vanilla ice cream and further caramel sauce.  I'm not sure it gets any better than that.  Two cocktails (including one of those wonderful signature Ti punches), one glass of wine, and one bottled water brought our meal to about $150, plus additional tip.  Again, the service charge was marked clearly on the bill to make it easy for their patrons.  Incidentally, DH loved his entree of the red curried prawns with coconut basmati rice, but I have no photographic proof of it.

Truly a thing of beauty, if not quite a joy forever.
Viceroy has added these lovely gaslights to their entrance since our last visit.


  1. Thanks for all the trip reports! I really want to try Blanchards' Beach Shack after reading your posts. It wasn't there on our last trip. Great reports, and as usual, I'm now hungry!


  2. What fun pictures! And this sounds like such a blast. Thanks for taking us along for the ride with you :)

  3. You should be a travel rep for Anguila bc I'd sign up right now!! :) absolutely spectacular photos!!!

  4. It's amazing that you two found time to read as much as you do with all the challenging food and beverages facing you and decisions regarding same. I am deeply envious.


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