28 June 2012

Perfection is Highly Underrated!

One of the original plantation buildings
I'm not sure how many more perfect days I can stand, but if some enterprising folks would like to underwrite such a project to find out, do let me know. 

Interior of Koal Keel "big house"
Today we called up Koal Keel to see if their bakery was open for breakfast, because some of our favorite memories from previous trips involved a breeze, a balcony, and their 18th century location.  There also might have been a book or two involved...So we selected a couple of pastries apiece, requested two cups of decaf coffee (alas, it turned out to be instant), and settled ourselves onto said balcony to watch the world go by for a while.

I can personally attest to the flaky, buttery perfection of the chocolate-almond croissant and the pineapple tart.  After about an hour, we asked if we could make dinner reservations for sometime that week, but we had already missed the opportunity: no longer open for dinner this summer.  I had emailed Koal Keel about two months ago asking if they had determined their closing date.  As of that time, they hadn't but they assured me that they would update their website to indicate it when it was decided.  As of yesterday, the website said nothing about it, so we were disappointed. Instead, we asked if we could walk around and make a few photos, and they agreed.  

The secluded balcony we had just to ourselves

Koal Keel's brick oven
After Koal Keel, we stopped at various places on the island until we found what I think must be the last box of a certain kind of feminine product on the island.  Perhaps it's due to the particular brand of conservatism on the island that they're not widely used locally, but it's hard to imagine not stocking them for the tourist & expat populations.  But enough of that detour onto the too-much-information superhighway--I'll just add that ladies of a certain age should plan ahead when visiting Anguilla. It's not that I love sharing such personal information, but if it helps somebody in the future, it's worth the mild embarrassment here.

We went back to Caribella and spend the bulk of the day at Barnes Bay.   The same dog from the day before was there and he was whining at us on our balcony, so I took down some fresh water for him to drink.  Uninterested in water, he immediately dropped into a play-bow and barked.  I think he was just feeling lonely and wanted somebody to frisk about with him, so I complied.  We chased each other at the surf line, but he didn't really want to go in the water much.  He also had the habit of taking my hand in my mouth -- a trait I'm used to with my own mastiffs at home who take our hand to lead us into the house-- but I reckon that might scare non-dog people off, thinking he was trying to bite them.  He really seemed quite gentle-mouthed, but it's the sort of thing that could turn ugly with an unfamiliar dog, so I tried to avoid putting my hands near his mouth. 

The east end of Long Bay
Around 5:00 we rousted ourselves from a reading reverie and made our way into the world.  And by that, I mean, we wanted to find Long Bay to see what it was all about. We drove up the road to Oliver's, but there was nobody around to ask if it was okay to park there and use the stairs.  So we walked down anyway, prepared to make apologies if we ran into anybody.  It was lovely and wild  and heavily eroded.

This looks like such a nice place to eat.
We then stopped at Blanchards Beach Shack to pick up a takeaway order for dinner that night. Well, I just have to say it: I think the Blanchards have struck gold with their newest enterprise. I'm not a fan of their fine dining restaurant--of all of the meals we've eaten in Anguilla, it was the most outrageously priced for merely mediocre food (I also wasn't impressed with the fact that the same rum at Veya was half the cost it was at Blanchards. Literally half the cost.)--but I am a big fan of the beach shack.  Bright colors, interesting menu, plenty of shade, friendly staff, good food, good prices, you name it. We ordered a couple of frozen yogurts to eat right there and took a Caesar salad with shrimp, some chicken fingers & a hotdog to go, which we at out on the balcony to watch the sunset.

The entrance from the parking lot

Part of the menu
Waiting for the fro-yo
DH's shirt fits right into the color scheme
Coconut fro-yo with chunks of mango & banana
Serene Meads Bay


  1. Asolutely fantastic pictures....could you please send me a fro yo as shown and described???

  2. Huh. I didn't know about that habit of dogs. That's good you at least had some experience with it so it wasn't too uncomfortable.

    Those prices at the beach shack are interesting...$5.48? Must research taxes in that part of the world.

    And yeah, that frozen yogurt looks awesome.

    1. the fro-yo was a meal unto itself. which, of course, didn't stop me from eating my dinner two hours later.

      i don't know that tons of dogs take people's hands into their mouths to lead around--our dogs have always done that, but I know my dogs and they're very gentle and they only do it with my husband and me, not with strangers. they mostly do it when we're all outside in the yard and they're ready to go in--they put their mouth around my hand (gently, like they're gumming it) and start walking toward the door.

      i was just a little cautious about letting an unknown dog put his mouth around my hand, and i think people not comfortable around dogs would equate hand-in-dog-mouth to dog-is-biting-my-hand.

  3. Totally agree with every single word you said about "fancy" Blanchards and winner Beach House.

    Your Oliver's pictures are neat. Sadly, I have never been down to Little Bay (Long Bay? I get them mixed up) because I was terrified of the road going down, similar to Da Vita's. To me they are like being on a very fast, narrow escalator. Panic time!

    1. Pepper, the road to Long Bay wasn't like that at all. The road was a little rough, admittedly, but nothing at all like the road out to Savannah Bay, for example. We parked at Oliver's as recommended and walked down the stairs to the beach level. Piece of cake--if you want to "collect" another beach on Anguilla, I'd recommend it. No shade, but very pretty in one direction and wild in the other.

  4. that photo of Fro Yo is so unfair...twitching my nose like Samantha on Bewitched to see if I can jump into the photo...food bliss

  5. I was on Long Bay 2 months ago and there was no erosion. I always find it fascinating how quickly the beaches change.

    1. It always surprised me how quickly the sand landscape changes. In just the 10 days that we've been here at Barnes Bay there are changes in front of Mango's that are quite noticeable.

  6. I am sorry you missed dining at Koal Keel. It is my favorite *****dining ! On your next trip if you are uncertain they are serving inquire at Smokeys. They are both owned by the same Gumbs family. It is very old world. Always closed Sunday which made me miss it one trip. Thoroughly enjoying your great writing and getting to experience a vicarious vaca thru you.

  7. Emily - one time Barnes in front of your place was bare rock - next trip thick sand. I have never seen the erosion at Olivers as shown in your pictures - jaw dropping. Olivers used to be our favorite restaurant, unfortunately, it failed us the past two trips, good food, so so service, but painful to wait 1/2+ hour for the check.
    Love all your reviews and pictures, really great.


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