13 July 2010

How I spent my summer vacation, part IX

This is the fishing book that lived next to Caribella

Anguilla Day 4

I started my day with an early walk on the beach before my lazy bum of a husband got out of bed—unlike the previous days, I didn’t see another person on Barnes Bay, not even down in front of Viceroy. We went to Geraud’s around 9:00 to have breakfast—yummy pastries and good, strong coffee, which we lazily enjoyed over our books. Leaving there, we stopped at Irie Life to look at t-shirts but this time around I wasn’t as impressed. They had fewer cute shirts at higher prices than the Anguilla Pharmacy. Still, I don’t like entering a shop in the Caribbean without getting a likkle somet’ing, so I found one for wearing in the water (I had forgotten my snorkel shirt at home and had been kicking myself for that) that I could live with wearing on dry land once we got home.

Irie Life

Our destination for most of the day was Shoal Bay East and we happily settled under the cabana at Elodia’s, our usual spot on the beach. I snorkeled for a while and was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was better than I remembered. I spent about 45 minutes out there while DH read under the cabana, then we took a short walk.

Lunch at Elodia's

Upon our return, we were amused to watch a young American couple arrive and start posing for various pictures. Our amusement morphed into raised eyebrows when their poses started getting more and more provocative, though. (They were using their camera’s timer and in between shots the young woman would do a jiggly jog back to reset it.) After a while the young woman removed her bikini top and the couple started making out in the surf and then in the water. While we were enjoying our lunch at Elodia’s, a police car pulled up and the officer walked out and spoke with the young couple, who packed up and left soon afterward. We’ve seen topless sunbathing at SBE before but we’d never seen anybody confront the offenders before—I suppose it could have been their behavior as much as her toplessness that compelled somebody to call in a complaint.

A self-portrait on SBE

Anyway, our lunch was good. DH was feeling none too well, so he just sipped ginger ale and Ting all day, but I had a BLT and two passion fruit daiquiris, plus a bottled water. Our tab for the day came to US $60, but that also included $25 for use of the cabana all day, so it was a very reasonable meal in a great location. Elodia’s is definitely my favorite place to spend the day on SBE.

Gorgeous SBE!

We left around 3:30 so that we could rush home to shower and then return to Margaret’s to get the detoxifying footbath. Basically, the foot tubs are filled with regular hot water and then sea salt is slowly added until it reaches a certain salinity. There’s a wand that emits a mild electric pulse to ionize the water (we couldn’t feel anything), and before long, the sweat glands on the bottoms of our feet start expelling our body’s toxins. I have no idea how real this process is, but it was fascinatingly disgusting to watch. Most of the toxins I released were from the liver and the joints (the different colors mean different locations), plus quite a bit of gas. I didn’t take a “before” picture of the clear water, but I did take a few “afters” just to show how amazingly gross it was. Ugh! My feet sure felt good afterwards, though. ☺

TOTALLY gross "after" shots from the foot bath detox

We had originally planned to dine at the new Sand Bar in Sandy Ground after reading so many good reviews of it, but when we were at Smokey’s the day before, our server Felix brought out the menu from Koal Keel, where he works in the evenings, and suggested that we try that instead. Koal Keel, like Barrel Stay and Oliver’s, was on a long list of restaurants we eventually intend to try, so we postponed a visit to Sand Bay in lieu of a plantation dining experience.

Well, we ended up feeling quite enchanted with the place, putting us in mind of some of our favorite meals dining on Nevis. I love the traditional West Indian architecture, and the antique pieces, soft muslin drapery and mood lighting all contrived to create what we agreed was the loveliest ambience we had experienced in all of our dining on Anguilla. Our food was a little hit-or-miss that night. We began with two Warden’s salads, which would have been quite good if they hadn’t been positively swimming in dressing. When I ordered a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, our server asked if I wanted a red or white one. Thinking she had just misheard me, I repeated Sauvignon Blanc, but then she just repeated her question again. Ah, well! We also both had the Thai spring rolls as our main dish, as we intended to take full advantage of the dessert menu. The spring rolls were very good, but even though they were an appetizer portion, neither one of us could finish. (NB: I have no idea how people can put away a full three-course meal in a tropical climate. I admittedly look like I could put away that much food, several times a day in fact, but I’m afraid that most times I cannot consume even two small plates, much less an appetizer and an entrée portion.)

Lovely Koal Keel

The dessert course is definitely where Koal Keel was a shining beacon that night. I’m not a particularly big chocolate fan, usually tending toward desserts with a fruit theme instead, but that night I succumbed to the siren call of the chocolate lava cake, paired with a Grand Marnier-chocolate ice cream and accompanied by a heavenly raspberry reduction that was so piquant it made my mouth pucker. DH went for the simpler, but no less delicious, apple tart served in puff pastry and paired with vanilla bean ice cream and accompanied by a rich caramel sauce. Both were the best of their kind we’d ever had and we had a brief moment of mourning when we realized that we couldn’t finish either one. Dinner came to around US $130, plus additional tip, which included my glass of wine, two cocktails, and a bottle of water.

After dinner our server offered to give us a tour of the grounds, which we were pleased to accept. The wine cellar is a beautiful thing, but DH was especially drawn to the rum shop where they offer tastings of a large selection of rums. All in all, we were exceedingly content with our evening at Koal Keel and it will definitely be on our favorites list for future visits.

I wonder...does one ever grow tired of such beauty? I'd like the chance to find out!


  1. Ems, I called Koal Keel immediately after reading this and have plans to breakfast the 6th and have a tour..sounds LOVELY. Their are closed for dinner during my next stay. Where did you dine in Nevis?

  2. Ooh, you'll enjoy the atmosphere so much, even if you can't have dinner there. On Nevis we liked Montpelier best for our fancy meals and Cla-Cha-Del best for our casual meals. Sadly, the latter is around no longer.

    On St. Kitts we dined at Ottley's, where we didn't have a very good experience, and at Golden Lemon, in terms of plantation dining. Though we liked St. Kitts very much, we LOVED Nevis.


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