09 July 2013

Meads for Two and Two for Meads

During the time that Malliouhana has been closed, DH and I have enjoyed spending time on Meads Bay underneath the big tree at the east end of the beach.  Our first trip to Anguilla we stayed on Meads (at Carimar) and there is much to admire about that long stretch of sand.  The day we visited, the water was calm and absolutely, pristinely clear.

Erosion on far eastern end of Meads
Caribella provides beach chairs (and umbrellas, but we rarely travel with those) so we set up one fine morning at Meads Bay very close to the public beach access.  Though it saddens me to see the empty resort on the hill, I admit I was glad to have that particular stretch to ourselves. This year through the redistribution of sand, we could easily clamber down the concrete steps to the private cove to have a true getaway experience. (Last year, the bottom step was about 3 feet above the sand level, with rebar sticking out of it.)

Our "private" Meads for Two

DH, walking from the cove back to the main portion of Meads
DH did a good bit of reading, but the water was so gorgeous that I couldn't stay out of it for long.  Also, the book I was reading was fairly disappointing. But can you blame me? 

Around 1:00 we packed up our chairs.  The shade was scarce by that time, and also our cove was invaded--some fellow with a camera and a tripod set up shop there and kept making photos of himself launching into the water with his snorkel gear on. Also we were feeling peckish, so we loaded up the car and drove to Ocean Echo to see Andrea for lunch.

Since this was our second visit, we ordered those menu items we'd been debating about getting on our first visit.  DH ordered the beef hotdog while I opted for the salad with mozzarella and local tomatoes. We shared the gazpacho, which I was a little wary of since Andrea told us that it couldn't be made without cilantro, but I was able to enjoy it.  It's a little different from the usual gazpacho offering--it's not creamy per se, but it's a little foamy from its preparation which lends it a creamy texture. It also incorporates mango into it, so it's a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, and quite refreshing. A garnish of crayfish tail is the final touch.

DH's hotdog
My salad

The gazpacho
While were debating whether to get dessert, another couple was seated next to us, and the lady promptly introduced herself and her husband as readers of my blog.  Fran and Stan have been coming to Anguilla for many, many years, so we chatted about the island and the various changes they've seen in the ensuing years.
View from our table at Ocean Echo
We weren't especially hungry for dessert, but we wanted something cool after being on the beach all morning, so we ordered the sorbet to share.  It was beautiful and it was, indeed, cool, but it wasn't particularly flavorful.
Lime & raspberry sorbet
After chatting with Andrea and with Stan & Fran a bit longer, we left Ocean Echo and left for Rendezvous Bay.  Our new favorite place, The Place, was closed, so we set up under the palm trees by Anguilla Great House instead.  DH promptly fell asleep in his chair, and while he napped, I made photos of a sweet but very shy dog on the beach.  I think she belonged to the gentleman who was kitesurfing, because she paced the beach and kept looking out to the water. I knelt in the sand and tried coaxing her to come to me, but she would approach me to just beyond my reach.

DH, zonked out

After DH roused himself from his siesta, we walked the beach up towards Cuisinart, making photos along the way.  The beach is pretty flat in front of Cuisinart at the moment, but there's some pretty serious erosion between there and the Sunshine Shack:

Anybody lose a Santa Hat?
Feeling a little beached out at the end of the afternoon, we decided to stop by Blanchards Beach Shack to pick up some food for takeaway to eat back on our balcony while watching the sunset.  We are not big fans of Blanchards, the fine dining restaurant, but we really do admire what they've done with their Beach Shack.  The vibrant colors and casual atmosphere, combined with moderate prices, all make for a good experience.

We opted for two orders of the peel & eat shrimp plus one order of chocolate chip cookies to go, and we sat there with our frozen beverages while waiting for the food to be prepared.

My compelling Passionfruit Daiquiri and less-than-compelling book
It's possible that the shrimp would have been better if we'd eaten them right away, but we got home and put them in the fridge for an hour before eating them.  They're supposed to be served chilled, I thought, as most peel & eat shrimp dishes I know are. But they were very disappointing and rubbery.  The flavor was good, but we ended up throwing half of them away.  The sauces, however, were excellent.  The Blanchards make all of their own sauces, and the traditional cocktail sauce with horseradish and the (gasp!) cilantro sauce were both great. I loathe cilantro but even I liked this sauce. We also supplemented the meal with some fresh local tomatoes, and the cilantro sauce made an excellent salad dressing.

Fortunately, the chocolate chip cookies made up for the shrimp, and they went just splendidly with the bourbon we had on hand in the room. We ended the night turning out the television and watching Chopped. I don't watch much TV, and I don't cook at all, but for some reason, I just love that show. All in all, it was another great day!


  1. I hope something can be done with Mali. It saddens me when great hotels close up .....

    1. They're doing renovations right now and are hoping to open some time in the 2014 season. They predicted November, but I think they'll be lucky to open by February.

  2. That dog is gorgeous. Just saying. Nice.


    1. Dunno. WHEN ARE YOU COMING TO HATFIELD? I am quite sure that it is probably almost as exciting as Chicago.

      BEA 2015 for sure.

    2. Oh yes, I forgot about Hatfield and its urban mecca status.

      AGH. I am gonna try to go to MA next year if my friend still lives in Cambridge. Which...appears to be an hour and 45 minutes from you. WE COULD MAKE IT WORK.

  3. I want to dive into the ocean in your pictures...WOW.

    1. If I hadn't worried so much about sunburn, I would have spent hours in that water. Every time I looked up from my book it seemed to beckon to me.

  4. I love that little cove by Malli, it is like having my own private beach.
    Good to know they are doing the renovations, it will be great to have it open again.
    The erosion is shocking for this time of year, usually it is like that after the big ground seas in Nov. Loved seeing you and Andrea, great picture of you two!
    Thanks Emily!


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