29 November 2016

Day 2: Electric Boogaloo

Saturday morning dawned gray & rainy. There had been another thunderstorm overnight and another power outage. After an early morning coffee followed by a walk on the beach, we went inside to make breakfast. Unfortunately, due to all of the recent wetness, the mosquitos were so terrible outside that our al fresco meal quickly had to move indoors. While it would have been more pleasant to eat outside on the porch, our breakfast was still delicious. 

We decided to go for a swim at home that morning before packing our bags up, but the water was pretty difficult to enter and it was so choppy that we didn’t stay in long -- the current kept us drifting towards the rock and we had to keep swimming back to the sandy area. Looking to the east, the sky seemed more clear, so we packed a beach bag and headed across the island. 

The bar at Tropical Sunset

Usually I’m an Elodia’s kind of girl, but we were trying to make the most of our Anguilla Card, so we landed at Tropical Sunset instead. We were the first to arrive for the day, and heading to Shoal Bay was a good decision, as we saw sun off and on all day. The sand in front of Tropical Sunset is as powder-soft as I’ve ever walked on, and the water was beautiful and calm. If Michael thought Rendezvous Bay was a pretty beach, his jaw dropped at the sight of Shoal Bay East in its glory. Because we’re so photosensitive, we asked for, and were granted, two chairs and two umbrellas. 

After a lovely morning of swimming and reading, we headed up to the restaurant for lunch. We ordered a lobster salad sandwich and grilled ribs for lunch and they were mediocre. After being spoiled by New England lobster salad sandwiches, Michael was disappointed at the tiny (really, basically minuscule) pieces of lobster and the small amount of lobster salad relative to the size of the roll. My ribs were decent but nothing out of the ordinary, but the portion was ample. At least my passionfruit daiquiri was delicious!

After lunch we lathered up with sunscreen and headed up the beach to walk off some of the food.  I had expected Shoal Bay to be busier on a Saturday in November, but Madeariman had recently burned down and Elodia’s turned out to be closed altogether. A few chairs were occupied at Hank’s and Shoal Bay Villas. 

We walked all the way down to the point past Elodia’s and I was astonished at the disappearance of the beach. It had been eroding away for years on Upper Shoal Bay, but there was no beach in that direction any longer. By the time we walked back to Tropical Sunset, we were hot and tired, so we packed up and headed back to the villa. 

Knowing that nothing feels quite as refreshing as one of Pam’s smoothies after a hot day on the beach, we stopped in at Sea Spray to say hello and to cool down. It was fun to catch up with her -- talking about dogs, AARF, politics, Saba, and the goings-on on the island. Alas, I have no photographs from that particular visit, but I made some pictures on a later visit, so more anon...

Not my image -- found on restaurant’s website
Dinner that night at Dolce Vita was special and I’d been looking forward to it for months -- ever since I bought my ticket. Abbi was as gracious and welcoming as ever, saving my “usual table” in the corner for us. I considered the menu a long time, debated trying several new dishes, and in the end, I went with my old favorites: arugula salad with pears & walnuts, followed by the smaller portion of gorgonzola gnocchi. Michael opted for the seafood pasta with crayfish, lobster, and other fruits de mer.

I knew exactly what to expect from my gnocchi, and yet I was still blown away. Michael declared his dish to be the best pasta he’d ever eaten and one of the best dishes he’d ever had in his life. So we polished off our food, along with our wine and cocktails, and enjoyed watching the small dogs running up and down the beach. We were both pretty full, but the evening was gorgeous and we didn’t want it to end, so we ordered up a Nutella cheesecake to share. 

It’s a beautiful dish, and the shaved coconut and coconut cream on the plate were delicious. It’s more like a light mousse than a cheesecake, and we could barely detect any Nutella, but that notwithstanding, it was sweet and not too heavy and a nice note to end on.  Well, that and the complimentary limoncello that they pour for guests at the end of the night. 

Finishing up at Dolce Vita was the perfect end to a nearly perfect day. We drove back to the west end and barely managed to read a chapter before succumbing to sleep. 


  1. Emily - we just camp at our place and we rarely get to Shoal Bay East, and when we do it is to Elodias, so it is always fun to hear about other places.
    We love Dolce Vita, of late, we have been getting the appetizers, gnocchi, meatballs, and a caesar and buratta salad, it is more than enough for us. Love the lemoncello appertif, and of course Abi and Sandra always make everyone feel so welcome, it is one of our "do not miss" places.
    Really enjoying your posts.
    Thanks for always taking the time.

    1. Mmmm, there’s a meatball appetizer at DV? That sounds divine. With one exception, I have always rotated between the gorgonzola gnocchi and the eggplant rollatini, both of which are appetizers, and I’ve still left food behind.

  2. AAAhhhhh Dolce Vita - sigh!
    I always try to eat mostly "island" food when I am on Anguilla but Dolce Vita is so wonderful it calls me like a Siren and I am powerless to resist.
    Haven't visited Tropical Sunset but as options on SBE dwindle we may add it to the ever growing list.
    I love that photo with the flat sand, glassy sea and fluffy clouds - you obviously photoshopped the hundreds f people out of the picture.

    1. I had put off eating at Dolce Vita until maybe my 5-6th visit to the island because I thought it would be too heavy. More the fool, me. Now it’s a not-to-be-missed place.

  3. OH MAN, that pasta. That beach. At some point I am going to make it to Anguilla, at which point I am going to run all travel plans through you. Just a heads up

    1. I shall take it terribly personally if you *don’t* consult me on all points Anguilla. But yeah, y’all should totally go there. See if that can be the team’s next destination after Hawaii. :-)

  4. Dolce Vita -- our favorite, and sounds like yours, too! :) What a lovely report.

    1. Abbi is the best. Love visiting with him and enjoying “my” special table -- which I think is also yours. ;-)


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