12 December 2016

Return to The Place and Other Favorites

I’m not experiencing the first snow of the season this morning, but it’s the first snow that has accumulated enough to make roadways treacherous.  Thus, on this day off I’m obviously choosing to relive my Anguilla experiences as a means of putting off shoveling the driveway.

Tuesday morning was stormy, so it was just as well that we had already decided to stay home for breakfast.  Michael made some eggs and we supplemented those with the leftover banana and pumpkin breads from Veya the night before, which they kindly supplemented with extra johnny cakes.

After breakfast as the storms moved out to sea, we walked the beach towards Four Seasons but we couldn’t get past Caribella, where the sand was so washed away that there was a four foot drop from the rocks to the sand on the other side.  Since we weren’t wearing shoes, we decided not to press farther, despite wanting to get closer to the rolling breakers coming in down the beach to make some photographs.

When the weather started to clear we walked back to Villa Ella to pack up our beach bags. I wanted to go back to The Place and Michael was amenable to that.  (Really, who wouldn’t be?)  There were a few folks there when we arrived, and their beach umbrellas had been installed since our visit a few days earlier, but we decided for both shade and rain purposes that we’d like to set up under the pavilion again.

Our two lone chaises
This visit we spent more time in the water, and that spot on Rendezvous is just about perfect.  Sandy entry, gentle waves, perfect for floating or bobbing around. A man in the water struck up a conversation with us and in one of those “It’s a small world” moments, we discovered we were from the same part of the world. He was part of a group of friends visiting the island for the first time, staying with a couple who had built a house down there.

Rendezvous, looking toward Anguilla Great House

After chatting with him for a while we moseyed up to the restaurant for lunch. I ordered the coconut shrimp appetizer, and Michael ordered The Place burger, which he actually received this time around. Food was good, and although I enjoyed my shrimp, I did feel that it was a tad overpriced.

After lunch we returned to our chairs to read but before long we had a visitor -- a fairly sizable iguana walked by on its way to the beach foliage. This attracted the attention of nearly everybody on the beach, but that didn’t seem to faze the iguana much.

We were both enjoying our books quite a bit, so we read a bit longer and took a final walk on the beach before packing up our bags for our next stop: Cuisinart.  True, we could have walked there, but we were only planning to stop in for a frozen mojito and make a few photos, and we didn’t want to have to walk back again. So we made the short drive up the road and through the golf course to the other end of the beach where all of the staff greeted us warmly, despite not being guests there. That’s one thing that I love about Anguilla -- they don’t work to keep out the riffraff like us!

I’m not very resort-oriented, especially not on Anguilla, but there is something lovely and welcoming about Cuisinart and I very much like it there, even if I wouldn’t actually stay. It’s manicured without being overly fussy and I like that they grow much of their own produce on site in their hydroponic garden. They had run out of mint at the bar, so we enjoyed looking around while waiting for the bartender to come back with more, both agreeing that next time we’d want to sample the pineapple rum. 

Really, a drink this green must be good for you

We sat and relaxed with our drinks, which I’m convinced must contain a full serving of vegetables and debated what to do before our reservation at Straw Hat for dinner. We walked down to the beach to get the full perspective of Rendezvous before heading back to our cars and driving to Limin’ Boutique for a little shopping. 

Renée and her husband had just opened up for the season the day before and were trying to get some new items priced and displayed around the store when we arrived. One of the things I like about this boutique is that while they offer many beautiful, higher end items, they always have gifts on offer in the lower price range, too, like locally made soaps and jams.  There was one necklace in particular that I thought was lovely, but even when using the Anguilla card, it was still too pricey for my budget on that trip. 

Michael and I decided that we wanted one last swim before getting ready for dinner, but the waves on Barnes were a little intimidating, so we sought a calmer location and headed to Shoal Bay West, just a few minutes up the road from where we were staying. We parked near Trattoria Tramonto and walked up and over the sand dune to reach the beach and chatted with another couple who were just leaving but confirmed that the water was perfect.

Well, they were right.  Very easy entry into the water here and the sun was low enough in the sky to not need to worry about sunburn. We watched a storm approach us from the direction of St Martin, which at one point entirely disappeared, and stayed in the water until it started sprinkling. By the time we dried off enough to get back in the car, the storm had arrived and we’d barely closed the car doors behind us when it started pouring. 

When I had first planned this trip and found a ticket using FF miles that would have us traveling during Election Day in the US, I immediately planned for two things: an absentee ballot for home (which turned out to be early voting instead) and a place to watch the election results on the island.  Thus, we were headed for Straw Hat that night.  It was surprisingly quiet in the restaurant, but that just gave us time to chat longer with Armel, Doris, and Peter.

I settled on the daily lionfish special, since I’d never tried it before and wanted to do my part to protect the local reef fish and Michael chose the red curried prawns with coconut rice, and we opted to share the tuna tartare with guacamole to start.

The appetizer was amazing -- we used our forks for what we could and scraped up the rest with our fingers and the plantain chips.  Could have eaten a couple more of those, they were so delicious!  Michael’s prawns were also good, but while I liked the lionfish itself, the panko preparation left a little to be desired.

We knew that we’d be sitting there for quite a while that night so we held off on ordering dessert. We took the rest of our bottle of wine with us to the bar, where Peter was kind enough to reserve two seats to watch the election results.  By the time I was distracted enough by all of the red state wins to think about dessert again, the kitchen turned out to be closed.  Too bad, as I had been looking forward to their caramelized bananas since my last trip to the island two years ago.  To ease the blow, Peter poured us a taste of one of his favorite rums and offered to comp us our dessert if were able to make it back to Straw Hat before leaving the island.

Michael and I drove back home and continued to watch the election coverage. Although many states were “too close to call,” we knew what was coming, so it was with truly heavy hearts that we went to bed that night. To this day, I don’t understand how our nation managed to elect a business man with dubious connections and no governmental experience over a woman who has been both a US Senator and the frickin’ Secretary of State. 


  1. Funny, I knew you were there during this time, and I remember thinking if I had to feel punched in the gut, that's the place I'd want to be, rather than sitting at home drinking too much wine to drown my sorrows. Just goes to show even our favorite place in paradise couldn't really soften that blow.

    1. I thought at the time that I would prefer to be on the island, but I turned out to be wrong. The rest of our trip was, if not ruined, then certainly not something we could enjoy to the fullest. I wish we’d been home for the election and traveling afterwards.

  2. We saw that iguana by the place. He sauntered in front of our car.

    1. Yeah, I think he's used to being photographed by now. I love the way those animals move when they walk!

  3. Another great read with lovely photos! It is really cold in London but even so I would love one of those frozen mojitos right now! And of course it's good for you with all the herbs and vitamin C.

    1. Yes. Drinking frozen mojitos will obviously help ward off scurvy and other maladies.

  4. You don't obviously own your own business. We are so glad for change due to heavy taxes. I am so disappointed you stated your politically party in your post.

    1. hi, Anon. Wish you would have left your name, but that's fine. This is my personal blog and therefore it will have my personal views on it, including political ones.

      I don't own my own business, but I'm not sure that's "obvious". However, I'm the manager of a small business and that has absolutely influenced the way I vote.

      For the record, I did not state my political party. I stated my disappointment with the election results. For the record, I am a registered democrat, but that doesn't mean anything in this case since tons of republicans and independent voters were also disappointed in this election.

  5. Another great read Emily, I too think The Place is over priced, but the topper for me was after spending 80.00 on lunch, closed the tab, then wanted to buy another round, they would not take a credit card as it did not meet the 20.00 limit. Plus, when we were there, their chairs were broken, we went twice and have not been back.
    After spending twice a year on Barnes for the past 3-4 years, I have seen it washed out and deep sand, in April, I could not walk to Viceroy, the waves were coming all the way up, it is not a good beach, but it is quiet and peaceful and that is what we love.
    Thanks for posting Emily - always a pleasure.

    1. Ahhh, that explains why you don't talk more about The Place. I didn't know. ;-)

      Yeah, that would have ticked me off, too, if that had happened to me.


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