14 November 2019

Anguilla, or There and Back Again Part III

Another beautiful Meads morning

Waking up on Monday morning was essentially a repeat of the day before.  Up with the sun, early morning coffee and reading in bed with the windows and sliding doors wide open on the balcony.  Listening to the light rain, followed by a walk on the beach while the shadows were still long. It’s a pretty terrible way to start the day, let me tell you.

My second book of vacation: Super Host by Kate Russo.  This debut novel will be published in June 2020. It’s the story of a London artist past his heyday who rents his home on a website similar to AirBnB to make ends meet. Lots of wonderful bits of London color, art, and human insight to boot.  She’s the daughter of famed author Richard Russo, and I’m happy to say that literary talent definitely runs in the family!

Public access path to Rendezvous
I had originally planned to spend Monday on Shoal Bay East but couldn’t find confirmation online anywhere that Elodia’s (my favorite place to park myself for the day on SBE) was open, so I switched gears and decided that Rendezvous would be my destination for the day.  I called The Place to see if they were open, but the reply was “only for breakfast.” Undeterred, I packed a beach bag and headed for Rendezvous anyway and decided to spend a nice chunk of my day at Anguilla Great House instead.
Chairs for rent, or complimentary with lunch
The palm trees that didn’t survive Hurricane Irma were a great loss for this beach

I’ve had many well-loved beaches over the years, and for my last several trips to Anguilla, Rendezvous has reigned as my favorite. Shoal Bay East used to be my top pick, but it’s starting to get a little built up now for my taste.  Rendezvous pleases me with its stunning length, views to St Maarten, casual beach bars and above all, the low density of hotels and resorts.

Click for full view
I set myself up on the far westerly chaise longue for privacy and immediately went for a swim.  Despite this beach having more small rocks & pebbles closer to shore, I appreciated that there was less undertow here than what I’d been experiencing on Meads, where merely getting out of the water without being sucked back in required both sure footing and good timing. After my swim I took a short walk towards The Place in order to dry off a bit, but since the sun was higher in the sky, I was careful about  my exposure.  After all, the one thing that I wasn’t able to do sufficiently on my own for this trip was to apply sunscreen on my back!

Heading east, toward The Place
I’d started a new book earlier that morning and was eager to get back to the narrative, so for the next two hours I stayed under my umbrella until I started getting hungry.  While I’d dined at Anguilla Great House before I’d never before eaten at Coconuts, the restaurant that sits on the beach. I picked out a table in the shade, ordered the BBQ chicken and a Ting, and got lost counting the many shades of blue in front of me.

 It was altogether pleasant, especially with the constant breeze. I completely inhaled my chicken, which was delicious and even managed to eat some of the cole slaw and the Sysco-esque French fries.

I still wanted that little something, so I ordered a frozen rum drink with banana, strawberry, and mango.  It wasn’t, strictly speaking, my favorite adult beverage ever, but it was cold and refreshing and managed to finish it all.  I was pleased with myself that I’d remembered to bring my own reusable straws when dining out!

Moving my chair so that it could stay in the shade of my umbrella, I settled in for a nice long read after lunch. The breeze was perfect - strong enough to keep me feeling quite comfortable but not vigorous enough to be kicking up the sand. Basically it was the Goldilocks of breezes in that it was jusssssst right. Eventually I was feeling too sedentary and so put on my beach coverup and went for another walk - this time in the direction of Cuisinart.

After a decent amble, I walked back, went for another swim, and then settled my tab.  I’m not sure how much the chairs and umbrella are to rent if you’re not buying lunch at Coconuts, but they were complimentary with my meal.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, I decided to go for a swim in the pool at Turtles Nest.  The water was actually cold!  Like, teen-chattering cold, at least for the first minute.  It was an utterly new sensation for me. Feeling far too chilled to sit outside in a wet bathing suit after that dip, I hiked back up to my room and stayed there for the rest of the afternoon reading and catching up on work a little bit back home.

The sunset, while pleasant, wasn’t spectacular enough to tempt me down from my balcony. Afterward I spent a little time actually blow drying my hair and and a minimal amount of gussying for my dinner at Veya, which is arguably my favorite restaurant on the island.

It’d been three years almost to the day since my last meal there and I was excited to see a few new things on the menu, and I had a difficult time deciding whether to try something new or go for an old favorite, so I did both. Favorite cocktail (Sandy Hill) for an aperitif, new appetizer (green salad), favorite entrĂ©e (jerk spiced tuna), and new dessert (pineapple upside down cake). Their delicious johnny cakes & pumpkin bread, an amuse-bouche of pumpkin soup, and a glass of wine rounded out the meal.

Veya’s signature votives
It was a beautiful evening and before long, Omari’s voice drifted up from the courtyard below to serenade us all. The salad was perfectly fine but nothing out of the ordinary, but the rest of the meal was culinary perfection.  That tuna dish, with its many layers and flavors and textures, is unlike anything I’ve ever eaten anywhere else. 

Despite not finishing the salad or the tuna, I still felt like I needed to roll myself down the stairs to my car after dinner.  I’m definitely not used to eating that much for my evening meal!  The staff were kind enough to wrap up my uneaten banana bread and even tossed in a couple of extra johnny cakes and pieces of pumpkin bread for me to take home for my breakfast the next morning. All in all, it was a pretty damned perfect day. 

1 comment:

  1. Rendezvous Bay was my first love, it has it all, we would float all the way down to Cuisinart from RBH, swim back and do it all again.
    Next to Nat's, Veya has the best Johnnycakes, they are really delicious.
    Sounds as if you had another wonderful day.
    Thanks for posting Emily.


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