In February 2020, I became one of a handful of Africans to visit the beautiful island of Anguilla. Where do I get these stats, you ask? From the two airport officers who told me they hadn’t seen an African passport before, LOL! I obviously don’t have a future in quantitative research, but this speaks to how otherworldly this little Caribbean gem was for me.
If I could sum up Anguilla in a word, I’d call it tranquil. Although there is a surprisingly thriving nightlife and a variety of restaurants serving some of the best food in the region, Anguilla is a very “chill” place, perfect for a relaxing getaway without the hustle and bustle of busier Caribbean islands. Side note: when someone mentioned” hustle and bustle” in relation to the islands, I laughed out loud, but after two and a half months in St Thomas, I can see it now too, some islands are busier than others.
Anguilla is not mountainous, meaning there aren’t very many views of the beaches at a high angle. However, the island more than makes up for this, with their aqua blue water and the most stunning white-sand beaches.
On my first night on the island, I was introduced to the spirit of this rainbow land when we had dinner at the award-winning Belmond Cap Juluca. The night began with a welcoming station where we made our own peach Bellini’s and were escorted down to our waterside table and were given the most impeccable service I have ever been exposed to.
We stayed at a beautiful resort called Fountain that was just a (literal) 3-minute walk to Shoal Bay beach, which turned out to be my favourite beach on the island. I loved it so much I made a video because I could not capture the entire beauty in just a photo.
For breakfast on our official first day in Anguilla, we went to Le Bon Pain, a cute little French bakery whose Croissants (almond, chocolate, plain and ham) are simply put; life-changing. I could imagine myself sitting there all morning writing blogs and trying to keep the chickens that roam around from pecking at my food. Bliss!
A visit to Anguilla would not be complete without a stop at Kens Ribs (everybody just calls the place Kens though). Park your car on the side of the road, order your pork or fish under the tent for around $7 a person and drown your order in the perfectly house-made sauce. Kens is only open from Thursday to Sunday so plan your visits around then.
Next, you’ll want to swim off the ribs and take a little adventure, so plan to book a boat ride down to one of the island cays “offshore”. Our first stop was Sandy Island, which is a short boat ride off Sandy Ground Beach offering you the very Instagrammable opportunity of stepping off a boat on to a small piece of land in the middle of so much blue. Note that the pic below was taken as I was saying “there’s absolutely no way to get off a boat gracefully”, alas, I was wrong, look at how cute I look!
Sandy Island is famous for its well-made rum punches and fresh off the grill food. Definitely a must-have…if you still have space left over for food after Kens.
Another trip you could take from Sandy Ground Beach is one going to Prickly Pear beach which is about a 25-minute open boat ride. Now, I can’t say for sure if this is always the case but the tides were HIGH on that day and swimming was virtually impossible, in fact, so was getting on and off the boat! I acquired a new battle scar (and a funny story) when I missed my footing and fell off the boat. Anyway, crazy waves notwithstanding, I still very much enjoyed the place and took a nice walk along the beach, and there’s more ground to cover than at Sandy Island.
In my travels, I’ve come to realise that I am not a foodie, and although food forms a huge part of my trips, I never focus much on that aspect so I am committing to doing better. Here are some of the places to check out for a culinary experience of Anguilla, as tried and tested by me, your amateur non-foodie food reviewer.
Breakfast: Le Bon Pain, Belmond Cap Juluca
Lunch/Dinner: Ocean Echo, Blanchards, Kens, Cips by Cipriani,
Drinks: The Cap Shack