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Posts tagged ‘Caribbean’

Anguilla Eats: Blanchards

Blanchard’s Restaurant
P.O. Box 898
Meads Bay
Anguilla
Phone: (264) 497-6100
Website: http://www.blanchardsrestaurant.com/

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One of the things that spurred me to plan a trip to Anguilla was the book A Trip to the Beach: Living on Island Time in the Caribbean by Melinda Blanchard. We read Trip to the Beachin one of my book clubs last summer and I really enjoyed it. This non-fiction book tells the tale of how a Vermont couple followed their dreams and opened a restaurant on Anguilla. Blanchards is the restaurant that they opened and it is still up & running.

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Blanchards is a cute little cottage-y space located on the beach at Meads Bay. The dining room was casually elegant with white walls and ceiling making it feel bright and airy. In nice weather they throw open all the shutters and you can hear the waves while you eat. It was too dark to see the ocean but we could definitely hear it. The ocean was on the other side of those 2 trees in the picture below. We got there at around 6:30 and there was only one other party in the restaurant at that time. A few more parties showed up while we were dining. We were not visiting during the peak tourist season, so I am certain the restaurant is more crowded in January-April.

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See what we ordered (after the jump)…

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Anguilla Eats: E’s Oven

 E’s Oven
Rendezvous Road
South Hill, Anguilla
264-498-8258

 For those who’ve never been to Anguilla, it’s not a very big island. It is only 16 miles long and about 3 miles wide at its widest point. There are no highways, and you can probably count all of the traffic lights on 2 hands. There are several main roads on the island, with one lane of traffic going in each direction. It is pretty easy to find your way around. That being said, for all of the restaurants I wanted to check out there, I didn’t have a real street address for them… not a house number to be found. But, we were eventually able to find everyplace that we were looking for.  The people of Anguilla are really friendly and were great at giving us directions. One thing you see A LOT of as you roam around Anguilla are goats. Goats aren’t very good at giving directions though. 😉 

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Our first day in Anguilla, we had a late lunch at E’s Oven. I selected E’s Oven based on recommendations from Chowhound.  E’s Oven is located on the same main road as the hotel that we were staying at. It’s a bright red & yellow building nestled into a curve in the road in the South Hill area of the island.   E’s Oven is run by an Anguillan named Vernon Hughs, who gained his cooking skills by working at other restaurants on the island. E’s Oven is located at the site of his mother’s old stone oven. The cuisine has some upscale Caribbean  dishes with some pastas and grilled seafood thrown into the menu-mix as well. the vibe is nice, bright, and casual.  They have a full bar so that you can enjoy a beer or rum punch with your meal.

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We were seated in a covered porch area at the front of the restauraunt. The mister got a beer and I got fruit punch.

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Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa

Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa
144 Oyster Pond Rd.
St. Maarten
Phone: (599) 543 6700
On our recent, much needed, trip to the Caribbean, we planned to visit two islands, St. Maarten and Anguilla. Our flight from JFK didn’t arrive in St. Maarten until 4:30 or so, and based on the rumored “horrible traffic” on St. Maarten we didn’t want to risk trying to make it to the Anguilla ferry in Marigot before it stopped running for the day so we had planned ahead to spend our first night on St. Maarten and THEN go to Anguilla the next day for our 3 nights there.
The room we booked for our first night on St. Maarten was at the Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa. This hotel is on the Dutch side of the island but very close to the border to the French side. The Dutch side of the island can be pretty crazy and congested (and can have VERY VERY bad traffic at times), but the Westin is nestled on an out of the way hill miles from the craziness. This resort sits right on Dawn Beach — there is no crossing roads or following meandering goat paths to get to the beach. We opened the veranda door in our room and here’s the view:
View from our room's veranda
View from our room’s veranda

Ahh, what a way to start a trip. This is the sort of view I had been longing for!

The room itself was very similar to another Westin’s room that I stayed in a few months ago in Washington DC. The furnishings are contemporary traditional with a very comforable cloud of a bed and a spacious & bright (and quite large) bathroom.
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The resort also had a spa, a small casino area with lots of slot machines, and a hot tub and infinity pool (both of which overlook the beach). On site, the Westin has 2 restaurants. We only ate at one of the restaurants– the more casual one called Ocean. We stayed at the Westin on a Wednesday night and every Wednesday night Ocean had a Pirate Night Seafood Buffet. I am not a huge buffet fan but this one was very good. There were huge platters of crab claws, shrimp, various seafood salads, soup, a BBQ /carving station and a ton of different desserts. Imagine pictures here that I took of the food but that my computer decided should no longer exist. *sigh*  At first I was frightened by the “Pirate” in the buffet’s name…it gave me visions of waiters running around in pirate costumes hamming it up with lots of “Arrrr”s.  The waiters (fortunately, IMO) were wearing black t-shirts that mentioned pirate  night but there was no one dressed up like Captain Jack Sparrow….there WAS live entertainment though out on the covered patio where we were sitting. There was a steel drum band playing a mix of holiday music and pop favorites and then later in the evening there was a bit of a floor show with a fire dancer, a man walking on coals, and a small troupe of dancers.  All in all the buffet was worth the $38 per person price tag. My husband was very impressed  by the whole thing.

In the mornings, Ocean has a breakfast buffet which we also took advantage of the next morning. The breakfast buffet included an omelete station, assorted pastries, fresh fruit, eggs benedict, and other hot breakfast items.  I wasn’t as impressed with the breakfast buffet as I had been with the seafood buffet. I did enjoy eating breakfast out on the patio with a view of the pool and the beach.
The pool at the Westin Dawn Beach

The pool at the Westin Dawn Beach

I give the Westin Dawn Beach Resort 4 out of 5 mangoes. I would stay there again if I returned to St. Maarten.

Back to Reality…

I am back from a much needed getaway. In the last few days I’ve gone from this view….
westinview1…to my current view which is much more ummm, blizzard-y. brrrr.

In the week+ since I’ve gone away, it looks like some of my scheduled postings didn’t go up so I will need to look into that and get them posted.

I’ll be posting some reads and eats from my trip shortly as well.