It took me a year but I made it back home! Home sweet home away from home that is, and for me, that is Anguilla. Last year, I did something I’ve never done before. I visited a place I’ve never been and immersed myself in the culture for an entire month. I enjoyed it so much, I vowed to return and promised there would be a part three that would share even more goodies about this quaint, beautiful island country.
In Part One and Part Two, I shared all about the culture, the people, the unique places to visit, and some helpful tidbits on what to know before you go. Well guess what, there’s more where that came from! On my return visit this January, I reveled in some of my favorite spots and found some new ones that I’m excited to share with my Golden Life tribe.
Before I share more, here are the Cliff Notes on my impression of Anguilla. If you are a beach bum, who loves relaxing on a beach, enjoying good food, experiencing live music, and taking delight in meeting new people, Anguilla should be on your travel list! But please make sure you have your coins together before you go.
I mistakenly mentioned in my first blog that I hadn’t yet made it to half of Anguilla’s 33 beaches. I’d actually been to more than I thought! Sunshine Shack at Rendevous Bay and Madeariman at Shoal Bay Beach are still my favorites, but I did have some new experiences that I’d recommend as well.
Be sure to spend a day at Scilly Cay, a private island off the coast of Island Harbour. It is a quick (less than 10 minutes) ride away from the Harbour. In true Anguilla style, you schedule your boat by standing on the dock and waving to get the boat captain’s attention. Within 10 minutes your ferry (a generous term for a very small boat) comes to escort you to the island where you can enjoy a day of relaxing on the beach, enjoying a limited, but delicious selection of Anguillan fare and cocktails, play corn hole toss and other beach games, and be serenaded by an acoustic guitarist and vocalist named Terry. He actually reminded me of my dad in spirit, though he looked more like Harry Belafonte physically lol.
I heard the seafood on the island was amazing but the chicken did not disappoint!
This coconut rum punch was so bomb.
This little island is great for families
It’s important to note that Scilly Cay is not open every day of the week. At the time of my visit they were open Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. It’s best to check their social media to confirm days and hours.
I also enjoyed my beach time at Cap Jaluca on Maunday’s Bay beach. Though it’s important to note that it will cost you. If you are not staying at this 5-star luxury hotel, you either have to pay for a $50-day pass to visit or spend that amount per person at the beach shack. This is not hard to do with a couple of cocktails and an appetizer. It is a gorgeous beach with amazing views, but honestly, that’s not hard to find on this island.
This tuna poke bowl was amazing.
You know the foodie in me could not wait to get back to some of my Anguillan favorites like Sharky’s, Ember, and Dolce Vita. But lo and behold, I found some new ones that offered a new, and equally enjoyable experience.
Veya was so nice, we had to experience it twice on this visit. This is a new restaurant that opened since our last visit. Everything that I tasted on this menu from the salads and lamb chops to the sauteed snapper and even lemon ricotta flatbread was absolutely delicious. I also loved the live music that was offered during dinner by local artist, Omari Banks. Additionally, they have a downstairs lounge area that offers you a front row seat to the live entertainment.
Not sure how we missed this well-known Anguillan restaurant on our last visit, but we made sure to visit Tasty’s this time. And boy did it live up to its name! Be sure to get the Johnny cakes, a Caribbean staple they do well, and the grilled lobster. I normally don’t go for a whole lot of extra trimmings on my lobster like peppers, but it was superb!
Didn’t capture a photo of the Johnny cakes but the lobster fritters were delicious as well.
Another new establishment that popped up since our last visit was Savi Beach Club. So beautiful! It was intended to have a similar vibe to the infamous Nikki Beach Club. It doesn’t quite hit the mark on yet, but I truly enjoyed my experience. The sushi was delicious and the dinner vibe was dope. We didn’t get to experience the day vibe because the weather wouldn’t let us be great on the day we planned to go, but I do plan to go back!
(Fun tidbit, the Real Housewives of New York were filming there on the night we visited. They were the reason for us not getting to experience live music there that night.)
Last but certainly not least, the dinner experience at Blanchard’s is worth noting. Last year, we could only make it to the beach shack, but the restaurant is a whole other experience. Literally, everything we tasted from the caesar salad and the Spanish dates to the red curry mussels and spiced pork ribs was amazing! A return visit is in order.
On this visit, we scheduled restaurant reservations around when we knew there would be live music. So even some of the restaurants we’d been to before like Sharky’s and Dolce Vita felt like a different experience once the live music was added. By the way, I wouldn’t recommend Dolce Vita on a Friday night, unless you’re a fan of loud karaoke nights. I’ll just leave it at that.
If you’re a live music lover like my family is, be sure to check out Anguilla’s hometown favorite Bankie Banx’s Dune Preserve. Think who Bob Marley was to Jamaica. That’s who Bankie Banx is for Anguilla. He performs there most weekend nights and features special guests, like his son Omari Banks, who we saw at Veya. Like many Anguilla establishments, it’s right on the beach and it’s a whole vibe.
So enjoyed hearing and meeting local artist Omari Banks.
Bankie Banx show was so great we stayed for two sets and got to meet him afterward.
If you’re interested in planning your restaurant visits around live music like we did, I recommend following the Anguilla Tourist Board. They offer a weekly schedule of live entertainment.
As you can see, for a small island, Anguilla has a lot to offer. As it is my home sweet home away from home, expect more new finds from future visits. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram @goldenlifeventures for more.