Anguilla Local News

Where in Anguilla can you have a gourmet lunch barefoot in your wet swim wrap? . . .

Restaurant Ici
 December 1, 1997 - Site Map.

Restaurant Ici

Lisa and Alan Gumbs, who also own Koal Keel Restaurant, have opened a new restaurant, poolside at the Sonesta Resort. The setting is beautiful, right on the beach, overlooking St Martin, and the food is delicious. Not just my humble opinion, the chef Zeff Bonsey won a gold medal at the Caribbean Culinary Competition for best main course, and also on the team is Pascal Baronnier, who was named Pastry Chef of the year at the same competition.

Restaurant Ici is open for lunch and dinner. I loved the Spring Roll and the Sausage Pizza for lunch. For dinner, reservations are recommended during the tourist season. Telephone: 264-497-6999.

Here are a few extracts from their dinner menu:

Fruitwood smoked Atlantic salmon with dill-scented galettes, Sour cream & shaved red onion 13.00
Great Anguillian lobster cakes, heart of palm & Italian Parsley salad, Sofrito mayonnaise 12.00
Curry & lemongrass chicken satay with Asian greens & Tomato marmalade10.00
Main Dishes
Filet of Anguillian snapper braised with fruity Chardonnay On a bed of slow-roasted orange sweet Potatoes, Caribbean Vegetables & sprays of fresh lemon 20.00
Yellowtail snapper in a crushed herb crust, shredded potato Risotto, snap peas & carrot-lime vinaigrette 22.00
Anguillian rock grouper with piquant French mustard, Leek & oven-roasted tomato tian & root vegetables 22.00

That is only a sample of their menu. Food lovers can read the entire menu.

Update on Koal Keel Restaurant

More Information:
The complete menu.
Their web page.

With all the work establishing their new restaurant, Lisa and Alan have not slighted their popular Koal Keel Restaurant located in a historic building in The Valley. This year they have added two European-style fixed-price meals to their menu: a five-course meal for US$55 and a seven-course feast for US$75! The staff remains mostly the same: Ambrose as head waiter, Jerome and Pascal in the kitchen preparing delicious breads and pastries, and Smoke Sharplis as head chef. The wine steward is now Algernon. They are open for dinner only. 264-497-2930.

The Chef's Tasting Menu in seven courses, price fixed
DUCK CARPACCIO Medallions of duck breast with foie gras and baby greens, rice wine vinaigrette
SALADE OF RED MULLET SAUCE Gazpacho with ratatouille
LOBSTER WITH GREEN ONIONS In itís own vinaigrette
TERRINE OF SMOKED SALMON Spinach and anchovy butter
Choice of NOISETTES DE AGNEAU EN CREPINETTE Fettuccini of vegetables, jus of tarragon
Tea or coffee

Jacques Dessange: Coiffure Femmes/Hommes

[Click to enlarge Dessange Salon] Besides the new restaurant, Sonesta Resort has a new high-class beauty salon for locals and visitors alike: Jacques Dessange. This is an international salon with branches in top European and North American cities. They do complete beauty and hair treatments, including manicure, pedicure, gel nails, waxing, etc. Telephone 264-497-6998 for an appointment.

News Tidbits from Anguilla

Dumpa at Shoal Bay. There is great Caribbean music from Dumpa and Anvibes on Sunday nights at Hardbroke on Shoal Bay. Dumpa plays the steel pan and is backed up by the Anvibes on drums, guitar, keyboard, bass and vocals. They attracts a local crowd of all ages from children to great grandmothers, and they all dance to his West Indian, Country and Pop tunes. Music volume is reasonable and you don't have to stay up to midnight waiting for the action. The crowd had already filled the dance floor when we dropped in at 7PM and was still cooking when we left at 10PM. When coming down the hill into Shoal Bay, take the turn to the left at their sign. Highly recommended.

Shoal Bay Scuba and Watersports is a new dive shop on the beach at upper Shoal Bay, on the grounds of the Allamanda Beach Club. They went for their first night dive last week! 264-497-4371. Email:

Mussingtons Band At Smitty's. Live music has started on Saturday nights, upstairs at Smitty's in the old ballroom. 264-497-4300

Wallblake House House. Becky Haskins reports that the winner of their raffle for a holiday in Anguilla was Robert Welch, Jr. of Florida. Sir Emile Gumbs, one of the trustees of this charity to restore Wallblake House, drew the winning ticket last Thursday night, November 27th.

Cerulean Villa: New Luxury Accomodation

If you have walked Barnes Bay recently, you may have wondered about the big house under construction. Its the new five-star Cerulean Villa, which can accomodate up to 16 guests in eight bedrooms. The villa has its own on site concierge-manager, Susie Webster, who is professional and well-qualified, having worked at Malliouhana Hotel, and its own French sous-chef (we can attest from personal experience that her appetizers are incredible). Of course the villa also has pool, tennis court, and air conditioning. Children welcome. Pricing is US$15,200/week in the low season, $19,600 in high season, and $31,000 for Christmas. Booking is handled by Wendy at Overseas Connection, 516-725-9308, ext 11.

More Information:
Beach and pool view from upstairs balcony.
Instant palm trees.
The Cerulean web page.
Other Anguilla villas.


Every few weeks an email question arrives about sports fishing in Anguilla, but the sports fishing industry here is just in its infancy. You don't see a marina full of high-tech boats with flying bridges, because Anguilla doesn't even have a marina!

So here is everything I know, but I am not a fishermen.

Can visitors fish in Anguilla? I checked with the Tourist Office and they say, except for spear fishing, "No problem". A license is not required. Only belongers are allowed to spear fish in Anguilla.

What about fishing from the shore? Certainly, but I couldn't find anywhere that rents poles or tackle. So bring your own equipment.

Can I rent a bare boat? No, not without the captain. There are dangerous reefs all around Anguilla and local knowledge is essential.

What about deep-sea fishing? Yes, although I have never talked to a visitor who has gone deep-sea fishing. Hint, now I am "fishing" for people to send me their experiences. Here is a list that I have gathered of boats that advertise fishing trips:

Experienced sports fishermen Georget Petrilak writes:
I have gone out with Lionel Richardson, 497-2936, on Arvencia, a new 30' center console boat out of Crocus Bay. He is set up for line fishing (bottom fishing) and trolling with 2 rods. We have caught a lot of bottom fish as well as tuna, barracuda and snappers while trolling, called towing in Anguilla. The boat has dual 150 outboards and is a very good sea boat.

I have also gone out with Ed Carty, 497-2337, on his Hatteress 31 from Sandy Ground. He owns the Fish store in North Hill. He is set up very well with outriggers and usually runs 5 rods. He doesn't always agree to take people out, especially if you get seasick ! Very knowledgeable fisherman.

Points of Interest in Blowing Point

[Click to enlarge Blowing Point Beach] Blowing Point beach to the east of the ferry is a working harbour. You will see numerous small ferry boats and fishing boats anchored in the bay, plus fisherman and a 200 yard stretch of sand. Bali Hai at the end of the beach is a villa that can be rented. Blowing Point beach provides some shade under the sea grape trees and you can stroll over to the ferry terminal bar or to Big Jim's Snack Bar. There is another beach to the west, Sandy Point beach, featuring the Ferryboat Inn and with the Pavillion Hotel a short stroll away.
Click to enlarge Big Jim

Blowing Point has a lot more to it than the ferry to St Martin.

Big Jim's Snack Bar reputedly has the best bbq chicken and ribs in Anguilla, some people say the world. Currently his place is the plywood stand just before the ferry terminal. This is just a temporary replacement for his ancient concrete structure that blew away in Hurricane Luis--you can see that Big Jim is building a much larger permanent structure. If you drop in you may see cows munching the grass and the tables full of domino players.
Big Jim Wins Rib-Off!
Dec 6, 1997 was a culinary competition in Anguilla. Big Jim won the rib-off contest against some seriously good competition.

Big Jim's real name is Alfred Romney and he sells cold drinks, plus bbq chicken for EC$6, bbq ribs for EC$8 and johnny cakes for EC$1. Big Jim has been open for 15 years, so he is an institution. He gets a lot of visitors as customers, as well as locals. Big Jim's schedule is Mon-Sat, 10am to 7pm and his sister-in-law opens Sunday from 11am to 5pm. They are happy to prepare take out.

As of May 1998, the walls are up for Big Jim's new bar and restaurant at the ferry terminal. If you want to taste his award-winning BBQ ribs while he still cooks them leaning out the window of his temporary place, don't wait too long.

News. Dec 15, 1997:
Amy has a new snack bar next to the bakery called Amy's Place. They sell iced tea, lemonade drinks, sodas, and sandwiches, pizzas and other snacks for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Amy's Bakery is run by Amy Connor and her two daughters. Driving into Blowing Point you will see it on the left side of the road about 200 yards from the beach. She has a reputation for great pastries and sandwiches. People come from all over to shop here. She has customers from the United States, Canada and Europe. In Hurricane Luis the bakery suffered massive water damage, but reopened quickly. They sell cakes, brownies, bread pudding, tarts, muffins, cup cakes, sandwiches and cold beverages. You can try a slice of cake for EC$3 or buy an entire cake for EC$50, or even order a custom cake made for you. Amy's is open Mon-Sat, 6am-6pm.
[Click to visit Danny's Web page.]

Guest article by Danny Laud, Student

Danny Laud is a 16-year old student at the high school and a member of the computer club. He plays basketball and does Tae Kwon Do. His ambition is to get a Masters in Computer Science from MIT. Danny has a web page.

Weather in Anguilla

Weather Summary Anguilla
Today: 84F 28C 64% Humidity, Sunny December 1
Low temp since last news report 77F 25C
High temp since last news report 86F 30C
Low humidity since last news report 61%
Tropical storm web site Link
Five-day weather forecast Link
Live station in Anguilla Link

Pierre Bourque writes "Lest you islanders all think that things everywhere are as they are in Anguilla, allow me to mention that it is sub-zero here in Ontario, Canada and it has snowed about a foot in the past 24 hours." Anguilla also had a cold snap in mid-November, which caused us to add a light blanket to our bed. The temperature plunged to 77 F at night and a cold wind sprung up. The wind chill factor must have dropped the effective temperature to 74 F at least. This was a reminder that winter is here, even in the Caribbean.

Upcoming Events in Anguilla

The Anguilla Local News has an Calendar for the year showing events, holidays, and activities.

Here are some events scheduled for the next few weeks. If you are interested, check with your hotel concierge or the tourist office.

Updates and Feedback

Todo Esta Tranquilo. Fred Cook writes: "My family and friends take a holiday yearly in el caribe and this year we stayed in a villa on Meades Bay. It just so happens that I became computer literate and went on line just prior to our trip to Anguilla last February. We all have been to quite a few islands but Anguilla really impressed me. New to the internet prior to our trip, I entered Anguilla into web crawler and quickly clickeded on your page. Anguilla will always hold a special place in my heart. I can sum it up by the Spanish expression, todo esta tranquilo. Stess and high pressure are constantly closing in on us all and though I have always been a very strong individual living in Anguilla is a very attractive alternative."

Car Rental Rates. Anguilla has numerous car rental places. For example, Thrifty is located in The Valley across the street from Cable and Wireless. They have small, standard transmission cars for $35/day, $225/week, small automatics for $42 and $260, automatics with airco for $45 and $280, and Japanese "jeeps" for $50 and $310. 264-497-2656

A Classic Book on the Real Anguilla

[Click to enlarge cover of Anguilla Beyond the Beaches] Anguilla Beyond the Beaches is an entertaining booklet on Anguilla's history and culture that sells for less than US $6. The author, Brenda Carty, says it "is intended for the visitor who wants to know more about Anguilla: beyond the beaches, restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions." Other books by Brenda include Anguilla: Tranquil Isle of the Caribbean, co-authored with Colville Petty.

The booklet is sold at the Arts and Craft Center, Anguilla Drug Store, and most gift shops.

Here is a sample about the now defunct Salt Industry:

To reap the salt, crews of 4-6 men and women waded into the pond, poling a large flat-bottomed wooden boat called a "flat". With gloved hands the cake of salt was brought up from the bottom, rinsed in a basket and thrown into the flat where it broke into small crystals of salt from 1/2" to 1" in diameter. When full of salt, the flat was taken to the edge of the pond and loaded into barrels where it was taken on a concrete ramp to the salt heap, with the aid of a front end loader. Each flat held about 18 barrels of salt with each barrel weighing 300 pounds. The salt was left in large heaps until shipped to the factory to be ground into fine salt.

More books about Anguilla.

Web Sites About Anguilla

Maintour has put up an Anguilla Page with basic information on beaches and attractions.

Trattoria Tramonto is a new restaurant in the West End, and the web page has the complete menu. is the web address for the Devonish Art Gallery. See what shows they are planning this winter and play with the amazing rotating wood sculpture - you click and drag it to see how it looks from all angles!

More Underwater Pictures. We recently featured Red Lynch's underwater photo tour of Anguilla, and here is another underwater tour, this one by Chris Mason.

Another Small Map of Anguilla. This one shows the location of all the offshore cays, including Sombrero.

Objective Observer is a column in our local newspaper. Topics range from Anguilla road work to US and Anguillian culture - with local news as well. It is available at two places on the Internet: for recent articles and a cartoon, and for an archive going back to early 96. You can sign up with the anonymous OO to receive his/her columns via email as they are written. Here is a short excerpt from a recent column:

THE OBJECTIVE OBSERVER (c) 1997 by RK Publications

The Objective Observer appears as a weekly column in Anguilla's [only] newspaper *The Light*. The column is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission. Questions, comments, and index of column titles to or from

* Treadmill *

There's good and bad news, Readers. The bad news is that technology marches on, and PC Magazine reports that an inhuman device called the quad-density DVD is now under intensive development. This weapon of mass destruction "might contain at least 400 hours [of music]. One such disk could potentially play music 24 hours a day for more than 16 days before repeating." For all those local enterprises which serve no chicken and no chips (and no nothing else) without musical accompaniment, maybe the era of incessant din is dawning, but for those of us who love the quiet of Anguilla, Let's Get Together and Feel All Punk.

... Now read the rest of this column.

Top stories from the previous issue.
Corito Bay Blanchard's Restaurant
Iguana Delicatissima Hibernia Restaurant
Boathouse Villa Leduc's Restaurant

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