I can tell you what to do where to do it until the cows come home, but wouldn’t you rather hear it straight from the source? In this new series, I nab knowledgeable locals and get them to reveal the insider intel on the destinations they call home so you can enjoy the Caribbean the way Caribbeans do.
This week, our savvy source is gal-about-town and bon vivant Trudy Nixon. The bubbly Brit has been living on Anguilla since 2004, where she runs her own public relations and marketing consultancy, and “lives a millionaire lifestyle on a minimal budget.”
What’s the one thing you must do while you’re on island?
Well, there are two things: You must have grilled crayfish – it’s good everywhere but I recommend Tasty’s, Straw Hat and Scilly Cay. And you MUST dance to soca. My favorite spots are Darvin’s and Smokey’s.
Of Anguilla’s 33 beaches, which are your favorites?
I’ll always have a place in my heart for Shoal Bay East, which was where I had my first proper Anguillian beach experience. The white sand is as fine as caster sugar, the blues of the water are amazing. I’ve been to beaches all over the world and there’s just no comparison. The sea at Crocus Bay is flat-calm and perfect for swimming, and there’s great snorkeling there, too. I love Rendezvous Bay as well. I always take visiting friends there, and I sometimes walk my dogs on the shore. I like to sit under the trees at Anguilla Great House, which is right on the beach and also where they serve the best rum punch, made with three different types of rum.
What’s Anguilla’s most underrated activity?
Anguilla’s small festivals are so little-known beyond the island, and they really ought not to be. Easter’s Festival Del Mar, a two-day street party with live music, fishing tournaments, boat races and beachfront stalls selling amazingly fresh local seafood, is really special. Our boat racing season runs from Easter to August, and there are festivities in Sandy Ground almost every weekend. And then there’s the Anguilla Lit Fest, being held for the second time next May. It’s an intimate “jollification” (that’s Anguillian for coming together to create something) for readers and aspiring writers that I find really inspiring.
Describe your perfect day on Anguilla
Two of my friends run the restaurant on one of Anguilla’s five offshore islands, Prickly Pear. Some Saturdays mornings I’ll help them load supplies onto the boat, we motor over to the island, and I help them prepare for the day-trippers who come over in catamarans from St. Maarten. After lunch has been served and the cats have left, the three of us chill out on the beach, have a few drinks at Prickly’s tiki bar, and head home as the sun sets. After a cup of tea and a disco nap I’ll usually go down to the beachfront village of Sandy Ground for dinner; there’s great tapas at Sandbar. Then I do a mini pub crawl, with stops at Elvis’ beach bar and The Pumphouse, and end the night at Squark’s or Darvin’s for a bit of dancing. (Because no evening’s complete without dancing.)