A trip to the Beach – The island of Anguilla – Melinda and Robert Blanchard


Why a booktrail?

Have you ever wanted to just escape it all and open up a cafe in paradise? Eating and enjoying the good life? Step this way on to the beach…

Story in a seashell

We’ll all probably thought about it at some point – escaping to an island paradise and live the high life. Maybe set up a business and live there far away from the rat race.

That’s exactly what Bob and Melinda Blanchard did when they moved from their lives and food business in Vermont and moved to Anguilla in the Caribbean. Opening up a food bar then turns into a restaurant and a life neither of them could have imagined. But then comes Hurricane Luis, and their dreams risk being destroyed.

Should paradise be such a challenge and what can they do now?

Place and setting


Welcome to Anguilla (rhymes with vanilla) in the Caribbean. Now you see, it sounds and smells nice already and that’s before the adventure really begins..

*Blanchards Beach Shack The ‘shack’ behind the story http://www.blanchardsrestaurant.com/
*Blanchards Beach Shack
The ‘shack’ behind the story

Life in Vermont is good but it’s when they’re on a holiday in the Caribbean that they stumble along a shack on the beach  and think of the nice way of life they could have here. They stumble upon a shack and their reaction?

Tempting right? So, leaving behind the concrete jungle of Vermont, the island of Anguilla is out of this world. The white sandy beaches, the palm trees and the perfect weather for outdoor cooking and open air eating.

Adapting to the slower pace of life and the new and quirky island charms, life is one long day by the grill, the ‘music’ of fishing boats in the background and the essence of the ocean.

But creating and building a restaurant  is just as difficult in paradise than it is anywhere else. Red tape, customs problems, delivery issues (oh the distances involved!)

We forced ourselves to concentrate – to work in a spot where the rest of the world comes to play

But the funny and hardworking staff make it all worth while. Even the way they speak, captured via the sing-song dialogue create an ambience that draws you right in. That’s if Shabby doesn’t with his ‘octopus arms’

Oh but the food – centre of the table at all times-

What about some Grilled Tuna With Coconut Rice Cakes? Maybe some banana bread and would you dare to try the strangely named Crisp Tai Snapper?

When the hurricane comes, life changes but the spirit and determination of Bob and Mel does not. The  spirit of the Caribbean and its people immerse you in another world.