Scilly Cay, Anguilla

Photo: Christian Gomez
Photo: Christian Gomez

Ready for lunch? All you need to do is go to the dock in Island Harbor and wave your arms like a madman. Then wait. In a few minutes, a blue-and-white boat comes slicing across the harbor. The captain pulls up to the pier, helps you climb aboard, and, within minutes, you’re gliding by the anchored boats in the bay. Your destination—and lunch—is only five minutes away.

You’re on the Caribbean island of Anguilla. The British Overseas Territory is known for its tax-haven status, boat races, and 33 beaches. You arrived at Blowing Point this morning on a ferry from St. Martin. You drove through The Valley, the little capital city. You visited the Wallblake House (a restored plantation) and the Heritage Collection Museum (with artifacts from the Amerindians who first inhabited the island). You climbed Crocus Hill to see the remains of the Old Court House on the highest point of the island. And you relaxed on Shoal Bay East, a perfect, two-mile stretch of white sand. Now you’re ready for a late lunch on Scilly Cay.

Scilly Cay (it sounds like “silly key”) is a coral island off Anguilla’s northern coast. Snorkelers follow brightly colored fish just off the powdery beach. Pelicans dive head first into the water to catch the fast-moving fish. Calypso music and the smell of grilling fish drift between the palm trees. And a restaurant sits in the middle of the small island.

Photo: Christian Gomez
Photo: Christian Gomez

Scilly Cay is open on Wednesdays and Sundays for lunch. The restaurant is decorated with white conch shells. Tables and beach chairs litter the sand. Lobsters are stored in a natural tide pool. Rhum punch is constantly flowing. And since there is no electricity, all of the food is grilled.

The menu is simple. You have four choices: red snapper, crayfish, lobster, or chicken. You’re on island time, so regardless of what you select, it’s going to take a while. But no worries. After placing your order, float in the bath-like water, snorkel with sea turtles, and order your first rhum punch. You’re gazing across the water at Anguilla when your food arrives. The mountain of seafood is served with pasta salad, fresh fruit, and warm garlic bread. Another rhum punch is on its way. And lobster juice is already running down your chin. If only every lunch could be this satisfying.

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