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By Elina Fuhrman
Eating and beach-bumming — that’s all there is to do in Anguilla. When I first visited this Caribbean island, I couldn’t believe how perfectly in sync these two indulgencies co-existed in one place. The trick is not to fight it, and succumb to Anguilla’s way of life.
Food is very important here, so much so that the 16-mile island has more than 120 restaurants. My biggest issue with Caribbean vacations is that even in the best restaurants, all the fresh veggies have to be imported and are really expensive. And because I don’t eat meat or dairy, I always have a very limited choice. So when I discovered CuisinArt Resort & Spa, the only Caribbean resort that grows its own veggies hydroponically, my life was complete.
I couldn’t get enough of fresh salads or grilled vegetables for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Fresh herbal teas were better than dessert with aroma lingering for hours. Dr. Howard Resh, the world-renowned expert, who runs CuisinArt’s hydroponic farm showed me the farm where he carefully grows the yummiest lettuce, the sweetest tomatoes, edible flowers, micro greens and the most aromatic herbs (some 27 varieties!) year round. Dr. Resh and his team harvest daily and hand-carry them to the resort’s restaurants and even to the spa for use in treatments.
Your only task each day is to claim a chair on the powdery-soft sand, spread your towel and fish a paperback out of your bag. And if you don’t feel like reading, sip a Mojito (made with the fresh mint from the farm) and stare at the sparkling turquoise seas. Altogether there are 33 beaches on Anguilla to choose from.
I’ve come back to the CuisinArt’s Greek-inspired resort three times but recently I stayed at their new 5-bedroom beach villas, hidden amidst the lush tropical gardens, overlooking the sea toward St. Martin hotels. It’s one of my favorite places when I need peace and quiet. I try to do a little more than eat and lounge on the beach though; between meals, I love to take a delicious walk on Anguilla’s deserted beaches, take a nap under the robin’s-egg blue skies in a Balinese-style beach bed, spend the afternoon at the Venus spa (with so much healthy food mingling with fresh air and water, your body is the only thing harboring toxins!) and gaze at the stars all night.
And in case you get restless from feeling too relaxed at the CuisinArt, take a short boat trip to Scilly Cay, a tiny coral island with perhaps the best, simplest great restaurant around. With not a watt of electricity, you know that grilled lobster or fish you devour at lunch was caught just that morning!
Elina Fuhrman is an intrepid traveler based in Los Angeles. She grew up in Russia but knew before she was 10 years old that she would spend her life exploring the world. She is now a contributing editor to Travelgirl and JEZEBEL magazines. Her work has appeared on CNN, in The New York Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Conde Nast Traveler, InStyle and other publications. Fuhrman’s photos often accompany her stories. To see more, visit her website www.elinafuhrman.com.