A Trip To The Beach: Living on Island Time in the Caribbean

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9780091883102: A Trip To The Beach: Living on Island Time in the Caribbean

A Trip to the Beach is about the maddening, exhausting and exhilarating challenges Melinda and Robert Blanchard faced while trying to live the simple life after moving to Anguilla to start a restaurant - and the incredible joy when they somehow pulled it off. As their cooking begins to draw 4-star reviews, the Blanchards and their kitchen staff - Clinton and Ozzie, the dancing sous-chefs; Shabby, the master lobster-wrangler; Bug, the dish-washing comedian - come together like a crack drill team. Anyone who's ever dreamed of running away to start a new life on a sun-drenched island will find the Blanchards' seductive, funny tale of pandemonium and bliss unforgettable.

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Review:

Mel and Bob Blanchards' 10-year pursuit of the illusory notion of "island time" is documented in A Trip to the Beach: on a vacation with the family in Barbados, the Blanchards stumble upon a tiny restaurant/shack on a Caribbean beach. In a literary heartbeat, they abandon the "concrete jungle" that was Vermont and open a restaurant on a little-known island in the British West Indies called Anguilla ("rhymes with vanilla").

Narrated by Mel Blanchard, A Trip to the Beach dispels tired notions of the Caribbean--the steel drums, the lush landscapes, and acres of swaying palm trees--and instead focuses on the understated elegance and easy rhythms of the sublimely "flat, and scrubby" island. Though lacking the richness and finesse of Frances Mayes, and the wit and wisdom of Peter Mayle, Mel Blanchard nonetheless forges a new path in travel writing as the Martha Stewart of the Caribbean. A remarkably intuitive and inspired chef, Mel writes poignant passages on running a kitchen in Anguilla. Here she exposes the meat of the story, sharing her many outrageous adventures--how to cater to pampered and demanding guests, how to cook for a full restaurant in the darkest of island night with no electricity, how to prepare for recurring and utterly devastating hurricanes that wipe out your business.

In these chapters the writing is as good as her cooking--inspiring, colourful, and easily digestible. Although she sometimes relies heavily on well-worn clichés and expresses naïve and rather privileged assumptions--"Why would anyone choose to live surrounded by concrete and traffic rather than fishing boats, water and palm trees?"--discerning readers will see the true nature of this tiny island--a place of simplistic beauty that struggles to maintain its independence while it depends on tourism for its livelihood. With a strange concoction of anecdotes, island politics, recipes, and sweet memories, the Blanchards seduce readers with the allure of "island time," bringing Anguilla home to the rest of us. --Daphne Durham

Review:

"a lovely, sassy book full of warmth" ( Daily Telegraph)

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Blanchard, Melinda Blanchard, Robert
Published by Ebury Press (2002)
ISBN 10: 0091883105 ISBN 13: 9780091883102
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Book Description Ebury Press, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. new ed edition. 304 pages. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0091883105

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Melinda Blanchard; Robert Blanchard
Published by Ebury Press (2002)
ISBN 10: 0091883105 ISBN 13: 9780091883102
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Book Description Ebury Press, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 91883105

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