When one of your best friends asks if you want to tag along on a trip to the Caribbean, you've got to say yes, right?  After a super busy and stressful November to January, we headed to Paris to catch a flight to St Martin and then a boat to Anguilla for 10 days of sunshine and cocktails. Sounds like a dream? Well, it was, because we got stranded in Paris for two days.  This post is likely going to turn in to a story-time, probably with a lot of photos too, because I want to show that not every trip always goes to plan and is as excellent as it looks on the 'gram...

With a suitcase full of swimwear, sun tan oil and summer clothes, we hopped on the Eurostar to Paris with the intention of spending a night in an airport hotel and then catching a morning flight to St Martin.  After scoffing some burritos at BocaMexa, we headed to the hotel to get an early night ready for our flight.

I'm very fortunate that I get to travel quite a bit, I love to travel and if I could afford to do it full time or as a career, I would.  But in no way would I consider myself a pro.  Case in point; whilst getting ready to head to the airport, did I once think to check our flight for delays? No, I did not. I'm very used to checking us in the night before, having an itinerary, just being pretty organised when it comes to travel.  But with this trip, I had been so exhausted from 3 months of pure hell at work that I had a tell-me-where-I-have-to-be-and-when-and-I'll-be-there mindset.  I didn't want to get involved with the details, which I know is pretty lazy of me, and I do think if my usual logistics brain had taken more of an interest in the trip, we may have been a little more prepared for what was about to happen.

We arrived at Paris Orly, looked at the departures board and then were hit with the realisation that our flight was not listed.  After a few minutes of watching the board change pages, one of the girls headed to the airline's customer service desk to be told that our flight had been re-scheduled for two days later.  I think it's safe to say we all felt a little disheartened; we were so ready for sunshine and we were pretty excited despite the long-haul flight ahead of us.  When we could have easily thrown ourselves on the floor wailing, I'm proud of how we adapted very quickly to the situation. We booked an Airbnb near Le Marais, grabbed a coffee in Paul and caught an Uber back in to the city.

Now, I should probably say at this point that we did not pack for the freezing temperatures of Paris in Winter.  Before catching our Eurostar, Gem and I had a very last minute dash in to town to pick up some bits for the trip, and I decided to buy a grey knitted jumper from Topshop that I really did not need, but very fortunately took with me in my suitcase as an extra.  And I am so grateful for past Naomi's shopaholic tendencies because the thought of spending 3 days in the same clothes is just not for me.


As much as I did not want to be in Paris (it was my fourth time in four years, and yes, you can have too much Paris), I am glad we were not flying directly from London, because going home to my parent's house for two days would have sucked.  So what do six 20-something's do when they are stranded in Paris for two days?  Cheese and wine.  Having not met the other 4 people on the trip before, I could not have been more glad that they were foodies.  As I'd spent so long in Paris before, I was not too fussed about doing any tourist things, so I was more than happy to drink red wine, eat melted cheese and just chill out, trying to forget that we should have been sunning ourselves on the beach with a Pina Colada and finding a silver lining in our travel fail.  We did however check out the Musee d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris which had some beautiful light spaces, spent the afternoon at the Palace of Versailles, and walked along the overflowing Seine eating the best almond croissants in Europe.


After involuntarily spending an extra two days in the city of lights, we finally boarded our flight to St Martin! The flight was about 8 and a half hours, and considering we had very little leg room and had to share a tv screen with 4 other rows, it wasn't too bad.  We landed to sunshine and made our way to the port to catch a boat to our destination, Anguilla!

Anguilla is a pretty small island; 35 square miles and a population of less than 15,000.  We stayed in a house belonging to one of the girl's Uncles and having visited the island a lot, she knew all the best places to go and where to get the best food.  Below are my favourite spots...

Corona + Sunshine = Happy Nai

Rendezvous Bay - Garvey's Sunshine Shack

This was the perfect place to spend our first full day on the island, find me a nicer human than Garvey, the man is an angel and just radiates happiness, he is clearly well respected, evident from the frequent visitors to the Sunshine Shack who could not praise him, his food and his team more.  Lying on the beach, sun shining, rum punch in hand, made me forget that 3 days before we'd faced the reality of our flight being delayed; it made the wait worth it.  We ate grilled lobster for lunch, drank cocktails and beer all day, swam in the sea, listened to live music, it was the absolute best way to spend a Sunday!

Grilled lobster @ Sunshine Shack

Artisan, Island Harbour 

Before we went on this trip, the girls raved about Artisan, a little Italian restaurant with a pizza oven flown over from Naples and where they serve complimentary salted caramel popcorn before your meal.  Gem even described it as the best Italian outside of Italy, and she was not wrong.  The food was to die for.  My favourite was their pistachio pesto pasta and their heavenly scugnizielli, fried strips of pizza dough with Parmesan.  It is quite a small place and filled up really quickly so making a reservation for dinner is essential!

in love with this swimsuit from Next

Meads Bay - Ocean Echo

We spent a couple of days at Meads Bay, the beach was stunning and it was so peaceful (a lot of the bigger hotels had not yet reopened after Irma so there weren't that many holidaymakers around).  One of the days we ate at Ocean Echo, a restaurant on the beach with gorgeous views of the clear blue water, serving (very strong) cocktails and a good variety of food.

Fruity cocktails @ Ocean Echo
BBQ chicken wings @ Ocean Echo
Pool @ Loterie Farm

Loterie Farm - Saint Martin

Being only a quick boat trip away from Anguilla, we spent two days on Saint Martin at Loterie Farm, a nature reserve.  There's plenty to do at Loterie Farm, with zip lining and hiking trails, but we spent our time there lying by the pool or in one of the cabanas, doing what we seemed to do best on this holiday; eating and drinking (and watching the iguanas)! One of my favourite discoveries on this trip was Banana Baileys Coladas, the BEST cocktail in the world; I lost count of how many I drank at LF.  They are oh-my-soul delicious and I am determined to recreate them this summer when we get some sunshine.  I'd also recommend their Cajun Mahi-Mahi burger which was a solid 10/10.  We also had the food platter of dreams on our second day there, I'll let the picture do the talking...

BBC @ Loterie Farm
At Loterie Farm, one of the guys showed us some footage from late last year when Hurricane Irma had hit the island.  We'd all seen the devastating effects of Irma on the news and in the media, but hearing it first hand from people who lived through it was eye-opening.  I cannot imagine the fear they felt before and during the storm, and I admire them for the way the devastation has not killed their spirit.  That was something I really noticed on this trip; everyone was in a good mood.  Maybe it's the sunshine, the pace of island life, but everyone seemed to appreciate and be grateful for the little things, something I think we can all learn from.


You can read about the products I used to get this look here: My Makeup Bag | Caribbean Edition

Making friends


10/10... We had the best two days at Loterie Farm, and I hope to go back there again one day, even if just for the drink...

Despite our rocky start to the trip and our flight home being delayed by five hours and getting diverted to Guadeloupe (another place to tick off my destination list) resulting in a missed Eurostar and even more waiting around, we had a really, really fun time.  It really made me see that a trip doesn't have to always go to plan, things can go wrong but you can still have the best time.

From the clear blue water to the endless amount of cocktails to the sunshine, getting to spend time on Anguilla and Saint Martin was a dream.  Whilst I'd never considered the Caribbean as somewhere I was desperate to visit, I hope to go back in the not so distant future and live island life for a little longer, it is something I could quite happily get used to... Ever grateful for this amazing adventure.

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Thanks for stopping by,

Naomi xx