ANTIGUA: WHERE TO STAY & WHAT TO DOMonday 20th January 2020
Article by Anna Johnstone of Hello Magazine
Already getting itchy to book your 2020 holiday? It doesn’t take much to convince anyone to take a trip to the Caribbean - those images of white sandy beaches, turquoise skies, and vibrant rum punches are littered all over Instagram, and that pang of envy as you stick a postcard from an older relative on the fridge is pretty much all you need to book your flight. But why Antigua, and what should you do out there?
Where to stay?
Start your mornings with a cup of coffee and a dip in your private pool at Sugar Ridge
Wanting luxury? There’s a reason why you’ve braved an eight-hour flight to come here, so giving yourself some extra indulgence will make the trip worthwhile. Sugar Ridge is everything you picture in a luxury hotel: stunning pool, fabulous bar, and rooms that almost make you not want to leave the resort. Some rooms have a personal plunge pool (so if you’re sunbathing on your balcony, you have somewhere to dip your toes in), making your stay that little bit more private, so I can imagine it would be perfect for a honeymoon.
I absolutely adored the food as well; one morning I sampled the ‘Antiguan breakfast’ of eggs, okra, salt fish, and Johnny Cakes which could rival any full-English fangirl (a title that I’m not afraid to give myself), and they also offered a buffet one evening with some of the best jerk chicken I tried out there. The entire hotel felt ultra-calm, so if you’re visiting the island to really recharge your batteries, you’d come back refreshed… and certainly tanned.
Visit the website here.
What to do?
Aside from laying by the pool with a rum punch in hand? Well, I did try a handful of activities on the island, and these are my thoughts:
Whatever idea you have about stingrays being scary, forget it! Take a trip to Stingray City and I can promise that you’ll get the best Instagram photo of the trip; the sea is that picture-perfect shade of turquoise and the stingrays are the size of your arm-span (the reason I know this is because I was encouraged to ‘cuddle’ them!). I can’t recommend this enough - the team that run the activity were so friendly and it was the most beautiful part of the ocean.
Admit it, you’re probably not as well-versed in Caribbean food as you are in other cuisines, but there are tonnes of flavours that you must try. At Nicole’s Table, you are taken through jerk marinade, pineapple salsa, and coconut custard tarts. You read that correctly: a lot of Portuguese migrants moved to Antigua in the 19th century, so that famous custard tart finds its place on the table, with a coconut twist. I can’t wait to try it in England! Jerk marinade can be used on a wide variety of meats, and we also added it to tofu - it’s so easy to make, and super versatile. Plus, Nicole was an absolute delight to teach us, and we all ate the meal in her stunning home.
Lastly, but most certainly not least, you HAVE to make some time to relax by the beach. Wherever you’re staying, and however good their pool may be, nothing really beats a rum punch and the sound of the (very calm) waves.
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