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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(198mm x 129mm x 18mm)
Publisher: Ebury Publishing
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
When Melinda and Robert Blanchard left Vermont to set up a restaurant in Anguilla, they imagined that it would be a dream come true. But things do not always go to plan, as they recall in this thoroughly enjoyable memoir of their experiences. Getting planning permission, building the restaurant, dealing with suppliers and the idiosyncrasies of Anguillan customs - these are all hard enough, and a groom who keeps changing the numbers of guests, electricity failure and - finally - a hurricane only add to the stress. However, the Blanchards are blessed in their staff: cheerful dishwasher Bug, who has the worst job and the best attitude, Clinton and Ozzie, the dancing sous-chefs, Shabby the lobster catcher and many other characters form not only a team but a family. And there is a happy ending - they succeed so well, despite the odds, that Wine Spectator gives them an Award of Excellence. The story is told in a lively and humorous style and the authors describe the good times and the bad with equal grace, capturing the islanders' warmth and their own courage and resilience. They give an engaging picture of the island time of the subtitle - the islanders will stop their vans to chat in the middle of the road if they feel like it, but when the need arises they can build a sailing boat in just two weeks. A feelgood book which is a pleasure to read, this gives an unusual insight into life in Anguilla and the traumas of setting up a top-class restaurant in an idyllic setting. And for anyone interested in recreating the Caribbean setting, the recipes and hints on Anguillan cooking are an added bonus. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Melinda Blanchard
Married for nearly 30 years, Melinda and Robert Blanchard divide their time between Norwich, Vermont, where they built their own home, and Anguilla, where they run Blanchard's Restaurant.