OUR ANTIGUA GETAWAY

Happy Sunday everyone, we hope that you are all keeping well. Like many, we are missing travelling. Scrolling through old travel pics, and reminiscing is making it even harder! We came across pictures from our Antigua holiday back in 2016 and thought to share our experience with you.

With over 365 beaches, rum punch and good food, we were certainly looking forward to our stay. So if you want a chill break and a slower pace of life, Antigua is the holiday destination for you.

Where to stay

We arranged our trip through Travel Counsellors who are absolutely fantastic. They specialise in bespoke luxury travel and tailor everything around your needs to make it a worthwhile trip. We stayed at the Verandah Resort and Spa, which is an all-inclusive resort with spacious villas that offer sea views. It is an eco-friendly resort, that boasts a spa, all-inclusive water sports and a variety of food options. The hotel also has two pools and two beaches. It definitely is a resort that attracts honeymooners and wedding parties. The resort itself, is a great place to stay but is a little bit out of the way if you want to explore the island.

Where to go

Shirley Heights: If you want to see spectacular views and stunning landscapes, then you must visit Shirley Heights. Overlooking the English Harbour and Falmouth, the views are absolutely breathtaking. If you love photography and capturing nature, Shirley Heights is the place to snap the perfect sunset. We recommended visiting Shirley Heights from 4pm on a Sunday because, once the sun goes down the music turns up! Shirley Heights is a favourite spot for both locals and tourists. The local steel band provides Caribbean music and not long after that the DJ set begins. You can party up until 10pm (a little early for us) but the atmosphere and vibe is so good . Also, we have to mention the BBQ which offers everything from fried fish to jerk chicken and of course washing it down with a glass or two of rum punch. Trust us, when we say, you will not be disappointed.

There are other activities that you can do while holidaying in sunny Antigua. For the adrenaline junkies out there, you can try diving, snorkeling, zipline through the rainforest or sail out on the calm Caribbean waters.

Where to eat

There are some great places to eat that serves the most delicious Caribbean classic dishes. The quality of foods is amazing from curried goat to fish dishes. You can try Papa Zouk where there’s a great selection of tasty seafood, or Trappas Bar & Restaurant, a casual restaurant near the English Harbour and the cocktails are pretty strong which is always a good thing! One of our favourite restaurants was Nicole’s at The Verandah Resort & Spa. An a la carte restaurant that served up some of the tastiest seafood and steaks that we have ever eaten.

Useful Tips

We recommend using US dollars, although the official currency is EC dollars. You can take both currencies but we found that things are lot easier to pay for using US dollars, especially when tipping vendors. Always check the exchange rate before travelling and go for the better rate.

We hope you enjoyed our short but sweet travel guide. When things get back to some normality and you want to spend time in paradise as well as enjoying a bit of luxury at the same time, look no further than Antigua.

Shelley & Michelle xx

Rum Kitchen, Carnaby Street

We had been talking about going to Rum Kitchen for awhile and a friend of ours had recently been and could not stop talking about how delicious the food is….so we said why not give it a try.

An inviting West Indian restaurant tucked away in Kingly Court on Carnaby Street, buzzing with people, with tasty Caribbean cuisines and delicious cocktails we knew we were in for a treat.

A great atmosphere, designed like a Caribbean beach hut, there was a DJ on the decks playing good upbeat tunes and it felt like you were being transported away to a Caribbean island. So if you are looking for tasty West Indian cuisine with the best cocktails, then look no further than Rum Kitchen.

Chilli Prawns with jerk sauce
Jerk Bowl….rice and peas, coleslaw, watermelon, pineapple and jerk gravy
Proper Jerk….two chopped legs, with rice and peas, coleslaw, watermelon and jerk gravy

We are lovers of Caribbean food so are expectations were pretty high! Lol. The Rum Kitchen offers a very meat filled menu with some of our favourite dishes. From jerk chicken, to curry mutton, plantain to macaroni and cheese. We couldn’t decide what to choose from on the menu (nothing new). But we decided on the spiced prawns, the jerk bowl and the proper jerk dish. You can choose the level of spice that you prefer, so if you like it hot or not, the chefs will cater to your taste buds. Sides include sweet potato fries, callaloo, spinach, ackee and a few more options. The meat focused menu is balanced out with exotic fruit that included watermelon and pineapple sprinkled over the coconut rice that complemented the dish and got your taste buds bursting with a combination of flavours.

Rumbuston…Kracken, Apricot mix, Pineapple Juice & Coconut Cream
Passionfruit & Lime Mojito…Barcadi Superior, Passionfruit & Lime Juice, Soda & Mint
Ting Wray….Wray & Nephew, Blue Curacao, Ting Grapefruit Soda & Lime Juice

You can not be in a Caribbean restaurant and not be sipping on a cocktail or a little bit of rum. The Rum Kitchen do a perfect mojito, so of course we had to order more than one…it would be rude not too. We must admit, that we are picky when it comes to cocktails but the cocktails were soooooooo tasty. You can tell that the cocktail makers put a lot of emphasis on creating the perfect drink. You can order Happy Hour drinks between 5 to 7pm.

We do recommend booking Rum Kitchen in advance as the restaurant gets very busy. So if you want to experience a taste of the Caribbean in the heart of the West End then take a stroll to Rum Kitchen. It is only a 6 minute walk from Oxford Circus tube station. Or why not try, Rum Kitchen in Notting Hill or Brixton.

You can follow Shelley on Instagram here

You can follow Michelle on Twitter  here

Shelley & Michelle xx

Sea Sand Sunsets And Smiles Travel Guide: Our Trip to Aruba

We travelled to one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean….Aruba ‘One Happy Island’ and had a week relaxing and exploring in paradise. The sea is crystal clear and made up of different shades of blue. You could literally bathe in the sea all day. But don’t be mistaken…Aruba has so much to offer, from stunning beaches, to rugged landscapes and tasty authentic cuisine. We can certainly say that Aruba was the perfect getaway for the sister duo!

Where We Stayed

We stayed at the all-inclusive resort, The Hotel Riu Palace Antillas (here) that is located directly on Palm Beach. It is an adults-only hotel that boasts a gym, spa, casino, swimming pools, nightclub and a variety of restaurants and shops. All hotel guests also have access to their sister hotel, The Hotel Riu Palace Aruba situated next door which is more family friendly (here). This was not our first time staying in one of the Riu hotels but this particular hotel is definitely top of the list! The staff were friendly and we felt very looked after. There was so much to do within the resort there was never a dull moment!

Things To Do

Aruba is the perfect destination whether your a couple or on a single girls/boys trip and has something to offer everyone. From submarine tours, to horse back riding on the beach to deep sea fishing you can be as busy or chill as you desire.

One of our favourite trips has to be the Baby Beach Safari tour. You have your own personal tour guide (shout out to Sherman!) who takes you in his jeep on the bumpiest off-road adventure through the Arikok National Park of Aruba. You drive through what looks like a desert land, made up of lava formations, quartz rocks and fossilised coral at full speed. So buckle up and be prepared for windswept hair, dust and a crazy ride. Perfect for any thrill seekers!

Our first stop was the east coast of Aruba to the California Lighthouse, followed by a pit stop at the Natural Bridge, then headed onto the donkey sanctuary (where Shelley fed the donkeys), onto the Fontein Caves and ended our day at Baby Beach that is located in the south east of the island where you can clearly see the coast of Venezula across the waters which was very cool to see.

Natural Bridge
California Lighthouse
Shelley feeding at The Donkey Sanctuary
Fontein Caves

We also recommend other ways to spend your time on the island from taking a cruise across the sea in time for the sunset on a catamaran, watersports and going on the karaoke party bus (which is a lot of fun).

 Food we ate

We ate so much delicious foods on the islands, from fresh fish to tasty soups, with our favourite dish of the menu being steak and lobster. The combination of the two foods work so well together!

Also, you have to try the cream of conch soup, finished with two stuffed pastry’s. A very tasty, Aruban dish that should be finished with the famous Aruban rum punch. This was certainly our favourite cocktail on the island.

Aruba is an expensive place and is certainly an island that appeals to honeymooners and retired people. However, it is still a great place to experience no matter your age as there is so much on offer, including the incredible scenery.

We would certainly suggest having a budget so if you are renting an apartment and eating out daily you will probably have a daily spend of 130 USD. If you are staying at an all-inclusive resort (like we did) your daily budget will be a lot less. So bear that in mind.

Daily activities such as the Baby Beach tour will cost around 110 USD, water sports vary from 20 USD up to 85 USD and sailing on a catamaran is around 65USD.

Aruba is also known for their designer shops located in Oranjestad, so if you want to fit in some shopping, make sure you have enough spending money to splash out a little bit.

You can follow Shelley on Instagram here

You can follow Michelle on Twitter  here

Shelley & Michelle xx


Cottons – Camden

If you haven’t already guessed it, we are both fans of West Indian food. Whether it’s travelling to the Caribbean or even just finding that perfect restaurant on your door step. We came across a hidden gem on Camden high street called ‘Cottons’ which is an eight minute walk from Camden Town tube station and a four minute walk from Chalk Farm tube station. Perfect!

Cottons Restaurant and Rhum Shack have been serving Caribbean food in London for over 30 years and have three other restaurants in Shoreditch, Notting Hill and Vauxhall.

The vibe of the restaurant is just amazing and has a real party feel, with reggae playing in the background and people enjoying themselves. Whilst they prepared our table we were seated at a small table by the bar…Obvs! We both fancied rum punch and decided on the ‘Reggae Rum Punch’ which consists of Wray & Nephew 63% overproof rum, orange, pineapple and lime juice with grenadine, which warmed us up in no time.

When we were seated we enjoyed the tastiest and and fulfilling three course meal. We started with the Ebony Wings which was cooked to perfection. The wings came with three jumbo chicken wings which was glazed over with finger-licking BBQ sauce.

Cotton’s menu is so versatile you can choose from Jerk Salmon to the Vegetable Pepper Pot (for vegetarians) and even the Mixed Jerk Grill Platter and many more. Shelley went for the Curried Mutton that came with rice ‘n’ peas, plantain and coleslaw. Michelle chose the King Prawn, Red Snapper, Sweet Potato and Lime Curry with basmati rice and cucumber raita. Both dishes tasted absolutely delicious! We were so stuffed and couldn’t bare letting the food go to waste, so we asked for a goody bag lol!

Curried Mutton
King Prawn, Red Snapper & Basmati rice

For dessert we chose the White and dark chocolate Mousse which ended the meal nicely. The Mousse was so delicious and tasted so creamy.

Shelley stuck to the Reggae Rum Punch during the evening and Michelle also tried the Cottons Pina Colada. Cottons has a daily Happy Hour on cocktails, wine and beer from 5pm-7pm. If you like music, dancing and just enjoying life we recommend you visit Cottons past 9pm. The DJ arrives and plays a mixture of bashment, reggae and soca music to get you up on the dance floor. Literally when you’ve finished your meal everyone makes there way to the DJ and you just dance the night away.

You can follow Shelley on Instagram here

You can follow Michelle on Twitter  here

Shelley & Michelle xx