My last trek to Devil's Cupper resulted in a bad sunburn, even mild sun poisoning, on my face, despite having applied a heavy layer of straight zinc. After lying low for several days to heal, I wanted to try out a new beach and found one where the sun would be to my back and off my face all day. Upon speaking to a local friend, I decided to make a day of it at a popular restaurant/beach club, Rainbow Café, in Grand Case.
I spent the morning at the rooftop bar for breakfast overlooking the beach, horseback riders, joggers, sunbathers, and most of all, the Caribbean. Grand Case Beach is a long but narrow beach facing Anguilla, on the quieter French side of the island. The famous French restaurants and hotels along the narrow beach make it appear very European. After getting my reserved lounge chair, I decided to walk the beach up to the rock face.
Little did I know though, until later, that the entire beach was a nude beach, including the beach club itself, mainly women with their tops off. This included the middle-aged American woman directly in front of me and older French woman to my side. I had to laugh though, as the American woman had two giant tan lines around her breasts. I guess that she did not consider evening herself out prior to coming. What I understood less though was the French woman to my side with her top off. She stayed out of the sun under the umbrella the entire time, so I could not understand her motivation for constantly pulling her top down while reading.
That aside, it was a very nice ambiance overall. By noon, all the lounge chairs were filled, and the restaurant was bustling with the lunch crowd. The nearby beach clubs were full too with music playing from the restaurant. The benefit of a reserved lounge chair at this particular place was full beach service for drinks, lunch, dessert, etc. Additionally, the upside is that by reserving a chair, lunch comes at a discounted cost, which surprised me seeing that this was a famous restaurant with a well-known chef from the south of France. I spent the afternoon having a large lunch on the beach then even falling asleep for awhile.
A group next to me, two young couples, were speaking Spanish, presumably from Latin America, with the exception of one guy who did not speak it. So he, presumably Middle Eastern, and the other guy would speak in broken English to each other while the girlfriends conversed in Spanish. Then, when the French server would arrive, they and the server would both speak in broken English...talk about internationalism.
My biggest pet peeve on the French side is that no one knows what to make of me. Between my long blond hair, build, look and general demeanor, I probably appear as American as they come despite speaking fluent French. At the same time, I prefer to use dollars on the French side, being cheaper than euro, and the conversion there is often 1:1. So staff, etc. keep switching between French and English with me, first talking in English, then French after hearing me speak, then bouncing back to English. It drives me insane. However, I mainly find this issue in the resort areas and supermarkets. At the gym, for example, they only speak to me in French, i.e. less tourists.
By the end of the afternoon, the beach club hosts a beach party, relatively calm, with a European DJ. Some people, mainly Americans, started dancing, but it was all very mellow. The sun was beginning to set too over the bay, and the Caribbean was a bright sparkling blue. I even went in a couple times, with the water still on the cool side, but only needing a few seconds to acclimate. The Caribbean was a nice break from constantly fighting the Atlantic's waves where I currently live.
After an entire day there, I called it quits. Little did I know that the valets had actually moved my car to a parking lot about 1/4 mile down the street. So after waiting awhile for him to get the car, I noticed that he had also driven it down the entire street with the emergency brake on...genius.
All in all though, it was a pleasant day. For a full breakfast, coffee, lunch and lounge chair at one of the best beach clubs on the island, I only spent $70. It will definitely warrant a return in the future.