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Dining Reviews: Antigua & Barbuda
The Beach 06/05/02
Reviewers Rating: Excellent
The Beach restaurant and bar, teetering on the water's edge at the southern end of Dickenson Bay, is the closest to an upmarket, European-style bistro that you can find in the hotel stretch north of St John's.

With a modern, low-slung, adobe-house design and a verandah on two sides to enable interior and exterior dining, the deep reds and dark woods of The Beach create a decadent atmosphere, finished off with what must be the largest CD collection the author has ever seen...except his own!

The food is noticeably Western, and prepared, one immediately appreciates, with a little more care and attention than the average Antiguan restaurant. Fish, beef and chicken form the main bulk of dishes, as well as pizzas and pastas, and the menu is really quite affordable in comparison to many other outlets. Expect to pay about 20 pounds sterling per head, including alcohol.

The music and atmosphere is superb, from reggae to dub to hip-hop, with some pop and rock thrown in, and a broad bar that stretches some 15 metres. The staff are welcoming and friendly, supremely accomodating and always ready for a joke with the punters.

Anyone who has been, or plans to go, should be aware of the community nature of Antigua: you will find yourself quaffing Red Stripes with the same fellas that trade on the beach during the day. All come together for the national evening sport: drinking and partying. And good job, too.

We were staying at Rex Halcyon Cove at the northern end of Dickenson Bay, and while we loved the all-inclusive deal there - wondeful accomodation, three squares a day, a gorgeous beach, the lovely Warri Pier restaurant, free watersports - there is a feeling that you need to escape the walls of the resort. And that's where The Beach comes in.

Magnificent.

Simon Walsh

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