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Anse la Raye Fish Fry, St Lucia

Description: Lobsters at Anse La Raye Fish Fry - Anse La Raye

Lobsters at Anse La Raye Fish Fry - Anse La Raye

Every Friday night in the west- coast fishing village of Anse la Raye, the waterside main drag, Front Street, transforms into a full- on party from 7pm to 11pm. Hundreds of locals  and visitors  turn out for seafood and booze, all consumed at makesshift tables on the beach. Look out for the vendor nicknamed Cece, a lady renowned for her straight- from- the- sea fish. Wash it down with local Piton lager or the award- winning Chairman’s Reserve rum mixed with Coke or coconut water.

Spinnakers Restaurant & Bar, St Lucia

Description: Spinnakers Restaurant

Spinnakers Restaurant

By day, it is a casual Rodney Bay lunch spot; by night, it isgeared up for a bustling dineer crowd of visiting yachties and resort guests. They are primarily attracted by the creations of St Lucian chef Magdalene Emmanuel, who, with more than 20 years of kitchen time under her belt, is expert at both Caribbean and American cuisine. She distils a seemingly endless array of catch- of- the- day options into three basic treatments: char- grilled with lemon or garlic; pan- fried with ginger butter; and baked in foil with tomato and cheese. Fancy a drink? Anyone capable of downing the three- ont Yard of Ale in one go gets his or her name on the blackboard. House record: 12 seconds. 00 1 758 452 8491; mains from US$9

Rhymer’s Beach Bar, Tortola

Description: Rhymer’s Beach Bar

Rhymer’s Beach Bar

This flamingo- pink bar with rooms, a mainstay of Cane Garden Bay, may be nearly 30 years old, but it has lost none of its allure. The conch fritters- made with a closely guarded blend of spices- are fabled, as are the shrimp sauteed in a garlic- butter sauce. Rhymer’s rum punch is practically nutritious, containing a veritable farmers’ market of fresh tropical fruit. 00 1 284 495 4639; mains from US$17

Heidi’s Honeymoon Grill, Water Island

Description: Heidi’s Honeymoon Grill

Heidi’s Honeymoon Grill

Follow the locals (and day- trippers from St Thomas) to this golf cart turned lunch truck, which plies its trade on the palm- fringed sandy cove of Honeymoon Beach. Owner Heidi Erwig serves casual midday meals (12oz cheeseburgers, steak sandwiches, beef tacos), and Saturday dinners for which she sets up candlelit tables on the beach. Swing by on a Monday night, when Erwig shows a movie on the beach and serves popcorn for a dollar. Oo 1 340 690 0325; Saturday dinner US$25

Joe’s Beach Bar, Water Island

Description: Joe’s Beach Bar, Water Island

Joe’s Beach Bar, Water Island

While chirdren frolic in the sand at this trailer bar on Honeymoon Beach, parents congregate at tables to sip Lime in the Coconut (a drink that blends Virgin Islands- prodiced Cruzan rum with those two ingredients) and wait for the glorious sunset. The bar is most popular on Sundays, when it hosts an infromal ‘pot luck’ barbecue, to which 100 to 150 locals (the island’s population is only 200) and sailling enthusiasts  from around the world bring chiken, burgers and hot dogs to cook on Joe’s grill. Do not be alarmed when it goes dark: local law dictates lights out at 11pm. 00 1 340 514 6722

Getting to the Caribbean

British Airways (www.ba.com) flies to Antigua (for Barbuda), Aruba, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Jamica and Puerto Rico.

Virgin Atlantic (www.virgin-atlantic.com) flies to Antigua, Barbados, St Lucia and Jamaica. For accommodation, see the Essential Hotel Collection (www.essentialhotelcollection.co.uk)

Hot spot: Stanley’s Welcome Bar, Island Tortolar

Description: Island Tortolar

Island Tortolar

For one of the more fabled Caribbean experiences, meander past the busy kayak rental stalls on Cane Garden Bay, Navigate your way through the cruise- ship crowds marvelling at the panoramic wiews, and take a seat at Satnley’s. Contrary to popular belief, the singer Jimmy Buffetr did not write ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’ about Stanley’s, but he did immortalise the bay in ‘Manana’. If attempting your own lyric- writing, try the sgnature rum punch (cut with pineapple and organe juices). Post- lunch, you have two options: take a short taxi ride to the rainforest in Mount Sage National Park for a stroll amid the mahogany trees, or order another cocktail and nab one of Stanley’s lounge chairs on the beach.

Contact 00 1 284 495 9424

Vibe casual convivial clubhouse

Food bill mains from US$8

Most ordered cheeseburger

Length of beach about a mile

Distance to nearest hotel 250 yards to Rhymer’s (see below)

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