Antigua is where I travel to be with friends and family. It also has the most beautiful beaches in the Carribean. When Ralph and I first visited the island years ago, they were what drew me back again and again. Now it’s become our home away from home and refuge in the cold weather months.
In between shared moments, I find a quiet nook to paint while overlooking a sea of coconut trees, bromeliads and bougainvillea, with the water and mangroves in the distance.
One of my favorite thing to do in Antigua is walk the beach with my dear friend, Connee Mayeron Cowles, who is a potter on the island and teaches pottery at the Island Academy Ceramics School.
We’ll go out and gather shells, rope, driftwood, coral, whatever has washed up on the beach and we’ll bring them home and dry them out. We then apply them to mirrors or picture frames. It’s such a fun activity and we make some really beautiful pieces!
From spider lilies, hibiscus and jasmine to ginger and birds-of-paradise, Antigua’s flora never ceases to inspire.
Sunscreen and mosquito repellant are the first things in my suitcase, followed by a good book, like Nelson: Britannia’s God of War by Andrew Lambert. This year, I’ll also pack our Henriette Kaftan in Nonsuch, Camille Dress in Tulum and Emilie Dress in Tulum. It layers equally well over a swimsuit or our Lavinia Dress, taking you from a casual beach day to a romantic evening.
Watching the sunset at Shirley Heights, an old English Fort, with rum punch and a steel-drum band is a must. If we’re at home, a piña colada on the beach is just perfect.
We love Cecilia’s High Point Café in St. George and often have our guests meet us there directly from the airport. Its waterfront location and outdoor patio offer a wonderful introduction to island life. Catherine’s Cafe near Falmouth is another favorite.
The rock formations at Hell’s Gate Island are another stunning sight. They’re so beautiful I had a photo of them as my screensaver for years.