Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Trip to the Beach” as Want to Read:
A Trip to the Beach
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Trip to the Beach

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,020 Ratings  ·  215 Reviews
This is the true story of a trip to the beach that never ends. It's about a husband and wife who escape civilization to build a small restaurant on an island paradise -- and discover that even paradise has its pitfalls. It's a story filled with calamities and comedy, culinary disasters and triumphs, and indelible portraits of people who live and work on a sliver of beauty ...more
ebook, 184 pages
Published November 20th 2001 by Three Rivers Press (CA) (first published October 10th 2000)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Trip to the Beach, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Trip to the Beach

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Yoonmee
Mar 29, 2008 Yoonmee rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel-writing
I seem to be one of a few that didn't give this book high ratings. Why the low rating? A few reasons: the book is poorly written for starters. It's a slow read and, to be brutally honest, not all that engaging once you get past the first chapter or so. It's the memoir of a self absorbed couple who decide to move to Anguilla to open up a restaurant. The adventures of an affluent white couple in a third world country! Oh the stories they could tell about those nutty natives and all the crazy thing ...more
Ellen
Apr 29, 2016 Ellen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
THIS IS REALLY GOOD!!!!!! I have read it at least ten times!! Its about a couple who decides to move to a small island called Anguilla and open a small resturant. Some small. It gets to be very popular, and they are very successful.Until disaster strikes. Hurricane Luis comes along and they have to fight. I'll let you find out if they survive (and the resturant) or not.
Julian Lees
Apr 22, 2016 Julian Lees rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charming.
Claire
Apr 23, 2015 Claire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading reviews for this book saying it moved very slow and didn't grab attention, I didn't have high hopes. But after reading this, I couldn't disagree with those reviews more! The story of the Blanchards was rather interesting. I admire their dedication to live out their dream. It had to have been terrifying leaving all they knew so they could live in paradise. Sometimes I tried to picture myself doing what they were doing and I almost could see it. But I think Anguilla might be a little ...more
Melissa
Jan 08, 2012 Melissa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food, travel
Ok, so while I was pleasantly surprised by how this turned out to be sort of a foodie/travel book, it still wasn't the best account out there. It had many strengths to it, but in all, just wasn't as interesting as it could have been.

Melinda and Robert Blanchard, after selling their business at far below what they should have, decided they want to live on the island of Anguilla. Not as well known to the tourists, but still with a thriving tourist economy, they decide they will open a restaurant o
...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
May 10, 2013 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Ultimate Reading List
This is the memoir of a Vermont couple who moved to the tiny Caribbean island of Anguilla and poured their heart and sweat--and life savings--into creating a world class restaurant there. It was recommended in the Travel Section of The Ultimate Reading List that had provided me with reading for years--and this is the penultimate book left. On that list travel memoirs seemed to split into two kinds: tales of tourists, such as with Bill Bryson's In a Sunburned Country or expatriates, such as Franc ...more
Suzanne
This explains why meals/accomodations on some Carribean Islands can be so expensive.
The first half of this book is fun and interesting to anyone who has ever visited Anguilla. A middle-aged Norwich Vermont couple relocate to Anguilla and open a restaurant. It is still in business, and is called Blanchards. Import duties, taxes, delays, weather, and the relaxed approach to life by Anguillans contribute to stress equal to that of any restaurant opening in NYC.
The second half drags a bit, then H
...more
Terry
Apr 20, 2015 Terry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun read after visiting Anguilla. Being able to picture the different locations mentioned in the book made it special. Now I need to return to the island to visit this restaurant Blanchards.
Enjoyable vacation read.
Barbara ★
Part one is a whirlwind and exhausting move to Anguilla along with building, stocking and staffing the beach restaurant. An expensive and tedious process undertaken on Island Time. Part two is an endless and tedious day-in-the-life (more like year) of being a restaurateur. This section was endless and repetitive though some of the staffs antics were rather amusing. Part three involved a disaster and a rebuild. All in all, a well-written book that read more like fiction than non fiction. I'm glad ...more
Annalise
A nice, easy book that gave a general idea of life in Anguilla - the sights, the sounds, etc. I couldn't help but wonder how much money Melinda and Bob Blanchard had, to pull off their move to Anguilla, the movement of all of their possessions, and the opening of their restaurant. And, of course, their lunches at all the expensive Anguilla hotels.

Ah well. The book is a nice bit of fluff, easy to pick up or put down at any point. Nothing mind blowing, but generally pleasant. And the recipes look
...more
Thebooktrail
Have you ever wanted to just escape it all and open up a cafe in paradise? Eating and enjoying the good life? Step this way on to the beach…?

Booktrail it here - Trip to the Beach - trail

We’ll all probably thought about it at some point – escaping to an island paradise and live the high life. Maybe set up a business and live there far away from the rat race.

That’s exactly what Bob and Melinda Blanchard did when they moved from their lives and food business in Vermont and moved to Anguilla in the
...more
Erika
Feb 23, 2008 Erika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. Not the most well-written book, but a good non-fiction account of following your dreams. I finally got to visit "Blanchard's" (the restaurant the authors opened on the island of Anguilla) a few weeks ago. It is now a world-renowned restaurant. The food was delicious and the atmosphere and location out of this world. I highly recommend the book, and the restaurant even more! If you ever make it to Anguilla, Blanchards is a MUST!
Jen
Jun 08, 2011 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My dream - to live at the beach!

How one couple can find the courage to give up everything they have to go live at the beach is beyond me. Wish I had the guts to make such a bold move. The island sounded beautiful (already checking it out for a future vacation destination), and I really just wanted some rum punch and fresh seafood as I read the book. A perfect book for starting summer vacation!

One can always dream.....

Regina
Aug 05, 2012 Regina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable walk through the excitement and difficulties that come along with leaving it all behind to open a restaurant on the beautiful island of Anguilla. This memoir introduces a variety of friendly and likable characters and leaves the reader with a strong desire to pick up and head off on their on island adventure. I enjoyed this read from start to finish.
Glynis
May 25, 2010 Glynis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a surprisingly good read! I don't normally like non-fiction, but this came highly recommended. I really enjoyed the author's way of telling her story, and I felt a part of the whole adventure.
Rosemary
Dec 27, 2014 Rosemary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a delightful first-hand account of the ups and downs of opening a restaurant on an unspoiled tropical island paradise. Engaging and downright funny in parts, Melinda Blanchard thoroughly enchants the reader with her descriptions of colorful island characters and mouthwatering recipes. Life isn't always idyllic due to the very real complications of having most everything sent over by boat from either St. Martin or the USA. Not to mention the very real threat a hurricane can be to a s ...more
Kristin Maillard
Got about 2/3 through before I stopped. Wasn't holding my interest. It's a long account of a couple from Vermont who sell up to open their own restaurant in Anguilla. It could have been told in half the pages. I'd have thought it would be more my cup of tea, as I loved the Derek Tangye series about leaving the hustle and bustle of London to start a daffodil farm in Cornwall. But, then again, I love images of England and the English and find I identify less with the Caribbean and it's inhabitants ...more
Brooke Everett
Nov 22, 2014 Brooke Everett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brooke by: Mike Casey
Shelves: food
This book was a welcome respite from the single digit real feel temperatures that hit Philadelphia in November. Even if my body was stuck in Arctic conditions, my mind and imagination were in sunny, gorgeous Anguilla.

Opening a restaurant is tough stuff as is. Opening a restaurant on a tropical island might be more relaxed in a few ways than it is in the U.S. (see quote below about signing the lease), but there's also a whole separate set of challenges and red tape to navigate. Hello, customs dut
...more
Kate
Oct 06, 2011 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As a quick reading alternative to a romance novel, this book would work. But for a literary experience this book falls short. It is an interesting exsersize to read it and figure out why. First, the book has two authors, but only one voice. Melinda Blanchard's voice dominates the text. During the parts of the story where she is not around, i.e. the parts her husband Bob wrote, her voice becomes omniscient. Second, Melinda tells us what we see instead of showing us the surroundings and everything ...more
BJ
Feb 27, 2011 BJ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys a good armchair traveller type book with a "foodie" edge.
I found "A Trip to the Beach: Living on Island Time in the Caribbean by Melinda and Robert Blanchard on a list on the Goodreads site. Reviews were mixed, but it sounded good to me, so I checked it out of the library and I'm glad I did. This book tells the story of a couple from Vermont who go to the island of Anguilla on vacation and fall in love with the island and its people. Later, after selling their business, Blanchard and Blanchard, a popular specialty food company, they decide to open a b ...more
Dianne
Mar 04, 2013 Dianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, travel
It feels like a long time since I read a really good travel book. Or maybe it's just that it's the end of February and reading about a warm, sunny island felt like such a relief. Whatever the reason, I loved this story of a Vermont couple who move to Anguilla to open a restaurant and make a life for themselves there.

This is the kind of travel book I like best, the ones where the writers have done more than just vacation in their chosen spot - they have lived there and because of that they can gi
...more
Kate
Feb 05, 2012 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lately I've been reading non-fiction books about people who drop everything and travel around the world or start new lives. This book is about a couple who decided to sell their home in Vermont and open a restaurant on a tropical island.

Overall, the book was great. Their main goal, however, seemed to be to tell stories about the life of the locals. I appreciated the stories but I wanted to hear more of the logistics of starting a restaurant in a foreign country.

For instance, the wife is the cook
...more
el_quijote
Sep 14, 2007 el_quijote rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: beach lite
This is definitely a beach read, one of the new generation of adult chick lit type books about life, travel and cooking, with a few interesting recipes strewn here and there.This one is about a man and woman that move from Vermont to the eastern Caribbean island of Anguilla (their favorite vacation spot) to open the beachfront restaurant they have always dreamed about.

It is an easy read that is written as a one year narrative about dreaming, building and running their restaurant until it is dest
...more
Madrezenith
May 15, 2012 Madrezenith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of this couple selling everything in Vermont and struggling to open a high-end restaurant on Anguilla, an idyllic Caribbean island, is inspiring. The writing was clunky at times, but I don't think people read this for the writing but rather to see the details of a risky, big life change. The author and her husband are entrepeneurs with experience starting food-related businesses and a strong sense of adventure and lifestyle creativity. I admire them. They are dreamers who can deal with ...more
Kristine Buchholtz
I'd really give this book 2 1/2 stars if that was an option. This memoir offers some unique insights into the challenges and triumphs of chasing a dream and making it happen, on island time. Conveniences that we take for granted in America are essentially non-existant in Anguilla, and the Blanchards found a way to beat the odds, time and again. Also, Melinda shares some fantastic recipies throughout the text--a foodie's dream.

I just found myself wishing that the memoir was written in another fo
...more
Carrie
Memoir of a Vermont couple who move to the tiny Caribbean island of Anguilla to start a fancy restaurant on the beach. It's a good quick read if you are looking for a tropical fix and/or like true accounts of people who decide to do unusual things (I do). It's not terribly well written (there's no masterful use of the english language, at least), nor does it delve very deeply into the emotional roller-coaster that their endeavor must have been. It also doesn't go into any depth about the dynamic ...more
Ann
May 25, 2008 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book...it takes you on a journey to Anguilla and introduces you to the locals and daily life on a paradise island through the eyes of Melinda Blanchard and her husband Robert as they have decided to move their life from Vermont to paradise in hopes of building their very own restaurant. You feel like you are right there building this life with Melinda and Robert in paradise and go through the struggles and hardships right along with them. The charaters (or I should say people since it's a t ...more
Keri West
Jul 12, 2015 Keri West rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, food
A couple chuck their stateside life and open a five-star restaurant on a tropical island. It's a very stressful, alienating, expensive and apparently "worth it" in the end. But I got the feeling that the Blanchard's never really fit in with the island. All and all, an ok read but not as relaxing as the similar tropically themed "An Embarrassment of Mangoes" by Ann Vanderhoof.
Ellen Librarian
This book, which I "read" in audio form, grabbed my attention when it crossed my desk at the library because its story, about a couple who decides to move to their favorite vacation spot, is one that is so common where I live. But instead of moving to the mountains of the southwest, Robert and Melinda Blanchard move to the Caribbean island of Anguilla. The narrative, read by Melinda Blanchard, is part autobiography about opening a restaurant and adjusting to a new life in an exotic location, par ...more
Ann
Jan 22, 2016 Ann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an entertaining memoir of a couple who decided to give up he frigid winters of Vermont and start a restaurant in Anguilla. Getting used to a new culture and trying to appreciate the location while trying to start a business isn't for everyone. The Blanchards have an easy going manner and open minds and they don't give up.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • An Embarrassment of Mangoes: A Caribbean Interlude
  • Mediterranean Summer: A Season on France's Côte d'Azur and Italy's Costa Bella
  • On Mexican Time: A New Life In San Miguel
  • The Hills of Tuscany
  • Off the Tourist Trail: 1,000 Unexpected Travel Alternatives
  • Live What You Love: Notes from an Unusual Life
  • 360 Degrees Longitude: One Family's Journey Around the World
  • The Olive Farm: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Olive Oil in the South of France
  • Living in a Foreign Language: A Memoir of Food, Wine, and Love in Italy
  • Extra Virgin
  • Gringos in Paradise: An American Couple Builds Their Retirement Dream House in a Seaside Village in Mexico
  • The Motion of the Ocean: 1 Small Boat, 2 Average Lovers, and a Woman's Search for the Meaning of Wife
  • 100 Places Every Woman Should Go
  • From Here, You Can't See Paris: Seasons of a French Village and Its Restaurant
  • Surviving Paradise: One Year on a Disappearing Island
  • Married to Bhutan
  • On Rue Tatin: Living and Cooking in a French Town
  • All Over the Map

Share This Book



“From the air Anguilla looked narrow, flat, and scrubby, but that was only part of the picture.” 1 likes
“Combine equal amounts of pineapple juice, guava juice, freshly squeezed orange juice, and Mt. Gay rum. Add just a dash of grenadine and another of Angostura bitters. Pour over ice and top with a sprinkle of nutmeg.” 0 likes
More quotes…