When the sun sets in Anse aux Anglais, also known as English Bay, it’s time for an apéro at Bambou Restou. Locals and tourists alike gather all around the beach area to watch the sunset. It’s a communal moment of awe for the sheer magic of this place. Some enjoy the stillness of watching the sunset from the beach, but for a nice social energy the best vibe on Rodrigues island seems to be at Bambou Restou, a sidewalk café on the beach road.
Dario from Bambou Restou is a vibrant character who knows how to have fun. His bar is a treasure trove of collectibles which is bound to make for interesting conversation after a few drinks. The bar also boasts a big screen for watching sport, or screening music videos. Soon the Bambou barman whips up some bright orange cocktails with a bit of passion fruit for us. Served in martini glasses and garnished with yellow Nasturtium flowers, they look really pretty and festive. Jean-Paul, Dario and I toast to new friends and, hmm, this cocktail tastes so deliciously sweet and fresh-fruity that I might have to have a few.
The apéro (a colloquial word for ‘aperitif’) offering at Bambou includes all kinds of little snacks to enjoy with cocktails. The exquisite salt and pepper octopus gives me flashbacks to the Sheraton hotel buffet in Brisbane where I experienced this delicacy for the first time. So delicious! We also enjoy some sandwiches and shrimps as well as a taste of pizza with ‘secret ingredients’. All the while the in-house performer, Miko, sets the soundtrack with a few passionate chords on his guitar and a husky voice. It is intimate yet unobtrusive. Dario refuses to share his pizza ‘secrets’ even after a few drinks and I try asking Miko, with not much luck. Eventually I am left believing that it is just an ingenious combination of fresh herbs or simply a drunken guessing game.
On a really good night, guests might end up at Le Cocotiers nightclub, which is just around the corner and plays from local sega music to pop. In favour of my early morning boat trip, however, I give in to the call of my very comfortable bed at the Pointe Venus hotel which is also just a few minutes away.
Anse aux Anglais is the only village on Rodrigues island with a bit of a nightlife buzz. So for those keen on alternating the daytime serenity with a bit of a party energy at night, this is definitely the best place to stay.