There were knowing glances of those who had experienced it before, intrigued from those who didn’t know what to expect and a general level of excitement when guests and staff were talking about the weekly Flats Lunch. Every Alphonse Island guest is invited so on Thursday everyone met at the dive centre and set off on boats towards our lunch.
We were entertained on the journey by a pod of Dolphins along the side of our boat and then upon the horizon, we could see our dining location emerging in the distance.
Tables and chairs with sun parasols had been arranged in clusters along the sand flat. I’m pretty sure everyone spent the first 10 minutes after setting foot on the pristine and pure flats in just a state of wonderment, just saying ‘Wow’, ‘This is amazing’, ‘I can’t believe it’ to each other. Thankfully I, like everyone else, took many photos as proof of the experience or perhaps we might have felt we had dreamt this.
We had been told to take with us plenty of sunscreen and cover ups due to the complete lack of shade and the strength of the sun bouncing off the glare of the unblemished white sand and the clear blue ocean.
We were here for lunch and we weren’t disappointed. Despite the complexities of creating an amazing lunch in such a remote location, the team did an absolutely amazing job. The spread put on by the Alphonse team did not disappoint. Beautifully barbequed meats and fish were served with delicious salads and sides dishes. We were also being kept very well refreshed with local Seychelles’ Takamaka Rum punch.
Our lazy lunch was spent chatting with companions while making new friends - the remoteness of the experience, with no distractions, was bringing us all closer together. Here we were, a group of travellers who went to a remote luxury island, now dining together on a sand plain in the middle of the Indian Ocean and were finding and making connections Over a plate of food, I discovered that a fellow Alphonse Island guest lives very close to my brother in London … well they do say that ‘Travel has a way of making the world a much smaller place’.
What could be better than great conversation, delicious food, amazing views, and feeling of being so remote as if we were the only people on earth?
After a few hours, yet what felt like all of a sudden, time was being called on our relaxing, unique (maybe extraordinary and unbelievable) afternoon. The tide was rising and our sandy island was slowly shrinking and returning back to the depths of water.
Our location would soon disappear so it was time to head back to the boats. Did we want to stay longer, of course we did. But this was very much a case of Mother Nature being the one deciding on our plans.
As the boat left the flats to take us back to Alphonse Island, everyone sat back in the sun all feeling satisfactorily full and content.
Of all the beautiful restaurants in the world, this has to be the most stunning, unique and beautiful place that I have ever experienced.
Sarah Bryans 06/04/2023