” Where’s my dinner tonight ?” asks Explorason.
To most, this may not seem like such an odd question, but here on the Kenya Coast where we are staying is quite unique and creative. And most meals are served somewhere new and different. So when Explorason asks “Where’s my dinner tonight?” it means we are off to explore a new location, and are about to enjoy a new experience, but it is all within the confines of the one luxury property.
Kinondo Kwetu is designed as a boutique getaway. A unique retreat. A place of rest and relaxation, and quite exclusive. Even though there are other guests, we are all treated as though we are very, very special. And being ‘All Inclusive’ we just sit back and wait for the culinary delights that surprise us each day.
We arrived at lunchtime. Down by the sea is a little boat shed and gazebo area, so we had our first meal with a select number of other guests there.
Lunch is fabulously healthy and nutritious – I am trying to go on a bit of a diet / health kick here in Kenya, so a salad on a hot day is great for me – but little did I know that was just the first course!
Oh well, maybe this is not the place to diet?
After the afternoon around the pool where I have been ‘kissed by the sun’, we headed off to find where dinner would be served. With a chef from Sweden at the helm, we were in for a treat.
But before dinner it was drinks at the main bar (where Explorason had already settled himself in a corner). A nice chance for me to mingle with the other adult guests.
Dinner was served but the main Guest House on the return sweeping African verandah. The Swahili traditional house is like something out of a movie. I feel like I am ‘living a dream!’
Our giant suite is in a large separate building at the end of the garden, and I am woken as the sunrise peaks through our wooden shutters. So I toddle downstairs at around 7:00 a.m. and I discover a selection of teas and coffees waiting for me just as one of the friendly staff is delivering the tray.
I love this. Usually I like a quiet coffee in the morning whilst Explorason is still asleep. Although not food, it is still hitting my tummy and waking me up for a great start to the day.
Then comes breakfast. We find this today being served at the lounge area. I try Neem juice. It is extremely bitter (Explorason laughs at the faces I am pulling) and is very healthy, and we are told it wards off the mosquitoes for up to 6 months. As I have sun sensitivity from the anti-malaria medication, I think I might consider this as an alternative should we return to Africa another time.
There is a selection of hot and cold dishes for breakfast as well as a ‘help yourself’ buffet with cereals etc.
I love the fact they have baked beans for breakfast – odd things you miss when you travel, and ‘comfort foods’ you grab when you can.
Each morning at Kinondo Kwetu one of the lovely staff ‘hunts us down’. On this occasion we had just returned from the beach learning on the reef with the locals, and he has a ‘vitamin pill in a glass’. A different mix of juices is offered to us each day.
“Where is lunch ?” asks Explorason.
We find it. In a traditional Kenyan Dhow old wooden boat that has been fitted out with a large table and seating, stationed near the seaside.
We loved this spot – it was away from the wind, and it was nice and shady. So we confess – we sat here in the dhow two times, but it was the only time we had a meal in the same place, our whole stay!
That evening it was full moon.
We walked downstairs as the kerosine lanterns light our path, and were surprised to find tables set out on the beach. Above us a string of lanterns were also hung, and the moon glowed over the Indian Ocean. It was such a pretty setting.
This is the Swahili Coast – and this is a magical evening.
Kikoi towelling lined blankets were on each chair in case we felt chilly. But it was great and I didn’t find it at all cold.
We even danced before dinner – in the moonlight – one of my all time favourite photos.
It was a beautiful, beautiful evening – words cannot describe the feelings inside me. Memories in the heart that I hope are etched forever. If I was unsure of how much I was in love with Kenya, this night cemented my feelings – I am in love with Kenya. totally and utterly in love with this country!
In the end (post main course) the wind picked up, and so we headed back to the main lounge area for dessert – again a new location for us to dine at Kinondo Kwetu.
Other guests stayed – I think they had shorter hair than I, so they weren’t eating it, like I was 🙂
The following day breakfast was on one of the verandahs – pancakes with warm chocolate sauce for Explorason, and I had the owners special recipe of a toasted sandwich with a mix including avocado. It was sensational.
Our evening was served as an exclusive retreat time for the two of us. Each couple or family had a private balcony at the large African House.
Drinks were served downstairs – again this traditional Swahili style building at Kinondo Kwetu was adorned with antiques, and I loved it. Of course Explorason was the first one downstairs.
I am losing track of meals !
This is not a huge property, but neither is it tiny,but it does have a lot of private areas. There is even a clifftop open room that could have been utilised. Here we stand on top a sacred hill where people come to worship and pray etc. We never ate there though, but did visit once when exploring the property. Other guests I noticed dined on occasion around one of the swimming pools, or they could eat on their verandahs of their villa.
Breakfast the following day was served to us by the staff, but the buffet was near the bar area if a lighter meal was desired.
A new location for dining again….
We liked it here because there was wifi, but I also liked that most of the dining experiences were away from the wifi area, so the experience was complete and undisturbed.
I’m rather over having other people talking on the phone at mealtimes, and the incessant twirl of Twitter is a ‘total put off’ after the 5th Tweet notification that goes off at the next table. I never encountered these disturbances here – total tranquility.
Before we know it, it is our last evening here. The Swedish chef has organised for us a very special dining experience. He is completely involved in the planning and designing the event from start to finish.
The view is incredible – to the rear is the Indian ocean. The side is where the horses are. The rear has the sun setting over the fields, and the last side is the Kinondo Kwetu property overlooking one of the swimming pools and surrounding garden area.
So we actually arrived early to maximise the fabulous view and experience.
And the treat for our farewell dinner – LOBSTER!
Thankfully it was a beautifully light sorbet for dessert served with coffee, because I was full.
This was just another perfect location for a perfect meal here at Kinondo Kwetu.
Breakfast came around on our last day before we knew it. This time we were seated out by the rose garden with the view facing toward the sea.
I had a lovely cooked breakfast as the birds chirped around us.
Never in my life have I eaten so many fantastic meals in so many different locations.
And I haven’t even told you about how amazing the Kinondo Kwetu property is. I think I shall just have to leave that for another article.
If ever there is a place you want to stay and eat like kings and queens, Kinondo Kwetu is it!
Location: Kinondo Kwetu – Galu Beach,Diani Beach, Kenya, Kenya