Day #176 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…The adventures in Kenya continue…Dining in a cave…

Dinner in a cave at Diani Beach, Kenya, seven years ago today. I thought Tom looked great in this photo, but I reminded myself of Morticia wearing all black or, on the day in Abu Dhabi, UAE, when we entered the famed White Mosque, requiring that I wore the black abaya in the 100+ degree weather.

Today’s photos are from the post in 2013, while we lived in Diani Beach, Kenya, for three months. For more details from that post, please click here.

Standing at the top of the stairway leading down to the natural cave, we were able to look down at the bar below. Every effort was made to maintain the original integrity of this environment when it became a restaurant over 100 years ago, renovated in the 1980s.

As we recall the photos and story from seven years ago today, we are reminded of how we may have taken our “freedom” for granted. To dine out, be outdoors, see wildlife, flowers, plants, and trees, and people were always a delight, but, perhaps, it will be all the more meaningful from now on.

The lounge in the bar where we had our drinks while waiting for our table. The restaurant didn’t open until 7:30 pm, with most diners not appearing until 8:30 or later. I guess us old folks from the US are early diners. We’ve found that dinner is typically served at 8:00, often 9:00 pm or later as we’ve traveled the world.

As mentioned in a prior post, we’re attempting to determine a lesson or purpose that will serve us in years to come from these many months in lockdown. Will a greater sense of freedom be the answer to this question? For our regular readers, it’s been evident all these years that we’ve been grateful and appreciative of our surroundings, never taking anything for granted. Should a sense of freedom become the focal point for our past and future appreciation and gratitude?

Another view of the seating areas in the bar, depicting somewhat of a Moroccan theme, which was ahead for us at this point when we’d booked a holiday home in Marrakesh, Morocco, a mere six months later.

Today, as we see how much enjoyment we derived from yet another evening’s foray in sampling Kenya’s dining various establishments in Diani Beach, my heart did a flutter thinking how much fun that would be now. The variety of food options, the ambiance, and the possibility of a cocktail or glass of wine, send my taste buds and brain into a frenzy of hopefulness and excitement.

View of the walls in the bar. All lighting in the walls and at the table resulted from candles, creating a warm atmosphere, romantic to say the least.

This extraordinary experience in Kenya on this date seven years ago, dining in a cave, was memorable, so much so we returned a second time. The ambiance was over-the-top, as shown in today’s photos, the food was fresh and delicious, and the service was exemplary.

Diners began to filter in around 8:00 pm, filling all tables when we were ready to leave around 9:45 pm. We’d been warned not to rush the servers in Africa. Many countries’ servers are accustomed to taking their time in delivering the bill. As is the case in Kenya and many other countries, most often, tips are only allowed to be paid in cash, not added to the credit card slip. That required us to keep adequate money on hand.

The ambiance of any venue is a  factor in enjoying a meal. Whether it be in a pleasant holiday home, comfortably situated at a dining room or kitchen table, dining out in a lively atmosphere of a popular everyday dining establishment or a cozy, romantic spot such as illustrated in today’s photos, it all adds to the enjoyment of the meal and of course, the companionship.

Compliments of the chef, we were both served this tangy GF marinated salad. Tom took one bite turning his serving over to me, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

In this case, in Diani Beach, we couldn’t have enjoyed it more. The unique decor, lighting, and service added another element to our meals. We’d expected it to be more expensive. We were pleasantly surprised by the reasonable bill, which, with the cost of the driver (who waited for us in the parking lot), the food, tax, tips, and beverages, the total was only US $68, INR 4999, for the entire evening. I didn’t order alcohol, only a Perrier, my drink of choice at that time.

This was the view to my right as we sat at a cozy, not too small table against one of the walls. We always prefer a wall table as opposed to one positioned in the center of the room.

As mentioned in the past, I didn’t drink any alcohol for about 20 years. I didn’t have a “drinking” problem but just decided to stop for health reasons, thinking it was “better for me.” Ultimately, it seemed to make no difference in my health whether I drank wine or not.

My dinner, Cheesy Chicken atop a pesto sauce, was well seasoned and pleasing to the palate, although the serving size was small. Rather than a chicken breast, this serving was a small single thigh that proved to be sufficient with the vegetables.

After open-heart surgery, the cardiologist and surgeon suggested that drinking red wine in moderation was good for the heart. I’m still not sure if that’s been proven inconclusive, but for now, I’ll go with that theory. Good grief, one has to enjoy life, too! Then again, there’s undoubtedly no wine in my life at this point, and it won’t be until we leave here someday.

Tom’s dinner of two small Filet Mignon, each with a different sauce.

When looking online, it appears that Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant is still open, even during this time of COVID-19. If we ever return to Diani Beach, Kenya, which we may, we’ll visit this fine restaurant once again to renew the experiences we had in 2013.

The stairway was going up and out of Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant. Gee, we’ve gone up and down several stone stairs in those past months!

For now, we have what we have; safety, relative comfort, air-con, a comfortable bed, housekeeping, shows to stream in the evenings, and good WiFi. All of you are beside us, encouraging us with your positive feedback every day.

May your day bring you comfort and peace of mind amid all this madness.                                                                                                                                                                                        Photo from one year ago today, September 15, 2019:

The driveway from our house in St. Teath, Cornwall, England, to the narrow road. For more photos, please click here.

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