Everything about Msambweni Beach House – the style, the location, the guest rooms – is just gorgeous. But what about the hotel dining? Let me fill you in…
Where to Dine…
The first thing you will notice when you stay here is you are asked where you would like to have your next meal. Once you’ve decided, the team of waiters will then make sure they reserve your table for you and it all feels very bespoke.
Our first lunch was poolside, where you are close to the hotel bar and lounge and you can enjoy beautiful views out to the Indian Ocean. There are a couple of poolside tables you can choose from and the tables were always laid out so beautifully, with delicious fresh bread and oils and bougainvillea flower decoration always present. It’s a lovely place to come in the evening if you want a buzzy vibe.
Terri, one of the hotel managers joined in in singing Happy Birthday to one of the guests while we were at dinner. It was great to hear the traditional Kenyan version of this well-known song (FYI it’s far longer and far more exciting than the British way!) And they even shared some of their Birthday cake with us!
If you want to dine even closer to the beautiful Indian Ocean, you can take a path down to the elevated sandy area above the four mile stretch of sand that fringes Msambweni. It’s nice and shaded here but you have a wonderful ocean view through the foliage. We loved this little spot – it’s a little bit more private and very relaxing. You’re treated to the sound of the waves and the feeling of soft sand in between your toes.
For the ultimate privacy, all guests can enjoy in-room dining whenever they choose. With such a long, beautiful verandah, we couldn’t let it go to waste! So we took full advantage of having breakfast here in our PJs while we admired the glimmering ocean.
Just a quick call to reception with your order, and the staff will lay it out beautifully on your outdoor table with a selection of teas, a fresh pot of coffee and a little treat of chocolate chip cookies.
We also had dinner up on our verandah which was lovely, but at this time of the day, you need to watch out as there are a few more mosquitoes!
Breakfast at Msambweni Beach House was delicious, and surprising! Their fruit plates were absolutely stunning – some of the freshest and juiciest exotic fruits we tasted in East Africa.
The surprising bit was their ‘egg in a cup’ which came unexpected, alongside the food we ordered. I won’t reveal what the ‘secret recipe’ is but it was pretty tasty!
Hot breakfasts (eggs etc) are available and the home-made jams and granola were absolutely delicious.
When it comes to your evening meals, the menu at Msambweni Beach House offers tasty starters such as octopus salad and fresh prawns with melon.
Msaambweni Beach House is run by Belgian Frederik Vanderhoeven, and so you will find a number of European influences on the food. The varied selection means that guests are likely to find something they like, whatever their mood or taste. Expect everything from fish in banana leaf and local crab to Belgian home comforts such as beef carbonade.
If you do fancy some local fare, you can delve into the likes of Swahili curry prawns, fish soup and meat-filled samosas. We found some of the evening menu quite simple and not quite as well presented as the lunch, but I enjoyed the grilled tuna, which was served with creamy mashed potatoes.
If you’re feeling indulgent, make sure you order their ‘magic’ chocolate pudding which involves some table theatre!
We also thought the grilled prawn canopés were a lovely addition to our evening sundowners, as we stargazed by the outdoor fire.
I’ve saved the best until last because the lunches were the culinary highlight for us at Msambweni Beach House.
For lunch, the chef here focuses on light bites such as salads, pasta dishes and soups.
And being on the coast, this is of course, the place to enjoy some of the best seafood. Think fried calamari, fish tempura and the freshest catch of the day, simply grilled and seasoned.
We thought the hotel’s pizza Sundays were a good idea. The chef comes out of the kitchen and can be found at the poolside pizza oven. For a set price you can enjoy a buffet of salads, sides and pizza that’s crisp, flavoursome and beautifully wood-fired.
The other reason we loved lunchtime at the hotel was because we became slightly obsessed with the pineapple chicken – a hollowed out half pineapple that’s filled with grilled chicken, pineapple pieces,cashews and raisins. It’s seriously good and we ordered it several times during our stay. It’s one I’ll be trying to recreate when I’m back home!
All meals are beautifully laid out, served with care and always attentive service from Msambweni’s lovely staff. A particularly big thank you goes to Omar. We felt very well looked after under his hospitality, and if you ever stay at Msambweni, I’m sure you will too.