The other time I was in Watamu, I stayed at a lovely little villa with a private pool and a not too far distance from the actual beach.
Suffice it to say, I didn't leave the villa much, not even for the beach – my holiday philosophy tends to be move and be moved as little as possible.
The point of a vacation is to actually vacation, no? i.e. actually relax, as opposed to filling up your schedule with activities that absolutely have to be done depending on your location (that's Dubai. Whew! Story for another day when we're talking about the very definition of what is NOT a holiday).
You don't HAVE to do things on holiday. The holiday, in my humble opinion, is precisely for not doing things.
But I digress. The people I was with did not share the same philosophy as I – they wanted to get out and do things, and see things – which I was not interested in (which is why, unfortunately, I've been to Watamu twice and still not seen the ruins, or Turtle Bay, or any of those things you're supposed to see. Maybe third time lucky?)
We reached a compromise where we agreed to at least leave the house to go for a walk along the main street – which is how we found a delightful little ice cream place that sold breads and jams as well, and our excursion was complete – for me, anyway.
HUNT FOR ICE CREAM
And so the next time I went back (last month), I wanted to go to the same place, because I'm a creature of habit, and the gelato place that I had seen on Google Maps was closed – which seems to be my luck, again, every time I'm in Watamu.
So we went to this old haunt – and it turned out they didn't have gelato. But the lady at the counter was nice enough to recommend a place that did, about five minutes from where we were. The funny thing is, she recommended two places – one that wasn't as nice as the other, and she said as much!
So we made our way to Andrea's Ice Cream, a small cute parlour that's been operational since 2006, with hilarious signage, for one, and fair pricing – the ice cream was Sh150 a scoop.
There was a notice that said open from 7.30am to 6pm – a notice we weren't sure to trust, because this was one of the many places we had gone to that tended to close in the afternoon without warning to anyone who wasn't a local in the area (Billionaire's Club Malindi, I'm looking at you and rolling my eyes).
Aside from selling ice cream, they also offer pastries and cakes, as presented in a little fridge next to the one that holds the ice cream.
And what delectable ice cream they hold! Isn't it great when you come upon an ice cream shop that makes you feel like one of Willy Wonka's children in his factory?
I love looking at all the swirls and flavours available to me on a counter – but then I get greedy and can't decide, because I want them all. The signs, by the way, said clothing optional beyond this point – we didn't take them up on that offer, although the heat would have given us due cause – and there was another one that said – ‘No Trespassing. Violators will be shot. Survivors will be shot again’. HA!
I had the hazelnut and my companion had a salted caramel scoop. The hazelnut in itself was perfection, just the right measure of nutty goodness, and the salted caramel, equally so.
A lot of people get that salted caramel wrong, where they think the sugar is enough to make the flavour, but it's just sugar, which you wouldn't have ordered the salted caramel if you wanted, you know what I mean? They perfectly balanced the sugary caramel and the salty complement into something fantastic, and now that I've described it like this, I just want to go back...
Wondering where to get the 411 on what's happening in and around Nairobi's foodie scene? There's a lot of places you could go, but here's where we want you to be – getting the dish on the dish. Get it? We knew you would.