All Roads Lead To… Welwitschia Lounge

There’s something uplifting about walking into the plush Strand Hotel eatery that is Welwitschia Lounge.

Sashaying below the high ceilings, past the aesthetic fireplace and settling down in the bright lounge drenched in understated elegance and Hampton’s style stripes or taking a seat on one of the wicker chairs facing the great Atlantic.

Suddenly, cocktail hour is a thing of seaside sophistication.

Daily specials such as the Sizzling Desire, Purple Volcano and the Coastal Breeze tease from a short and sweet menu suggesting a selection of bierhappen – light snacks meant to complement your particular poison, mine no less than the humble Cosmopolitan which is the best I’ve had in the country.

Not beyond whipping up a preferred cocktail for the American woman who sidles in missing the way they make it in her neighbourhood bar or regaling you with the plans for the hotel microbrewery’s revamp, the barmen at Welwitschia Lounge are the real MVPs.

Personable, efficient and whispering advice about Swakopmund’s lukewarm late-night life, the establishment’s barmen are all grace and compliance when two locals pull up some chairs then promptly inquire which duo of drinks they can get for a non-negotiable 100 bucks.

The women are welcome.

They join the mix of tourists and locals breathing in the sea air, smile at the little boy sitting on the edge of his seat watching jet skis rush over blue water and lower their voices a little when they notice me reading a book, sporadically taking notes but mostly, shamelessly, eavesdropping.

It’s a tranquil situation. One made all the better when my beer battered onion rings with smoked garlic mayo and sticky pork belly bites glazed in soy sauce, honey and chilli arrive with a smile.

On another day, I may try the cheesy bacon fries, bratwurst skewers, a coconut and cranberry mojito, bubbly from a pretty impressive wine list, tea, coffee or something sweet from the hotel’s confectionery corner but that day, I’m content.

Why not when the sun’s out, the living is easy and the Cosmos are a dream?

Welwitschia Lounge is situated at Swakopmund’s Strand Hotel and is open daily from 08h00.

–; Martha Mukaiwa on Twitter and Instagram;

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