Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter in Gaborone

At least we got free sparkling wine!
Lovely restaurant, terrible service.
Our Easter Sunday this year got progressively better as the day went on. We were quite excited to try out an Easter brunch at the Phakalane Golf Estate Hotel Resort, which we hadn't yet visited but had heard good things about as the nicest hotel in town with a great view from the restaurant. Upon our arrival we were very impressed with the attractive, well-kept grounds and the hotel restaurant which was beautifully positioned overlooking the golf course. We were a bit dismayed to see that even though we arrived about 45 minutes past what was supposed to be the start time for the Easter brunch, waiters and staff were still carrying tables and chairs out to the balcony and scrambling to set up the buffet. But, hey, this is Botswana, so we decided to be patient and enjoy the view and a complimentary glass of sparkling wine while we waited.

Espresso Deli in Phakalane: a much better choice
Thirty minutes later things still weren't set up and so we asked to be shown to our table to wait, only to be given the worst table in the entire restaurant (in the back corner, between a set of swinging double doors, with no view)! The wait staff then proceeded to argue with us and refused to change our table on the grounds that it was "too inconvenient to change the seating chart" - even though there were all of five other people in the restaurant and about fifty tables open, with more being carried in every minute. After some back and forth with an extremely rude and condescending manager (Struggle struggle) we finally decided to just leave. We were really disappointed because this place was beautiful and would have a been a nice spot to hang out on weekends... but now I don't think I'll ever go back because of the truly awful service there. This happens too often in Botswana - great potential is ruined by the poor service that comes from a sense of entitlement and a nonexistent work ethic. A shame because this restaurant could have been so much more with just a little bit of effort..

A huge Easter feast!
A feisty houseguest
Fortunately, our day became progressively better as it went on. On the way home from our aborted brunch, we stopped at the Espresso Deli, another spot in Phakalane, for a quick bite. Espresso Deli is a quite nice spot that serves food a cut above your average Gaborone meal, and our morning was redeemed over cappuccinos, a tasty omelet for me, and a health bread with eggs concoction for Scott. We headed home, rested, and played with "Bella" (our kitty house guest, just for the weekend while his owner was out of town!) before Easter meal #2 1/2 at some friends' house. The meal was just lovely, with cocktails and appetizers outside followed by a huge family-style meal at a beautifully set dining room table and then amazing desserts and after dinner drinks outside again. So it ended up being a really great Easter, even though the morning got off to a rocky start! Thanks friends for the wonderful time last night. :)


  1. Wow, this makes the service in Shanghai seem down right stellar! Glad you had a nice Easter!