The SwitSalone 2010 BEST OF FREETOWN Social Guide
This past year in Freetown Social Life seemed a tad less glamorous than previous seasons, whether it was the effects of the global economic downturn or fatigue at the redundancy of activities people dem just noh seem fo comot lekkeh dat. But as the holiday season day cam we all go hope say di JC dem go bring merriment, enjoyment, but most importantly dollor dollar. Freetown finally gave in to the sounds of WestAfrica’s New AfroHiPBeat songs like Yori Yori, You Don Make Me Fall In Love, and Timaya. The light got way way way better and though the rains killed the road the SLRA within weeks was at work patching them up again. Emerson finally dropped his much anticipated album “Yesterday Better Pass Tiday”. On the album cover the sentence is followed by a question mark but in the song itself the sentence is a statement. As we prepare for December, we expect much much activity including the first ever Ma Degnbeach festival on lumbley beach, the Africa International Youth football tournament, The African Network Conference, A Booboo gown fashion show, Play On Words, and (shameless plug) the Second Season of the Vickie Remoe Show on SLBS TV and so much more.
I have taken a new less controversial approach to the social guide this time around. Instead of telling u all the restaurants I do not like I have chosen to highlight just the ones that I think are worth visiting or mentioning…establishments that offer more than the average dining experience. Additionally this year I have taken a more succinct approach to the guide. Ideally i would love to have photographs of all these places but oh ya…ah no get camera . Sorry oh
1. Country Lodge—C-Lodge’s Eden Restaurant is home to the friendliest and most seasoned set of staff anywhere in the city. Boasting a beautiful panoramic view of Freetown’s beach coast, a Mongolian all UCANEAT Buffet on Friday’s C-Lodge is my favorite destination for Sunday Brunch and late night desert treats. *Choco-lava*
2. Posseh’s- Hidden in the suburbs of Babadorie Posseh’s is one of Freetown’s best kept secrets diverse offering of French influenced meat, chicken, and seafood dishes. It’s a quaint some may even say romantic restaurant with excellent service and a wide selection of wines. Best for Breakfast but even better for Dinner. *chateaubriand & mashed mint potatoes*
3. Crown Bakery—It is 19years later and Crown Bakery has survived the test of time to become the best place to eat lunch in Freetown. Whether it is the Eggs Benedict for Breakfast or Portuguese Giant Prawns or Jollof Rice and Stew, the specials are always hearty sumptuous servings for anyone looking for bellyfulls of satisfaction. *Everything is good including people gazing, from ministers, to bank MDs*
4. Solar Hotel-Each time I dine at Solar Hotel I am overwhelmed by the artistry of the locally made furniture and carvings. Out for dinner you can hear the sounds and murmurs of frogs, crickets, and other creatures of the night that turn your star lit dining experience into an adventure. *The Man O War Steak
5. Franco’s & Florence’s—It’s an hour drive to reach but its time well spent when Florence’s Italian Restaurant at Sussex is your destination. All the creatures of the sea seem to swim out of the kitchen right on to your table. From big fat 1kilo lobsters to crab legs, shrimp and scallops, Florence’s is the best place to chow down on the peninsular. *Grilled Lobster & Fries*
6. Mamba Point (Barracuda Sushi Bar)—Enter Mamba Point’s Sushi Bar and you get the feeling that you could be sitting at any Sushi Restaurant in New York, London, or elsewhere. Mamba Point is the best place to grab a drink after work, meet up with friends, eat sushi or share a slice of pizza. If Crown Bakery had a distant cousin it would be Mamba Point. *Sushi- African Thunder*
7. Bliss Patisserie—Bliss is our very own French café owned by a charming and hospitable elderly Lebanese couple. It’s a ideal for Breakfast, Brunch and everything pastry. Treat yourself to a Crepe with Apples Cinnamon and Sugar or a pain au chocolat and certainly stop by to pre-order your birthday cakes and treats. *Crepes*
8. Senegalese Restaurant—The heartiest biggest portions you will ever thankfully overeat anywhere in town. The Senegalese Restaurant on Wilkinson Rd. offers traditional meals like Chicken Yassa, Theubu jean and grilled fish with atchieke. Owned by two Senegalese bothers, each dish is served to satisfy any hungry man or woman. A local and expat favorite!! * Grilled Fish Atieke with plantains*
9. Caribbean Fusion—Sanders Street never tasted so sweet until Caribbean Fusion Jerked into town. Blending the shared culinary and cultural bridge between Sierra Leone and Jamaica, Valerie’s Caribbean Fusion offers the classics from Jerk Chicken and Curry with Rice & Peas and Plantains to an assortment of fresh home made juices like Sorrel (Bissap) to a Gingerbeer Pineapple concoction to quench Freetown’s hot humid afternoons. *Pineapple shrimp & rice*
10. Chill Grill—Chill Grill is fast becoming a lunchtime favorite for Freetown’s business community looking for tasty Sierra Leonean delicacies. Chill Grill recently launched delivery service so you don’t have to leave your office to get your goat pepper soup. Thursday’s Cassava Leaves with Coconut Oil is a finger licking goodness. *Olehleh & Plaintains*
11. Jaylin Chinese Restaurant–Do not let the modest exterior of Jaylin Chinese Restaurant prevent you from enjoying the delights of its kitchen. For although Freetown boasts of a handful of Chinese Restaurants, Jaylin offers the tastiest fast authentic Chinese food in town and you know its authentic because many of Salone’s Chinese merchants frequent this restaurant.
12. Lillies Café & Bakery—Kingharman Road once just a good piece of tarmark to drive on is now home to Lillies Café a cute, and cozy restaurant catering to hungry mouths looking for good and reasonably priced food. Students from it environs have made this the destination for their after school ice cream treat. Owned by a Sierra Leonean UK returnee this restaurant will soon become a local favorite once construction on outdoor patio is complete. *Grilled Chicken Salad*
Charlotte Falls—When I finally made the trek to Charlotte Falls it was perfect. Walked through the Village, up past an old stone building into the bushes and finally out at the opening that is Charlotte Falls. An ideal picnic location with a small pool to dip for the adventurous but certainly get your feet wet if not all of your skin.
Tacugama Chimp Sanctuary—Certain experiences are best when shared so get a friend or a loved one and visit the cute, cuddly, rescued chimps of Tacugama. It’s a beautiful drive up the hills, but watch out for a steep climb up to the sanctuary. Learn about the similarities between humans and chimps, the history of the sanctuary, and learn how to speak chimp
Roadtrips & Excursions: Although they are not yet very people i believe there is much fun to be had discovring the country. Really Big for 2010 will be up country excursions, getting to know swit mama salone. Freetown is only a tiny pary of the country. Get out more
Leone Casino: Before I moved to Freetown I must admit that the closest i had to come gambling was playing the slots at Atlantic City. Now i am a full time poker player at leone casino. I’ve bet as much as 2million in one night and as little as 400,000. Its probably the best fun i ever have in town these days. But please dont turn yourself into a gambler and blame it on me.
Tokeh Beach: Most of Freetown’s shishi fa fa and Lebanese crowd now make the journey to Tokeh on Sundays to enjoy lobster and grilled fish far from the confines of city traffic, noise, and people. Tokeh is what Number 2 used to be several years ago…exclusive
Please don’t come to SaLone looking for T1 and DSL speeds on internet. If you want the internet look for reliability cause any company stressing speed is just FLAT as LYING. But don’t worry I hear the contract to bring fiber to Salone has been signed…ETA?? Ah noh know.
Africell: a Lebanese owned company operating in Gambia & Sierra Leone recently took over the assets and liabilities of TIGO formerly Millicom. By the end of this year TIGO customers will need to transfer to one of the existing companies. Most reasonable in network rates. I have an africell phone now (Users are typically blue collar workers and students)
Kai Couture (formerly picton) By MaryAnne (Syke st)
Bico by Isata Kabia ( 55 Campbell St–or email iklionessATyahoo.com)