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Bata, Equatorial Guinea. Seen by Sandra

24 Nov

Social life is not a major activity in Equatorial Guinea. Restaurants and bars where one (the expat community mostly) can meet and enjoy a social moment together are rare. On the other hand, tourism is not really a motive to come here and entering the country may be a tough and long thing to do. However, if you are lucky to experience a trip of some kind down here, here are a few places I’ve discovered since my arrival.

For a proper French meal by the sea, you can go to Le Kalao. A sweet little restaurant on the Paseo. The owner, Philippe is a lovely and friendly French man. Together with his wife they are happy to see new faces and welcome you even for just a cup of coffee or a drink during the day. The menu is simple, fresh, familiar and reasonably priced (the equivalent of an average priced meal in France) the dishes are quite large so be sure not to fill your stomach before you go. There are about a dozen bottles of wine of each color. Champagne and other alcoholic drinks. It is also the only place I have found with a proper Nespresso machine for coffee and Clooney lovers. Also, there is Wifi ~ Open all week except for Tuesdays.

North of Bata you will find the Utunde resort with Les Pagaies restaurant and bar. Hotel (huts) on the beach with a pool and pleasant, more local style food to order. The owners are a French couple who have traveled through the continent for over 20 years before landing in Guinea and opening this resort. If you make it there and go spend a day at sea, go by to see the Monkey. ~ Tel. 56 62 37

Another beach corner North of Bata on Bome Beach, is the Farm. A nice beach corner full of people on Sunday with quite a big restaurant to fill your needs over lunch or brunch. Don’t expect to be served quickly, so make sure to order at least an hour before you actually wish to eat. Apparently the Paella is to be tried out (may take over an hour to prepare so be patient). A nice corner for a weekend trip.
Another culinary corner is the Villa Celotti restaurant at the General Works housing village. An Italian company that opened an Italian cafeteria restaurant. Big, quite cosy with some sofa’s, rugs and family like tables for 6. The menu is simple (pasta, pizza, meat and fish dishes, a burger… Some for take away). You have the choice between the menu or the cafeteria dishes of the day. There is a bar. A proper bar with chairs and many, many bottles. Champagne, wine and more or less all the alcohol you may want. There are also two TV screens for game nights or just to crash and watch. You will kindly be handed the remote to play with. Make sure to be friendly and share.

Two other places to have a drink or a meal are the French Cultural Centre café and the Spanish Cultural Centre café and snack bar. Both by the sea, letting you have a drink while looking over the ocean and meeting acquaintances and  friends randomly passing by.

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