Imagine craving a Salade Nicoise and cafe au lait on a Sunday afternoon in Nairobi. Walk in to the Thorn Tree Cafe and be greeted by a pleasant hostess who has no problem with you refusing her seating offer and choosing your own seat in the middle of the breezy sunlit patio. Note the background jazz unobtrusively mask the street traffic, and order your meal from an attentive but unobtrusive waiter.
While you sip your drink, note that the message board from 1902 still remains in the center of the patio (now closed off from the street), as a polite nod to tradition. (Make a mental note to contribute to the variety of whimsical writings posted by customers.)
Meet Gerard the Giraffe (my name for him - we later agreed that I could call him Gerry next time we meet) whose quizzical countenance will capture your attention after awhile...he is a life-sized steel plate welded sculpture who appears complacently comfortable in the surroundings. (And not too judgemental of your grossly overwritten review as he looks over your shoulder.)
Your generous salad will arrive presently with fresh butter lettuce, multicoloured sweet peppers, crisp haricots, artichoke hearts, and tuna (alas not fresh, but still perfectly acceptable). Ruminate with Gerard and enjoy the breeze, feeling relaxed and refreshed. Remember to try some of the fresh rolls that come with the salad - the sesame seeds are fresh!
Thank you, Anthony (waiter) for not inquiring about my home country, my business or requesting my business card, but concentrating on how to make my dining experience pleasant and professional.
Great start to a week-long business trip at the Stanley.
Now, if only I can get my room changed to a higher floor with a view, I'll be in Stanley Sartori.
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