One question I have been asked on my travels to Abuja in the past is are there any places to go for an affordable good cup of coffee. I like to go out for a good cup of coffee now and then so I decided to see if I could answer this question well now I can and the answer is a resounding YES.
I visited several places and all were good and affordable which not being an oil and gas magnet is music to my ears and means that I can go out a couple of times a week to sip a good cup of freshly grounded coffee.
Two stood out for me. The first was Classic Rock Coffee.
Classic Rock Coffee.
Situated at 12b Ajesa Street, off Amino Kano Crescent, Wuse 2 (which is quite different to Wuse Zone 2) – 07019065555/09059158313. Wuse 2 is also the nightclub district of Municipal FCT.
Classic Rock Coffee is managed by a charming young entrepreneur, Dozie who happens to love good coffee and good music.
As you enter Classic Rock Coffee you are meet with a nice seating space surrounded by large shrubs which despite being in the open gives it a secluded feel. Downstairs is a café which serves a variety of coffees and teas all reasonably price with a large cup of Americano costing me around N1300. Also, downstairs is a cosy café which also serves a number of Nigerian and non-Nigerian meals including their take on “the Full English”.
Upstairs is a well-stocked bar that every other Friday, doubles as a Jazz and Blues live music hang out. I attended their event and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
The second place I would definitely recommend is Café de vie.
Café de vie
Located at 12 Amazon Street in up market district of Maitama – 0816 6666696, Care de vie is run by bubbly Yoga teacher Victoria. It has a lovely homely feel and the venue is a nice place to chill out and meet friends.
Their coffee prices are only slightly higher than at Classic Rock Café and while there for breakfast, I had a scrambled egg dish to die for. Never knew that scrambled egg could be so funky.
While there is no bar at Café de vie they do sell a small selection of wine and have a good selection of continental meals which are mostly prepared fresh. The decor has a relaxing small boutique wine bar feel.
Victoria also indicated that plans are on hand to run some small social events in the evenings. A nice place to hang out for a quiet Saturday afternoon.
Apart from the yoga classes that she runs Victoria also teaches Hausa to interested individuals.
Others (all good) are
Metro Café & Grill situated on 43 Libreville Crescent, Wuse 2, also off Amino Kano Crescent – 0810 155 1166.
Apart from good strong coffee Metro Café & Grill have a very good restaurant with a focus on Nigeria, Italian and oriental dishes all reasonably priced. Inside apart from the restaurant, they have a separate nicely decorated lounge for drinks and outside they have a covered space for those that want a more relaxing drinking experience.
House 43 Limited situated at 43 Gana Street in Maitama – 0803 364 7709. House 43 has a more “Costa Coffee” feel and is used by the staff of the several diplomatic houses close by.
Saying that however, they do appreciate you taking your time over their coffee as they have a section magazines and books you can browse through while having your brew. They also have a divine selection of crème and chocolate desserts to go with your coffee. They also have a “fine dining” lounge upstairs serving some mouth-watering Nigerian and continental dishes. Plus a well-stocked bar with a small intimate outside green space
A BIT OF CULTURE
A visit to the Cyprian Ekwensi Centre for Arts And Culture.
Situated on 2009 Awka Street, Garki Area 10 off Moshood Abiola Road the imposing building took me back to my secondary school days in Nigeria where coming from the UK as a teenager I read all the African Writers Series of novels in the school library.
One of my favourite authors was Cyprian Ekwensi. I found his style of writing and the contemporary themes he wrote of even more exciting than writers like Chinua Achebe.
While the outside of the building could do with a bit of brightening up I had a relaxing couple of hours in the museum, art gallery and the landscaped grounds. outside has a number of striking paintings and sculptures on the walls. Interestingly the centre also has a special needs section which uses art to work with people with special needs.
I was also informed by the PR Officer that the centre regularly stages live theatre performances and has a dance troupe which also holds performances open to the public.
A WALK ON THE GREEN SIDE
The best Park in Abuja
Even in Abuja Municipal which in its self is a relatively quiet and green place you can still find pockets of tranquillity and places to go to relax and reflect on life or to simply have a lover’s tryst all alone under the bamboo trees. The best park in Abuja is one such place.
Millennium Park situated in Maitama district opposite Hilton Transcorp Hotel is the best open access park in Nigeria and rivals Hyde Park in London and Central Park in New York in landscaping if not in size. A picture can say more than a thousand words take a look at the photos to make your own mind up.
WATCH OUT FOR THE NOVEMBER EDITION OF YOMI’S ABUJA POSTCARD. In which I will begin to address the question as to if Abuja would make an ideal Diaspora retirement city and looking at Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission’s One Stop Shop for those that want to establish SMEs in Abuja and other parts of Nigeria.