Haines Nawa Munene

Meet Haines (pronounced Heinz) Nawa Munene (above), 23, Lozi by tribe, and the most recent guest on our Sunday night radio show – The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild – airing from 20.30 – 21.30 hrs on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s popular local radio station. Haines is a sports presenter on the station as well as running a business with his sister importing and selling clothes. A live wire if ever there was one, with an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things soccer and a keen interest in rugby too. In this regard it was unfortunate that Haines appeared on our show on the same day it was announced that Owen Busange, famous Zambian rugby player and coach had been killed, together with two other people, in a traffic accident – we expressed our sincere sympathies on air.

Haines told listeners that he was educated at Linda Secondary School, that he’s a Chelsea supporter (editor sighs heavily) and that he had been involved with Zambezi fm since 2007 when he was picked by the station’s ‘Man On Sport’ Patrick Kasoka to help him present international and local sports news and current affairs twice per week on air.

Haines has 9 siblings and although his father has passed away, his mum still helps with the family business in Livingstone. “Almost a football team on its own” I commented drily. “And there are two sets of twins” was Haines’ retort! I asked him how he’d got his interest in soccer and he replied (quote) “at school we were some of those who enjoyed talking sport and not eating fritters during the breaks” (unquote). We laughed. What kind of music did he like? Reggae, R&B and Kalindula. Which local soccer team did he support? Power Dynamos in Kitwe.

The music on the show was great. We opened with the UK number one (as we do) Nicole Scherzinger’s ‘Don’t Hold Your Breath’ coupled with Ciara’s ‘If Only’. George chose Zonefam’s ‘Shaka Zulu’ and Exile’s ‘In Love With You’ for our standard two local tracks. Milli Jam chose Ne-Yo’s ‘Don’t Wanna Be In Love’ and Big Sean’s ‘My Last’. Bit obsessed with Ne-Yo is our Milli Jam, but we love it! Taio Cruz and ‘Telling The World’ then Pitbull featuring Kacy with ‘Castles Made of Sand’ closed the programme.

We gave away the usual dinner for two to the first person to text us telling us what job Haines did at 107.7 fm and we had an excellent response. The winner was Mapalo but the guys in the studio couldn’t tell me if this was a boy or a girl’s name. As soon as we announced the name of the winner we received another text message from Mapalo telling us that she was all girl and that she was coming to the lodge on Tuesday for dinner! More laughter. We sometimes wonder if the weekly prize is the only reason people listen to the show! Surely not…

We asked Haines about his ambitions for the future. He told listeners that he wanted the football team he’s involved with in Livingstone – Eastlands FC – to make a lot of progress in Zambian football and that in 10 years’ time he’d like to be a presenter on SkySports in UK. By 2020 he wanted to be married.

“Go for it”! We said.


Croft Cottage

Gotta love Twitter. Suddenly I’m friends with Elizabeth Hatchell from the lovely Croft Cottage in Ludlow. Stranger still, her sister lived in Lusaka in the 80’s. Here’s what she says about her beautiful place. She’s @CroftCottageBnB on Twitter for a follow!

Looking for bed and breakfast near Ludlow, Shropshire? Deep in the English countryside, our cottage is surrounded by farmland in the tiny parish of Hope Bagot, far from the throb of commuter traffic – yet only five miles from Ludlow and Tenbury Wells.

For a comfortable bed and memorable breakfast in tranquil, friendly surroundings, you need look no further. Our guests are welcome to enjoy and explore our five acres of garden with an old wild flower meadow with orchids, a young wood, an ancient brook – its banks lined with alders – and a large wildlife pool. This is home to moorhens and mallards – and teems with dragonflies in the summer. We have an active badger sett in the grounds which you may watch from the comfort of a hide on any evening from March to October and even into the winter. Although we have five bridges over the brook you are strongly advised to bring Wellington boots to enjoy the grounds to the full although they are not needed to reach the front door!

The home of HOPE BAGOT BEES, we usually have honey for sale, weather permitting, although the last few years have been difficult for all bees. The white hive in some of the photos is merely ornamental – the bees live tucked away behind trees at the end of the goose field, away from the house.

We have been welcoming guests to The Croft Cottage, a registered smallholding situated on the southern slopes of the Titterstone Clee Hill, for nearly twelve years and are featured in Alastair Sawday’s Bed and Breakfast for Garden Lovers . We hold a Four Star Bed & Breakfast grading from Shropshire Tourism and in November 2009 we were awarded the new EnjoyEngland Breakfast Award.

Highly recommended!


Chilli Pickle, Brighton

Our vacations in UK are usually spent, for the most part in Brighton, where my son Ed is based – a fair amount of eating out is usually involved! So, this piece on HotelChatter caught my eye – the name too – chilli pickle happens to be brilliantly made in Zambia by Rivonia and was the subject of a previous blog post. Can’t wait to try the restaurant next time we’re in Brighton.

“The ever-burgeoning London hotel scene may have most of our attention at the moment, but we’re far from immune to the charms of Brighton, especially with the news that one of our favorite fun hotels there, myhotel Brighton, has just opened a restaurant devoted to one of our favorite foods: curry.

Not just any restaurant, either – it’s the new site for The Chilli Pickle, which won the prize for most innovative restaurant at last year’s British Curry Awards, and received two AA rosettes and a Michelin BiB Gourmand thing too. The restaurant got all its plaudits (and rave TripAdvisor reviews) in its old location in Meetings House Lane but it’s now upped sticks to the hotel, and opened its doors Monday.

It’s owned by the same team and will have the same menu as before, as well as introducing some new dishes from a recent trip to India.

Prices are really reasonable, too: vegetable dishes from £3.50, mains from £6.95 and thalis for £9.95 for lunch and from £12.95 for dinner. The one to go for? The new Mutton Laal Mans – pieces of mutton in hot red chilli gravy from Rajasthan, courtesy of their latest trip.


The Jolly Fisherman, London

For all you Zambian foody fans in UK here’s some good news for you in London!

The Jolly Fisherman, at 108 North St, Barking, Essex, the only Zambian owned pub in the United Kingdom has told UKZAMBIANS that they will be working together with Fredor (a Zambian owned restaurant) to offer Zambian food in the pub.

Bernard Chisanga, owner of The Jolly Fisherman said: “We have been talking to Ms. Mubiana for a while and now a mature agreement is in place to offer Zambian meals during the weekend at the Jolly Fisherman. This will make sure that Zambians and non-Zambians alike who come to enjoy our drink will also enjoy a proper Zambian meal (nshima, chibwabwa, ifishimi,etc) in one place. Our patrons will from this weekend onwards enjoy their drink and food with full Zambian flavor”.

In a separate interview, Ms. Dorothy Mubiana, owner of FREDOR, confirmed the new partnership as a way forward for Zambians demonstrating a model working partnership for Zambians living overseas. Ms. Mubiana said: “Zambians need to work together for the good of every Zambian, not running away from each other, particularly Zambians living abroad”. She said, they had discussed the partnership with The Jolly Fisherman for more than a year and she was very pleased that they had finally agreed the modalities. “We have done all the work and I am calling everyone out there to come with their friends and family to enjoy an authentic Zambian dish starting this weekend, 26th February and onwards every weekend Saturdays and Sundays”.

Ms Mubiana added that apart from selling Zambian cooked food, she has uncooked Zambian beans, peas, maize, peanuts, sweet potatoes, pumpkins leaves, smoked caterpillars, Kapenta, etc. She can be contacted on 07947 106 429.

We wish them the best of luck!


Penny Black Restaurant, Chelsea, London.

As you may have seen earlier in the week, my son Jan-Martijn has recently been appointed Head Chef at Penny Black Restaurant in Fulham Road, Chelsea. Opening is scheduled for the 3rd week in February, so you can imagine the hectic pace of his life at the moment. The photo of Chef doing dangerous things at Victoria Falls was taken some years back! I’ve been lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the menu and I’ve chosen the following to tickle your taste buds!

London Particular
As I haven’t a clue what it is!

Mussels & Cockles, Cider & Mustard Broth, Carrots, Kohlrabi & Cress
It reminded me of Sweet Molly Malone as she walked the streets broad and narrow – and the dish sounds thoroughly exotic

Pigs Head Terrine, Pear Chutney, Toast Brawn sounding favourite and I love pears – and chutney for that matter!

Ginger Pig Sausages & Mashed Potatoes

Roast Lemon Chicken, Bread Sauce & Vegetables
A firm favourite, especially the Bread Sauce

Pigeon Pie, Bacon and Red Cabbage
Something I’ve never eaten but sounds very ‘London’

Chocolate & Rum Cake, Vanilla Ice Cream
Just this thanks very much!

Made your mouth water? I bet it has!


Jan-Martijn Chanter – Head Chef

I had this news the other day via Facebook and it’s congratulations to Jan-Martijn, one of my sons, on this exciting new appointment. Of course you might not know that Jan’s kitchen training started very early in his life and was conducted by his granny and his dad, as the above picture proves!

Congratulations Jan! Who wrote:

“Good news is that I have accepted a job as head chef at the Penny Black Restaurant. The owner is an old comrade from the days of the Atlantic Bar and Grill – Tony Ho. I’d noticed that he was opening a place and I messaged him that I’d be interested in sorting out the kitchen. He called me back and we have moved on from there. The food concept is British Seasonal.”

On further investigation I discovered that the restaurant is due to open in February, and here’s what I also found on the internet:

“The Penny Black Restaurant is a traditional British restaurant, evocative of fond childhood memories and creating a home from home on Fulham Road, Chelsea.

Traditional British long lost favourites such as; Beef Wellington, Toad In The Hole, London Particular, Braised Oxtail, Scottish Lobster, Cottage Pie, Grilled Dover Sole, Bread & Butter Pudding, Apple & Rhubarb Crumble and Arctic Roll are just a few of the nostalgic dishes on the wholesome and hearty menu. All are cooked in the indulgently classic style using the finest of ingredients from British farmers and producers.

The team behind The Penny Black Restaurant has over 30 years experience between them in the London restaurant scene having worked with legends such as Oliver Peyton on his eponymous and much missed ‘Atlantic Bar and Grill’. The comfortable yet opulent décor features original artwork from Simon Claridge the up and coming Washington Green artist whose work is currently on display at galleries worldwide.”

The restaurant is quite near Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea FC and Jan-Martijn as an Arsenal fan (it’s compulsory in the family) says he’ll have to ‘set aside his Chelseaphobia’ while at work.

He’s a wonderful chef and of course we wish him the very best of luck in this exciting new project!


Ethel Mashawila & Shupiwe Mulenga

This week, for a change, on the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring Kaufela – our weekly Sunday night radio show, airing at 20.30 hrs for an hour on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm – we featured two of the kitchen staff from Chanters Lodge. Ethel Mashawila (left) and Shupiwe Mulenga pictured above. Shupiwe’s our acting head cook and Ethel ‘the vice’ as she put it, when Milli Jam asked the girls what positions they held at the lodge.

Although the girls confessed to being ‘a bit nervous’ on the way to the studio they had no need to be – they were both well spoken, interesting and happy on air, as indeed they are for the most part at work. “What would you cook for us if we came to eat at the lodge”? George (Kaufela) and Milimo (Milli Jam) asked the girls. “For you Kaufela we’d cook pepper steak with mashed potatoes” replied Ethel. “Mmmm nice” said George. “You, Milli Jam, will have chitonga chicken with nsima” continued Shupi. “Why”? asked Milimo. “You look like a Tonga”! She replied, as we all laughed. The girls went on to explain the preparation of the dishes to the listeners.

Shupiwe and Ethel explained that they’d both worked at Chanters for about 2 years. Milli Jam asked Shupiwe how old she was but she refused to tell him! Pursuing the matter Milimo queried her: “aren’t you too young to be in charge of the kitchen”? Shupiwe acidly replied “leadership has no age barrier”. And that shut him up! Stunning! The presenters, as usual, wanted to know if the girls had boyfriends. Ethel told listeners that she had, and also an 8 month old baby girl, Queen. Shupiwe replied that she was ‘very single’ which made the guys sit up and take notice.

The music for the show was excellent as usual. After our opening ‘Candy’ by Aggro Santos we spun Mohombi’s ‘Bumpy Ride’ back to back with Timati ft Diddy Dirty Money and ‘I’m On You’. George chose a Zone Fam number ‘It’s Alright’ as we’d been blogging about Zone Fam during the week. This he coupled with a latest track from Ty2 ft JK ‘Ubuchende’ – “what does that mean”? I asked. “You’ll be told off air”! Was the answer…and I was! Milli Jam featured Bruno Mars with Damian Marley ‘Liquor Store Blues’ coupled with David Archuleta’s ‘The Other Side’. ‘Drop Down’ Akon ft Ludacris and Katy Perry’s ‘Part Of Me’ wound up a good play list.

“What kind of music are you into”? The girls were asked. Ethel replied that she liked Zambian music and Gospel, Shupiwe slow tracks, with her favourite artists Monica and Whitney Houston. “Stuck in the 90’s with Milli Jam” was my comment on that one! Asked about their ambitions both girls said they’d love to own their own businesses one day involving food production.

After we’d given away the usual dinner for two with drinks, I made the point that one of the least expected positive results of hosting a weekly radio show on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm was the morale boost it gave the staff at the lodge. Ethel and Shupiwe confessed that when it wasn’t busy at work and the show was on, the Chanters Girls back at the lodge danced. “I don’t mind” I said, “I love the big smiles we get when we come back from the studio”! And I do!

In other news one of these girls said she supported Manchester United, the other Chelsea.


Sweet Note

I was delighted to received this sweet note this morning by e mail:


My husband and I stayed with you a couple of years ago, but you are still fresh in our memory. Thank you for all you and your lovely staff did to make our week with you so special!

I have a question. While there, we had the opportunity to go on safari. This is when we met Chris, whom you recommended & called, who drove us and made sure our arrangements were smoothly dealt with. He and my farmer husband talked of many things, one of which was sweet corn. Chris said he’d never eaten sweet corn and that they grew a different type of corn there. We had intended to send some corn for him at the time, and our lives got very complicated so we never followed through.

Do you still have contact with Chris the taxi driver (and minister, etc.)? We would love to send him some sweet corn seed of the variety from which new seed could be gathered for the next crop (not gmo) and instructions for the best corn growing practices (about which they had spoken).

I do hope that you are very happy and well.

Sandy Irle

How cute is that? Thanks Sandy! I’ll be happy to share Chris’s sweetcorn when it’s harvested!


How To Say Sorry

I liked this from the ever inspirational Inc – mistakes happen in this business. Saying sorry is incredibly important and meaning it, and compensating the offended Client, and saying sorry more than once. This is what Clarissa Cruz had to say on the subject in Inc.

“Attentive service. Romantic candlelight. Scallops and foie and a glass of delicious wine. It’s the perfect dining experience, the one that every restaurateur wants to create for his or her clientele. And then a cockroach creeps across your table with the insouciance of a Billyburg hipster. It’s enough to turn any diner’s stomach. And in this age of instantaneous Yelp reviews and vociferous food bloggers, lapses in cleanliness, service or food quality can quickly sicken a restaurant owner as well. (Add TripAdvisor to that -ed)

So how to remedy an unappetizing situation? When a bug was recently discovered on a table at the Michelin-starred Jean Georges in New York City, management promptly moved the affected customers to another table and comped them drinks, dessert, and an additional course. The pastry chef at Gordon Ramsey at The London in New York City responds to mishaps by sending the kitchen’s signature salted caramel truffles to disgruntled guests at the adjoining hotel. And pretty much any restaurant worth its Maldon salt figures in the cost of saying “I’m sorry” in its operating budget.

“Comps are built in to our QSA [Quality Service Assurance] budget,” says Rajat Parr, wine director at Michael Mina in San Francisco, and author of the just-out Secrets of the Sommeliers. “It makes up about one percent of the budget.” And what does that entail? “It depends on how serious the mistake is,” he says, recalling a time years ago—at a non-Mina establishment, he stresses—when a server mistakenly poured a $5,000 bottle of wine that a customer brought in for another table. (The restaurant managed to track down another bottle.) “You replace the dish, give them a gift certificate for another dinner, some dessert,” Parr says. “The policy is to make sure the guest is happy.”

“It’s the cost of doing business,” adds Michael Madrigale, the head sommelier at Bar Boulud in New York City, who says mistakes are usually tempered with a free glass of wine or dessert. “You need to show the customer that you acknowledge the problem and are doing something about it immediately.”

But the mea culpas only go so far. “If a guest doesn’t like a $2,000 bottle of wine, we take it back no questions asked,” says Parr. “But if someone sits and drinks the whole bottle and at the last sip says ‘I don’t like it,’ that’s a different issue.”

What’s the worst flub you’ve seen at a restaurant? And how did the management say “I’m sorry,” if at all?”




The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note, and posted it on the apple tray:

‘Take only ONE . God is watching.’

Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies.

A child had written a note,

‘Take all you want. God’s watching the apples!’

Have a good weekend!

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