Shupiwe Mulenga

Meet Shupiwe Mulenga, one of the famous ‘Chanters Girls’. Shupiwe joined Chanters Lodge, Livingstone on 13th April 2009 as a trainee. She’s 23 and has one brother and one sister, both younger than her.

Shupiwe’s dad passed away in 2006 which must have been traumatic for a then 19 year old. Her mum is still alive and runs a pre-school/primary school in Kabwe, north of Lusaka. She has about 100 children in school Shupiwe tells me.

Shupiwe completed her Grade 12 at Hillcrest Technical Secondary School in Livingstone, just up the road from Chanters Lodge and stays with her Aunt Cecilia – secretary to the general manager of Zambezi Sun Hotel. “Won’t they poach you away to Sun” I asked Shupiwe. She shook her head.

Shupiwe is single, loves music (like all the Chanters girls) and clothes! (The latter I’ve observed for myself.) “What’s your favourite kind of music” I asked her. “Slows”.

In November Shupiwe will become acting head cook at Chanters Lodge. She’s a talented, careful cook and a good organizer – just the skills we’re looking for. She also happens to be very pretty and highly intelligent.

We wish her the best of luck in her new appointment.


Preston St., Brighton

I was delighted to come across “10 Things To Do In Brighton” on the ‘Travel With A Mate’ website, having just returned from a great 10 days in the city. (Actually they don’t seem to be able to decide whether they’re a town or a city, there are various street signs that say one or the other!). Preston Street, pictured above, is just around the corner from the George IV Guest House our base, and a short walk from Russell Square where my son Ed has his flat. Preston Street is indeed packed with restaurants and while we were there we had a great Greek meal in one, and of course a Chinese in another. Here’s what ‘Travel With A Mate’ has to say:

“There are hundreds of amazing restaurants in Brighton. Often tucked down little side streets and hidden in the Lanes. There’s also a famous road packed with tasty places to eat, Preston Street. If you’re on the sea front and you see “China Gardens” a huge chinese restaurant, then you’ve reached the bottom of Preston Street. Walk up it and breath in the gorgeous smells from all the cuisine on offer. Everything from Chinese to Morrocan, Indian to Mexican. While it’s true this road has seen better days (with a number of establishments closing down) It’s still the place to go if you can’t decide what you want to eat. Just follow your nose.”

Of the other activities recommended in the piece, we certainly enjoyed walks along the seafront, the shops, the pier and the pavillion. We were lucky with the weather and were wonderfully looked after by Ed his business partners and friends. For sure we’ll be back in Brighton sometime in the not too distant future!


Blue Vinny, Dorset

We had some truly memorable meals at some great restaurants in England while we were there recently on annual leave. Top of the pile (probably) was The Blue Vinny near Dorchester, Dorset, pictured above. The restaurant was packed on a Thursday night. We overheard one Client saying to a waiter ‘You’re busy for a Thursday…’ ‘Yes’ replied the waiter, ‘we’ve really started to get busy on Thursdays’. Another Client chipped in ‘No bl**dy wonder! No-one can get a booking on a Friday or Saturday!’ Says it all really. Here’s what they write in the blurb on their website.

“Alex and Nicky Ford took over this traditional village pub in Puddletown, near Dorchester in June 2008. Keeping the very best of the old, they set about combining its warm, friendly country ambience with a cool, airy modern interior – part of a style that is reflected in their approach to the food and hospitality. Something for which this bar and restaurant is rapidly gaining a first-class reputation.

The food is home cooked, and where possible the ingredients are seasonal and sourced locally from the family farm, friends or trusted specialist suppliers. The wines have been chosen to complement the menu, and there is always a range of excellent guest ales on tap.

Together with Head Chef John Shrigley and his team, they’ve created a menu that reflects their personal tastes, with a truly international approach – a style that owes as much to the hot islands of the Mediterranean as it does to the classic and everyday dishes of Britain and mainland Europe.

Having only recently returned to their home county of Dorset, Alex and Nicky are passionate about producing the very best food at accessible prices, as well as extending a warm and friendly welcome to locals and visitors alike.”

Couldn’t agree more. I had cod in a delicately light batter served on a rocket salad with lime mayonnaise. My partner had belly pork on mashed potato and my sister had duck. Desserts were a wonderful blueberry cheesecake and a genuine Dorset apple cake. The bill? 75 pounds with drinks and wine – very reasonable for the delicious food and excellent service. Incidentally, for the uninitiated, Dorset Blue Vinny is a type of blue cheese….



A firm favourite on the Chanters Lodge menu! We serve Kapenta in 3 different ways. Fresh, shallow fried as a starter. Dried, cooked with onion, tomato and garlic. For both these dishes we use the smaller variety of the fish. Then, we have our new speciality the larger ‘Mpulungu Kapenta’ cooked with groundnuts, onion and tomato and served with Nsima and pumpkin leaves! Mmm! Delicious!

This from Lusaka Times

Kapenta, a type of fish also known as small fresh water sardine, has several chemical compositions that help reduce the risk of various diseases including prostate cancer. Kapenta is a small fresh water sardine that originated from Lake Tanganyika.

Two species are known to exist; the Limnothrissa miodon and the Stolothrisssa Tanganicae. Both these species are planktivorous and pelagic. It has several other names in countries where it is found. A recent chemical composition analysis of kapenta by the National Food and Nutrition Commission (NFNC) shows a great variation in the nutrient composition for the dry and fresh fish.

NFNC principal nutritionist Mr Musonda Mofu says dry kapenta contains 209 calories of food energy compared with 85 calories of food energy in fresh Kapenta. In addition, dry Kapenta contains 63 grammes of protein and only 16 grammes in fresh Kapenta. Overall this shows that, per portion, there are more benefits in dry kapenta than in fresh Kapenta.

The nutrition problems of iron deficiency and vitamin A deficiency can also be addressed by consuming kapenta as it has a high content of these minerals. Overall, 8.5 miligrammes (mg) of iron can be derived from dry Kapenta and 2.1 mg from fresh Kapenta.

In general, Kapenta is a healthy food and very rich in protein. It also has low levels of saturated fat and is a rich source for omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. As a result of this chemical composition, Kapenta, like other fishes, may reduce the risk of disease including prostate cancer, depending on the frequency of consumption.

Kapenta is also rich in Vitamin B12, which is important in the promotion of cardiovascular well being since it is intricately tied to keeping levels of homocysteine in balance. Homocysteine can damage artery walls and elevated levels could be a risk for atherosclerosis. Allergic reactions can occur from virtually any food. A number of allergic reactions to kapenta have been reported.

Oral allergies in which the mouth itches or tingles after eating kapenta are common in some individuals. Other reactions have been linked to anaphylaxis which is a severe systemic reaction in which the body releases large amounts of histamine. When allergies are observed, it is recommended to see a doctor for assessment and advice.

Kapenta is key on the menus of many Zambians. It can be used to promote protein consumption especially among the poor. Consumption of whole kapenta is also helpful as the intestines of kapenta provide a rich source of micronutrients.



I liked this, forwarded by my sister Ruth:

For several years, a man was having an affair with an Italian woman. One night, she confided in him that she was pregnant. Not wanting to ruin his reputation or his marriage, he paid her a large sum of money if she would go to Italy to secretly have the child. If she stayed in Italy to raise the child, he would also provide child support until the child turned 18.

She agreed, but asked how he would know when the baby was born. To keep it discrete, he told her to simply mail him a post card, and write ‘Spaghetti’ on the back. He would then arrange for the child support payments to begin.

One day, about 9 months later, he came home to his confused wife.
‘Honey, ‘she said, ‘you received a very strange post card today.’
‘Oh, just give it to me and I’ll explain it later,’ he said.
The wife obeyed, then watched as her husband read the card, turned white, and fainted.

On the card was written:

‘Spaghetti, Spaghetti, Spaghetti, Spaghetti, Spaghetti.
Three with meatballs, two without.’

‘Send extra sauce!’


High Tea At The Royal Livingstone

I liked this, written by Joanne Selby on April 27, 2010 on the Falls Resort blog . It’s great that the high tea at Royal Livingstone is also available to non-residents, and we recommend it to all our Clients at Chanters Lodge. At US$17 per person it’s great value and the view from the deck at the Royal is well, to die for! Especially when, like now, the spray from the Falls climbs high in the sky right across the 1.6 km span of the Zambezi. (Check the photo!)

Here’s Joanne’s piece:

“During the romantic colonial era, all the finest ladies celebrated the tradition of high tea. They would come together in the afternoons to socialize and gossip over cucumber sandwiches, delicious cakes and, of course tea. Today, the Royal Livingstone hotel, allows guests to enjoy this regal custom.

At 3pm, when the sun is high in the sky, and the mid-afternoon slump is starting to kick in, our waiters bring out the most delicious snacks and cakes and display them in the lounge. Suddenly, it’s as if a new life has come over everyone as guests begin to wander in off the veranda. They may have been looking out at the majestic Zambezi River, watching the spray from the mighty Victoria Falls, or maybe even just relaxing with a good book, but the decadent spread calls to them, and soon everyone is enthralled.

Just the other day, two ladies came in for high tea with us and I had the opportunity to get their reactions. After enjoying the lovely cucumber and salmon mini sandwiches with their tea, the cakes and sweets caught their gaze. One of the ladies turned to the other and said, “I really shouldn’t, I’m on a diet, I must think of my waistline.”

“I know exactly how you feel, but we are on holiday…maybe we can have just one?” the naughtier of the two responded.

Soon enough they had given in to the table of sweets beckoning them and went over for a closer look. Standing there for a few moments, undecided, weighing all the indulgent options, they asked a waiter to tell them about the selections. The two ladies finally gave in and took a plate, choosing their favorites…just a few!

Silence came over them as they took their first bites. I asked how they were enjoying everything, but they were too busy to answer. Finally after a few more bites, one of them paused long enough to respond. “Oh, my goodness me, this is decadent. I really shouldn’t eat this gateau…” No sooner had she finished saying those words, did she take another bite. Who could resist?

Ok, so we here at the Royal Livingstone are guilty of spoiling our guests! We admit it! We love watching them indulge and luxuriate, and we aren’t afraid to say so!”


Ladies Night!

I liked this one from Roger Jones:

A group of 40 year old girlfriends discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally, it was agreed they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant (above) because the waiters there had tight pants and nice bums!

10 years later at 50 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the food there was very good and the wine selection was good also.

10 years later at 60 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant because they could eat there in peace and quiet and the restaurant had a beautiful view of the ocean.

10 years later, at 70 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the restaurant was wheel chair accessible and they even had an elevator.

10 years later, at 80 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant because they had never been there before!


Success For Tiverton Catering Students

I liked this story by Lewis Clarke on Tiverton People Why? Well…

Petroc is the combined North and East Devon Technical Colleges. My late father taught at the East Devon Technical College in Tiverton, Devon, my home town, after he retired from the staff of Blundells School. Then of course I’ve been in the catering business throughout my career and have always taken a close interest in staff training. To top it all, I happen to have been a friend of Rick Stein’s when we were in the same house at Uppingham School in the 60’s.

Well done to the students concerned! (From left to right above): Basking in glory – Joe Martin, Jim Smith and Lloyd Gribble outside the Exe Restaurant at Petroc in Tiverton. Here’s the piece:

“Two young catering & hospitality students from Petroc in Tiverton have just been offered the kind of jobs that could sky-rocket their careers to success. Following two weeks of work experience over Easter at the famous Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, seventeen year old Joe Martin from Uffculme has been offered a job to join Rick Stein’s team when he completes his course in July. Lloyd Gribble, 18, from Tiverton, has also landed himself a top job following his week of work experience over Easter at Somerset’s Award Winning ‘Dining Pub of the Year’ – Woods in Dulverton.

The pair had worked hard throughout the year and earned their work experience – while on their work placement, they impressed, and have now been offered their dream jobs. Whilst at The Seafood Restaurant, Joe was working under the expert supervision of Head Chef Stephane Delourne and 2008 Master Chef Winner and former barrister, James Nathan.

Before starting his job in July, Joe will spend a week at the Michelin starred Castle Hotel in Taunton under the expert supervision of Richard Guest. Joe said: “When Head Chef Stephane offered me the job I accepted immediately, I was delighted. I can’t wait to start in July. I couldn’t believe how friendly everyone at Rick Stein’s was.”

Lloyd has been offered a full time job by Paddy Groves, owner of the renowned Woods in Dulverton. He said: “I was so impressed by how organised the kitchen was, it was great. Once I’ve finished my Level 3 qualification in July I’ll be starting at Woods.” Jim Smith – Chef Lecturer at Petroc, who had organised the work experience for Joe and Lloyd through his connections said: “It’s fantastic that both the lads did so well.

“Both Rupert Wilson the general manager at Rick Stein’s and Paddy Groves the owner of Woods had nothing but praise for our students and that makes me very proud. “We hope that this is the start of a good relationship between the college and these businesses.”


David and Linda Gregersen

It’s horrible when good friends leave Africa and head for home. Yesterday we said goodbye to David and Linda Gregersen as they headed back to Austin, Texas at the end of a 5 year stint in Southern Zambia. They were teachers at George Benson Christian College preparing students to become secondary teachers. They frequently travelled to area villages and churches to tell the story of Jesus Christ and were supported by their home congregation of 20 years, Brentwood Oaks Church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

David and Linda were great supporters of Chanters Lodge, Livingstone during their time in Zambia and in appreciation we were delighted to give them complimentary accommodation for their last night in the country, in our newest and nicest poolside room – number 12. Of course they had bream fillets in breadcrumbs for their ‘last supper’ – always Linda’s favourite!

We congratulate them on the birth of their new grandson Jacob Robert and wish them every success back in the USA. They’ll be sorely missed.


The Brown Dog, Barnes

My son Jan Martyn – seen above being dangerous on Livingstone Island in 2006 – is Chef at The Brown Dog in Barnes, West London on The Thames. This is what Time Out recently had to say about it:

“There’s much to cherish about this gastropub tucked among the cute backstreet cottages on the border between Barnes and East Sheen. A handsome space by day, with cream wood panelling and retro metal signs, it positively twinkles by night thanks to the warm wooden furniture, polished red ceiling and copper globe lamps above the central bar.

The bar divides the smallish space into drinking and dining areas, and there’s also a back courtyard for summer lounging. Prices and clientele are upmarket, but not stuffy, and the food can be very good. Classy ingredients are used in unfussy combinations, whether it’s top-notch seafood (dressed Cromer crab or Colchester rock oysters to start, beautifully cooked lemon sole with brown shrimp and parsley beurre noisette to follow), a lavish Sunday roast (Longhorn ribeye or whole poussin with all the trimmings), or comforting puds (rice pudding with damson jam, egg custard tart with raspberries).

Attention is paid to seasonality, witness a whole baked vacherin mont d’or as a starter to share. Kids get mini portions of adult dishes. French bottles dominate the wine list, and there’s Hepworth Sussex, Bitter and a seasonal guest ale on tap. Dogs (of any colour) are welcome.”

Sounds nice doesn’t it? Doing well isn’t he?

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