Cookies, coffee, and a wee bit of History…

Saturday morning we ran a few errands (including booking a night at Mvuu game lodge for when Meghan and Kate are here!) and decided to go to Mandala House for coffee.  Mandala House was built in 1882 and is the oldest European building in Malawi.  It was built for John and Frederick Moir, Scottish brothers who had been involved in Livingstone’s missionary trip in 1875.  The brothers founded the Livingstonia Central African Mission Company that later became the African Lakes Corporation.  This building, the headquarters for the company, became known as Mandala, after John Moir’s local name.  Mandala loosely means “pools of water”, a reference to Moir’s spectacles.

Mandala House

The building is classically British colonial and looks like it could have been built in the West Indies, East Indies, or outside of Charleston, South Carolina.  It has broad verandas, wide planked hardwood floors, and large airy windows.

Side of Mandala House

The top floor hosts the Society of Malawi archives, a conference room and a small library.  Downstairs is home to a gallery displaying carvings, paintings, and other works of art by some of Malawi’s leading artists.

And then there is La Caverna, the Italian-run cafe.  Here, you can sit on the brick patio, under the trees (or under the porch if it’s raining) and sip your French press coffee, latte, or cappuccino. 

French Press

You could also have lunch and enjoy one of the daily specials, like mushroom risotto.  And if you really want to spoil yourself you could order from the daily selection of cookies, cake, or gelato.

Daily Specials

 Personally, I can recommend the peanut butter and the chocolate chunk cookies. 

Freshly Baked Cookies

The staff here is warm and welcoming and doesn’t seem to mind that we camped out for multiple cups of coffee and multiple orders of cookies.

Really happy about the cookies


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7 responses to “Cookies, coffee, and a wee bit of History…

  1. I’m sure they have fanta too : )

  2. 2frugalfoodies

    sounds like fun – looks tasty, too! love you!

  3. Ginger

    Let’s plan to go there for french press and cookies!

  4. Barb

    You two really do seem incredibly happy and find adventures in even the smallest things – like those cookies……you seem very at “home”.

  5. Aunt Katherine

    Cookies, coffee, and a wee bit of history–the perfect combination! Your blogs brighten my day–thanks for sharing your adventure. Much love, K

  6. Kate

    “for when Meghan and Kate come”… aaah!

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