August 4, 2009

Historical monument turns into popular restaurant

Filed under: Introduction — parto @ 12:30 pm

Leven House is one of the most historic and significant sites in Mombasa’s Old Town. Traced back over 170 years, the unique house is named after HMS Leven, a British naval survey ship that visited the coastal in 1824.

Officers from these ship came a shore and were granted permission by captain Owen, the ship’s captain, to conduct their anti-slavery operations from this building. The British naval officers rented the house and turned it into an anti- slavery base.

Various missionaries and explorers stayed here at different times. In i895, it was passed to the colonial Government and was used as a boys’ school. Laven House was gazetted in 1997 and acquired by the National Museum of Kenya in advanced state of decay.

However after vigorous refurbishing , it was fully restored. Today, part of the house has been transformed into a unique Swahili food outlet and, despite the difficulties in accessing the hotel, it has become one of the visited restaurants in Mombasa.

The Swahili cuisine served here has evolved over the years to a unique blend of all that shaped the culture over the years. Spices and coconut milk are used generously to give mouth-watering dishes that are a grim reminder of the House’s rich history.

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