Pallet Café: Ideal spot for Indian Ocean cool breeze on Diani beach


The Pallet Cafe Gigiri. The Pallet Café in Diani has a unique philosophy to promote the training and employment of hearing-impaired people. PHOTO | POOL

The men constantly talk about the wind. They are shirtless and in shorts, small grains of sand stick on the feet, and tattooed calves. They drink iced teas and nibble on finger foods. They avert longingly back to the ocean, staring at the sky as if expecting it to break into a song. They are surfers and wind chasers who have come to Pallet Cafe in Diani for the wind and the ocean. Yes, the same Pallet Café in Nairobi whose unique philosophy is to promote the training and employment of hearing-impaired people.

Pallet Café has partnered with Kite254 and is the latest hangout of kitesurfers offering kitesurfing and wind foiling, which is some type of wind-propelled water sport developed from kitesurfing, windsurfing, and surfing.

Pallet Café seems like a mecca of this type—loads of sunburnt folks like these lounge about on beach beds, hammocks, and makuti-thatched umbrellas, sunglassed and sunscreened, waiting for the wind or just vegetating. It’s rustic and it’s free-spirited, with no walls because walls imprison spirits and souls. A breeze constantly blows through, which means the tables and seats might always have a thin layer of sand.

You are at the beach, after all, there will be sand. Overlooking it is a coworking centre that couples as an art centre showcasing local art. Next to it is the kitchen where a waiter brings over our burgers, easily the best burgers I’ve had in the last six months. (And I have a lot of burgers).

There is a gentleman, if you go, called Safari. He, like most staff, has a hearing impairment. He can’t read nor write and all the training he has had in making coffees and cocktails he has learned at Pallet Café. He makes great cocktails and he makes great coffee. Have something with a whisky or something with a gin and carry it to the hammock. Or one of those low-slung chairs at the beach and block out the world. Pallet Café is in Galu, which I was told by a cool kid there is the “leafier” part of Diani now. The rest is the “ghetto” he said. But then again he’s a hippy.

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