People-watching is not a reason on its own for a visit for lunch though, I would be a very sad person if that were true! But it does help to pass the time while waiting for lunch to be served. That is, of course, if you have already taken in the incredible view of the Falls and gorges below, walked through the museum-like corridors of the hotel, and taken a long sip of your ice-cold drink!
So, while sipping the aforementioned drink, I discreetly cast around at my fellow diners and people walking through. One picks up the Americans first, you hear them before you see them. It is impossible to avoid their conversations, unless through conscious effort. They are always very polite and complimentary to the staff, I noticed. A couple of hunters next door were enthusing at the food and drink on offer and clearly had been on a hot and thirsty (not to mention ice-short) safari for quite a while. They were amazed to find iced coffees on offer and quickly dispatched them once delivered.
The South Africans are also easy to spot. Two-tone khaki shirts and perms aside, their conversation usually includes a “Geez, that’s really expensive hey!” Stanley’s Terrace is a popular stop for the new age Voortrekkers in their 4×4’s, as they stop off for lunch and drinks before heading off to find worse roads than yesterday. Other tourists are harder to pigeonhole, but the English are usually the quiet ones in Panama Hats, and the chic Italians give themselves away with fancy sunglasses and strong smelling cigarettes.
I ordered a salmon and prawn fishcake, served on fresh coriander and tomato salsa (US$16) while my wife ordered prawn and rocket on seed bread (US$17) and for my daughter, a kids’ portion of chicken and chips. The prawn sandwich was declared excellent and my daughter liked the chicken, done in a light, sticky sauce. My fishcake failed to impress. Although nicely presented, being one large fishcake, it was a bit too soft and mushy inside; I would have preferred a number of smaller ones, cooked a little more.
The drinks menu is very extensive too, with a superb wine list and varied cocktails. But again, I can’t see your average Zimbo going there for an all-day session, unless of course you work for an NGO or are just feeling loaded! Nevertheless, Stanley’s Terrance is to be highly recommended. The food is fresh and varied, the views and ambiance amazing, and the people-watching hard to beat.
Deluxe Coffee Shop
Expect to spend US$20 – US$30 per head
Victoria Falls Hotel