AS HER GHANA TRILOGY DRAWS TO A CLOSE, THE AWARD-WINNING DESIGNER SHARES HER ACCRA INSIGHTS
What first struck you about Accra?
The enthusiasm for this seaside city of everyone who was from Accra, or had spent any time there.
Favorite place to shop?
Elle Lokko stuns with its carefully curated collection of trendsetting pieces. In addition to stocking many local clothing designers, Elle Lokko also carries a nice selection of accessories for men and women, as well as personal care items. I could spend days here…
1 Lokko Road, Osu
Where to find art?
If going to The Art Centre and sorting through suspiciously similar stacks of acrylic paintings isn’t your thing, visit Loom. Not only do they offer the work of some of Ghana’s best artists, they are also reasonably priced.
Salotte House, 119 Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, Adabraka
An enticing getaway?
It almost pains me to share this gem. Our home away from home is a beautifully appointed, magical, art work-filled respite hosted by the fabulous Nana- interior designer, daughter of diplomats, friend to everyone you would ever want to know, and purveyor of spectacular taste.
Where to find new friends (and run into anyone you know who is passing through Accra)?
The lobby of Labadi Beach Hotel is like the lounge of Accra. Relax in its leather clad couches, taking in the on safari atmosphere, and you are sure to see a familiar place.
La Road, Accra
The perfect, low key accommodations?
Love the vibe of La Villa Boutique. Located a few blocks away from the always bustling Oxford street, it is a true oasis in boutique hotel form. Lush landscaping flanks a Mediterranean blue pool, and winding pathways connect low slung buildings. Its restaurant serves a generous breakfast and is a restorative place to stop for lunch, tea, cocktails or dinner.
E960 13th Ln, Osu
A must-do indulgence?
Have clothing made for you by Renee. A superb tailor, she is also an inventive clothing designer who can even turn around custom orders in a matter of days if necessary.
C69/5A Mahogany Street, Nima
A casual, local spot?
Buka is the place to go for great Ghanaian standards- grilled chicken, jollof, and unusual starters like peppered snails, all expertly cooked under much needed, oscillating fans.
10th Ringway adjacent to former American Embassy, Osu
Where to find great, locally made gifts?
Wild Gecko is now my go-to spot for unusual gifts that capture the vibrancy of Ghana. If you don’t get a chance to visit (it’s a little outside of the main areas of Accra), worry not. The Ghana airport also has a wonderful selection of gifts.
Gulf Street, Okponglo
What place surprised you?
Santoku. I was a little skeptical of the appeal of a Japanese restaurant in Ghana, but this restaurant schooled me quickly. Not only was the sushi (and everything else on the extensive menu) exceptional, but since my husband was unaware of the “no shorts” policy, we were seated outside on the patio, where we had the undivided attention of the talented band who sung Bob Marley hits as well as original songs. Bliss…
N, 16 N Airport Road, Accra
Where to sample classic Ghanaian food?
The lunch buffet at The Gold Coast Restaurant and Cocktail Bar leaves no West African food or drink off of its extensive menu, and its large, air conditioned space, lined with evocative photos transports you to the sepia tinted world of Accra of old. Live music on the weekend!
Kofi Annan St, Accra
A perfect evening?
Dinner at La Chaumiere. Course after course of classic and modern takes on French food, given even greater elan by its off the beaten path location. And the bread… worth slathering with the house made butter. An added bonus- an engaged owner who makes sure to stop by the table to check on you.
Liberation Road, Accra
Movenpick is THE place to go for late night dance parties. Immaculately dressed, its patrons are worldly, beautiful, and have incredible mastery of the latest dance moves.
Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, North Ridge
Indispensable during your stay?
Cash. Not all places accept credit cards. This is particularly important when you call a rideshare. Be sure to enable the “Pay in cash” feature, and do so in cedis at the end of your ride. Otherwise, you may find your trip canceled by a driver seeking a more immediate form of payment.
What would you hop on a plane to return to?
All of the above.