The Lagoon, Walvis Bay, Namibia

The Westerdam really ROCKED The Raft for CHAIN and The Rotary Club of Walvis Bay !!!!

A couple of impromptu charity events took place at The Raft last week
prompted by the charity gala evening on Monday the 21st June held on board the ms Westerdam, during which, Stephan, Culinary Operations Manager of The Westerdam, happened to be seated between Sarah from The Raft and Eveline from Metcalfe legal practitioners.
As the wine and conversation flowed, the jovial Stephan suggested that it would be fun to do a ‘live cooking show’ in the main restaurant of The Raft.
The seed was planted and the idea blossomed through the evening with the suggestion from Sarah & Eveline, that the offer be used to raise additional funds for local charities.
Stephan was very enthusiastic and the following evening, visited The Raft to look at the feasibility of the suggestion. He took along with him, Sam, the events manager of The Westerdam………. the idea then began to grow, as Sam heads up the whole entertainment department on board, which includes a variety of singers and dancers whom she was sure would be happy to join in.
Things snowballed over the ensuing couple of days and by Saturday 26th confirmation was given that:
Bob- keyboard/vocalist,
Darcy – guitar/vocalist,
Stephen, Henry, Richard and Curtis – The Misty’s Jazz Band,
A crazy west Indian guy on Steel drums and
Jen, Kaitlyn, Jonathan and Eric – singer/dancers from the cabaret cast

……..…were all up for performing on Thursday / Saturday

The Raft team swung into action and with help from local companies and private individuals, a full scale charity dinner with ‘live kitchen’ and ‘live music’ was organised for Thursday evening.

This sort of thing doesn’t happen very often in Walvis Bay so although it was only three days beforehand that the invitations went out, the response was fantastic and the dinner was fully booked within 48 hours.

The ‘Mad Hat Charity Gala Dinner’ on Thursday night was a roaring success,
The dress code of ‘Mad Hats’ was decided on to get everyone in the party mood before they even arrived and some fantastic ‘Mad Hats’ were stitched up at the last minute to be ‘rented’ to those who hadn’t followed the dress code.

The route to the buffet tables for Main Course took guests past the ‘live kitchen’ where celebrity chef Stephan and Cruise Director Chris were cooking up a storm – woks, spinach, pasta and truffle oil were flying in all directions
as they whipped up a selection of 8 different Mediterranean Pasta dishes in the ‘Live Kitchen’ for over 170 guests…………………
No mean feat and brilliantly executed!
Nobody got bored queuing for their main course!!

As the evening rocked on, Darcy entertained on Vocals and Guitar along with Bob on vocals and Keyboard………………an impromptu rendition of
‘You Raise Me Up’ by John (from the cast of The Westerdam ???????? )
had the women starry eyed & off their chairs and even gave some of the male guests goose bumps………………
while……………the late night rendition of ‘What a wonderful World’ from ‘Celebrity Chef Stephan’ was met with whoops, squeals and wild applause!!!!
His singing was almost as impressive as his amazing culinary performance earlier, with Chris, in the ‘live kitchen’.

On Saturday, four piece Jazz band, The Mistys performed in the Bistro followed by Curtis Marcelle, a crazy west Indian guy in full reggae regalia beating away on his Steel Drums.

During the course of the afternoon, there was a lovely touch when Dr Theo Ben Gurirab popped his head round the corner from the restaurant next door where he was enjoying lunch and generously signed certificates of thanks for all the Westerdam crew and cast!!

As the sun began to set, Bob, on vocals and keyboard, once again wowed the crowd with his vast repertoire of requests, singalongs and karaoke numbers
which had several local ‘members of the community/names/people/celebrities???’
on the mic.(aaaand caught on video!) raising more money for charity AND having a ball!!!

Throughout both events the four stunning showgirls and guys from The Westerdam donned their feathers and sequins and did a fantastic job selling shooters generously donated by ‘House of Wines’ and ‘Herco’. Raffle tickets were also on sale by a couple of the Raft waitresses - dressed to kill! (prize winners listed below)

Total proceeds raised from the events amounted to more than N$30,000.00

The photos are testimony to everybody having a great time!!
Check out the full set here Photos

Although challenging, it was a fantastic experience and we're really proud of the whole team for pulling it off at such short notice - our staff just got stuck in and worked like Trojans until the job was done.
Opportunities like that are not to be missed, especially when it can help the local community…………it’s a matter of rising to the challenge and getting on with it - not just talking about it.

During and after the event many locals suggested that it would be great to make it a regular annual event and we are certainly enthusiastic to do that, although,
if we ever do it again we’ll definitely insist on full payment in advance as there were a few ‘no shows’ and many people had been calling for tickets right up until a couple of hours before we opened the doors. We had to tell them we were fully booked, so it was a shame that the charities lost out on that money.

All in all ……………………

along with the huge generosity from many local businesses both in Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, to whom we are immensely grateful,

The Westerdam really ROCKED The Raft for CHAIN and The Rotary Club!!!!!!!


 What they say about us;

If you are in Namibia you need to visit the Raft
I love the Raft,  I have been there about a dozen times over the last 2 years and always look forward to coming back.  Great staff, great manager and tonight I finally met the owner Sarah who is just lovely.   I love this place, if you are in Namibia then you need to come to the Raft, Its the best place to eat in town. I recommend it to everyone I know.  The food is excellent, the view is spectacular, its a great place to spend a night with your family or freinds.  I have been here about a dozen times over the past couple of years and always look forward to coming back.  If I had one complaint it would have to be - the Crocodile was off the menu... (sorry, but I do love the Bushmans Platter with the Crocodile)  Thank you to you all, I look forward coming back next week before returning to the UK.  David Carroll Director Purple Pear Creations Web Design Ltd UK  PS Get yourself a Facebook page so we can all like everything about the Raft... 

What a pleasure to find such a great place on our travels through Namibia.

We liked it so much we came back twice. -S. R. Australia

We are from California-USA, and your restaurant was a perfect end to our time in Namibia. -Joseph

Les Otaries ne font pas assez de spectacle.Superbe soirée, -Mera Switzerland

The best seafood I have ever eaten! -Natalia Czechoslovakia

Thoroughly enjoyed our evening. Lovely atmosphere, warm fire, friendly staff and divine food. Great to visit you in Walvis. Would love to come back one day. Thanks for excellent service. -C.W.G.

Sorry but we think you have to move your outstanding, extraordinary restaurant to another place- our home town in Austria for example. We will be back. Svelyn and Chuish

Ein lob an die gute kuche!! Wir waren sehr zufriendin G.Germany

Quality is when the client comes back not the product. We’ll come back. -M. P.

Have been coming here since 1 ½ years ago, when we moved to Walvis Bay Best in Southern Africa!  -Victor & Hanlé

Excellent Restaurant! The finest place we have eaten in Namibia!  A.P. UK

Congratulations to the chef! C. I. Belguim

We wish we lived nearer to you, so we could be regular customers. This was our first experience at your Restaurant and we will be back!  -Mike & Linda Liverpool