In Summary

  • The wrought iron silhouette of her face and khanga ‘crown’ is framed with a four-pointed transparent cross that’s attached to an over-arching iron second frame.

Quietly yet consistently, the Talisman restaurant in Karen has become one of the most sought-after venues among both Kenyan and international artists who want to exhibit their work in a public space that has a track record for producing healthy sales for the artists.

One reason the eatery’s got such a good track record is its atmosphere or ambience.

The restaurant itself as an old colonial home transformed into a cosy, elegant and open-air space that allows one to appreciate Kenya’s temperate climate even when, as in recent times, there’s a chill in the air.

To remedy the cooling consequences of global warming, Talisman has multiple fire places and any number of artsy mobile heaters to keep their customers warm even when there’s pouring rain and wind outside.

Another reason the place is filled to the gills during daylight (as well as evening) hours is due to its lush and leafy garden, which is where most of Kitengela Glass’s Leaves exhibition of dalle de verre (or faceted) glass and wrought iron sculptures are dispersed.

The free-standing multi-shaped and sized green glass leaves both blend in with and beautify the garden, as if they were designed to fit into that specific garden.

But Croze, who founded Kitengela Glass and also helped spawn her son Anselm’s complementary glass blowing business, was actually inspired not by that specific garden but by all the trees she sees between Nairobi’s Central Business District and her home and glass gallery at Kitengela.

The truth of her commitment to both conservation and Kenya’s first (and only) female Nobel laureate is reflected in the 10 foot tall glass memorial to Prof Maathai which currently stands at the restaurant’s main entrance.

The wrought iron silhouette of her face and khanga ‘crown’ is framed with a four-pointed transparent cross that’s attached to an over-arching iron second frame.

It’s well worth looking out for the silhouette before you head inside the restaurant since it will enable you to see that there’s a linkage between Kenya’s leading freedom fighter for Mother Earth and Croze’s leaves.

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