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    Sep 2013 · Sarah Duff

    For a coastal city there are remarkably few places in Maputo where you can eat and drink with sea views,...

    For a coastal city there are remarkably few places in Maputo where you can eat and drink with sea views, which explains why Clube Naval is such a popular spot. Situated right on the water, next to bobbing yachts, it’s a prime place for drinking sundowners as dusk settles over the Indian Ocean and the lights of the city start twinkling.

    In a white colonnaded colonial building that’s a century old, Clube Naval has bucketloads of character. The building could do with a bit of fixing up, but that’s part of the club’s charm – it’s by no means a snobbish, exclusive enclave of the rich, but rather a mix of locals and expats, 20-somethings and families, groups of friends and business types.

    The interior is not particularly exciting – it’s outside on the seafront terrace of Docks Restaurant that’s where you want to be, on plastic chairs under a rustic reed roof, only a wall away from splashing waves. On hot days, enjoy the view of the pool (it’s unfortunately members-only), filled with splashing children.

    Friday nights are most popular, with live music, but the bar’s open every night until 2 am (just call a taxi when before you leave, as there aren’t many that come along the road outside the club).

    It’s best to forgo the wine list (which features expensive Portuguese wines and a few rather unexciting South African options) and instead drink cocktails. The jugs of refreshing iced white wine sangria are perfect for groups, but the passion fruit and caipirinhas are what you really should be drinking. Made with rum, sugar, lime, fresh passion fruit pulp and lots of ice, they’re zingy and delicious – but lethally strong.

    There’s a decent menu with salads, seafood, steaks, grilled chicken (the seafood rice and prawn curry are popular choices). The food isn’t spectacular, service is notoriously bad and the kitchen is slow – so it may be best to stick to those caipirinhas!

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