The F.O.M.O. Travel Show takes you to the K1 Flea Market today


(Posted 18th June 2020)

Hibernation is the act of hiding away from the outside world because you are scared of what you will find. Cold weather and a heavy heart conspire with even the bravest of souls to make one want to stay in the shelter of their beds. But only strong will continue, do you have it in you? Coz we got a journey to go.

So push aside the crisps packets and the glazed jam donuts, get out of bed and into your glad-rags, for a Sunday Flea Market Fair of rainbow proportions. Rebuke the nay-sayers and tell them that is not your portion. K1 Klubhouse is here to relieve your boredom.

As you enter, the music is sweetly upbeat. The models are posing in one of the most Instagram-able locations in Nairobi, conversation is flowing, the beer is cold (no I refuse to drink warm beer) and a couple of kids pop up and down in between the tables. Peace and love reigns and the air smells of good meat cooking. Until you wait for 30 min for a menu.

In all fairness, the place was pretty packed so it was easy to see how overwhelmed the staff was. The tentative lifting of the lockdown had people’s hopes high of being able to get inebriated outdoors and so many ventured out to soak up the creative counter-culture vibe.

K1 is one of those places that prides itself it is cosmopolitan energy and clientele. They constantly offer up new music and creative events and the Sunday Flea Market is no exception. Starting from 10am to 6pm, entrance is free and you are greeted by a Tarot card reader, whom I promised I would come back for a reading once had a tot or two of Dutch courage. It is not easy accepting messages from beyond. There was a spectacular array of brass jewelry for only $5 each, customized Nairobi-style denim jackets from a lovely young gentleman named Josh from Tama Duni Kenya, a lady I have promptly dubbed Aunty Monica who sells beaded sandals from only $7 and another lady selling Peppa Pig shades!

The décor is eclectic, consisting of a sofa made out of a bathtub sawed in half and covered with bright coloured cushions, keg-stools, wooden picnic tables and glass bottle walls. The inner hall is all wooden and feels like an old English pub complete with road signs that spell the dangers of crossing giraffe. Or was it elephants? Ample-rumped women in electric blue thigh-high boots competed with long-legged ironing-boards for selfie-bragging rights. And when my food came, I was stunned: the burger was black!

Activated charcoal is a compound that has the unique ability to cleanse the body of toxins. It is used to pump a person’s stomach when they overdose, to calm an upset stomach or even to whiten teeth. The chef at K1 Klubhouse should be given a medal for this innovation. And even though the colour is perfect for shock value, it tastes just like any other bun, no bitter or otherwise awkward flavour as a result of the charcoal infusion in the dough.

The burger patty is juicy and flavourful but needs to be contained a little more so it does not fall apart as much, and the dill mayonnaise is definitely a winner in my books. A subtle condiment that does not overwhelm the other flavours and yet adds lift to the overall taste.

The Gogosimo band members were each energetic in their contributions and I especially loved bandleader James’ rendition of James Brown’s “I Feel Good”. He gave the right amount of yell at the end. That takes courage of conviction in your own personal groove. And I have not seen anyone play a “keytar” since the 80s! Rock on brother.

The evening was crowned by a lovely recommendation from my new-found friend, the lovely Jeff, Marketing Manager for K1. He tried to kill me with a cocktail made from 5 different liquors filling the glass to the brim (add a dash of grenadine syrup for colour), accompanied by a shot glass of grenadine and crème the menthe topped with a generous squirt of whipped cream. You are supposed to suck up as much of the liquor as you can in one gulp to create space in the glass, before pouring the shot glass into the larger glass and drinking the resultant mix. The combination of alcohol overload, and the sugar and menthol rush in my sinuses, took effect in exactly 8 min and 40 sec. I needed to go home. Now.

Fortunately, there were plenty of ubers nearby, so I paid respects to my rainbow companions and took my leave as gracefully as I could in pinching heels, a long pink silk mackintosh and a pack-back full of camera equipment. And on checking my “Mpesa” mobile money balance in the cab ride home, I was delighted to find that I had stayed gratefully under my budget of $20. I give the K1 Sunday Flea Market an 8.5 out of 10.

K1 Flea Market is open every Sunday in Westlands Nairobi.

Watch Episode 32 of The F.O.M.O. Travel Show here:

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Hugs xx