Vanilla Bean



January 2011


Black River, Mauritius



A place our feet always seem to take us when visiting Mauritius is the Vanilla Bean Cafe. It is located just south of Riviere Noire, the entrance is easily missed, we still seem to overshoot it every time.

We usually just come for the lovely setting, great salads and to watch their chickens. However on our most recent trip we took the time to have a little stroll around and were rewarded with some lovely views of the charming guest house.


Malin – May 2015

‘ The place is a calm and shaded haven, when you need a slow start to the day or some R&R’

the food

The cafe has an emphasis on the ‘banting diet’ which unfortunately doesn’t really agree with our lifestyle, but the friendly staff are always happy to adapt dishes to suit various requirements.
The atmosphere is very relaxed, you can easily spend a good portion of the day just chilling out under shaded by trees and umbrellas.

The island’s French colonial influence is readily apparent in the rustic, yet elegant white washed exteriors and simple, delicious salads. The South African owners influence is also felt with their sunny flair and big smiles, bringing warmth to the shabby chic environment. They keep their hens and roosters roaming around the cafe, adding to the flavour of the place. When we were there last they had chickens and it was fun to see them take after their mother who would pinch bread out of our, sometime unexpectant, hands.

the courtyard

The courtyard, where one sits down for breakfast or lunch, brings the cafe together with the guest house Vanilla House. We’ve never stayed there ourselves as we lodge with family on our visits, but if I was to stay at a hotel, it would be here, far away from the beach resorts and closer to the local village life. Luckily the beach is never that far away on an island as small as Mauritius. The guest house is made up of small bungalows forming a tiny village in itself, they even have their own library.

Attached to the guest house a small store can be found selling imported items for interior decoration, such as giant antique looking mirrors and lots of blue and white china. Towards the rear of the property there’s an amphitheatre, which hosts occasional events. In addition there’s a fire pit and a small kitchen with beautiful, antique, photographs on the wall. I’m sure this spot is enjoyed by the guests of Vanilla House in the evenings, I can just imagine sitting there, looking up at the stars. The place is a calm and shaded haven, when you need a slow start to the day or some R&R after a long morning exploring the island, Vanilla Bean is the perfect choice.