One of my favourite ever travel memories is having high tea at Giraffe Manor in Nairobi with one of my best friends Catherine. And it happened by complete fluke.
I’m usually an excellent travel planner. But when I went to Nairobi in July 2014, I was visiting my university friend Roisin who lives there. I skipped my usual meticulous travel planning, knowing that as a Nai resident, Roisin would tell me what to skip and what not to miss.
And she did. On a day out in Karen, a legendary expat enclave suburb, to visit a giraffe sanctuary and the Out of Africa musuem, Roisin spotted the beautiful Giraffe Manor. ‘Ye should really try to do high tea there,’ she confided. ‘Everyone raves about it,’
We strolled over to the house (well, the front gate actually) but high tea must be booked in advance so we returned a few days later.
So what’s the deal?
$50 gets you afternoon tea at the Manor which entails a selection of sandwiches, cakes and pastries, tea or coffee and wine. In theory, I think they mentioned two glasses of wine per customer. In practice, they are extremely generous and the very kind manager Tony, ensured our glasses were never empty!
Is it worth it?
100% yes! If you’re on a holiday, $50 is really reasonable and if you’re travelling for longer, on a stricter budget, this is an experience you should allow a blowout for. It’s truly stunning.
The Manor itself is beautiful, once a colonial home and now owned by The Safari Collection. Staying the night here isn’t cheap but it’s definitely something worth saving for (#lifegoals). Tony, the ever attentive duty manger, gave us a tour of some of the unoccupied suites and they are truly stunning, with amazing luxury touches. Every first floor room also has a bucket of giraffe feed so you can feed the Rothchilds through your window in the morning!
Sit back, drink wine and watch the giraffes! The number of people allowed for afternoon tea each day is strictly limited so the Manor never feels crowded. We were particularly lucky as we were visiting outside high tourist season, we were the only visitors having afternoon tea. It’s a friendly place where guests tend to chat and mingle.
The service is, as one would expect, impeccable. I was particularly impressed that as soon as we arrived our car was greeted by the duty manager who then promptly made sure tea and sandwiches were sent out to our (delighted!) driver who was waiting for us!
Only one. I had imagined my trip to Giraffe Manor would look something like this Harpers Bazaar UK editorial. . .
But Nairobi conspired against me. Load shedding meant a blackout where we were staying for two days so cold showers and no hair straighteners. Plus I had arrived in the middle of the Kenyan Winter from the height on an Omani summer and the thirty degree temperature difference shocked me to my very core. I felt as though my very bones were cold. So there I was frizzy haired and swaddled in extra layers to try and keep warm!
So although I didn’t look as glam as I might have liked, the setting definitely lived up to expectations!
For the full experience, check out this gorgeous video!