I hope 0800hrs means 0800hrs?
We are always on time, dont worry. I can’t wait for the trip. It’s going to be epic.
Radiating positive energy, is a conversation I had the early morning of Saturday, 21st of September, with Ess, who would be one of my travel partners for the weekend. Having hit the 25-year milestone, I made the deliberate decision to celebrate my birthday in the best way I reckoned; Travelling. The Lemon Valley Farm Estate would be our destination. I had only schemed through posts and scoped out the pictures over the internet. I was quite eager to explore this hidden gem.
The Journey that was to begin at 0800hrs spilt over to 1300hrs, following a delay that ensued after a last-minute thought of going the car hire way. We argued that it would be convenient, intimate and memorable for the four of us. Who decides to hire a car on the morning of the travel and on a weekend? Only happens with us, On the Go Explorers.
This travel escapade had Cate and I meeting Ess and Karis (an awesome, accommodating and patient guy who among other things, waited for us from 0730hrs. Thank You Karis!), for the first time. We had been online friends, now making a debut on each other. Right there, is the beauty of travel!
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, located at Kasambara Hills, 4km from Nakuru- Nairobi highway and in the heart of Soysambu Conservancy, sits the farm estate. The farm exudes a countryside feel and overlooks stunning scenic views of the famous lake Elementaita (and its flamingos) and the sleeping warrior hills. Upon arrival at the premise, an intriguing welcome note stands there. states: You are now entering a stress- free zone.
FROG AND TOAD CANTEEN
The Frog and Toad Canteen houses the reception, the kitchen, a lounge, the dining areas and the play area for youngins, equipped with toys and small bicycles (quite an impression that the place is perfect for a family getaway). Oozing its vibrancy and elegance are colourful African-themed throw pillows. The ambience is laid-back, neither too busy nor too formal with endless views of Lake Elementaita and Soysambu Conservancy. A golden antique telescope is strategically placed to aid in capturing the panoramic views. You would be lucky to spot a giraffe at the conservancy. Haha! The canteen offers finger-licking delicacies, freshly made with farm ingredients. Hence, their menu is likely to change depending on what is attainable on the farm.
Our night had us indulge in a sumptuous meal of honey glazed pork, ugali, fries, and fresh vegetables. For breakfast, we savoured sausages, bacon, eggs, pancakes and fruits accompanied by our choice of beverages. The chef had his eyes and heart all in preparing our meals. Every piece of ingredient was done to perfection; he was definitely all ears to our requests. Especially the bacon and eggs. Splendid!
Charlock cottage, our home for the night, is the only cottage in the Farmhouse that can accommodate up to 7 guests. Its a 3 bed-roomed cabin with very elegant and artistic antics to it. The cottage has an open plan kitchen, well furnished with a four-burner cooker, an oven, a microwave, a kettle, BBQ grill, a refrigerator as well as all the necessary utensils and cutlery one needs to prepare a tasty meal and a dining area adjacent to it. In the heart of the cottage also sits a cosy living room, an idyllic space for chilling and cuddling!
The master bedroom boasts of an alluring king- size bed, a flattering dressing table and mirror. The second bedroom features a queen-size bed with a cosy baby crib hence suitable for guests travelling with a child and the third room features a bunk bed, big enough to sleep 2 people. The house is self-contained. The management has gone an extra mile of stocking soap, body wash, towels and toiletries for guests. The cottage was spotlessly clean, not to mention the pristine towels! All the rooms are fitted with expansive wardrobes.
The large private deck with outdoor furniture overlooks the panoramic lake Elementaita and plains below. The views are those to behold. Needless to mention the breath-taking sites of the sunset and sunrise. Delve into board games and drinks, if you may on the deck.
Aside from the cottage, the farmhouse marries several cabins and two hostels which overlook the lake plains and hills. They all have a mix of vibrant colours, African print and tasteful furnishing that guarantee you an amazing and relaxed stay. Camping is also an option at the farmhouse and the camping gear is provided, upon request.
The Swimming ool (The P is silent and they like to keep it that way!) is another gem, artistically designed, incorporating both a baby pool and a shallow/deep end for the adults. The spot offers remarkable views of the land underneath and perfect lighting. We spent a fortune of our time at this spot; swimming, photography, boardgames, jamming to music and eating. The photos we captured are nothing short of candid! We did not let the ‘for the gram opportunity!‘ go to waste. Adjacent to the pool is a far-reaching ground, popularly for hosting weddings and team-building events.
Further, take up other activities for guests within and without the Farmhouse, including hiking, a Farm tour, bird watching, horse riding ( pony rides for kids ), a visit to the Kariandusi prehistoric museum, Soysambu Conservancy, Lake Elementaita bird sanctuary, the hot springs and the Maasai Village. However, prior communication has to be done to the host if you would wish to engage in off-site activities.
In case your ultimate goal is to relax and rejuvenate, you will not be disappointed. The farm boasts of a variety of spots to find your peace.
We had an ebullient experience at Lemon Valley Farm estate. It is quite evident that the management put in their souls in the establishment. The passion and precision in the decor did not go unnoticed. Did I mention the puns? Those cracked me up! Away from them, the staff are at your beck and call and will address you with respect. The meals were indeed a treat to our palates. Departing, we felt that we had had value for our money!
This is an instant yes to a getaway with a loved one, team building, birthday celebration, wedding, family vacation, you name it, on a budget! Just don’t forget your warm clothing for the evening!
The place is accessible by public and private means of transport. For a group of four or more, car- hire is way convenient.
Carry your alcoholic drinks. The establishment politely asks of its guests not to have more than two glasses of wine at the canteen.
For those who wish to visit in large groups, the Farmhouse offers an outdoor kitchen at Ksh. 3500 per day. Prepare your own meals, if you may!
The firewood to be used at the fireplace is available for Ksh.1000.
If you wish to do a birthday surprise for someone, have a chat with the administration. My friend, Cate(Thank you dear), had them treat me to flowers, a warm card and a cake!
Book your stay at Lemon Valley with us. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below. Support your freelancing mates. Yay! And I sign out.
Article Written by: Cynthia Njeri (@cynthianjeri on Instagram)