A photographic food safari of my favourite food from Mombasa, Kenya

I was born and brought up in Mombasa, a coastal city in Kenya, up until the age of 16 and on my visits back home in recent years, there are some dishes I just can’t wait to eat and try and make it a point to have. These are a mix of street food dishes, which can be found roadside, as well as dishes that can be found in restaurants.

Some of these dishes have been influenced in terms of taste, flavours, cooking style as well as presentation by Kenya’s historical foreign settlers such as Indians, Arabs, Europeans, just to name a few. For example, the use of spices, coconut,  fresh herbs such as coriander and vegetables, such as green chillis, have shaped some of the dishes today. You will also notice that the simple seasoning of salt, chilli, lemon and sugar is prominent in many dishes mentioned in this post.

The Indian influences on the cuisine, in particular, is due to Indians moving to Kenya about a century ago to work as railway workers on what was known as the “lunatic line” or to set up businesses from scratch. As a result, some popular Indian dishes continue to remain prominent in Kenya today.  If you haven’t watched the film The Ghost and the Darkness, I highly recommend it for an insight into what it was like working on the railway lines.

These are my personal favourites, that I love to eat whenever visiting Mombasa, and in no particular order. This is by no means a conclusive list so if you have any favourites which I haven’t mentioned I would love to know about them! Just add them in the comments section below.

Mogo

Mogo, or Mohogo, as it is sometimes known, is grilled or fried cassava, and a popular snack found at the infamous “Lighthouse,” on Mama Ngina Drive where locals drive through at a leisurely pace or park up to enjoy the sea breeze, chat and catch up and eat delicious street food dishes.

Mogo (pictured below) is usually seasoned with a blend of salt, chilli, sugar and a squeeze of lime. So simple yet so satisfying!

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Also made from the cassava are Mogo crisps, which are sold per the bag at Lighthouse. They are usually very fresh and you can ask for them to be seasoned how you like.

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Makai (corn on the cob)

Also found at “Lighthouse” is grilled sweet corn which is usually garnished with lime and chilli. You can ask for it mild, medium or hot!

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Grilled sweet potato

Another great dish found on Mombasa’s most popular pier front, is grilled sweet potato which you can have with a sprinkling of chilli and salt (sensing a theme here?) and it is utterly divine. I love the soft texture of the sweet potato and the tangy hit of the seasoning.

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Madafu

Available all over the island, there is surely no better way to quench your thirst and stay hydrated? The flesh is so delicious too!

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Kachoris

Another snack that originated from India but the Kenyan version is next level amazing. Balls filled with deliciousness and usually enjoyed on Sundays over an indulgent breakfast, I think every Mombasa resident can resonate with the famous Bhagwanji kachoris! The good news is that they have opened branches in Nairobi too!

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Bhajias with fresh coconut chutney

Bhajias are popular East African snacks whose origins lie in India. There are so many variants of Bhajias or Bajias, as they are sometimes referred to. They can be found roadside and best eaten hot with a cooling fresh coconut chutney.

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Mahamri and bharazi

Mahamris are a special type of triangle shaped doughnut flavoured with coconut and cardamom. They are usually served with gunga peas cooked in coconut milk. They are DELICIOUS and the perfect breakfast meal.

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Seafood

Being a coastal city, Mombasa has the best and freshest sea food and I absolutely love lobster and prawns especially.  Fish is always a good idea too! Some of my favourite places are Monsoons, Sea Haven, La Marina and Monsoon. They all offer Al fresco dining with a sea view and the food is incredible.

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Mabuyu

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Usually sold in bags, these are baobab seeds flavoured with sugar and other ingredients and usually coloured red with food colouring, although now you can get many more variants.

 

Achari

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This is dried mango which is then sweetened or salted and coloured using food colouring. These are rather addictive and they have a lovely chewy texture and a tangy taste.

Halwa

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The best Halwa is usually found in Malindi, but you can get it available within Mombasa too. Halwa is a sweetmeat confection with a jelly like consistence. It is usually made from starch, cardamom, ghee and lots of sugar. It is then garnished with cashew nuts or almonds. They are usually sold in a log shape and wrapped with paper.

Nyama choma

Availsble widely from roadside shacks to restaurants, Nyama choma, which is roast or barbecued meat, is one of Kenya’s specialities. It is also Kenya’s unofficial national dish.

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You can find it on most street sides. Alternatively, Mubins, which has a venue both in town and in Nyali in Mombasa, do really good barbecued meat.

Poussin chips

Nothing makes me happier than a plate of Poussin chips. Poussin sauce has also been my most popular recipe on my blog. The sauce is made from margarine/butter and drizzled all over chips or alternatively used as a marinade for meat or fish. Most Barbecue restaurants in Mombasa such as Hashmi or Sham E Bahaar have this available.

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Packed potatoes

Packed potatoes are my weakness – they are thick slices of potatoes sandwiched together with a delectable mix of chilli, salt and lemon and then deep fried with a seasoned gram flour batter. Heaven served with a cooling chutney!  I recently had this at the Aga Khan club in Mombasa, as well as roadside.

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Zanzibar Mix, also known as Mombasa Mix to coastal locals

Mix, is well loved in our family, and my favourite to date has been at the Aga Khan club. Thanks to the lovely Nasim for treating me to a wonderful bowl of mix as well as a catch up during my last trip to the coast.

So what is mix? It is exactly what the name suggests and is a mix of potatoes, chickpeas, spices, coconut sauce, dashes of chutney, raw mango, sev, chevro and bhajias. It is divine! It originated in Zanzibar but East Africa has adapted it and it has become somewhat of a speciality in Mombasa too. This dish is the perfect example of multiple cultural influences on the cuisine of Kenya.

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Samosas

Finally who doesn’t love samosas? Triangular parcels of delight! These are an example of an Indian snack adopted by Kenya and it even has an alternative name which is Sambusa! These can be filled with vegetables or meat and are best eaten hot!

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Do you have any favourites in Mombasa? Would love to know in the comments section below.

Binny xx

A regal stay at Bovey Castle

Introduction to the Angles

Once upon a time, in a land surrounded mostly by high rise buildings, the London Eye and Big Ben, properly known as The Elizabeth Tower named after a real life Queen, were four friends known as the Angles, who had all assembled to this land and made it their chosen home. One Angle (me) originated from the continent of Africa, the other New Zealand, whilst the remaining two were born in England.

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Photo credit: Angie

These Angles, for the sake of this story, happened to be Prince and Princesses too and the Prince in this tale is our one and only Aftab from Fresh and Fearlesss, whilst the Princesses are Angie from Silverspoon London, Emma known as the London Kiwi Emma and myself, Binny from Binny’s Kitchen.

So how did this Prince and 3 Princesses cross paths? Well as strange as it sounds, it was actually through the blogosphere through their common love for blogging, and they firmly became friends over copious amounts of Mojitos, Pornstar Martinis, Champagne, breakfast dates and generally because they had so much in common and all complimented each other’s vast personalities.

Before anyone thinks my spelling has gone all crazy, Angles is used deliberately and was our fitting name born from an auto correct error on Whatsapp by the Prince of the group, who had meant to call the Princesses his Angels but ended up calling them Angles. It was also said Prince’s birthday recently and so the 3 other Princess Angles had decided to surprise him with a birthday trip away.

PS: all 4 Angles make a perfect square 🙂

The secret plot

The Princesses created a secret Whatsapp group called “Don’t tell Aftab” and quickly plotted options of where to take the Prince on his surprise trip. Train tickets and Junior Suites were booked once the destination was chosen and then the Prince was taunted with threats of selfies with Paddington Bear, McDonald lunches and camping (not glamping) on muddy terraines forcibly wearing backward caps. It turns out the Prince doesn’t even own a cap! (Don’t worry Aftab, this will be rectified soon).

In reality, the Princesses had gone all out and booked massive rooms at Bovey Castle, a luxury castle in Dartmoor, for an overnight stay. The only clue Prince Aftab had been given was that Princess Angie was getting her hair done and that it was a good idea to pack a suit. All other questions were ignored swiftly to avoid giving away even the tiniest of detail.

The Journey to Bovey Castle

The Princesses and the unsuspecting Prince began their journey at Paddington station at 11:30am on a Sunday morning. They jumped on to a train with the Prince not allowed to read the destination. Princess Angie had kindly brought Champagne for refreshments which were well consumed after many boomerang attempts had been made.

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Prince Aftab was still none the wiser during the journey and when the train pulled up at Exter St Davids was when the Prince and Princesses all jumped off.

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However, it was still another 40 minute drive to the castle and this further added to the anticipation as even the driver, known as Mr Apple (that was the name of the taxi company so he has inherited this name) decided to join in the taunting fun and scared Prince Aftab with descriptions of muddy campsites with no wifi and having to eat daffodils for survival. The funny part is that they were actually without wifi for a good couple of hours.

It was all worth it though, driving through the gorgeous English countryside and Prince Aftab spotting horses and ponies along the way being a massive equestrian lover. The car soon arrived at regal looking glossy gates and then a winding road leading up to the castle and Prince Aftab shrieked with excitement realising that he was going to spend the night in a castle.

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The rooms at Bovey Castle

Check in was smooth and seamless and the Prince and Princesses were all shown their individual rooms, where they quickly took obligatory room photos and videos for insta stories and then re-assembled for lunch outside on a glorious day as they were all absolutely starving.

All the rooms were Junior suites and had some serious design features, breathtaking views and just all massive!

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Princess Binny’s room is pictured above and had a super comfy bed complete with Mulberry England pillows, a separate lounge area and a spacious bathroom with both a dreamy tub and a shower.

However, Princess Angie’s bathroom was the one that they were all super jealous of. Look at that!

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Lunch at Bovey Castle

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How gorgeous is this lunch spot and how amazing are the views?

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Lunch was delicious and the Prince and Princesses were all so hungry so everything was devoured rapidly. Princess Binny went for the SMITH’s fish ‘n’ chips, Princess Emma chose scotch eggs, and Princess Angie went for smoked salmon whilst Prince Aftab opted for the roast chicken sandwich with lettuce and tomato.

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After lunch the Prince and Princesses relaxed in the bar area with some coffees whilst they planned what they were going to do that evening and the next day.

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The Princesses had arranged for some champagne to be sent to Prince Aftab’s room and he somehow ended up with two, so one bottle was consumed before everyone went to their rooms to freshen up and get ready for dinner.

Dinner and Drinks

The Prince and Princesses wore their respective fancy outfits and met up for dinner, which was the most excellent affair. Starting off with champagne (Ruinart), they enjoyed some luscious starters, mains and desserts and it was a fabulous fine dining experience.

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The selection of starters included smoked & cured South coast sea trout served with winter beetroot and goat’s curd, seared diver scallops, accompanied with a Oyster emulsion, pickled onions and beer battered clams and beetroot salad with goat’s curd. I do apologise for the quality of these photos as my camera just did not like the lighting that evening!

 

The mains included a poached fillet of Cornish turbot, rosette of Devon lamb and fillet of “Dartmoor Beef Welly” which had to be shared between two people.

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Dessert was a selection that included warm dark chocolate fondant with fennel ice-cream and blood orange, honeycomb ice-cream and a baked rum pineapple served with coconut cake and raisins.

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Breakfast and Exploring the grounds

After a champagne fuelled evening, the Prince and Princesses had breakfast with slightly sore heads and opted for cooked breakfasts from the menu, before heading off to explore the gorgeous grounds of the Castle. Pictured below is a delicious Egg Benedict.

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A Golf Buggy was hired and Prince Aftab and Princess Emma took it in turns to drive.

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There is so much to do and see within the vicinity and they just could not stop marvelling at the perfectly manicured green gardens, rolling hills, lakes and features. The majority of the grounds is a golf course so if you are a keen golfer this is an idea holiday venue.

There are also tennis courts and lovely areas to walk around in.

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All was going well with the Golf Buggy and exploring the area snapping away taking various photos and the Prince and Princesses were thoroughly enjoying themselves. It was a lovely sunny day with warm temperatures and that fresh crisp countryside air to breathe in while birds chirped away happily.

An Outtake and Crime Scene

…Until disaster struck and the Golf Buggy managed to get stuck in the mud. The below area will forever be etched in the minds of the Prince and Princesses.

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All four royals descended the buggy and attempted to push it out of the mud and after several attempts were successful, even though with muddy shoes and slightly bemused faces.

The Golf Buggy had also been decorated with bits of mud. This didn’t deter the Prince and Princesses, who continued their journey across the grounds to get the best shots.

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This is what you get when bloggers are faced with an amazing view of the castle! Thanks to Princess Emma for capturing this action shot!

Saying goodbye to Bovey Castle and resident Beaky

After a very thorough exploration, the Prince and Princesses returned to the castle for a final lunch and to catch their breath before taking a taxi drive back to the station to return to their promised land, London.

The blog post cannot end with mention of resident Beaky, who lives in a gorgeous room at the castle.

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Yes we all know how much Princess Binny loves African Grey Parrots so this made her very excitable and she loved getting to know Lord Beaky.

The verdict

The Prince loved his stay at the castle and was totally in his element. The princesses also had an amazing time and they would all recommend Bovey Castle for a fabulous escape without any hesitation.

The rooms were just brimming with wow factors and the bed was so comfortable. They had lovely little touches such as complimentary Sloe Gin in the room.

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The grounds are stunning and so picturesque. Sometimes it is a great reminder of how serene the English countryside is and how a staycation is so ideal to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. You don’t always have to fly abroad to have a holiday 😉

It is also very romantic, as well as being perfect for a family break. Dogs are very welcome too so if you are looking for a dog friendly venue, this is perfect.

There us so much to do, as well as there being a spa on site if you want to pamper yourself, as well as an indoor pool.

The food and drink is fabulous and the Prince and Princess thoroughly enjoyed all their meals on site.

All in all it was the perfect escapade and choice of venue for Prince Aftab’s birthday surprise and all the royals were keen to come back one day, as well as already planning the next Angle adventure.

For more information on Bovey Castle go to their website, which can be accessed here.

 

 

Hotel Review : Swahili Beach – a luxury hotel in Diani, Kenya

During our trips back home to Kenya we always try and have a mini break in Diani, the south coast of Mombasa, and this time we chose Swahili Beach, a luxury 5 star hotel, as our chosen venue to relax and unwind on a half board basis.

Swahili Beach has a unique look and designed with a traditional Swahili and Arabic architectural flair which is characterised by the use of arches, high ceilings, stone and pale colours. I love this design and find it has a charm of its own. Everything is so spacious and open and tranquil. The decor is all deliciously Swahili and beautiful.

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The resort

The resort itself is extensive with 7 cascading pools, gorgeous gardens and set on the beach with a view of the Indian Ocean. I have to highlight that it is not the most beautiful stretch of beach in Diani but it is still lovely and peaceful.

There are various areas across the resort with ample sun loungers and chairs to relax in and there is also a coffee lounge, where afternoon tea is served daily, and a beach bar and restaurant, which is really nice.

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Check in

Upon arrival we were given refreshing Dawas, which are a popular Kenyan cocktail, to cool down with in the intense heat. This was a lovely gesture and check in was really smooth, quick and seamless. The staff were really welcoming and friendly.

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The rooms

At Swahili Beach they have three categories of rooms – standard, superior and Executive. We were upgraded to the Executive suite, which was MASSIVE. It had its own lounge area, bedroom, ginormous bathroom and impressive balcony. There was a view of the pool area palm fringed with the coconut trees I adore!


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The balcony was so difficult to capture in one shot but here is a series of shots so you get an idea!

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The bathroom had a dreamy sunken bath as well as a separate shower and had a stunning design.

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The room had a large TV, desk, ample mirrors and plugs in convenient spots, hairdryer, eco friendly toiletries as well as air conditioning and a fan. The wifi was good and the room was clean and extremely comfortable. We had no complaints about anything.

Food and Drink

There were lots of choices with a lot of African and Indian dishes as well as classic continental ones. As we were on a half board basis, we decided to have lunch at the beachside restaurant Barharini, which was really nice. The sound of the waves whilst eating your lunch is one of my favourite ways to eat al fresco.

For dinner we dined at the buffet restaurant, Majilis, which means meeting place. There was a really good selection, especially for vegetarians as one of our party was a vegetarian. It was a special occasion and the hotel pulled out all the stops to make it special so we were very happy and grateful for that.

Breakfast, also in the Majilis, had an incredible spread of fresh fruits, juices, cold meats, cheeses, pastries, cereals, eggs, hot food and also some Kenyan specials.

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The Kahawa Lounge, where we had our afternoon tea, serves coffees and teas, and at tea time you can have pancakes, bhajias, cakes, and other delicious treats. This is complimentary.

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The cocktails were really good at Swahili Beach too! The mojitos kept me refreshed and happy.

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Amit was more than content with his chilled beers :o)

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The Dawas were delicious too!

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If you fancied it, you could also have fresh madafu (coconuts). I adored this little table that signposted this.

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The hotel also has a seafood restaurant and an Indian restaurant, but we didn’t get a chance to try these out.

Service and Facilities

The service at the hotel was really good. The staff were really attentive without being intrusive and quick at helping or taking food and drink orders.

The pool was my favourite feature of the hotel, and I had a fantastic time swimming and sunbathing by the pool. The hotel was very quiet when we stayed so we had most of the pool to ourselves.

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The hotel also has a spa but I didn’t get a chance to try it out.

The Location

Swahili Beach is located on Diani Beach. The beach is really relaxing and peaceful but I wouldn’t say it is the best stretch of beach you can find in Diani, having stayed at other hotels at the South Coast. However, it is still a really decent stretch of beach and there are nice comfortable lounge chairs to chill in.

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Overall we really enjoyed our stay at Swahili Beach. It was really good value for money when comparing rates at other hotels (March 2017) and the service, food, room and overall experience was wonderful and we would recommend it.

For more information about Swahili Beach visit their website.

 

 

 

The Arbor Restaurant, Nairobi

If there was a restaurant in Nairobi that would win an award in my opinion for its Instagram worthiness it would be The Arbor, in Lavington. When my girlfriends, Meera and Harpreet, who also happen to be bloggers, picked The Arbor for our catch up lunch I knew they would have picked somewhere dreamy and I was right!

From rustic wine bottles as centrepieces, decorative charms, hanging bottles and potted plants and flowers everywhere, it is the ultimate garden cafe for al fresco dining. You can even purchase plants if you want, which if I lived in Nairobi I probably would as they all looked so lush and pretty.

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To start with we picked cocktails and mocktails. I went for the Tamarind Mojito, which was delicious! I very rarely deviate from a classic mojito but this one was really nice that I wish I knew how to replicate it!

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The menu has so many amazing sounding dishes and is really good if you are a vegetarian. It has a nice selection of Asian dishes and so I decided to go for the Nasi Lemak. The presentation was fantastic and all the various flavours were so intriguing and tasty.

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Meera went for the Grilled Halloumi Burger, which was grilled in a peri peri sauce and topped with onions, pepper and mushrooms and served with a side of chips and salad. We had predicted she would choose this :o)

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Harpeet chose the Thai Green Curry, which looked divine. This was served with a side of rice and she really enjoyed it.

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I loved the presentation of all 3 dishes and the helpings were so generous that we couldn’t manage any dessert. We had an amazing time catching up and nattering away though.

The venue is stunning and the type which is perfect for a date, girly catch up or to really impress a client. I couldn’t get over its rustic yet charming decor and all the prettiness everywhere.

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Inside is a shop where you can buy home decor items. I didn’t dare look as I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist and our luggage to go back was already close to being over weight.

This is also the kind of place where you would want to be at during golden hour with a cocktail in hand as it is seriously swoon worthy.

If you are in Nairobi, or visiting, I would recommend The Arbor for lunch and I think it is  definitely one of the most stunning al fresco venues I have seen in Nairobi.

While the girls did treat me to lunch, I did have a peek at the prices on the menu and they were really reasonable! I really enjoyed the food and the ambience and thought the service was excellent. My verdict is it is a fabulous restaurant and one I would definitely return to on my next visit to Kenya.

The Arbor can be found next to Ebru TV, James Gichuru Rd, Lavington, 69671 – 00400, Nairobi, Kenya

 

A Taste of Tuscania, Italy (not to be confused with Tuscany)

During our Mediterranean cruise with P&O Cruises, one of our stops was Civitavecchia, Rome. Originally we had booked an excursion to tour Rome for the day but once we found out about the “Taste of Tuscania” excursion, we changed our mind. I had been to Rome before and convinced Amit we would go another time and so we decided to visit this lesser known Italian town and I am so glad we did. We also got to go with new friends Karen and Amanda, who are also bloggers, and it was such a great day out.

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Not only were there less tourists, it had so much history as well as included a visit to an agri-tourism farm, which was a memorable experience. Agri tourism is an agricultural based activity, in this case farming, where tourists are able to visit and see the operations of the place or try the produce, for instance. These are quite popular in Italy with some places even offering farm stays so you can fully immerse yourself.

Tuscania is often confused with Tuscany and although it has lovely green rolling fields, it is actually located in Lazio.

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We started our day touring the town of Tuscania. It was so pretty with rustic charm, amazing food ( we nipped into a shop to try some savouries), and just had perfect instagram worthy spots everywhere you looked! I love Italy and I especially love the Italian way of life.

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Tuscania is located about an hour’s drive from Rome and is like the other end of the spectrum as its so tranquil, laid back and idyllic. It is such a romantic town and I loved walking the cobbled streets and marvelling at the pastel coloured walls with pretty flowers adorning them. We would find the occasional chair with Lavender on it or colourful bikes stood against walls, and it was the perfect photographers dream.

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If it hadn’t been for the cruise, I would probably not even have known about Tuscania so I am so glad it opened my eyes to a part of Italy off the beaten track which I may have overlooked normally. In fact, we fell so in love with Italy that we have vowed to visit more of the lesser known parts over the next couple of years.

After strolling around we headed to the farm, where we were going to try the produce, try some wine and enjoy an Italian anti pasti spread. I was in heaven with the cheese, olive oil tapenade, home made bread, cold meats and omelettes. It was all so delicious. The wine was gorgeous too and I preferred the red wine.

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The farm is particularly proud of its olive oil production and they were selling these in these gorgeous tins. We got to try some with the bread and it is astonishing how different it tastes to shop bought mass produced olive oil. Sometimes it is worth spending that little bit extra.

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The grounds of the farm were just how I imagined an Italian farm to look like with produce growing, pretty fields and that clean crisp air which makes you wish you owned a cottage in the countryside.

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After a wonderful meal and wander around the farm, we headed back towards the port. Karen, Amanda and I asked to be dropped off half way towards the port so we could explore a little bit before heading back to the ship.

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We also couldn’t resist a cheeky gelato. When in Italy! It was lush 🙂

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We had a wonderful day and I am so pleased we decided to try something new rather than visiting the usual spots in Rome.

Have you been on a cruise and chosen an excursion you wouldn’t normally have done? Would love to know in the comments below.

To read more about my cruise click here.

Binny xx

 

Haller Park – a beautiful ecological sanctuary in Mombasa

When I was growing up in Mombasa, Haller Park, a gorgeous sanctuary in Bamburi,  was known as Bamburi Quarry Nature Trail. It is now named after the founder, Dr. René Haller, who has done the unthinkable and managed to transform barren limestone quarries into what is now a thriving ecosystem of forest, grasslands and ponds.

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There are beautiful walking trails where you can wander and see various animals such as giraffes, hippos, reptiles and bird species. It is actually hard to believe that Haller Park was once a rough, uninspiring quarry and what Dr Rene Haller has achieved is quite remarkable.

Mombasa is also not usually associated with wildlife and so it is to me a hidden gem where you can escape for a few hours and absorb the serenity and marvel at the various animals you can see. It is also so good for education to teach children all about ecosystems and how animals, birds and plants are all interlinked and each play such an important role in nature. In fact, there was even a school trip there during our visit and it was so lovely to see the children all excited and interacting with the guide.

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The first step in the transformation of the quarry to the ecological paradise it is today was to introduce the Casuarina tree, which is able to grow under severe conditions. Dr Haller then introduced Millipedes to the site, as these feed on the pine needles of the Casuarina tree. Their droppings enabled a rich layer of humus to form allowing other plant species to grow. In turn, animals were introduced and slowly it all started rolling into place like clockwork.

Today it is a tourist attraction as well as an important site for education.  I had visited so many times as a child but it had been at least 15 years since my last visit so I thought it was about time I re-visited this stunning place.

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What we saw as we drove in was Giraffes just casually wandering about on the rough road and feeding off the tall trees in the vicinity. Now I am rather obsessed with Giraffes so this already had me all excited.

This is how close they were!

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We were told that the Giraffe feeding time was at 11am so we decided to go around the park and return for that as there was no way that I was missing that. If you have been following my blog you will know that I absolutely love feeding Giraffes.

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We started off with the Reptile park, to see the famous crocodiles. Boy were these fiesty! I wouldn’t want to come face to face with one in real life that is for sure.

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These range from Kindergarten Crocodiles to fully grown ones, and there is a feeding time, where you can see them rise up from the water to grab their food, but we unfortunately missed this.

We also visited the snakes, of which there are over 40 and about 12 different species. I am a little freaked out by snakes and somehow didn’t end up taking any photos either! Close to the snakes are some baby leopard tortoises which are adorable. We actually have 7 as pets at my home in Nairobi.

Haller Park is famous for its giant tortoises though, and here is one. As a child the park used to allow people to sit on these but I am so glad that they no longer allow this as it is quite traumatising for the tortoises.

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There are also Hippos at the park, Sally and Potty, including the world famous Owen, who was best friends with one of the giant tortoises Mzee. They had been pictured in press always together but as they got bigger, unfortunately they had to be separated. It was a really cute story though of how different species thrived together.

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If you are a monkey lover you will be pleased to find these cheeky clowns everywhere across the park hanging from trees or thieving the food of the other animals!

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Ours was a quick visit so we did miss the fish farms as I really wanted to make it on time for the Giraffe feeding. However, I had seen these as a child so I would encourage you, if this is your first time visiting to see everything.

It was now time for the Giraffe feeding session so I patiently waited for them to arrive.

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They get me every single time. Just beautiful majestic animals and with eye lashes to cause major envy! (Blogger caught in action).

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Feeding them was just so much fun and literally the highlight of our visit. If you haven’t had a chance to do this yet I highly recommend it. Buying the bags of pellets only costs 50 shillings but the experience is one of which will have a lasting memory.

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How can you say no to that face? I certainly can’t and eventually Amit had to drag me away. I could easily have spent my day chilling with the Giraffes.

I did sneak in a selfie too and I think the Giraffe was more than happy to oblige.

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I still find it as exciting years on as I did as a child so if you are visiting Mombasa, or even  live in Mombasa and haven’t visited in a while go! If you think about what the site started off as and what it is now you will be awe-stricken at the transformation that Dr René Haller has achieved!

Have you visited Haller Park? What is your favourite memory? I would love to know in the comments section below.

Binny xx