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Hiking and eating out in Nanyuki

Although Mt Kenya region can get chilly, the rooms at Sirimon Bandas were cosy, peaceful and quiet while  the food was excellent

A recent trip to Nanyuki coutesy of Ahambi Tours and Travel was a wonderful getaway. Although we spent a considerable amount of time out hiking, we had yet to explore Nanyuki town, a gem which deserves much greater recognition.

We were guests at the Sirimon Bandas, which are situated on the edge of the Mount Kenya National Park, up on the Sirimon track. The bandas are self-contained, with a fully-equipped kitchen, lounge, dining room and a veranda.

These cottages ticked all my leisure boxes. We had the pleasure of staying for three nights and the accommodation was attractively decorated and well equipped. Although the region is cold, the rooms were cosy, peaceful and quiet.

At Sh8,000 per night, the place is in demand, especially during weekends and school holidays and you have to book weeks in advance. At night, we could see animals roaming the park just a short distance from the cottages. It was a bit scary for some of us, especially because some of the animals’ eyes glowed in the dark.

The Sirimon Bandas are superb and deliver an excellent balance of attentive but discrete service. There is also a chef on site who creates a wonderful menu. After a day of hiking, we were welcomed with a full-course menu.

We first had the potato pumpkin soup which was surprisingly very tasty and not any different from that served at Five-Star hotel restaurants. We then had fish fillet with roast potatoes, spaghetti and greens. The fillet ranks among the best I have eaten this year.

Also very refreshing is that you’re not forced to trawl through a tasting menu, but are given the option to have your own choices. I was a bit inquisitive and I found out that the chef did not even go to any cookery school: he learnt all this on his own! The way he played around with different ingredients was amazing.

In one of those dinners, we ate chicken made up with eggs but tasted like turkey. Apparently, he had interesting techniques that turned out magical tastes. I had to copy the recipe, but I don’t know how it will turn out. Still, I can only try and stay positive.

The breakfast was true definition of a feast; they offered us Spanish omelette, toasted bread, pancakes , sausages, a choice of tea or juice and, to top it, all fruits. Food was so good here that I looked forward to all meal times.

Promises of a good meal made hiking easier— there is nothing that is as energy boosting as being told food awaits you after hiking for 10km. It’s like seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, literally. After unwinding at the bandas, we started enjoying the breath-taking scenery that overlooks Mount Kenya. I wished I could spend the rest of my life there, but the next day was a Monday.

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