Why do you travel? Is it to get away from everything, to discover new places, to unwind or probably a chance to escape from life’s harsh realities and learn how to breathe again? We all have our reasons for planning a perfect escape from the city, maybe it’s spontaneous and we decide to up and leave on a whim. Whatever the case, we all need to go somewhere that gives us a chance to feel relaxed, refreshed and reconnected with ourselves all over again.
Nairobi life can get quite overwhelming at times; whenever I get the chance to leave the city, I never hesitate to jump on an opportunity to get away from it. After going through quite a terrible few months, a friend of mine informed me about this lovely place located just about two hours away in the outskirts of Nakuru, near Lake Elementaita called Lemon Valley Farm, and I couldn’t wait to try it out.
Located atop the Kasmbara Hills with a breathtaking panoramic view of Lake Elementaita and the endless plains of SoySambu Conservancy, Lemon Valley Farm is the perfect getaway to soak in all of Mother Nature’s goodness. On our way to the farm, I kept asking myself how someone would be so crazy to build a beautiful house on top of a hill. Little did I know, that beautiful house on top of a hill belonged to the owners of Lemon Valley Farm and the cozy cottages just below the house, was meant to be my home for the next few days!
Ever since I could remember, I have always dreamed of a cabin house, somewhere cool and serene, with beautiful trees, the sounds of birds chirping away every morning, as I wake up to inhale the cool pinewood scented, fresh air. As soon as I checked in to the Charlock Cottage at Lemon Valley Farm, it felt like part of me was reliving my fantasy home in my head.
The Charlock cottage from the outside looks quite small, but as soon as you enter inside, you realize the three bedroom cottage has a warm inviting, ambience to it. I especially loved how every room has its own unique feel to it, yet the wood decor remained a constant accessory around the cottage.
The splash of fabric color in all the rooms, not only brightened up the cottage, but managed to make it quite homely, yet not too busy to the eyes. The owners must have really paid attention to detail, seeing as one of the rooms has a baby cot as well, for anyone travelling with a child.
While the other bedroom had bunk beds, perfect for a group of single friends, or a family with teenage kids in need of a getaway; it makes the cottage quite convenient for all age groups. It is also ideal for those who prefer to self-cater for themselves as the cottage is well equipped with kitchen appliances and a cute dining area.
After freshening up and exploring the farm quite a bit, I noticed they had plush gardens overlooking the Lake, which gave it a nice romantic setup, ideal for a small wedding getaway with your close family and friends.
The weather was ideal during my stay at Lemon Valley, and nothing was quite as perfect than lazing around by the swimming pool area.
The Frog and Toad Canteen had to be one of my highlights during my stay at Lemon Valley Farm. An intimate restaurant surrounded by trees and fresh plants all around, with the constant view of the Lake, allowing you to cuddle up with a book by the fire when it gets cold at night, listen to some music or play games while you wait for your meals.
Although when it comes to meals, my taste buds were blown out of this world, by the fresh, succulent vegetables and meals, prepared by Chef Omosh.
With fresh vegetables and food from the farm, the Frog and Toad Canteen set such high standards for my palate, I doubt any restaurant would live up to the freshness and tasty vegetables that I got to enjoy during my stay there.
The purpose of my trip to Lemon Valley was to unwind, to de-compress my life as it were, which meant my days involved meditating, sleeping, eating, reading and enjoying some wine to pass my mini vacation away.
There are quite a number of activities one can do while staying at the farm, as I got to discover, while having a chat with Nancy, the owner of the farm. I asked her what inspired her to build a house and cottages so far from the road, on top of a hill for that matter.
Well, her inspiration came from her stay in South Africa some years back, while they were on holiday with her husband, they came across Bed& Breakfast cottages perched away on hills while on the road. They came back and decided to give up the city life, built a lovely home for them and their children, as well as cabins and cottages, for people longing for a private getaway for a few days away from the city.
Having that chat with her made me realize how important it is to take risks sometimes, to have a dream and try as much as possible to fulfill it, to get out of your comfort zone and live a simple, but fulfilling life.
Did I mention how beautiful the sunsets are at Lemon Valley? Probably not, but the orange hues as the sun sets created a nice backdrop over the horizon, shadowing the hills as it welcomed the night.
The night with the moon shining brightly and the blanket of stars, twinkling away; which sort of forces you to live in the moment and appreciate the little things life has to offer.
The big windows at Charlock Cottage had a way of waking me up in morning, as the sun’s rays peeped its way through my bed, giving me nothing but breathtaking views of the lake and scenery.
Lemon Valley Farm is the perfect place to daydream, to just breathe, look at the stars, take long walks, watch the sunrise, relax and unwind while enjoying the fresh air.
I’ve traveled to many places, that have managed to leave me longing for more, but there’s something about Lemon Valley which makes you yearn for the simplicity that comes with country life.
Because during the four days I spent at Lemon Valley, I came to appreciate how tasty a sliced vine-ripe tomato with a dash of salt could be. How freshly baked Garlic Bread eaten hastily, next to the campfire tasted so good.
Or probably on nights when the moon played hide and seek, refusing to illuminate the way for me, how anxious, yet relaxed I felt, having to find my way to the cabin in the dark. I could probably have written a more detailed article regarding my stay at Lemon Valley Farm, but I realized I never remembered my days there, I only remembered moments, and that’s all that mattered to me.
A few pointers to note.
- If you’re driving down from Nairobi or traveling by public transport, Lemon Valley is just before Nakuru, on the Soysambu junction with the Lake Elementaita, Serena signboard on the road.
- If traveling by public transport, the farm can always organize for someone to pick you up from the road to the farm.
- You can always choose between self catering or buying food from the canteen for only 1000ksh per person.
- The road heading toward the farm is quite rough and bumpy, if you’re driving be careful to drive slow and make sure you have a car built for rough terrain 🙂
- Lemon Valley is on a very hilly area, which means the distance from the canteen to the cottages can be quite the uphill task, but very good exercise nonetheless.
- Carry warm clothes as the farm gets quite chilly at night.
- It’s a lovely cottage, not a 5-star hotel, have an open mind when it comes to small mishaps that can always be overlooked.
- For bookings and any queries, visit their website: Lemon Valley
- They have other various cabins and dorms to choose from. Below are the rates for this year.