We don’t go away very often (our last overseas holiday was pre-covid) but when we do get time to be able to take just over a week off we like to go somewhere new. Both of us lasted visited Kenya 20+ years ago and wildlife spotting is one of our all time favourite things to do so we decided to take to the skies and go on a safari holiday. Kenya is a great location as it is only 3 hours ahead of the UK so jet lag doesn’t get a look in, plus the flights from Heathrow fitted in perfectly with our plans.
We split our week by going to two separate game conservancies. The first one was Rhinoceros heaven, we saw lots of white and black rhino – all with their horns in tact which was fabulous. The place we were staying had its own farm attached where they grew all of the fruit and vegetables that were served at meal times. Seeing their produce growing in the warm, sunny temperatures made us every envious as our vegetable garden suffers a lot in the winter months. They also had some livestock and they milked their cows and goats each day to make cheese… more on that later!
The second camp we visited was just outside of the Masai Mara and so was very well known for its big cat populations. We had some amazing moments with lions and cheetahs and the most unforgettable hour spent watching a leopard, it was just magical. With antelope, giraffe, zebra, warthogs as well as endless numbers of exotic birds, the trip was perfect. It is also the only place where I’ve been instructed to stay on the paths and be aware of wild animals whilst out for my daily run!
We then had an afternoon in Nairobi before our late night flight home. The aforementioned cheesemaking was then re-visited. Cheese made on the farm where we had visited was all destined for a company based on the outskirts of Nairobi called Brown’s. Here they also made cheese in all shapes and sizes. I was a bit surprised to see they had cheeses such as Valencay and Reblochon that they had made themselves (I’m not sure the French would have been too happy) but they also made harder, cheddar and gouda style cheeses too. We were lucky enough to be shown around their small retail unit and we got to sample the cheeses as well as chutneys and crackers that they produced.
But what’s been happening here in Pangourne? We had a busy start to February with Valentine’s Cheese Boxes proving very popular gifts. We’ve added in a couple of new cheeses especially for these boxes which have continued to do well in the counter. We also trialled a new soft sheep milk cheese from Wiltshire, called Shakespeare. It’s gone out in our monthly cheese club boxes and we’ve had some lovely feedback from customers.
I love it when spring begins to appear in the shop – everything looks bright as the sun shines in through our large windows. It’s my favourite time of year and my favourite holiday, Easter, is on the horizon. There is something special about the long Easter weekend. We often meet up with family on Easter Sunday and it is always nice to then have the bonus day off on the Monday