Last week, I had the pleasure of losing my concert-ginity to Paco Renteria at the National Museum.
My sister and I arrived about an hour after the concert was said to start and found the auditorium full to the brim. Lucky for me, I found a sweet spot right next to the stage. I stood the whole time but soon realised that I was better off because the music was so lively and passionate, I just had to dance.
The whole audience was swept up in the performance. We had come to see Paco Renteria but were quite enthralled by the equally talented band.
From the violinist to the fellow guitarists, it was a feast of creativity and originality. It would have been impossible not to enjoy yourself simply because they were enjoying themselves to the max.
For my first ever concert, it was one of the best, most satisfying experiences I’ve had yet. And I was not alone. I spoke to a couple of people after the show who only had amazing things to say.
It was interesting to see some nuns sitting front row at the show. They left with smiles from cheek to cheek, so happy to have been invited as it gave them some exposure to their fellow sisters culture as well as an opportunity to tap their feet to a new sound.
I would have loved to see the crowd get a little bit more involved but with the standing ovation and demands for an encore, it was clear that we had all been put under a beautiful spell.
It was an evening never to be forgotten. I left feeling energised and in an extremely positive mood. I cannot wait for Paco Renteria and his band to come back and play us into a trance once more.
Seems like I joined Pernod Ricard Kenya just in time. Luckily, on my first week, they or should I say ‘we’ were headed for a team building trip at Naivasha Country Club.
Other than being a Scout, I have never really taken part in any ‘team building’ experience. Nowadays, it seems like the only kind accompanies music and the clinking of glasses.
It was so interesting interacting with everyone in such an informal setting. If there’s one thing I learnt about the office dynamic here is that everyone’s a leader. It can be challenging when it comes to problem solving games but it definitely explains the level of cooperation and ease in the office. Unlike most offices, no-one here is trying to get anyone elses job. It’s a real team effort.
I promised myself i’d never work in an office, but, with co-workers like this, it hardly feels like one. My favourite Pernod Ricard value is ‘Conviviality’. I think it is the pillar of our office.
We all made sure to eat plenty and stay hydrated because the air was pregnant with expectation. The food was simply amazing. A buffet of local food including fish, chapo, ndengu and a number of salads. Even the monkey’s had to join in.
The evening was the climax of the day. Dancing… cocktails… an overall beautiful experience. [Don’t worry, i’ll write all about it ^_^]
Remember, drinking is always fun when it’s done responsibly.
The first ever Nairobi Cocktail Week is officially on this week! Organised by Brian Owango of Aqueous Mobile Cocktail Bars this is the ultimate opportunity to engage your drinking senses and try something new in some of Nairobi’s best cocktail bars and lounges.
Well thought out and straightforward, the NCW2014 experience involves 24 of the top bars and lounges serving a quality selection of cocktails at only 400 bob. From Whiskey to Gin cocktails, even Sambuca, there is no excuse not to reward yourself after a hard days work. There is something for everyone…
In addition to that, 12 of the 24 participating bars will be offering an extra item on the menu, a signature cocktail avaliable only this week. I have to say, as much as I love a good Old Fashioned, the treat of a specialty cocktail in a luxury location, like Kempinski, for only 400 bob is enough to make me leave my car at home and cab it for the rest of the week.
Running from 29th August to 7th September, if there were ever a time when the designated driver could exchange his keys for a glass, this would be it.
EasyTaxi is the only chauffeur I need this week. The easy to use app is available on google play and is the most responsible way to get around every time you head out for a drink. My favourite part about it is the standard rates from zone to zone eg Westlands to Karen. The last thing I want to be doing when I’m tired and tipsy is haggle over a hundred shillings. All I have to do now is open the app, select ‘request taxi’ and since it knows my location, and i’ve entered my phone number, minutes later, I’m on a safe ride home.
Remember, drinking is always fun when it’s done responsibly. This week is about quality not quantity. Explore, find out what you like and drink in moderation. Binge drinking is not only hazardous to your health but also negatively affects those around you. Make it a night to remember, not one to forget.
To find out which bars are participating and keep up with the latest, follow Nairobi Cocktail Week on Facebook
Celebrate safely by using the efficient services of NCW partner: Easy Taxi. Take an awesome picture of yourself getting into an Easy Taxi during NCW, use the hashtag #safey (facebook, instagram or twitter) and you could win your own bottle of Absolut Vodka!
The Private Dining Room at Seven Grill & Lounge, Village Market.
It was a pleasure working there for six months early last year. Second to the Lounge, this was my absolute favourite area in the whole restaurant!
As Marketing Manager, the biggest lesson I learnt from the experience was that with great power comes great responsibility.
The best part of not working there anymore is that now, I get to enjoy all that quality wine, in my own time ^_^
Believe it or not, my sister and I are now Archery Instructors at East Africa Bow Sports in Karen. Of all the ways I could spend my weekend, this has turned out to be one of the most fun and rewarding experiences.
I get to meet all sorts of people, of all ages, pick up a new skill, work out and get paid for it. It’s also the perfect time to do my weekly cleanse.
Every Saturday and Sunday morning, I fill my KorWater bottle with lemon water made the previous evening, Cayenne Pepper, and a dash of lime juice. Once in a while, I add some honey for the energy boost. I do this because I love Muesli and eat a lot of it during the week so I feel bloated sometimes. I just want to give my body a break.
In addition to that:
- Lemon is a natural detoxifier as vitamin C transforms toxins into digestible material. In addition to vitamin C, lemons are also packed with antioxidants and electrolytes including potassium, calcium and magnesium. Lemon is also known to stimulate the liver’s natural enzymes by helping to oxygenate the body.
- Cayenne pepper stimulates the circulatory system by opening the capillaries, aids digestion, and helps regulate blood sugar. It also increases the temperature of your body and kick-starts your metabolism, which can help you to lose weight over time.
- My cravings for unhealthy, salty snacks and fast food greatly diminishes.
There’s nothing like leaving the city buzz of Jer’s Bar to the quiet, scenic greenery of Karen. Doing this on the weekends has really become my weekly misogi, starting every week on a completely fresh note. Body. Mind.
Camel Club is my new favourite cocktail bar without a doubt. When I walked in, my heart broke a little because I wouldn’t have had the slightest idea how to build such a place but they did it 110%.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get the opportunity to do a proper review and take better pictures due to some issues with the communication but that didn’t really stop me.
The ambiance is like that of a tropical cocktail bar in the 60s. Wood floors, custom wood furniture and bar, graphic, well lit display behind the bar and the cutest lamps made from repurposed Hendricks Gin bottles. All that’s missing is me in a cute high waisted skirt and vintage shaker behind the bar.
The staff is friendly and pretty relaxed. The mixologists are great. They seemed both knowledgeable and passionate about cocktails. The best part is, they’re fast.
Second to rude staff, waiting twenty minutes for a drink is the ultimate buzzkill.
Glad they don’t have that problem ^_^ In addition to that, they have one of the most unique cocktail menu’s I have seen yet. From Tiki cocktails to rare ingredients, there are some cocktails you won’t find anywhere else in East Africa.
Cocktails in Kampala, in general, are quite expensive, so it would be difficult to try everything, but I loved what I had. I also got the opportunity to try some of those secret recipe ingredients which they make from scratch. I tried the Infante (pictured above) made with Orgeat Syrup, Falernum, both made from scratch and even Absynthe.
For a chilled night out with a great crowd or during the day it always feels like a vacay. If the staff were dressed a bit more in sync with the whole look and feel of the place and the music was more consistent, preferably some sixties tunes, that would just complete the experience, in my opinion.
I cannot wait to go back! Maybe be a part of their Bartender Exchange Program. Watch this space for my interview with the manager Andrea about their PUBE Program.
Make sure you check out Camel Club’s facebook page for details on their awesome themed Happy Hour and upcoming Events.
|| Wind Down Whiskey Wednesday at Fuego Cocktail Bar & Restaurant ||
Fuego has been what some might call my ‘home pub’ in Kampala since 2011, when I was chubby girl whose job description was simply having fun… I guess by that description my job hasn’t changed much.
Going back after a year and a half i’m so pleased to see Franco’s[owner] plans coming to life. Quiet and green, nestled on the corner of Muyenga and Kabalagala it has only gotten more beautiful since I was here last. A new outdoor bar, more simple wood seating, a larger, cool terrace… There is something fresh about the air. The vibe of something new with the comfort of the old.
The only place that seemed quite untouched, and gratefully so, was the seating area inside the house. Pictures of Jimi Hendrix and Frank Sinatra on the walls, the wrap around balcony overlooking the more formal dining on the grass. I go there any chance I get, to catch up with my friends over a drink and some Pizza, date night, Shisha, even to work on my laptop.
It was a nice change from my usual vodka on the rocks to enjoy some irish whiskey. I just wanted something light and fragrant to slowly wind down the day, so, I added a splash of water to help bring the floral aromas to the forefront, diluting it at the same time. The ice came later as the Kampala heat demanded.
The restaurant boasts some of the best Pizza in Kampala as well as authentic Eritrean cuisine. A cocktail of quality food, affordability, variety of comfortable seating areas, jazz from the Swingin’ Sixties, relaxing ambiance and welcome company is what I love about Fuego. Fuego is without a doubt a major contributor to the Kampala heat.