Nairobi has taken different twists and turns over the years when it comes to hanging out and having fun. Apart from the usual clubbing and fine dining experience at restaurants, there are new trends taking over the fun space; the it activities and places to be seen at, writes FAITH KYOMUKAMA
Brunch Brunch, a portmanteau of ‘breakfast’ and ‘lunch’, is said to have originated from England, describing the meal taken by those who nursed hangovers on Sunday mornings from the night before. It has increased in popularity in recent times, the world over, but more so locally.
It seems that every other joint has a brunch menu on Sundays or Saturdays or both. It’s the in thing in Nairobi, a new way to hang out that has been embraced by the bourgie and fun lovers. One popular go-to place with a brunch plan is Brew Bistro, both in Karen and Westlands.
Every Sunday, from 11am to 4pm, Brew Bistro hosts brunch at their terrace for Sh1,500. Linda Ayimba, a lawyer and foodie, is an ardent brunch partaker. “It’s one of my favourite plans on Sunday, because it’s a mix of both breakfast and lunch, but what I love most is the frequent glasses of champagne or mimosas that come with it,” she shares.
Other spots that offer brunch are Wasp & Sprout in Loresho, Nook Café in Kilimani and Soko at dusitD2 among others. Usually, the plan ranges from Sh1,500 to Sh4,500. Mlango Farm in Ngecha on Limuru Road is also a popular one. It’s a 45-minute drive from Nairobi with a variety of organic vegetables and fruits.
Enthusiasts love to visit the farm on weekends to have a walk through the orchards and partake the organic brunch afterwards.
This one is quite similar to brunch, only that it takes place on Sundays, and is targeted at tending to hangovers. As if! It began with Vineyard in Westlands some time back, which dubbed its Sunday mid-morning plan as such, and had an offer of hangover soup and mimosas also, unavoidably, another hangover in the making may be!
Now, several other clubs have taken up the trend, and are attracting a large crowd, especially young revellers. These include 1824 and Jiweke. In most cases, there are happy hour offers on food and drinks.
Then there is Koroga, a cooking session where people meet up over drinks and have a cookout as they chat and sometimes play music from portable speakers.
Koroga, which is Swahili for ‘mix’, was a thing among the Indian community, but has now been embraced by more people across the city as a different, fun and uniting way to hang out together.
ou can opt to cook for yourselves as a group or have a chef do it in your presence. Others even compete to make it more fun, and enjoy the throwdown outside the usual norm of a home kitchen. Restaurants that host korogas have various bandas with a cooking and sitting area, to host different groups.
In most places, it’s the restaurant that provides the ingredients, depending on the choice of meal. Some koroga places in Nairobi include Azalea Carribea in Kilimani, Diner Court in Parklands, Mystique Gardens in Westlands and Spice Roots on Forest Road.
Who knew shopping for cultural and unique items would attract a party crowd? Flea markets are another latest way the urban of Nairobi are spending their weekends.
The most popular has to be the one at K1 Clubhouse in Parklands, created and run by singer and actress Kaz Lucas. “It was only a vision. In my mind, I pictured it perfectly, and the best thing was that I had a great team from K1 that understood the plan and helped execute it.
Getting it off the ground was a lot easier than I imagined, because of the amazing team,” she says. The market has a diverse list of vendors with a mix of both old and new things. It has a range of lowly-priced products from fashion to beauty, art, crafts, home décor, and more.
Other than shopping, enthusiasts hang around for food and drinks. The club has an all-day brunch menu that runs from 10am to 6pm, for Sh950. There is also a kids section, to accommodate the whole family. Kaz says the aim of the market is to give an all-rounded experience, which caters for the entire family including children. “I hope to see it grow and be the best place people can think of being on a Sunday,” she adds.
Apart from flea markets, there are others such as the organic market at Purdy Arms that goes down every Saturday, attracting a large crowd that views it as a fun way to spend the day grocery shopping, learning about healthy living, and meeting up with friends.
Hellena Julie, who is the founder, says although the market has been in existence for 10 years, it has been at its peak in the last five years.
“We have about 50 to 80 vendors selling organic vegetables, coconut oil, homemade produce such as jam and peanut butter among others. On Sundays, we are at 53 Park in Kilimani,” she explains.
In recent years, picnic-themed concerts that celebrate African music and culture such as Blankets and Wine, Koroga Festival and The Africa Nouveau Festival have proven to be crowd pullers.
They are an ideal way for groups of friends or even family to spend a Sunday afternoon, and usually feature a visiting African performer. Some also have vendors with various crafts on sale, particularly those that celebrate the local culture. Apart from music festivals, there are many others that appeal to Nairobians.
These days, there is a large variety of themes, for just about anything, from food to fashion to hair. They are all apart of the see-and-be-seen-at places. For example, travel festivals such as the Lamu Cultural Festival, and sports ones such as the Camel Derby in Samburu.
People don’t mind travelling all the way just to have fun and mingle. We also have food themed ones such as the Nairobi Restaurant Week, Burger Festival, Pizza Festival and the Cake Festival. A popular one in beauty is the Hairitage Chronicles.
IG Nairobi Tour
We often hear about backpackers traversing seven countries in just two weeks, and now people are experiencing Nairobi in just a day.
A group known as TurnUp Travels organises the IG Nairobi Tour offering this experience, and has been attracting a sizeable following. The day involves taking part in fun activities as you visit Nairobi’s attractions and hotel establishments. They provide an itinerary for each tour that happens monthly.
There are two options; you can choose to drive your own car or use a cab. If a cab proves to be costly, you can opt to share a ride with other people on the trip and split the cost.
The most recent tour took place on January 22, and involved a game drive and breakfast in the morning, and later a visit to the Nairobi Gallery. There was a snack break at Point Zero Treasure Hunt and the group later proceeded to the Concord Hotel for lunch.
The afternoon was packed with adrenaline activities including go-karting, paintball and ice-skating at Panari. They later experienced a sundowner at Four Points Tazama rooftop bar overlooking the Nairobi National Park. In the evening, they sampled a few bars along Mombasa Road, Langata and Westlands before calling it a day.
All this was in a package costing Sh5,500, exclusive of prices for the activities such as ice-skating and go-karting. Leila Namisango, a travel enthusiast, says she will be a ‘repeat offender’ when it comes to the tour. “It helps you socialise and see Nairobi in a fun and exciting way,” she adds.