Food & Drinks

Pub review: Castle Forest Lodge


Tourists from Sweden enjoy at Castle Forest Lodge. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Is there a better smell than the smell of woodsmoke? I mean, apart from the smell of dew on leaf? At Castle Forest Lodge, beset against the very thick southside of Mt Kenya, you will smell woodsmoke in the air, thick and sensual. The water heaters built with stone are fed by wood.

The castle itself is so enchanting when you see smoke from the chimney meandering up to the cold grey sky you will think it’s staged. Wild still, you will see horses grazing on the meadow. Years ago I saw elephants. Mostly, there is deep silence.

I went down to start my third book but I fell sick on my way there. Stomach bug. I didn’t write a sentence, instead, I spent days reading in the sun outside my cottage or on the verandah of the castle. Most times I dreamt while awake.

The castle itself is older than me, older than most people you know. There is talk that the Queen stayed there once. There are chalets and bungalows, and for those crazy enough to camp in the grounds in the cold. The staff never changes much.

Even the gorgeous very old resident dog - now deaf from both ears - refuses to die because that place keeps you alive. It’s the air and the silence.

Some people love luxury and, acceptably. However, the problem with luxury is that it’s too loud and that level of noise attracts characters who can never appreciate silence.

They want to pollute it. That’s why I have loved Castle Forest Lodge for so long; because it’s very quiet and charming. It’s luxurious if you appreciate woodcabins, old stones with moss, smoke, grass, old brick, mountain, waterfalls, old deaf dogs with sombre, wise eyes.