A signpost with the tagline “Life should taste as good as trout” hangs loosely at entrance of the Trout Valley Restaurant in Nyeri.
The restaurant which is about two kilometres from Nyeri town is built on a slope, sandwiched by two hills in the cold Ihururu village at the foot of Aberdare Ranges. It has found a niche in serving diners fresh and tasty trout, reared at the hotel’s fish ponds.
But nothing on the semi tarmacked road and the tea plantations spreading to the horizons in Tetu prepares you for the most incredible adventure. Things are done a bit differently around here, says proprietor Gichohi Gachucha. You have the option of ordering your fish you wish and waiting for it to be served.
Or you can accompany Francis Ngunjiri, a staff who tends the fish ponds, and have a say on the trout that will be served on your plate.
Visitors have a rare chance to watch Mr Ngunjiri throw his fishing nest in to the ponds. There are five pounds and a makeshift hatchery where the breeding takes place. All the fish ponds have an underground outlet that takes the water back to the river.
“The client is allowed to pick the fish they want served. If you wish, you can also assist with the fishing. The client is assured that they are taking fresh fish,” Mr Gachucha says.
Since the landscape is steep, the stone slab stairs make getting around the hotel easier. With every step down the winding stars, the hotel reveals its hidden splendour.
A two-storey log cabin stand magnificently facing the ranges. It has huge windows that gives guests a breathtaking view of River Chania that meanders through the hills.
The place is serene and quest so much that you can hear the river thrust through rocks and birds humming.
According to Mr Gachucha, the hotel provides a good escape to sites and sounds of tranquillity, away from the high rise concrete and cement buildings in urban towns.
“Most people are used to a hectic schedule in stressful environments. But when you walk into Trout valley, you feel like a heavy weight has been lifted off your chest, you have a chance to breathe and relax,” he says.
The hotel has makuti shades lined on the slopes that allows guests privacy. There is a treehouse that serves as the bar. Just next to the bar is small pond stocked with ornamental fish.
The rustic furniture not only gives a rugged feel but blending well with a natural environment.
The restaurant has made a name for itself among foodies and nature lovers.
One can opt to enjoy the meal from the banks of River Chania and watch as it gushes forth, winding its way downstream.
There is a camping site about 10 metres from the river. Some groups opt to bring with them cooking items, camping and fishing gear for sport fishing.
“We give you a guide and a fishing rod. Since the water is clean, it offers a good breeding ground for the fish and you will not miss catch,” says Mr Gachucha.