Going Out – Nairobi notebook

Jackson Biko is our man about town

Nelson Aseka - Pernod Ricard Whisky’s Brand Ambassador Africa (right) chats with a  guest at Epicurean Club

Nelson Aseka – Pernod Ricard Whisky’s Brand Ambassador Africa (right) chats with a
guest at Epicurean Club

On one subdued evening late last year guests in black ties and glamorous dresses converged at Village Market to witness the opening of a shop. A fourth-generation Zimbabwean was launching his first luxury jewellery brand in the region. Patrick Mavros, master sculptor and the man of the evening, stood out in the throng with his unruly mane and easy gait, telling stories. His luxury jewellery brand, Patrick Mavros, is built on a number of African foundations – one being storytelling using silver, because as he says, silver “makes you younger.”

After 25 years his craft has over 450 items in its repertoire. Some of his signature pieces include a silver crocodile buckle, sterling elephant bangles, elephant ashtrays, commissioned works such as an acacia tree candelabra, or the ‘Magical Zoro’,, an orphan elephant that he rescued when it got stuck in a mud waterhole. That story is now immortalised in silver and can be worn as a neckpiece. Prince William and Kate have a piece of the Mavros story, so do Eric Clapton, Hillary Clinton, George Bush and Hugh Grant – even the rulers of Kuwait, Qatar and Abu Dhabi have some. Now, so can you. A perfect gift, wouldn’t you say? (www.patrickmavros.com)

If you missed out (or messed up) on Valentine’s Day, then why not do something different with your loved one this month. Show her that it doesn’t have to be a special occasion to do something romantic together. One of these weekends you should drive out to the National Park for a game drive. It would be nice to do the drive with a loved one, but if you are the type who does these things alone, then why not – alone time never hurt. On a recent drive I saw three lions. When you live in Nairobi you take such things for granted. It’s affordable and it’s tonnes of fun. To check rates: www.kws.org

There’s good news from Sankara Hotel. If you ever doubted that the foodie culture in Nairobi is here to stay, then how about this: the hotel recently launched their Epicurean Club, a members-only gourmet fare. The members of this coveted club – both novice and connoisseurs – are now able to get exclusive benefits that include innovative pairings and tasting sessions with sommeliers, vineyards and chefs from around the globe. There will be wine tasting sessions and members can purchase specialist wines not available in Nairobi (connect@nairobi.sankara.com)

Finally, it’s not too late in the year to get in better shape, mentally and physically. Fine, Zumba is the rage now in Nairobi but you don’t want to be part of a herd do you? Try out Bikram Yoga Nairobi. They have ten-day packages for trial – if you don’t like it you can then join the herd. What do you have to lose anyway, apart from sweat? (www.bikramyoganairobi.com).