Lunch at Sarova Stanley

If you’ve lived or worked in Nairobi then you definitely have walked or driven past the iconic Sarova Stanley Hotel. Recently my friend and I had an overdue lunch date at The Thorn Tree Cafe.  It is the ‘pavement’ restaurant at The Stanley, the oldest hotel in Nairobi and a place with a fascinating history. The Stanley was built in 1902, named after the explorer Henry ‘Stanley’ Morton. It has over the years hosted a wide number of personalities including Queen Elizabeth, Ernest Hemingway and Winston Churchill. It was the first business premise for the Nairobi Securities Exchange and the Post Office

A legendary Acacia tree stands at the center of the Thorn Tree Cafe. History has it that in the early 1900s, people travelling through Nairobi would leave messages for business acquaintances or loved ones by sticking notes on the tree. This tree became the spot where Nairobi’s first post office was based! Enough about the history!


When we got to the restaurant, we were seated by a friendly hostess and swiftly presented with the menu.


Opened menu

To begin with, I had the Cream Fennel and Carrot soup. I love soup – all types of soups! I love it when it’s light and clear or when thick and creamy. I added Tabasco to my soup and it went down smoothly.


I was hungry, so I couldn’t wait for the main course. I was apprehensive though that the chicken I had ordered would not be enough to sate my hunger. How wrong I was! The chicken was huge! No matter how much I tore into it, I couldn’t finish it and had to ask for help. I, however felt that more could have been done to make it tastier.

Chicken with fries

My friend on the other hand ordered mashed potatoes and goat ribs. I loved the plating of the meal – very neat. I didn’t taste the goat ribs but the mashed potatoes were fantastic.

Mashed potatoes with ribs

We passed the chance of having pastry for dessert and opted to share a fruit platter. I loved the variety of fruit – apples, bananas, oranges, melon, pineapple and that it was enough for two.

Fruit platter

The ambiance at the Thorn Tree is excellent for a romantic date or even for lunch with a group of friends. For Ksh. 2,500, you can enjoy a filling three-course meal at this legendary hotel. Remember to make a reservation.

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