The delightful cheese factory in Tigoni
Posted Sunday, July 1 2012 at 01:00
We were too late to book for lunch, but Delia suggested we have a look round in the afternoon.
She told us they are fully booked for weekend lunches about two months ahead.
With her American husband, Andrew Stirling, Delia came home from the arid lands of Arizona a few years ago to take over the Brown’s family business — the cheese-making business founded by her parents in the much cooler ridges of Tigoni.
You must have seen the name Brown’s. It’s on cheese packets in all the supermarkets.
The little factory in Tigoni makes more varieties of cheese than any cheese makers in Africa: Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Gouda, Feta, blues, creams .... And they make some very special ones that you can buy only in their own shop — or at their special and intimate lunches at their Tigoni farm.
And that is where we went a week last Friday afternoon.
As we left our office, I said we were off to taste some cheeses. “Would you like us to bring some back,” I asked.
“No thanks,” piped up our young and cocky intern. “I haven’t got a taste for cheeses yet.”
From Lavington, the quickest, quietest way to go was out on Waiyaki Way, along the Great Wall of Kenya, then cutting back under Nakuru Road at the turn-off for the old Naivasha Road and Mai Mahiu.
But there are very precise directions on the website (www.brownscheese.com), so I won’t take up half this piece in telling you how to navigate round the outskirts of Limuru and into Tigoni .... Except to say that you could also reach there via Limuru Road and the turnoff through the matatu-clogged Banana Hill.
But whichever way you go, you will eventually pass through some beautiful countryside.
By either route you will see no Brown’s signposts along the road or even at the gate because you will be welcomed only if you have made a booking.
Delia caters for a few visitors at a time — and her place is already very popular.
It is a delightful farm house, sparkling white up the slope and against the greens of the sheltering trees.
We chatted with Delia at a table set out on the terraced lawn; tasted a small platter of cheeses and drank some coffee.
Delia led us through her lush kitchen garden, where she uses biodynamic and organic techniques to grow an amazingly wide range of vegetables, herbs, fruits, and even edible flowers.
She then showed us round the factory, seeing the stirring of vats, the storing of maturing cheeses, and the packaging for markets.