Donna Patterson, Chef at Singita Serengeti House, reflects on the first days with guests at Singita’s newly opened homestead on the plains of Grumeti Reserves, Tanzania.
The recent opening of Singita Serengeti House was an exciting time for all involved. Carefully guided by Boyd Ferguson, master creator at Cecile & Boyd’s, who has thoughtfully directed design strategy for Singita for almost two decades, Singita’s latest project was no less a marvel.
As everything came together in the last few minutes before opening, in a bloom of dust the magic helpers disappeared and a vehicle full of delighted guests pulled up. We were open!
Serengeti House oozes the opulence of a locally-styled East African home. Guests walk in and immediately become part of the family. There is a wonderful feeling of ‘arriving at your own private homestead’, derived from the serenity and beauty of the location and the stature of the house on the plains of Grumeti Reserves.
Guests are treated to one of Serengeti House’s top attributes of it being entirely private and secluded from anyone or anything else on 350,000 acres of private reserve. The home hosts its own tennis court and pavilion, 25 metre infinity pool, four plush bedrooms and endless living areas for relaxation at any stage of the day. There is also a waterhole just in front of the house, which has become a favourite drinking spot for general game as well as a breeding herd of elephant.
The food at Serengeti House is personalised to guests’ requests and we tend not to use a menu. As the chef, I interact directly with the guests throughout their stay and discuss their meals with them. The food is locally sourced, healthy and styled around simple but robust recipes. All of the guests enjoy the ‘family-style’ dining which entails the kitchen team preparing platters of food and serving it in the centre of the table. Be it delicious cakes for afternoon tea, banana bread and coffee before the sun rises or a fresh lobster braai (BBQ) to end off the day, the food is designed and catered to whatever whim is the preference of the group. The kitchen is also part of the home and guests are more than welcome to pop in at any time and get their hands messy with the chefs.
I know that wonderful memories will be created here and return visits have already been mentioned among departing travellers.