Afternoon tea is always a special indulgence, but when it comes with giraffes that stick their heads through the windows of the tearoom, that’s a pretty tough experience to beat. A selection of teas, cakes and sandwiches on a tiered platter are served at the tea (which you need to book in advance if you’re not staying at the Manor), as well a handful of giraffe-friendly snacks to feed to the long-necked residents.
The Giraffe Manor was built 1932 and originally served as a family home for David Duncan of the Mackintosh Toffee family. Modelled on a Scottish hunting lodge, the interior is grand and elegant, with a wood panelled dining room, library snug, wide panning staircase leading off in different directions and a long, light breakfast room.
Later purchased by American conservationists who were instrumental in creating sanctuaries to preserve the rare Rothschild Giraffe in Kenya, the first giraffe to live here was called Daisy Rothschild. It soon became the norm for Daisy to put her head through the windows and doors to say hello. Since then all the giraffe brought to or born at the Manor have copied this behaviour.