Dining by Candlelight in Giraffe Manor

Welcome to the 366th Tablescape Thursday!

Shortly after arriving at Giraffe Manor, a beautiful manor home built in 1932 in the style of a wonderful old Scottish hunting lodge…

Giraffe Manor, The Safari Collection


…I walked through the downstairs rooms taking a few pictures to share with you upon my return. This is how the dining room looked during the daytime.

Dining Room, Giraffe Manor


Come evening, lit by candlelight, it takes on a whole new feel.

Candlelit Dining at Giraffe Manor


The already gorgeous wood paneling, looks even more beautiful.

Giraffe Manor Candlelit Dining Room


As we all sat down for dinner, I glanced around the table at all the guests arriving to enjoy this beautiful and slightly mysterious setting.

Giraffe Manor by Candlelight


For just a moment I had to smile as this scene from the delightfully funny, whodunit mystery movie,  Murder by Death, came to mind.

Murder by Death Dining Room Scene


On that evening, ten strangers all came together for dinner in this magical place…

Dining in Giraffe Manor by Candlelight


…and all left as friends. This was to be my last night in Africa and it was the perfect way to end this amazing adventure.

Dining Room Lit by Candlelight, Giraffe Manor


Thanks to all the wonderful staff at Giraffe Manor who make visiting the manor such a special experience for each and every guest.

Looking forward to the wonderful tables posted for this Tablescape Thursday!

Tablescape Thursday


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  1. Susan, thank you for sharing your trip with everyone. I found myself looking forward each day to seeing if you had posted pictures and hearing about the trip. What a wonderful experience. Glad you are home safe.

    • Thanks, Peggy! I love hearing that because I’ve had so much fun sharing it. I hope it encourages more folks who haven’t traveled to get out there and see this big beautiful world. 🙂

  2. pam ~ crumpety cottage says

    Wow, what a simple yet effective transformation. The way the candles light the wood paneling and make it glow is just beautiful. That elaborate sconce on the wall between the mirror and French door adds a very romantic touch. And they must have put a leaf in the table to extend it, but the seams are not evident.

    What a lovely way to spend an evening dining in Africa. 😀 Glad you made new friends. Maybe we’ll see them posting here. 🙂

    • Thanks, Pam! I met people everywhere I went, even on the small planes I flew on once we were in Africa. We all instantly bonded over our love for travel and our interest in seeing Kenya. I was hoping that would happen so was thrilled when it did.

  3. It is so appropriate for Giraffe Manor to have a beautiful table setting for your dining pleasure. Right up your alley!!! It is a beautiful transformation from day to evening and so warm and romantic looking. I know that made your last evening there even more special because you, of all people, can truly appreciate a beautifully laid table. I am so happy that your adventure was so wonderful. You will enjoy these memories for the rest of your life.

  4. What a great experience Susan. Can’t wait to hear/see about Italy.

    Do you have any plans to comment/post about your new camera? I am still researching and I think I know what I want, but wanted to know if you will keep your travel camera just for travel or will you be using it for your at home camera. Also, regarding packing your suitcase – are you going to post about what worked and what did not, or what you wished you had taken with you and what you could have left at home?

    • Hi Madonna,
      Yep, the new one is the one I plan to take to Italy. I also plan on keeping it in my purse a good bit. It’s great for spur of the moment photography. For this trip, I needed a really strong zoom, so took my Nikon with a 300mm lens. It and my camera phone were great on this trip. I would have taken the Sony, too…but as it was, my camera bag weighed a ton. I was also worried about trying to keep up with that many cameras on one trip. My Sony Cyber-shot is going with me to Italy since I didn’t want to be burdened down with a heavy camera since there will be a lot of walking on that trip…complete opposite of the Africa trip which involved virtually no walking. I’ll create a post very soon about all that and I’m already working on a post about what I’m really glad I took with me and what I wished I had with me. Promise to post that soon.

  5. What an unexpected table. I would have expected everything to be giraffe prints, not this lovely, romantic setting. Thank you for letting us live vicariously through your adventure.

  6. Love that gorgeous wood paneled dining room! I had to chuckle at the “Murder by Death” reference 🙂 Glad you had a wonderful and safe trip!

  7. Wow, what a magnificent place. It is so elegant and beautiful and the giraffes in the front yard – wow! I bet it was fantastic.

  8. Wow Susan what a fabulous way to end the trip. Your mind works like mine- I could totally imagine myself thinking of that same scene from the movie Murder by Death- too funny! I trust it was a great dinner too!

  9. Love seeing all your trip pictures. What a beautiful room and I’m sure you loved the paneling which is spectacular but even more so in the candlelight. Loved your comparison to the movie Murder by Death. The rooms were almost exactly alike. What fun it would have been to have Maggie Smith and David Niven sitting across from you. 🙂 I spotted the single glass of wine. Hope you were not the only one for dinner. What is the large rose colored pom-pom looking thing on the wall in the right corner? Vikki in VA.

    • No, I had just been sipping it earlier and I sat it down to take the pictures. The table was full once everyone arrived. Actually they ended up adding another place setting at the end. When I took the photos, only 3-4 people were in the room and no one had sat down, yet since folks were still arriving. I took the photos quickly since folks were starting to come in. I wish I had thought to come down a bit earlier while it was still a little daylight, just didn’t think about it. I took these pics with my new cell phone and it did really well considering we only had candlelight.

  10. Beautiful dining room, and I can see why you thought you were in an Agatha Christie novel! What an adventure, the giraffes are simply stunning!

  11. Nice that there was a spot of non-themed elegance. (how could you top the real thing just out the door?). Look forward to posts on specifics. You left us hanging after the “wear your jumping shoes” invitation pic. Gaahhhh!

  12. This table shows the beauty of simple elegance.

  13. Beautiful! I have enjoyed seeing your videos! Have a restful week! Lynn

  14. What a lovely candlelit dinner in such a beautiful room. Sometimes I believe that you and I are the last two women around who enjoy a beautiful paneled room. So glad to see that we are not alone! So glad you had such a wonderful trips and made many happy memories.

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

    • lol I know, I feel that way too, Susan. How can anyone not like a gorgeous paneled room?! I especially love them in the fall and winter…so cozy!

  15. I so enjoyed your trip right along with you Susan! It looked like loads of fun and the exotic animals were just gorgeous. I so loved the giraffe’s and you feeding them!! How fun!!! Did you go on this trip by yourself?!! If you did you are one brave lady!! lol I love the dinning room pictures, looks like an amazing meal with everyone. This sure was the trip of a lifetime, I wish you many more trips like this one! Hugs, Brenda

  16. Susan, I have enjoyed “our” trip together. What wonderful pictures and a grand time you have had. So glad you’re home on USA soil again. You can now begin thinking and planning for your next trip, Italy I believe? I prayed for you everyday and knew you would have a safe and exciting time.

    • Thanks so much, Kathy! Those prayers must have worked. I didn’t have any problems, not even any flight delays, so thanks for those! 🙂 Yep, Italy is next. I can’t believe how soon it’s coming up.

  17. Very elegant and you’re right, somewhat mysterious!…Christine

  18. Thank you for the virtual vacation, Susan. I looked forward to reading your blog every day and seeing all of your photos on Instagram. I hope it was everything you’d hoped for and more. Now, on to Italy!

    • Thanks, Judy! Italy was the original trip I planned so long ago. lol Africa was a spur of the moment decision. They could not be more different. I love sharing it with you! I’ll post a bunch to Instagram on this next trip, too…and will do my best to do a daily blog post, as well.

  19. What an amazing adventure you have had. I often think it wold be amazing to travel down the Nile or on the Orient Express, but alas, I don’t think reality would be close to those wonderful old mysteries. The dining room at Giraffe Manor is so beautiful after dark! Thank for hosting, as always. Happy Fall!

  20. Susan….thanks for all you have shared with us; such an exceptional treat
    to” been abroad” with you on your African adventure. I especially
    enjoyed your videos and this fabulous table.
    Must look up the mentioned movie…Murder by Death! Hope you are getting used to everyday life again. It must take a while to come down out of the clouds.
    Oh well, don’t put those bags too far away; soon we will all be off to Italy
    with you…yes?

  21. Linda Palmer says

    Hi, Susan: I’m an “armchair traveler” so have enjoyed every post and every picture from your wonderful adventure. Welcome back to the good old USA! Looking forward to “our” trip to Italy. The dinner table is so romantic with candlelight. Seeing the tableware made me wonder about the menu. Please tell me what it was before I imagine something totally unrealistic. (Do I see a fish knife–or is that a salad knife? and a steak knife?)

    • We had steak and I ate every bite, which is unusual for me. I don’t remember now what else we had, which is typical of me. I can never remember what I’ve eaten just a day or two later, but I do remember we had steak. Oh, I just remembered, I think we had potatoes, cut up into pieces…whatever that’s called. They were good and seasoned just right. We had bread, which was really good and I remember the butter was nice and soft. That stuck in my brain because the stuff I got on the airplanes was like concrete and could not be spread. I was so glad the butter wasn’t hard. I can’t remember now what we had for dessert, but if I do, I’ll come back and leave another comment. I think we had a salad as a vegetable. Maybe one of the folks who sat next to me will see this and reply. lol I love to eat but again, can never remember even the next day what I had. I have a friend who can remember 5 years later what she ate in a restaurant!

    • Linda Palmer says

      Thanks, Susan! Now I’ve also “dined” with you in Africa! It’s sweet of you to reply.

  22. Susan, the movie reference is funny. 😉
    Looks like an amazing place. How did you find this place? It’s something I’d love to experience. Thanks for sharing and welcome home!

  23. Marlene Stephenson says

    What a wonderful dinner setting,and yes i understand your thoughts,i liked that show. Know you had a good time thank you so much for sharing all those wonderful pictures and thoughts with us. Have a great day.

  24. Susan: I am new to your blog. Thank you so much for this wonderful adventure. I’ve never thought of a safari as elegant and stylish. I’ve always thought dusty and hot! But you have made it absolutely magical, especially Giraffe Manor. It reminded me of the Episode in Downton Abbey where they visit the Scottish Highlands. I look forward to “traveling” with you again! I love your flare for life and good things!

    • Thanks, Jane! Well, some parts were dusty and hot. lol But there was always a nice shower waiting at the end of the safari rides. 🙂 The stay at Giraffe Manor wasn’t hot and dusty, though…just pure fun. I’ll be posting some pictures and video of the place I stayed during the time I was going out on safari each day. It was wonderful and I can definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to go on safari but enjoying a bit of pampering, too.

  25. Susan, I remember you posting great details about your Italy trip, but haven’t been able to find details about your Africa trip. What company did you go through, and where in Kenya did go you go? For a first solo trip, that was very adventurous!

    • lol Yeah, I didn’t realize how much it involved until I was well into the preparations, then I just kept going. I used a group called Mahlatini. You’ll find their website here: https://www.mahlatini.com/
      Claire at Mahlatini helped me with the planning. She’s the one who suggested Sir Richard Branson’s safari camp, Mahali Mzuri…after I mentioned that I wanted to visit Giraffe Manor but also wanted to go on a photographic safari. Their phone number is on that site or you can “request a quote” which is what I think I did, then I received an email from Claire.

    • Joellen, here’s Claire’s direct email…just found it: [email protected]

  26. Susan, did you know your blue and white pumpkin is being shared by Country Living? I just saw it on my google+ feed. Congrats!

    • No, hadn’t seen that. That was a project I did for a contest they had several years ago so they must be sharing those again. Thanks for letting me know, Jan!

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