Lunch with Llamas

“You’re not at the Mad Hatter’s tea party,” reads the experience description, but with the addition of a March hare and a dormouse it would probably feel like you were!

Lunch with Llamas is certainly one of a kind. Of all the unique and wonderful experiences on the RedBalloon website, this one would have to be among the top ten. Since August 2008 when the experience was added, over 200 RedBalloon customers have had the pleasure of lunching with these fleecy creatures, and there will be many more to come.

Would you share your lunch with this furry guy?

Would you share your lunch with this furry guy?

So do llamas really make a good lunch date? I thought I’d call Denise the llama farmer and find out more.

Denise first became interested in llamas while reading the classifieds in the ‘The Land’, a rural newspaper.

“There was a llama for sale,” she said. “I thought, ‘This would be really good for my farm!’” And so she went to Taree to meet the llama. Denise didn’t buy that one, but the encounter had piqued her interest, so after shopping around she purchased six male llamas and took them home to her farm.

The union must have been a success, because now Denise has 25 llamas and is breeding them herself. With names like Esmerelda, Leisl, Snowflake and Tristin, I had to assumed that they had a special relationship, so I asked her what she liked most about them.

“They’re really easy care,” Denise told me. “They’re like little pussy cats, really.” More like big pussy cats, I thought.

What I was most interested in knowing, however, was whether visitors to the farm had had any interesting run-ins with the llamas.

“Not really,” she replied. “They’re not in your face. They’re actually quite aloof and standoffish.” So there’s the pussy cat connection.

“But if you were to have lunch with donkeys, now that would be a different story,” Denise continued. “The donkey’s would eat your handbag, nibble your toes. I’d never have lunch with a donkey.”

Denise specializes in rare breeds of farm animals, so she’s also got hinnies (the offspring of a female donkey and stallion – mules are the other way around), Anglo Nubian goats, Lincoln sheep, large black pigs and rare poultry – the llamas being the pick of the bunch for lunch.

After speaking with Denise I’ve come to the conclusion that it’d be a Mad Hatter’s tea party of a different kind – one that would be a delight to attend.

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