Blue Crane Restaurant

Nieuw Muckleneuk

Type: Restaurant

Website: https://www.bluecranerestaurant.co.za/

We booked a table at the Blue Crane Restaurant this morning for breakfast on the deck overlooking the small dam and bird sanctuary.

The restaurant has a few seating options, indoors, upstairs bar, upstairs deck overlooking the dam, on the deck downstairs, outside garden area or around the boma.

Breakfast was delicious and well priced with great service. We enjoyed the morning sitting on the deck, and had a visitor pop by our table.

Cappuccino’s were great, and we had a Traditional breakfast and a Kingfisher breakfast which was tasty. I would definitely recommend this for a family fun day out, come through and watch the game in the sports bar or a quiet romantic dinner.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 3 years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

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The Grove

Swartruggens

Type: Restaurant

We took an hour and a half ride out through Muldersdrift, Magaliesburg, Derby, Koster to Swartruggens. This was a great ride, the weather was cool and hardly any traffic on the road. We rode past a few sunflower 🌻 farms and decided to stop and take a picture. My mother always loved sunflowers and whenever we see sunflowers we say ‘mom is looking over us’.

The restaurant is right at the entrance to the little town, and offers a farm style, outdoors setting. There is a shop inside the restaurant and a mini bar. The food is simple, fresh and home styled cooking.

We just sat outside under the trees for about an hour, just chatting and enjoying the outdoors fresh air.

The trip on the BMW R1200GS ADV is a smooth, powerful ride and an absolute pleasure on long distances.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 3 years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

Katse dam

Lesotho

Type: Accommodation and place of interest

We headed out to Katse Dam, Lesotho over the weekend. There were 16 bikes and a back up support vehicle that went with on the trip. We left Johannesburg down the N1 at 05:30am on Friday morning, with a brief stop for coffee and muffins at Villiersdorp.

Then we headed off to Thanda Tau for a buffet breakfast and a fill up for the bikes that needed it. This is a great little pit stop on your way to Durban.

Then we headed down south, through Harrismith and past the Sterkfontein dam to Little Switzerland for some drinks and photos with the Drakensburg in the background.

Then it was back on the bikes to head back around the Sterkfontein dam, through Phuthaditjhaba to Witsieshoek for lunch. But not before we stopped for another photo.

Some awesome pictures, and beautiful weather allowed for magnificent views over the valley. After lunch it was time to get back on the bikes and time to head towards Clarens. But half way through Golden Gate we did a small detour up the mountain to a look-out point and took more photos.

Then back on the bikes through Golden Gate, we headed past Clarens, 8 kms past Clarens to the Ash River Highlands Water Project. This is where the water enters South Africa from the Katse Dam Highlands Water Project. This is the size of the pipe that brings water from Katse Dam to South Africa.

Then back onto our bikes to our final stop in Clarens for the day. Time to refill to prepare for the following days trip, unpack, freshen up, enjoy a sundowner on the deck at the Maluti Mountain Lodge, supper and then bed.

Up early the next morning for breakfast and a quick route chat from our group leader Leon. We had a chance to catch this hot air balloon in the Golden Gate valley.

Then it was time to head to the Lesotho border at Caledonspoort. It was quick and easy through this border post and then on our way to Katse Dam. But not before our mountainous climb through 320 bends as we weaved our way to the top of the mountain. A quick stop for a picnic at the top of the mountain viewing point.

Back on the bikes, down the other side, once again weaving through what felt like another 320 bends. If you were not very comfortable in going through bends before this trip, believe me you would know your bike by the end of this trip. I was amazed at how well the fully laiden GS with panniers, top box and pillion just glided through those turns at 45 degrees. Then we headed towards Katse Dam. After dropping off our bags at our chalets, it was time to head to the information Centre for a tour into the dam wall.

Not only did we go inside the dam wall, but we then rode around to the top of the dam wall, where we stopped and popped some champagne in memory of a fellow rider who passed away just the month before. Then onto our chalets for some r&r before supper.

The next morning again an early start, all the way back through the 600 bends and turns to the Ficksburg border post, back to Clarens for lunch at Rotar Hahn. Then back to Villiers and Johannesburg. We arrived back home at around 4pm on Sunday afternoon with lots of memories and photos of an amazing trip with amazing people. New friends have been made and new experiences shared.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

Morrells Boutique Estate

Type: Restaurant and Accommodation

Website: http://www.morrells.co.za/

We visited Morrell’s this morning for breakfast and was blown away by the service, the venue, the grounds and the food. If you are looking for excellent service and a beautiful garden, be sure to try out this restaurant.

The chef prepared our breakfast from scratch in the kitchen right next to our table so we could observe him and felt like he was our very own personal chef as there were no other customers in the restaurant.

This was a unique experience and a tasty well presented breakfast that has taken this restaurant experience to one of our top ten.

Website – ‘Whether it be for intimate gatherings or celebratory soirees, Morrells will cater to your every need and make your special event truly memorable. From product launches to lavish gala dinners, guests will be pampered by our quality and originality. We have created a conference venue & event space in Johannesburg where guests experience our venue in all its sumptuousness for any occasion.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

Clementines

Restaurant in Clarens

Type: Restaurant

Website: http://www.clementines.co.za/

We took a ride through Vanderbijlpark, Sasolburg, Heilbron, Reitz and Bethlehem to Clarens for a weekend away. We rode through quite a big storm at Heilbron, but the bike with its Road and Rain setting handled well. When we pulled off to put on our rain gear the storm moved over and we just hit heavy rain and wind.

We heard about Clementines from a few friends as the place to eat at when in Clarens. So although we were staying at the Golden Gate Hotel some 15 kms out of town, we took the ride through to go check it out.

On arrival, a sign met us at the front door. Fully booked, seat only available after 19:45

Which was a good sign, informing us that the food was great, the people love the place and this was the place to be. So we sat at the bar and waited half an hour for a table to open up.

We were shown to our seat and were surprised by the noise in the restaurant. Everyone talking, laughing and enjoying a good family meal, I don’t think we saw anyone sitting on their cellphones last night. This is a family restaurant with great hearty food that just encourages talk, laughter and enjoying the company of those you having dinner with.

We both ordered the oxtail, slow cooked for 3 hours and the meat just fell off the bone. This was a delicious meal that I would recommend to all who venture out to Clarens and dine at Clementines. After dinner the chef came out of the kitchen to speak to patrons, what a nice touch, and a great way to end the evening.

It was then time to get back on the bike and head back to our hotel.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

The Culinary Table

Type: Restaurant, Deli and shop

Website: http://culinarytable.co.za/

“Where we believe in starting each meal from scratch.” This unique restaurant situated at the Lanseria Centre on Pelindaba Rd, grows all their own fresh produce on the grounds, this gives this restaurant its unique edge. We took a 30 minute ride out The Culinary Table this morning and was shocked to find this beautiful gem right on our doorstep. The outside building is very deceiving but the ambience inside is homely, friendly and inviting.

The breakfast was fresh, looked great and tasted even better. The menu offers some unique options and is well priced for the quality of food. The waiters were all extremely friendly and eager to serve and the restaurant was quite busy. Although it was our first visit to The Culinary Table it was obviously a very popular destination.

We took a walk through the garden to see the fresh produce being grown, and then checked out their deli and kitchen shop before heading out for a trip through Muldersdrift back home.

This was a great experience and one we would definitely tell our friends about and do again in the near future.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

10 Bompas Hotel and Winehouse

Type: Hotel and Restaurant

Website: https://tenbompas.com/

We took a chilled 20 minute ride from Honeydew to 10 Bompas in Dunkeld West this morning. When we arrived here we were pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of the staff and the grounds are beautifully laid out.

We decided to sit outside next to the pool, and you become aware of the peace and serenity of the place, just the sound of birds singing and the running water of the pool fountains.

Breakfast was served in true chef quality, with attention to detail presentation and quality of food. We thoroughly enjoyed being spoilt this morning and have been made to feel like honored guests.

The venue also has function rooms for parties, conferencing and team building events. The Winehouse also gives this venue a unique feature and the grounds transform into a magical place at night.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

al Fiume

Riverside Restaurant

Type: Restaurant

Website: http://www.alfiume.co.za/

We visited al Fiume Riverside Restaurant on Sunday afternoon for buffet lunch. The restaurant has a live band playing during the afternoon, which creates a great vibe at the venue. The restaurant is set alongside the beautiful Hennops River a mere 20 minutes from Fourways.

The restaurant has a normal full functional restaurant, private seating along the river bank or a large outdoor seated area. Food is exquisite and 5 Star chef quality, prepared and presented to seduce the 5 senses. Attention to detail, elegance and style come to mind when thinking about the overall experience.

Bookings are essential.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

Windmill on Main

Type: Restaurant

Website: http://windmillonmain.co.za/restaurant/

This beautiful restaurant is hidden away off Main Road in Fourways with no signage to show directions but well worth the trip. We enjoyed the 30min ride out to this venue, the service was great and the food was fresh and tasty.


Great indoor and outdoor seating under covered canvass tops or just under the trees. There is a small kiddies play area and the venue has a number of iron works artwork on sale.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

Velmore Hotel

4 Star Hotel

Type: Accomodation and Restaurant

Website: http://velmorehotel.co.za

We came across this hotel on one of our breakfast runs around Hartebeespoort and made a note to return and try try it out. The hotel has huge grounds, a few conference venues and a beautiful spa. The building is unique with old rustic designs and the water features add to the ambiance and give it character.


The interior of the hotel has beautiful luxury finishes and we were thoroughly impressed by the food in the restaurant. Normally food in all hotels buffet style is cold, unappetizing, bland and tasteless. We asked if they had an a la carte menu, but to our surprise the buffet was delicious, warm and inviting. The hotel also offers a relaxing bar area with indoor and outdoor seating.


We took a walk around the gardens and found the pool area is designed specifically for weddings and events.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

Ox Wagon Lodge

Type: Accommodation and Restaurant

Website: http://www.oxwagonlodge.co.za/

Situated on the koppie just before descending into Hartebeespoort, Ox Wagon Lodge is hidden away in the bush.

‘This living museum and private hideaway for nature lovers is where you relive the romance of the early Pioneers and Jock of the Bushveld era. The Oxwagon Lodge is a unique concept combining original ossewa with some modern comforts, in an atmosphere of friendliness, bird song and beautiful trees.’ – website.

Below is a picture of the quaint accommodation and the view from the lodge over the Hartebeespoort valley and dam.


Each Lodge has an ossewa attached to it and this is the bedroom or at least the bed where you will sleep for the night like Jan van Riebeck or Simon van der Stel…

This makes this a very unique experience and something you will remember for years to come.


The restaurant and bar area is situated in the middle of the half moon shaped accommodation so you feel what it felt like in those days when the ossewa provided the only form of protection against the enemy and animal predators.

The Ox Wagon Lodge offers a special experience for parties, conferencing, weddings or just a romantic weekend away for two. The Ox Wagon Restaurant serves Sunday lunch including oxtail potjiekos, real farm bread baked in an old handmade oven and other traditional dishes.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

Fresh Farm Fusion

At Monaghan Farm

Type: Restaurant

Website: http://www.freshfarmfusion.co.za/

Situated on Monaghan Farm behind Lanseria Airport is the most spectacular hidden paradise called Fresh Farm Fusion restaurant. This feels like a piece of paradise was dropped off for us to use in the middle of the dry winter bushveld.

A great atmosphere and great food at Farm Fresh Fusion makes this the ideal spot for a family lunch or a peaceful breakfast with your partner. I love the outdoor set up and outdoor feel you get indoors. Service was fast, food was fresh and the price was just right.


Monaghan also offers plots for sale for farm style living just a mere 20 minutes outside the city. With excellent security and plots from 1,500sqm to build your ideal home on in the country with Curro private school on the farm – makes for an enticing offer. We had a look at their show house… isn’t this just beautiful.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

Leopard Lodge

Type: Accommodation and Restaurant

Website: http://www.leopardlodge.co.za/

We visited this beautiful gem hidden away against the Magaliesburg mountain in a forest gorge overlooking the Hartebeespoort Dam. It transports you from the hustle and bustle of the city to a tranquil secluded tropical forest where the sounds of the bird life is all that is heard. It’s just a short 55km drive from Sandton and 60km from Pretoria, but well worth the trip.


We took a ride out from Honeydew, through Muldersdrift, Hekpoort and along the R560 through Skeerpoort to Leopard Lodge this morning.


On arrival at the main reception, it was evident that excellent service is lived here and the friendly staff were waiting on our arrival welcoming us to the restaurant, and our table. There is a rustic wooden bar, conference rooms and a large veranda which transforms into one of the wedding venues available at Leopard Lodge.


After breakfast we went and sat outside under the trees overlooking the Hartebeespoort Dam. What a magnificent view, they also have an outside boma with tables and chairs to sit and relax and enjoy a fresh garden salad or a light lunch.

An a la carte menu is offered from Wednesdays to Saturdays and a buffet lunch is available every Sunday. Picnics can be arranged for those who prefer a light meal in the bush. (Advance booking required).


We also took a walk through the gardens to the outside chapel which has a unique view which overlooks the dam in the background. We had to take a picture here to show you… maybe one of the best places to tie the knot.


I would strongly recommend Leopards Lodge to any of my friends or family as a place to add to your bucket list, as we attempt to visit 52 places in 52 weeks, this is definitely one we will return to.

Check out their website for accommodation rates and availability.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

The Fat Olive

Type: Restaurant

Website: http://thefatolive.co.za/

We took the kids out for an amazing afternoon lunch at The Fat Olive. Situated just behind Lanseria airport this restaurant is a little hidden treasure. Open from Monday – Saturday for lunch and dinner and Sunday for lunch only. It is an ideal family setting next to a small dam, with indoor and outdoor seating.


The venue is ideal for children to explore, climb trees and run around the grass fields. There is jungle gyms and an animal farmyard to explore.


Saturdays and Sundays there is live music on the deck overlooking the dam which creates a great vibe. There is also a beach bar to enjoy a drink and a sundowner, under the trees.


Bookings on Saturdays and Sundays is essential if you want to come and enjoy a relaxing afternoon with family and friends.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

Magalies Manor

Type: Accommodation and Restaurant

Website: http://www.magaliesmanor.co.za/

This beautiful place is only 45 minutes outside of Johannesburg and a great ride out. We went through Muldersdrift, towards Hekpoort and then across to Magaliesburg. The morning air was cool and refreshing, signs of Autumn air fast approaching. On arriving at Magalies Manor we went straight to the restaurant for a buffet breakfast.


Staff were extremely friendly and service was outstanding. After breakfast we took a walk through the grounds and had a look at the facilities and various accommodation available. The grounds were well laid out and the pool looked inviting.


They have various types of accommodation from garden cottages, tented camps, double rooms, family rooms and executive suites. Priced from R1250 per night.

There are some small ponds and paved walkways through the gardens which creates a peaceful, tranquil experience.


Magalies Manor also offers conference and wedding venue facilities and an in-house spa to indulge yourself. What an amazing morning spent with my beautiful wife, we love going out every Saturday on the BMW on our breakfast run.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

Mount Grace Hotel and Spa

Type: Accommodation and Spa

Website: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/jnbmg-african-pride-mount-grace-country-house-and-spa/

We took a ride out to Magaliesburg this morning to African Pride Mount Grace Hotel and Spa. This beautiful 5 star hotel is nestled away in the Magaliesburg mountains, a mere hours ride out of Johannesburg.

We were completely surprised by this beautiful hotel almost hidden away in the mountain and trees. We were escorted to our breakfast table, and offered a warm cappuccino and glass of ice cold water and lemon. Restaurant Twist was an awesome experience and well worth the R255 per head charge for a full buffet breakfast.


After breakfast we then asked reception to show us around the rooms and the spa. We were escorted around the grounds by Billy in a golf cart. There are over 120 rooms on the grounds ranging in price from R2 200 for a Garden room to R4 500 for a Superior room per night.



We were super impressed by the Spa and this would definitely be something we need to try out in the near future.

Leave your stress in the city and emerge from this oasis of tranquility refreshed in body, mind and spirit. There is an outdoor heated jacuzzi, a hydrotherapy garden, floatation pool, steam room, gym and a number of treatment rooms.

This is definitely a place to relax and forget about all your worries.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

Irene Dairy Farm

Type: Farm and Restaurant

Website:http://www.irenefarm.co.za/

We took an hour ride out from Johannesburg to Irene to visit this 122 year old farm with working dairy. The farm is beautifully laid out with gardens, restaurant and cattle shed making this an authentic and unique experience.


There are 2 restaurants to choose from ‘The Deck’ and ‘The Barn’, and a farm shop to pick up some tasty treats, and unique bits and bites. Fresh milk is sold by the bucket load giving one a real farm experience with cows, tractors and the fresh farm smells.

We sat outside under the trees in ‘The Barn’ restaurant and ordered the farmhouse breakfast. The service was fast and friendly and well worth the trip.


‘The Deck’ is an indoor restaurant and overlooks the wishing well. This was nice ride out to a great family restaurant, with many kids playing on the grass lawns in the summer sun.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

The Venue Country Hotel

Type: Accommodation and Restaurant

Website: http://thevenuehotel.co.za/

We visited this beautiful place this morning and were pleasantly surprised by the peaceful setting. It is a hotel and Conference venue, but the restaurant offers a great dining experience too.

Lucky for us the morning that we arrived there were no other guests or conference delegates so we had the entire place to ourselves. We were treated like royalty with the waiter and chef preparing a table and food just for us.


The grounds were peaceful and beautifully green from the recent rains. After breakfast we took a walk through the grounds to the pool and had a look at the facilities, conference venue and breakaway rooms.


The Venue Country Hotel is on the R512 Pelindaba Road on your way to Hartebeespoort Dam just before the Lion and Safari Park.

Well worth a visit if you are in the area.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

Kloofzicht

Kloofzicht Lodge and Spa:

Type: Accommodation and Restaurant

Aprox cost: R2370 per room per night

Website: http://kloofzicht.co.za

We were fortunate to have Sunday lunch at this beautiful lodge and spa. On arriving at the main gate on Sunday afternoon we did not know what to expect? Riding down the road to the main lodge we were met by a number of buck (eland, kudu, wildebees, impala and springbok) along the way, almost as if they were welcoming us to their home. The view of the lodge on the dam, from the top of the road was spectacular and set the tone for what was going to be a weekend to remember and a place we would tell our friends about.

The lodge is situated at the feet of the Zwartkops mountain range in the Cradle of Humankind and provides guests with a number of activities to choose from. There is the fine dining experience of the restaurant, relaxation at the spa, fly fishing at one of the trout dams, a walk up one of the trails or just quietly sitting reading a book on a bench – Kloofzicht has it all.


We thoroughly enjoyed our Sunday lunch and decided to spend the rest of the afternoon walking around the dams and watching some newly weds try their hand at fly fishing. Kloofzicht is also a popular wedding venue with the outdoor chapel right on the waters edge, saying your vows to the sound of a mother goose and her babies on the water must be something special.
Try this restaurant or accommodation next time you just want to break away from the city hustle and bustle.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

Cradle Moon Game Lodge

Type: Restaurant and Lodge

Website: https://www.cradlemoon.co.za/

We were pleasantly surprised by this gem  right on our doorstep, literally 15 minutes ride from where we stay in Honeydew. You enter the game lodge through a security gate and then ride up this short potholed road up the hill that doesn’t look very promising, but as you come over the rise a lush green paradise nestled in a valley opens up before you.


We made a reservation for breakfast outside at the pool. We were shown to our table and ordered our coffees. What a beautiful setting, with a number of rondavels spread out under the trees and some zebra, giraffe and buck roaming free on the grounds. Breakfast was a buffet with anything and everything to eat. What a spread. After eating our fill and enjoying the outside summer air, we decided to take a walk down to the lake.


To our surprise we walked around to the dam wall and found the most beautiful falls. Water gushing over the dam wall after all the rains we have had lately was a sight to behold. We then sat on a bench under the trees and chatted about how lucky we are to experience these beautiful places in nature.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

Die Ou Pastorie

Beautiful old house set in a garden under the trees

Type: Restaurant and guesthouse

Website: http://www.dieoupastorie.com

This beautiful house is situated in Skeerpoort, just 45 minutes ride from Johannesburg. We came through Muldersdrift and Hekpoort, turned right at the t-junction towards Harties.

The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating, but we chose to sit outside under the trees. It is so peaceful and quiet for breakfast, that we just sat there for an hour or two chatting. The breakfast was great and service was fast and friendly.


We came here in July, so it was right in the middle of winter, scarves and jackets to keep warm and the trees were brown. But this place must be beautiful and green in summer. The owner was telling us that they also have live entertainment on most Saturday’ but to check their website for details.

‘Musical concerts, art exhibitions, historical storytelling and performance art take place while guests dine under the trees, absorbing both the intricacies of the show and the tranquil beauty of their surroundings. Notable performers to visit Die Ou Pastorie include legendary South African musicians Steve Newman, Guy Buttery, Arno Carstens, Greg Georgiades and Dan Patlansky.’ – website

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

Beka Idube

Beka Idube tented camp in Dinokeng

Type: Accommodation

Approx cost: R550 per person per night

Website: http://www.bekaidube.co.za/

We found this absolute gem of a place about 35kms outside of Pretoria, just North of Cullinan. There are 3 luxury tented camps, each with their own splash pool on the deck of the tent. Two of the splash pools are heated with a wood burning fire furnace next to the tent, while the third tent pool is not heated.
Each tent comes with all the usual luxuries including double bed, shower, toilet and electricity, fully equipped with cutlery, linen, Weber braai and an outside braai and boma.


We took an hour and a half ride out from Johannesburg, but it would be a short 30 minute ride from Pretoria. The weather was nice and cool and hardly any traffic on the roads due to the school holidays. There is about 3kms of dirt roads once you reach the Leeuwkloof turnoff.

The camp is located in the genuine bushveld with free roaming game in the reserve. Having your own watering hole right at your tent, ensures you get front row seats to watching these animals drink at first light. I took a walk shortly after arriving to check out the surroundings and game, and came across a family of zebra grazing in an opening. They would not allow me closer than about 15 metres, before they moved off again.

The owner is also an avid miniature horse breeder and they have a number of miniature horses in their stables. This was really the most peaceful, and restful place we have been to, just what was needed to end off a very busy year.

Although it rained off and on the whole weekend, this was still an enjoyable stay, we caught up on some reading time and relaxed in the heated pool… It also rained the whole way home, first time out in the pouring rain, without our rain gear, but we hardly got wet. I just love the protection the Adventure provides, you are sheltered behind the huge tank and front windshield. Thank you to Chris and Coralezet for an amazing weekend. #twothumbsup

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

Imagine Cafe

Imagine Cafe at Bronkhorstspruit Dam

Type: Restaurant and Art Studio

Website: http://www.antonsmit.co.za/index.php/2015-02-18-17-34-31/imagine-cafe

We took an hour and a half ride out to Bronkhorstspruit Dam and stopped at this very unique restaurant for breakfast.


The entire restaurant has unique art sculptures and art pieces throughout the entire place, you can sit and look at all the wonderful creativity all around you. From the glass table made from a tree to old pots painted in various colors to wire figurines and wooden boxes.


The restaurant offers great food at a great price and fast friendly service. The restaurant also offers indoor or outdoor seating, or alternatively you can book a picnic on the grass amongst the many statues and sculptures in the garden.

There is also the Anton Smit art studio which forms part of the restaurant experience. It feels as though the art studio has spilled over into the restaurant so you are basically eating in a unique art experience.


What a wonderful day outing, we had a brilliant ride out to the country, had a great breakfast and good company and got to experience something new and interesting. There is no charge to the art studio so make an effort to get out of the city and visit this unique little restaurant.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

Rustig 

Rustig on Oostemoed Reserve 

Type: Accommodation and Restaurant

Website: http://www.rustig.co.za/

We took a 45 min ride out to Rustig this morning it is located about half way between Hekpoort and Hartebeespoort Dam. Rustig is a well-established family farm since 1930, and has various types of accommodation available. The main house, is set against the picture perfect background of the Magaliesberg, there is also a stone house, farm house and luxury tents all form part of the accommodation found at Rustig. There is a large dining hall that can be used for functions and weddings and a communal swimming pool.


We sat on the long veranda and enjoyed the view of the mountain range in the distance, with a cool breeze blowing on this warm summer morning.

We ordered an ice cold water with ice and lemon and then had a look at the menu. We decided on the English breakfast with a cappuccino. The breakfast was delicious and at a reasonable R50 per person.


We just sat and spoke about Christmas, the holidays and our 25 year wedding holiday we are planning to Mauritius in September 2017. The sound of birds singing in the background makes this place a very ‘rustig’ place to relax and chill.


After breakfast we took a short walk around the beautiful gardens, to check out the various accommodations and was pleasantly surprised by the rates. Check out the website for more details. Below is a picture of the tented camp.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

The Big Red Barn

Family Restaurant and activity centre 

Type: Restaurant

Website: http://www.thebigredbarn.co.za

We took a 45 min ride to The Big Red Barn in Olifantsfontein. This restaurant has transformed an old barn into a beautiful farm styled restaurant with a cycling track and adventure farm with Acrobranch.

The restaurant has a good selection on the menu and they have smaller private tables but also larger family type tables where anyone can sit and socialize. There is a nice atmosphere created and a buzz that is inviting and interesting. The food is also very appetizing and service is fast and friendly. Definitely a place to visit again with the family.

This place is well worth a visit especially if you have children who can ride, run, jump and climb on things.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

Mokoya Lodge

Mokoya Lodge and Sweet Thyme Restaurant

Type: Lodge and Restaurant

Approx cost: From R400 per person per night

Website: http://www.mokoya.co.za

We took a 40 minute ride through Muldersdrift and Hekpoort towards Hartebeespoort Dam, to Mokoya Lodge this morning. It was a cool ride as it was overcast and a cool wind was blowing. We turned off onto a dirt road and followed the signs to Mokoya. What a beautiful, peaceful little lodge situated along the Magalies River. We ordered breakfast and sat outside on the terrace with a nice cup of coffee and muesli and fruit. Then we got our breakfast , bacon, eggs, beef sausage, beans and toast. They have their special Mokoya chili sauce which was tasty and not too hot.

We had to try out their hammocks under the trees after breakfast.
We took a walk around the lodge, down to the river and the function lapa. There is a volleyball court on beach sand and a swimming pool for some fun in the sun. There is also a boma down by the river for those warm summer evening socials.

The boma looks beautiful at night with all the candles and fire.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

Clifftop Exclusive Lodge

Clifftop exclusive safari hideawayType: Accommodation
Approx cost: R4,200 per person per night
Website: http://clifftoplodge.co.za/
This premium exclusive lodge is situated 3 ½ hours from Johannesburg in the Malaria free Welgevonden Private Game Reserve in the Waterberg Mountains.
Clifftop Exclusive Safari Lodge is a special place where service is exemplary and luxury is evident. We had to leave our vehicle at the main gate parking and was picked up by the owners in a Land Rover as the road leading up to the main lodge was too steep and rocky.

Each cabin is perfectly positioned along the cliff overlooking the Sterkstroom River to offer exclusivity and privacy. Each cabin has its own splash pool, outside deck and outside bed for those long summer nights.
We were introduced to our very own butler who would look after us for the weekend, he served us dinner in a private setting at the main lodge. We felt like royalty as the other cabins were all fully booked, but we didn’t see any of the other couples. Each couple was served the 3 course dinner in their own private setting at the main lodge. Quite extraordinary and exclusive and romantic all at the same time.

The next morning at breakfast was the first time we managed to see that there were in fact other couples staying over the weekend. (the price includes all meals and game drives) After breakfast we headed on the first game drive of the morning and came across a number of animals including, Lion, Rhino, various buck, zebra, giraffe and a troop of Elephants.

We were looking for Leopards on our game drive but these shy animals avoided being detected, hiding in the rocky outcrops. Out of sight to the untrained eye. The weekend was most relaxing and enjoyable. We got our fair share of game viewing, relaxing, privacy and 5-star service and food. Before we knew it the weekend was over and we were being driven back down to the main gate for our 3 hour trip back to Johannesburg.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

French toast koffee kafee

A small piece of France in Harties

Type: Restaurant

Website: http://frenchtoastharties.co.za/

We heard about this beautiful little French styled restaurant from a friend and decided we need to go check it out. As my dad was visiting us from Cape Town we decided to rather take the car this time, and spoil him on a morning outing.


French Toast has a small Eiffel Tower in the grounds which gives it a real French appeal. Seating is available inside the Kafee or outside under the umbrellas. There are some ducks waddling around under the tables and some beautiful odds and ends which make this a unique destination. There is a padlock bridge, European bicycles and deco art pictures and paintings around the restaurant.


The breakfast was enjoyable and I even tried a Eggs Benedict for the first time, it looked and tasted so good. Company was enjoyable and as always dad had his witty jokes which kept us all laughing.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

Stonehaven on Vaal

Type: Restaurant

Website: http://www.stonehaven.co.za/

We took a 45 min ride out to Stonehaven on Vaal in Vanderbijlpark for our breakfast run. The restaurant is set alongside the Vaal River and features indoor or outdoor seating. On a nice summers day it is ideal to take advantage of the outdoor seating where mini gazebos are set up on the grass bank overlooking the Vaal river. This is a beautiful setting on the green grass bank, and if you are lucky you will see some sporting activities like water skiing, jet packs and jet ski’s also pass by from time to time.

stonehaven-2


We enjoyed it so much at Stonehaven a few weeks later, we took my dad there for breakfast . (Not on the bike, we went through by car)

Stonehaven restaurant offers fast friendly service, but they also serve a great breakfast at reasonable prices. Well worth the ride out.

Other attractions at Stonehaven, they offer boat cruises, Sunday lunch cruises and sunset cruises on the Vaal River. This has also become a very popular wedding venue.

While we were there we took a walk-about on the boat while it was docked.


There are also some benches along the waterfront to relax on, a swimming pool, a jungle gym for the kids to play on and a small petting zoo to see some farm animals. Fun in the sun for the whole family.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

Budmarsh private lodge

Budmarsh 5 star private lodge

Type: Accommodation and restaurant

Approx Cost: R4,000 per room per night

Website: http://www.budmarsh.co.za/

We took a 40 minute ride out to Budmarsh private lodge situated in the heart of the Magaliesberg. They offer  5-star accommodation and conference facilities in a country styled setting. This makes it the ideal venue for weddings, conferences and team building events. Or alternatively if you just want to come through and book a private picnic outside under the trees.


Guests can relax around the swimming pool, take a walk, or play some snooker, but this place offers the ultimate in quiet, peaceful tranquility and 5-star service.

We did not stay over but asked to view the  rooms, 3 room types are available at Budmarsh – Luxury, Superior and Superior Suite. (prices are available on their website) We did enjoy their breakfast outside on the patio. It was such a pleasant morning. After breakfast we went for a walk around the complex and the grounds.


It was then time to get on the bike and head out. South Africa vs Australia rugby game was coming on later the afternoon and I was already kitted out in my rugby jersey to support the bokke.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

Harties cableway

Type: Cableway and Restaurant

Website: http://www.hartiescableway.co.za/

We took an hour ride Past Lanseria to Harties and decided to check out the cableway. We both come from Cape Town and have been living in Johannesburg for the past 8 years now and we didn’t even know Johannesburg has its own cableway. On arriving at the base station we were excited to see the smaller cable cars and surprised by how many were going up and down constantly.


We waited in the queue, bought our tickets and moved up the ramp to the entrance of the base station. The queue moved quite quickly and before we knew it we were shuffled into the moving cable car and the doors closed behind us. We were off… The cable car picks up speed to start its ascend against the Magaliesberg, ‘this is a World Heritage Site, known for its natural beauty and rich heritage. Its lush vegetation and picturesque valleys make it a popular escape for residents of the nearby cities, Johannesburg and Pretoria. It is also a popular wedding destination and boasts a number of hotels and spas.’ – website.

But my wife was not interested in Heritage site or the lush vegetation and picturesque valleys as the wind picked up slightly and the cable car began to sway gently in the wind. “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh” was heard most of the way up. I suppose it depends on which side of the cable car you are seated, either ascending facing forward or backward how you will experience it. I was facing backward and had the beautiful view of the Hartebeespoort Dam as we ascended, it was magnificent.


On arriving at the top base station, once again the doors open and you need to shuffle out while the cable car is still in motion. Hurriedly we are getting out while other customers are on the other side waiting to get in.

There is a beautiful wooden deck on top with a restaurant, curio shops and look out posts. I was quite surprised and immediately thought about the effort it must have taken to bring all this equipment up to build it.

The views from the top are spectacular and definitely something everyone should at least try once.


We then took a walk around the walkway and this lead us to a large open area on top of the mountain where there were more little rest areas, an ice cream kiosk  and another restaurant. They had some trampoline jumping activities and music was playing. We bought an ice cream and got into one of the colorful old cable car booths that are used as stalls to sit in and eat or just relax in and reminisce about when these were used as the cable cars in the good old days.


After spending about 2 hours on top it was finally time to leave. My wife was not keen on the trip down and was still nervous from the trip up, but this time she faced forward descending and had the beautiful view of the dam on her way down. The wind had also subsided which helped and we met a German couple which sparked a conversation about their holiday in our beautiful country. Before we knew it we were at the bottom, once again quickly being shuffled out of our car.

A beautiful day in the sun doing something new and interesting and now it was time to head back home on the BMW R1200GS Adventure.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.

Whispering Oak Garden Cafe

Whispering Oak Garden Cafe in Cullinan

We took a nice 2 hour ride out to the small mining town of Cullinan just on the outskirts of Pretoria. On arriving in the small town it is immediately evident of the sole dependency of the Cullinan mine. There are quite a few touristy type attractions, like the mine tours (above and below the ground tours) and the many quaint, little restaurants and curio shops.

The place to be is definitely all happening in Oak street. But don’t take the ride out to Cullinan and then not experience riding through the town and the rows of beautiful trees making an archway of greenery.

We stopped at Whispering Oaks garden cafe, 94 Oak Street, Cullinan for breakfast. They have a homely seating arrangement outdoors under some lapa’s and big sun umbrellas.

The waiters were fast, friendly and engaging. The food was warm, freshly made and scrumptious. (sadly we have come to realize that not all places serve fresh food, and they compromise taste for speed) It is never good to do this as you chase your customers away.

A restaurant we have been to has this tag line above the door ‘the food will be remembered long after the wait’ I personally would rather wait an extra 10 minutes for freshly made eggs than eat a rubbery egg that has been heated up 3 times.

We thoroughly enjoyed the breakfast and then walked through a few of the curio shops. There is a nice ‘vibe’ in Cullinan with live music playing at the one outdoor restaurant, an artist was painting at the one restaurant and lots of old antiques and things to see…

Take time out of your busy schedule to give this small mining town a visit.

At the bottom of this blog, you can scroll all the way to the bottom to view all the places we have visited over the past 2 and a half years. Click on the name of the restaurant and it will open up, where we went and our experience of the place. Hope you enjoyed this blog, hope to see you out and about soon.