Olives and Plates

Wits Club

Type: Restaurant

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

We had to book for this one as they are always fully booked. We took a 30 minute ride down Beyers Naudé to Wits University to Olives and Plates Restaurant. It was a chilly morning on the bike with a bite in the air.

We thoroughly enjoyed this restaurant with the professional service and customer centric focus. Food presentation was at chef quality standard, great looking and tasty food.

I took the Canadian French Toast and Heather took the Open Toasted Rye with poached egg. The food was delicious and well balanced with sweet and savoury, crunchy and smooth, fresh and natural all in one plate.

The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating and a strong Cape Dutch setting underneath the trees.

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 Factory on Grant

Norwood

Type: Restaurant

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

We took a 45 minute ride through the beautiful suburb of Greenside and Rosebank to Norwood. The Factory on Grant promotes outdoor living spaces, with small boutique stores leading off the courtyard of the restaurant. They call it ‘anti-mall’ which literally means get out of the big city malls and into the country and the outdoors.

The Factory is a place to meet and enjoy, to be inspired and to share ideas over breakfast, lunch or supper. We don’t want a static venue and hope that it evolves over time and we also plan to have regular changes in themes and moods to keep it alive and interesting. – website A place to just sit and enjoy the company of a friend or loved one, outside in the courtyard under the umbrellas or inside on one of the couches.

Food was fresh, and tasty and well presented. I enjoyed an Eggs Benedict and Heather took the Traditional breakfast. Their cappuccino’s were also delicious, not too strong, just right.

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.

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.

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.

Old Town Italy

Type: Restaurant

Website: http://oldtown.co.za/

We visited this beautiful Italian styled restaurant and in-house bakery in Menlyn on Maine this morning.

There is a great Italian flare to the place and the fresh smell of the bakery fills the restaurant. The staff are friendly, helpful and attentive. The food is fresh, tasty with an Italian touch. This is a unique dining experience and well worth the 45 min trip up the N1.

They even have their own Gelato bar offering a whole range of flavors. They also have an old bar where you can just sit and relax with a glass of Italian wine, a cocktail or a whiskey.

We thoroughly enjoyed the breakfast and would recommend it to 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.

Craft

In Parkhurst

Type: Restaurant

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

We visited the retro Craft restaurant in Parkhurst this morning. This restaurant has a unique feel about it and you get the feeling that you have been transported back into a bygone era when handcrafted, good quality goods were made.

Leather, copper, wood and brick help compliment the overall ambiance and decor in the restaurant. They also have a real old fashioned pub, which looks like a great place to sit with friends and enjoy a good game of soccer.

The food was freshly made and time and care taken in preparation and presentation. The food portions were generous and thoroughly enjoyable and tasty.

“People want to be taken back to an era when one only bought ingredients and not mass produced meals, an era when craftsmen took immense pride in their vocations and things were made with love rather than measurement, with care rather than science, an era when quality and individuality was a common given” – 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.

Gabriella’s tea room

At La Cucina Di Ciro

Type: Restaurant

Website: http://gabriellastearoom.co.za/

“Gabriella’s Tea Room’s goal is to bring you and your family through a journey to Hungary and Italy, and WOW your taste buds with my delicious family recipes” – website.

This restaurant came recommended by a friend, and so we came through this morning to check it out and we were pleasantly surprised by ambience, food and service.

The restaurant has a real Italian feel and vibe and the food is not your normal menu but freshly made European traditional foods and fresh bakes.

The breakfast restaurant is situated behind the La Cucina Di Ciro Restaurant which offers lunch and dinner meals located in Parktown North.

Come over and try out this great little restaurant, it was quite full this morning so perhaps booking a table might be necessary to avoid disappointment.

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 Living Room

Type: Restaurant

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

The living room in Maboneng is an urban rooftop garden oasis in the city. This beautiful restaurant is situated on the 5th floor of Main Change Building in the Maboneng Precinct. For lively music, great specialty food and a great vibe book a table at this social venue.

The Living Room has a great view over Jozi and you can enjoy some sundowners and cocktails as you watch the sun set over the city skyline.

Food is fresh and tasty, we had the crispy chicken pasta bowl and the duo of mini beef burgers. There is a variety of finger snacks, tapas, wings, fries, and bites. We thoroughly loved the restaurant and would recommend it to anyone looking for a fresh hip new hangout.

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.

Arbour Cafe and Courtyard

This great little cafe is situated in Birdhaven just behind the Wanderers stadium. It looks very small and only a few tables, but when you walk through the restaurant and up the stairs past the kitchen, you got out into a courtyard where there are a number of tables outside

We had a tasty breakfast and it was freshly made with a great cappuccino. Service was fast and friendly and we had a good morning ride through Greenside and Rosebank through the streets lined with large green oak trees. We just love the tranquility of this ride.

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.

Il Giardino

At 44 on Stanley

Type: Restaurant

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

We visited this beautiful garden restaurant in Milpark, Johannesburg this morning.

Voted as one of the top ten restaurants in Johannesburg by Eat Out, Getaway, Travelstart, Media24 etc. il Giardino strives to provide the best service, fresh food and a lovely atmosphere all year round – website

Il Giardino is situated at the 44 on Stanley complex and has a number of beautiful Olive trees that you sit under in the courtyard. The rustle of the trees and the sound of the water feature make this an ideal place to sit and relax. Whether you meeting a friend, having breakfast with a work colleague or enjoying a lunch with your favorite person, il Giardino offers you the perfect setting and ambiance.

They are now open for breakfast and we were pleasantly surprised by how quickly the restaurant filled up after 10am. I would recommend this quaint little Italian restaurant for your next outing, I always say get out of the shopping centers and try something new and different. Visit new places and interesting restaurants for different and unique experiences.

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.

Rooftop Cafe

Type: Restaurant

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

We visited Rooftop Cafe this morning on our weekly Saturday breakfast run. We were a bit concerned being the only customers there, but as we ordered another couple came in and by the end of breakfast there were another 2 couples.

Remembering that this is the quiet week between Christmas and New Year and most people have vacated Johannesburg for the sea. It was a pleasant morning as it was slightly overcast and being a rooftop restaurant this was the ideal weather to enjoy the outdoors and great meal.

We tried something different as we always do the standard English breakfast, but this morning we tried the French toast and was pleasantly surprised by the presentation, the flavours and the price. This was probably the best French toast I have eaten anywhere. We had to meet and compliment the chef.

I do love doing these breakfast runs each Saturday we try and visit and experience a new place each week. If you scroll all the way to the bottom of this blog you will see the list of 65 places we have been to so far. Click on the name and read about the place and our experience of it.

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La Boqueria

Type: Restaurant

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

We popped in at La Boqueria Restaurant for a Thursday evening dinner, because they are not open for breakfast. They open 11am – 11pm and so we thought let’s give them a try on a quiet midweek night. As we pulled into 3rd Avenue in Parktown North, the road was full of cars from the top right down the road for about 500m and all the side roads were full too.

On finding parking and taking the long walk up the road to the restaurant, on arrival we were informed the restaurant was fully booked for the evening, but also fully booked for the next 2 weeks. We asked if we could sit at the bar and wait for a table, the hostess kindly agreed but warned us it could be a long wait.

The bar was full and we found a seat on a couch, settled in with a drink and just soaked in the atmosphere and pure vibe inside the restaurant. We soon became aware that this was clearly a hot spot and droves of people flocked here for a social night out of good food and friendship.

2 hours later we were shown to our table and settled in for some steak and queen prawns. The food did not take long to be prepared and the waiter was extremely aware of our every need. He observed that we began to share our food and immediately returned to the table with another steak knife for my wife. Small details not often observed in other restaurants, most waiters you need to ask for this and that and then wait to get it.

Service was outstanding. The food was chef quality. The atmosphere created inside the restaurant was homely and welcoming. No wonder they are fully booked every night of the week, for the next 2 weeks.

Try something new, get out of your comfort zone and frequenting the same places. We are creatures of habit and go to the same malls, the same shops, the same restaurants and follow the same route to work each day. I say, get out and explore, you never know the new amazing adventures that await you.

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.

Moyo at Zoo Lake

Type: Restaurant

Website: http://www.moyo.co.za/moyo-zoo-lake/

We popped in at Moyo at Zoo Lake this morning for breakfast. We were pleasantly surprised by the mere size of the restaurant and realized they are also a function venue for staff parties, weddings, and birthday parties etc. They have a few function halls and different sized rooms to cater for various sized groups. They also have a large marquee tent outside which also seats various sized groups.

Breakfast was great with a breakfast buffet this morning at R119 per person eat as much as you like, is well worth it. They also offer a full al a carte menu.

After breakfast we took a walk around the lake and many groups were already arriving to set up picnic and braai spots on the grass. This looks like a great place to just chill for a Saturday afternoon braai or picnic.

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.

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.

Melissa’s

Quaint South African home styled cooking in Dainfern, Fourways

Type: Continental Restaurant

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

We found this quaint little restaurant by chance as we were actually looking for a different place. But we were pleasantly surprised. This little restaurant offers hospitality, a homely and truly South African vibe. The setting is casual and lends itself to conversation, with some single chairs around a large table and some smaller 4 seater and 2 seater tables.


The food and the service was exceptional and what makes Melissa’s great is everything is freshly made from scratch just like you would do at home.

There are also a number of cakes, breads and biscuits available for sale… gifting is also on sale from the shelves around the shop. This is a unique concept and franchise opportunities are available.

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.

The Kitchen Bar

We came to a local restaurant today at Design Quarter in Fourways.

Type: Restaurant

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

This is a really great restaurant with a great menu and a great vibe. The staff are friendly and efficient and the food is generous and delicious.


Great outdoor and indoor seating for all occasions, and with 520 seats available it makes this restaurant one of the biggest in the country. We came on a breakfast run this morning and ordered a traditional breakfast and a KB Bacon Rosti breakfast. The portions were large and very tasty.


They offer an extensive menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner and everything in between. Their platters are also a great alternative and a great selection of platters and cocktails are available.

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.

Vovo Telo

Bakery and Cafe in Harties 

Type: Restaurant

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

We visited Vovo Telo Restaurant in Hartebeespoort and was pleasantly surprised by the venue, service and food. It was a great morning out on the bike.


It is a relatively small cost little restaurant but exceptional service. They have indoor and outdoor seating with a huge tree in the parking lot that you can go and smoke under. They also have an inhouse bakery that makes breads, rolls and other pastries.


I would recommend Vovo Telo for a visit when in the Harties area. 5 out of 5 from us.

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.

Espresso Caffe Bistro

In Parkhurst

Type: Restaurant

We have tried something different this week and found this awesome European style cafe along 4th Avenue in Parkhurst. It has a great vibe, great food and friendly staff.


There are a number of small boutique style shops, cafes, bistro’s, pubs and restaurants along this short stretch of road, giving it character and unique atmosphere. People walking their dogs stop by for a drink before continuing on their journey.

A great place for a breakfast or light lunch and supper in the early evening.

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.

The Windmill 

The Windmill Restaurant 

Type: Restaurant

Venue: 1 Jan Smuts Rd, Hartebeespoort

We took a 45 minute ride out to Harties to this unique Dutch styled restaurant at the Windmill. We were pleasantly surprised by the place and service was fast and friendly. Management are hands on and walk around ensuring guests are happy.


We had breakfast which was delicious and then took a walk around the gardens. The gardens are beautiful and there are benches under some of the trees to just sit and relax and enjoy the outside summer air.

Heather sat on the grass and we just chatted about life and our future and where we would be in 10 years or 20 years from now… would we bring the grandkids to all these interesting places that have been to?


There is a Waffle House underneath the Windmill restaurant and there is a market across the parking lot. Lots to see and buy and a great day out if you are looking to get out of the city.

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 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.

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.

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.

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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.

Lethabo Estate

Lethabo Estate accommodation and restaurant 

Type: Accommodation

Approx cost: from R850 per person per night

Website: http://lethaboestate.com

I was flying out of Lanseria airport and the plane banked to the left to turn towards the south (Cape Town flight) I was sitting at the window and saw a number of dirt roads that I thought myself and my wife could explore on the bike. On arriving in Cape Town I immediately went onto Google maps and started looking for a place we could to ride to on the bike. I didn’t find anything but thought we would go and explore anyway.

That Saturday we got on the bike and headed past Lanseria and took the dirt road just after Kromdraai Road. We went exploring and found this gem on the banks of the Crocodile River just behind Lanseria airport. We pressed the buzzer at the gate and was let in by a very friendly voice on the other end who came out and welcomed us after we parked.

The friendly staff member showed us around the restaurant but due to the fact that we did not have a reservation, we unfortunately could not have something to eat there. But the place looked so beautiful and private that we immediately made a reservation for Sunday lunch. We then asked about the accommodation and was shown some brochures of the rooms, and this is when we fell in love with Lethabo.

Lethabo offers the most private accommodation along the banks of the Crocodile river, with private outdoor areas, picnic spots and beautiful views. This is the ultimate weekend getaway for you and your partner to just relax and enjoy the time alone. Each room is designed to give you ultimate privacy and luxury with indoor and outdoor features for those hot summer nights and cold winter days.

We came back for our lunch reservation on Sunday and was treated like we were the only couple for lunch. Exclusive pampering and a table set out on the deck just where we requested it. Drinks were served and we literally felt like the entire spread was set out just for us. Private picnic spots are also available to be booked along the river bank or set up under the trees. This really was a special treat and one we will recommend to friends and will definitely return to again.

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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.

Beestekraal

Beestekraal stasie restaurant:

Type: Restaurant

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

We took a ride through Hartebeespoort and Brits to Beestekraal stasie. This is a nice hour and a half ride out of the city into the country. Great out ride for biker groups, below you can see BMW Pretoria group that went on a breakfast run one Sunday morning.

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We love going on a breakfast run every Saturday morning. Each week we look for a new interesting place to visit and enjoy a great breakfast.

Beestekraal Stasie has converted an old train station into a restaurant and old  country store, this restaurant offers freshly made food from local produce. The speciality of the restaurant is definitely the condense milk coffee, well worth the ride just to try it out.

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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 Restaurant

Cradle Restaurant:

Type: Restaurant

Website: http://thecradle.co.za

We found this restaurant tucked away at the back of the Cradle of Humankind on the Kromdraai Road to Lanseria. You enter through a gate to the game lodge and ride up a dirt road to a parking lot and then the restaurant sends a golf cart to fetch you and take you down the side of the hill to the restaurant.

We enjoyed a hearty breakfast with a beautiful view of the valley and the game reserve from the long balcony of the restaurant. Waiters were friendly and professional and found this to be quite a treat, as it was not too busy.

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.

Askari

Askari game lodge and spa:

Type: Accommodation and Spa

Approx cost: R1430 per person per night

Website: http://askarilodge.co.za

We found this gem by absolute chance. We were just out riding through Muldersdrift and Hekpoort when we came to a t-junction in the road. Left to Magaliesburg or right to Hartebeespoort, we decided to go left. About 3 kms down the road we came across a large Askari Game Lodge signboard and decided to take a look, we have never been allowed in at game lodges before as the bike is either dangerous or noisy. We got to the main gate and asked if we could go in as we wanted to go for breakfast at the lodge. To our surprise they allowed us in.

imageSo we took the ride up to the main lodge, on the way we were able to see many buck, zebra, giraffe and we even saw 2 elephants drinking at the watering hole. WOW what an experience our first viewing on the BMW GS. We got up to the lodge very excited and talking about this unique experience not knowing what else Askari has to offer.

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We were then shown where the restaurant and spa was situated. We were taken back in time to the Voortrekkers with the Ox wagons surrounding the restaurant. They also have an old museum in a barn with numerous old wagons and carts.

The breakfast was a delight at R225 per person for a full buffet and we sat outside on the patio and enjoyed the view. We only realized afterwards that this was a very popular wedding venue and couples select Askari to get married at because you can have your photos taken with these beautiful huge elephants. They also have a nice selection of accommodation available from self catering, to garden cottages and deluxe suites. Check out the Askari website for details.

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.

Forum Homini

5 Star hotel and restaurant 

Type: Accommodation & Restaurant

Approx: R4 450 per night

Website: http://www.forumhomini.com

We heard about this restaurant from a work colleague and decided to take a look. We arrived at the main gate to the game reserve at Letamo and was informed that you need to make a reservation for the restaurant. This was disappointing but as it was our wedding anniversary celebration we decided to make the reservation for the next week-end.

We received email notifications of our booking and confirmation of payment. On Saturday we then took a second ride out to Letamo game reserve and this time on arrival at the gate our names were on the list. We entered the gate and took the 1.5 km ride down a dirt road to the restaurant and hotel. On arrival it is hidden in the long grass and you would think you are at the wrong place, but clearly marked signage guides you to reception.

The restaurant is built on a small dam and is private and secluded. The waiters and staff are 5 star and professional, and the food is master chef quality. The start of our 5 course breakfast dining experience started with some orange juice, and date yoghurt with sesame and sunflower seeds. Heather and myself looked at the menu and said to each other ‘Kingklip and Venison’ for breakfast? This was confusing as there was no bacon and eggs on the menu. An elderly couple sitting near us were clearly not happy that they could not have bacon and eggs. We decided that this was something we have never done and wanted to explore something new and unique.

Presentation was a work of art on a plate and the combinations of seeds, paste and veggies worked well together. Bringing a taste explosion in your mouth that left you coming back for more. Each portion was exactly what was needed to get to taste each individual item but well balanced to bring it all together.

After breakfast we were pleasantly surprised by a little dessert presented to us to celebrate our 24 year wedding anniversary.

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We then went for a short walk around the hotel and was shown the Presidential Suite at only R5 500 per night you get a beautiful spacious room with a lounge and kitchenette, indoor and outdoor double shower, indoor jet bath and outdoor heated splash pool in your own private garden. This is definitely something to try for the next special event to celebrate.

Then we were back on the bike and took a further hour long ride around the game reserve and witnessed a number of animals on the reserve, zebra, springbok, gemsbok, wildebees and eland.

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.

Beetleloop

Beetleloop Guesthouse in Nelspruit:

Type: Guesthouse Accommodation

Approx: From R490 per night

Website: http://www.beetleloop.co.za

We have found this guesthouse about 8 years ago and built a friendship with the owners Rina and Piet. Whenever we travel to Nelspruit, Beetleloop is our accommodation of choice. We planned our first long distance trip from Johannesburg to Nelspruit on the bike. We did not want to go on the highway and planned the route through a number of small towns to Nelspruit.

We left Joburg at around 11am and travelled down the N17 past Springs to Bethal, where we stopped for a short water break. Then along R38 to Hendrina where we stopped again for some snacks and energy drinks. We continued along the R38 through Carolina and Badplaas to  Nelspruit. Riding down through the mountains into Nelspruit was beautiful, even after a full day (5 hours) on the road.

This was a unique experience spending the whole day riding with Heather on the back and talking together on our Scala Rider kit brings us closer together as a couple.

What a relief to get to Beetleloop and see Rina waiting for us. She gave us our special honeymoon suite that we always book. The beds are enormous and comfortable and this evening seemed to invite us.

imageThe hospitality is friendly, warm and like family. Breakfast in the morning is always professionally presented and extremely tasty. We absolutely love staying here… There is also so much to see and do in and around Nelspruit, Hazyview, Sabie, Graskop and Pilgrims Rest.

Check out the local maps for things to do locally.

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.

Van Gaalen Kaasmakerij

Cheese farm and Restaurant:

Type: Restaurant

Website: http://www.vangaalen.co.za

A beautiful farm style setting meets you at van Gaalen Kaasmakerij in Skeerpoort near Harties. It has the following attractions on the cheese farm, an outside restaurant with tables and chairs under the trees, a bicycle track, picnic spots along the river and a play area for the kids to swing or climb on the jungle gym. The Farm shop stocks a selection of wine, preserves, souvenirs, a range of Dutch favorites, sweets and a selection of various cheeses.

Stop by for a breakfast on your way to the Hartebeespoort dam, or stop for lunch after you have done the Bill Harrop balloon ride. Either of these attractions are 10mins away from Van Gaalen’s.

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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.

Brauhaus am damm

German restaurant on a dam:

Type: German restaurant

Website: http://brauhaus.co.za

On Saturday morning wanting to venture a bit further out than our normal local distance we decided to visit this restaurant. It is approximately 130kms from Johannesburg – about an hour and a half on the bike. This was a refreshing ride through Muldersdrift, Hekpoort and Magaliesburg on route to Rustenburg.

We ordered a German styled breakfast with Bokwurst and was served by a warm, friendly waiter. The atmosphere is uniquely German with a beautiful view of the Oliefantsnek dam and the Magaliesburg mountain range behind it. It was a warm morning so sitting outside on the terrace under the umbrellas was refreshing and pleasant.

“Indulge in sumptuous German fused meals while exploring our beers on offer.

At Brauhaus am Damm we have taken the utmost care to ensure you experience pure relaxation accompanied by warm and welcoming hospitality.” – website

Well worth a ride out to take a look and explore this unique 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.

Black Horse

Type: Restaurant

Website: http://blackhorse.co.za

We took a scenic ride out to Magaliesburg through Hekpoort and stopped at Black Horse Restaurant for lunch. Set under these enormous Pecan Nut trees on a terrace overlooking the Magalies River, it is the perfect setting for afternoon tea. They also have a small flea market with items on sale and a craft beer distillery.

“Black Horse Estate offers an artisanal craft brewery & distillery as well as a quaint restaurant. Black Horse has a magnificent banquet hall for weddings and conferences with in-house catering and a variety of accommodation. The brewery is just an hour’s scenic drive outside Johannesburg and is situated on the edge of the Magalies River with lush green fields and majestic black horses. Overlooking the breathtaking Zeekoeihoek valley guests can relax and enjoy an afternoon under the magnificent Pecan nut trees. Take a break from your busy schedule and join us today.” – website

This was a nice hour ride out to Magaliesburg to a country outdoors restaurant with great food and great company.

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.