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.

Ramkiki Lodge

Type: Accommodation and Restaurant

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

This farm style wedding and conference venue set in Ruimsig, Honeydew is literally 7 minutes from our house. It is a beautiful little bit of paradise hidden along the Wilge River banks.


They have a quaint little restaurant on the grounds called Ramkietjie. We were spoilt to be the only guests at the restaurant for breakfast because the venue was hosting a conference and all the conference delegates were checking in at reception.

They have a beautiful chapel on the grounds to be used for weddings…


There is also a pool bar on the other side of the river overlooking the grounds, ideal for pool parties and a Saturday afternoon chillax around the pool, or order one of their famous wood fired pizzas and enjoy a cool refreshing beer.


Breakfast was freshly served, and a Full English breakfast for only R80 is well worth it. Thabiseng the restaurant host was friendly, helpful and a pleasure to deal with.

Make a booking at 011 958 0503.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.