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.

Thaba Moshate Hotel

Peermont Metcourt Hotel and Casino 

Type: Accommodation

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

We were lucky enough to win a 2 night stay at this luxury Hotel and Casino in Burgersfort. We chose the long weekend to spoil ourselves and rode through Friday morning. It was a 3 and a half hour ride through Emalahleni, Middelburg, Steelpoort and finally onto Burgersfort.

On arrival we were pleasantly surprised at this little piece of luxury situated just on the outskirts of the main town, far enough out to be away from the city, but close enough for the convenience of dropping in at the shops for a bottle of wine.


Rooms are comfortable with mood lighting, large screen TV and all the necessities like hairdryer, safe and a coffee station in the room. The restaurant offers buffet and al a carte menu options and there is more than enough variety and choice to delight your fancy.


We took a ride out to Dullstroom passing through Lydenburg on Saturday, this was an hour and a half ride out through the Waterfall pass. Parts of the road were very bad with huge potholes on a stretch of road, but the most beautiful scenery riding through the mountains.


We had waffles at The Waffle Co and a walk through Dullstroom to the various arts and crafts shops, this was a great day out. The ride back seemed shorter than going there, because we went on the highway going back so the roads were better.

Saturday afternoon we watched the rugby SA vs France in the 2nd test and then turned in for an early night, watching movies with popcorn and a bottle of red wine.

Sunday (Fathers Day) it was time to pack up and head back home.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.