4 Star Hotel
Type: Accomodation and Restaurant
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 Monaghan Farm
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.
Type: Accommodation and Restaurant
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.
Type: Restaurant and Lodge
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.
Mokoya Lodge and Sweet Thyme Restaurant
Type: Lodge and Restaurant
Approx cost: From R400 per person per night
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.
Clifftop exclusive safari hideawayType: Accommodation
Approx cost: R4,200 per person per night
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.
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.
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.
Lethabo Estate accommodation and restaurant
Approx cost: from R850 per person per night
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.
Askari game lodge and spa:
Type: Accommodation and Spa
Approx cost: R1430 per person per night
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.
So 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.
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.
Cheese farm and Restaurant:
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.