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 Venue Country Hotel

Type: Accommodation and Restaurant

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

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

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


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


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

Well worth a visit if you are in the area.

Kloofzicht

Kloofzicht Lodge and Spa:

Type: Accommodation and Restaurant

Aprox cost: R2370 per room per night

Website: http://kloofzicht.co.za

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

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


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

Beka Idube

Beka Idube tented camp in Dinokeng

Type: Accommodation

Approx cost: R550 per person per night

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

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


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

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

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

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

Imagine Cafe

Imagine Cafe at Bronkhorstspruit Dam

Type: Restaurant and Art Studio

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

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


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


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

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


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

Rustig 

Rustig on Oostemoed Reserve 

Type: Accommodation and Restaurant

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

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


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

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


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


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