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.

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.

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 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.

Blos Cafe

Type: Restaurant and Conference venue

Website: http://bloscafe.co.za/

We heard about this amazing restaurant from Byron and Jean (work colleagues) and decided to take a look. It was a beautiful early morning ride through to Pretoria East and we can already feel the early morning air is cooler than it was a few weeks ago. Is winter fast approaching?

The restaurant has a warm country feel, with a veggie garden out front growing all kinds of fresh herbs and veg. Once inside you only then witness the long wooden deck that extends the entire length of the restaurant outside with a backdrop of indigenous trees.

We sat outside on the balcony.

Service is fast and friendly with a number of waiters awaiting your orders. The menu was extensive and caters for just about everyone’s taste from a hearty full breakfast, to Banting options, fruit and muesli and even if you just want a coffee.

We thoroughly enjoyed the Standard Blos breakfast, everything was prepared fresh and tasty.

Next time you are looking for an outdoor peaceful restaurant where you can sit, relax and enjoy the company around a great meal, try Blos Cafe.

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.


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.

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.

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.