Jane Linley-Thomas rejuvenates at Hartford House
Mbulelo Suite 13 Hartford House
East Coast Radio's effervescent Jane Linely-Thomas took some time out this past weekend to unwind and rejuvenate at Hartford. This is what Jane had to say on her blog:
"A perfect weekend for me is jumping into my car early on a Saturday morning armed with a sleepover bag and my best friend in the world. To the Midlands and beyond!
Mike and I are very blessed and privileged to have stayed almost everywhere there is to stay on the Midlands Meander.
This past weekend after stopping off at numerous second hand shops, a church fete and a local market we ended up just outside Mooiriver at one of the most beautiful spots we have ever stayed at.
Let me tell you, if I was a horse I would do everything in my horsey powers to live at Summerhill Stud.
When we arrived the Sa vs Australia rugby match was in full swing so we opted to have our lunch sent to our room. Mbulelo Suite 13 was our home for 2 nights. Oh my goodness me! As we drove up to it I let out a baby squeak mixed with an excited giggle-"look at the grass growing on the roof" our room was one of the 'eco' suites making up Hartford's Ezulweni (in the heavens) collection and is fashioned almost entirely from locally sourced material.
I felt like princess Jasmine in my little Moroccan magpie haven. Welcomed by small intricate wooden imported doors and windows I spotted a peak into our bedroom. A rich palette of burnt orange, deep red and opulent heavy wooden furniture. Bead encrusted lampshades, gathered drapes, imported pieces of furniture and fittings that had made me feel quiet giddy with excitement.
The food at Hartford House is on a another level! It is an award winning restaurant with a platinum statues wine list. Jackie Cameron and her team stood on the podium at the nations Eat Out Top Ten Restaurants Awards for 2009 and I can so see why! Every thing is so tastefully presented I even took a photo of every plate of food. We eat like Kings. Or rather a King and a Queen:) I wanted to lick my plate after very course. Don't worry Mum and Dad I didn't but I wanted to. So lunch was in our Moroccan love nest looking over the small sunken pool on the veranda with the back drop of the horses play ground, dam and a raging fire inside with a glass of wine over heavenly food.
The rest of the afternoon was spent on the recliners reading magazines and snoozing in the golden honey midlands sun. A few hours later it was time to eat again! Before dinner we met our hosts Mick and Cheryl Goss - what amazing people. The kind of people that when they open their home their hearts, automatically ooze with love and genuine hospitality. As we gathered in the chilly night air on the front lawn wrapped in blankets, Mick told the 25 of us the amazing story of what happened between the British and Zulu soldiers. Mick has a wonderful way with words and had us all sitting on the edge of our seats. We were then treated to a very emotional and energetic performance by the local traditional Zulu dance troupe. All kitted out in skins beads and shields. This group is ranked 2nd in the world in Tokyo and Hong Kong. Wow it was sensational!
The meal, as per every meal, was a fusion of heavenly tastes and aromas. It made me as delighted as the thought of a never ending shoe budget or of being able to eat as much as my heart desires and never putting on an inch. Jackie is crazy good.
Sunday was pretty much the same as the day before; we rolled out of bed bleary eyed and instantaneously grinning as soon as we remembered where we were. What lucky children we say over a banana smoothie, welsh rabbit and bubble and squeak on the sunny farmhouse veranda.
There are many activities to get up to at Hartford House including personalized tours of Summerhill Stud as well as the fascinating political history of the estate. The Hartford Wellness Centre offers a range of therapies, body treatments as well as holistic massages and facials. But being in a state of CHILL the rest of our day was spent with me on the sidelines of a midlands fishing session. Mike gave me the task of choosing the best flies for the job. I am not sure I am the best and most qualified as I choose which one I think world make the prettiest earrings. Oh the joy of being in the great outdoors as the sun sets over the trees and the still of the dam reminds me why it is so important to take time out. The more I visit the midlands the more I realise that a part of my soul resides there.
What a treat to start my week with a song in my heart, a tranquil and well rested body and mind.
Thank you team Hartford until we meet again."