Slow Down and Reflect in the KZN Midlands
Sometimes it is as important to slow down, take a step back and reflect, as it is to take a leap forward. We were reminded of this philosophy when we visited Hartford House in the KZN Midlands. The magic descended upon us as soon as we arrived at the ancient Pine tree lined entrance.
For weeks I had been dreaming of our great adventure. And then when we set foot in our very own lakeside suite, I had to take a step back and breath deep.
The heavens opened as soon as we entered our private stone castle, nestled at the lake's edge. Thunder and lighting exploded as if in slow motion, it took us a while to absorb the fact that this was real and that we hadn't imagined this somewhere in the wildly imaginative corners of our childhood daydreams.
Within moments we had the log fire blazing, a delectable red wine from the mini bar poured out and we gazed into the thick mist that drifted over the steaming lake, right outside our window. At dinner that evening we were totally bowled over by the exquisite five-course dinner prepared by Chef Travis Finch, paired with magnificent wines and presented in the lap of luxury that is Hartford House. We fell in love.
The next morning was a beautiful crisp blue sky with the rich green lawns beckoning to our adventurous spirit.
At Hartford House we discovered that in this reality, there is a certain element of freedom that goes hand in hand with living in such a rich historical site. The first settlers to the area were the Zulus. An Inguni tribe came down from the middle of Africa and arrived in this area between 900 and 1200.
The first European settlers in this area arrived here in the early 1850's and the first settlers on this property were the Moor family who arrived in 1875. They started building here in 1875 and took two years to complete the building and 10 years more to stone clad it. Zulu's who worked the stone only had blocks and chisels to work with; all this stonework is a wonderful memorial to the talents of the Zulu people.
The Moors initiated a custom of giving to each other a piece of garden ornamentation or statuary on wedding anniversaries. The pond, the gazebo at the pool area, the pergola and the fountain were all wedding anniversary's gifts given by the Moors. There have only been three families to have occupied Hartford House and these families have carried on the same traditions over the years.
At Hartford House, time has stood still and life seems so unrushed. There is a lot to do around the Summerhill Stud farm, whether you want to horse ride, play golf on one of the local courses or study the priceless art in the Manor house, but believe me just lounging at your private pool surrounded by nothing but exotic birds and an occasional flutter of the wings of the ladybird will suffice for most.
Book your weekend or a weeklong 'getawayescape' to a place that will caress you with privacy, embrace you with hospitality and entertain all your whims and needs.