August Guest Farms
Hartford House (built in 1875) in Mooi River was once the home of the family of Sir Frederick Moor, the last Prime Minister of Natal. Fast-forward 140 years and the homestead's retained its colonial splendour. It's a handsome structure showcasing teak doors and floors, original fireplaces and a wrap-around verandah just begging for guests to take tea and soak up the view. The house is now part of the greater Summerhill estate, a stud farm owned by horse-breeders and farmers Mick and Cheryl Goss.
Thoroughbred horses are at the heart of the Hartford and Summerhill experience. However, it's not just equine matters that distinguish the estate: superb food and fine wine up the ante too. If you're a discerning gourmand, Hartford's menu and wine list will impress you.
At the helm of the property's restaurant is Chef Constantijn Hahndiek, a young South African talent (finalist in the San Pellegrino Yong Chef 2015 awards) whose style of cooking is as refined as it's unpretentious. "The emerging 'market scene' in Durban and excellent produce available in the Midlands mean we have real potential to create special food," he says. Meals at Hartford are packed with fresh, home-grown ingredients so eating is "in season" and enjoyably varied.
Guests are encouraged to explore the stud farm - preferably on horseback, which Hartford's GM, Duncan Bruce, insists its the best way to see it. If you're not a rider, however, do so on foot, as there are hectares of leafy countryside to ramble around. Spa treatments, trout and bass fishing, tennis and swimming are also available.
To download the digital copy go to www.mysubs.co.za/magazine/sawubona.