Some things... money cannot buy
“I recently had the pleasure of staying at Hartford House. Not only is it a decidedly beautiful hotel with sprawling lawns and well-kept gardens, but thoughtful details have also been included by the hotel and its staff so as to elevate your stay; there are heated floors and towel rails which are very welcome during Winter in the Midlands. The turndown service includes a little surprise on your pillow every evening after you’ve returned from your dinner - my favourite is the homemade biscuits that are perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. Even breakfast, which isn’t as grand as the six-course dinners (nor is it meant to be), is served with an eye on presentation.
I find the fact that the six-course degustation menu, that is offered by the hotel restaurant for dinner, changes every day astonishing! Given the considerable amount of creative energy that must go into constructing even one of those dishes, it seems an applaudable feat that the chefs, both executive and sous, are able to produce such a large variety of complex dishes, so perfectly.
To me, however, the most commendable feature of a stay at Hartford House is their heart for people. They will truly go above and beyond any reasonable expectations for their visitors; on the third day of my stay I managed to catch a cold. Given that I only realized fairly late in the day that I would need medicine, I went by the reception to ask for some effervescents. The only person still in was Lindiwe and naturally she did not have these sort of things lying about. She recommended that I go to the local Spar since everything else would have been closed at the time. This I also did, but of course a Spar is hardly a chemist and the only thing I succeeded in acquiring was a box of MedLemon. Unbeknownst to me, Lindiwe didn’t give up in trying to find some cold/flu medicine and when I arrived back at Hartford, she greeted me with an array of medicaments that the GM, Maretha, unselfishly supplied from her own personal medicine cabinet. I don’t think anyone who hasn’t ever felt horribly ill, with no real way of treating themselves, can fully understand how much this meant to me. In addition to these kindnesses, the restaurant manager, Justin, made a hot water bottle for me, while Sihle ensured that I had hot water for my MedLemon (which he served, quite dapperly, from a teapot) and cold for the effervescents supplied by Maretha.
One can travel to many lovely destinations in this country, and for the correct sum, one can buy luxury accommodation, good wine and delicious food. But there are some things money cannot buy and it is this very special quality of Hartford House, this sincere care for their visitors and their needs, that I believe distinguishes them from the rest!” - Andrea Beneke