Hartford House

The Home of Good Conversation, Fine Wine and Classic Horses.

Award-winning hotel and restaurant situated at Summerhill Stud on the picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Meander, South Africa.

Filtering by Tag: Drakensberg Fishing


Paul Helmbold enjoying the Hartford lakes / Leigh Willson (p)

Paul Helmbold enjoying the Hartford lakes / Leigh Willson (p)


We’ve had a great time of it in recent weeks at Hartford, and we’re always flattered by the visits of people who travel thousands of miles to see us. Not only do they add to the tapestry of our life experiences, but they’re the reason we exist. You see, to serve is a matter of dignity for those of us who live here, and through their visits, our guests provide us with the opportunity to express our pleasure at having them here.

Though Hartford has become a “must do it” for a good number of our self-respecting countrymen, most of our traffic at this time of the year comes from across the world, mainly the northern hemisphere.

At dinner last evening, in a dining room of twenty-odd, we were just four locals, with the rest from Ireland, France, England and the United States. And what a company they were. We felt we’d known them for years, and by the end of lunch in the stud office the following day, there was something of a “raucous caucus” at the boardroom table.

While he was with us, Paul Helmbold gave the lie to those who claimed in recent days that there were no fish in the Hartford lakes with a haul of five fish over 2.5 pounds, while his wife Rachel, gifted horsewoman that she is, couldn’t resist the temptation of teaching the Goss grandchildren the disciplines of good horsemanship.

Our lives are built on memories of these visits, and we hope, whenever our guests pass this way, they’ll feel they’ve done the same.

Fine Rainbow Trout fishing in Hartford's dams

Chris Helmbold displays his 54cm Rainbow Trout / Hartford House (p)

Chris Helmbold displays his 54cm Rainbow Trout / Hartford House (p)

Chris Helmbold was delighted with this fine 54cm rainbow trout which he caught in Hartford's Panjandrum Dam on the first cast with an egg pattern on a whiskey streamer dropper. This happened "on the evening rise when the fish were porpoising for snails in the sub-surface".

"I would guess the weight was around 2,72kg," says Chris. "She jumped seven times and fought ferociously for 15 minutes. After posing for the pic she was released to jump another day!"

GIANT'S CASTLE : Majestic presence entices local and international visitors

Ezulweni Suites on the Lake / Hartford House (p)

Ezulweni Suites on the Lake / Hartford House (p)

Giant’s Castle’s majestic presence, although shrouded in the blue haze of distance, is a sure sign you’re close to Hartford House. This award-winning, boutique country house is steeped in history dating back to 1875. It’s on the greater Summerhill estate, one of South Africa’s renowned racehorse stud farms and four times national breeder of the year. Here fine dining, the wellness centre and various outdoor activities make up an holistic Hartford experience. Search the world over there is, arguably, no other property like this.

Hartford is soon to celebrate the launch of its greatest work, Ezulweni. This is a compendium of suites of a mould nobody has known before. Built exclusively from materials harvested from the greater Hartford and Summerhill estates and the immediate environment, Ezulweni is a fine example of what’s achievable when local Zulu craftsmen, raised in a spirit of originality, are given the freedom to express the full extent of their talents.

Hailed as a triumph for creativity, these suites are proof of the compatibility between the natural influences of Africa and the sophisticated elegance of the colonial era.