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.

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The Summerhill / Hartford Estate / Robyn Hodson (p)

The Summerhill / Hartford Estate / Robyn Hodson (p)


Following is an article which appears on the travel website, Trufflepig : The Sounder, written by the ever so eloquent travel writer and editor for justtheplanet.comRobyn Hodson. Trufflepig describes Robyn as a writer, who when not eating like a horse or riding off into African sunset, takes the time to write for The Sounder.

"Sweeping up the driveway toward Hartford House and looking out over the undulating emerald pastureland you know you’re in for something special. The history of the farm dates way back to Queen Victoria, and the British Royal Family famously accepted their copy of the Treaty of Vereeniging (ending the Anglo Boer War in 1902) on its balcony in 1922. It’s the colonial country house equivalent of one of the magnificent champion thoroughbreds sired on its property: a thing of beauty and grace… standing proud under big African skies ‘neath the shade of the dramatic Drakensberg Mountain Range.

I’m not going to sugar-coat it: Hartford House is for adults. Especially affluent ones who love eating. If you’re on a diet I’d suggest driving right on by as it’s all about the food and people come from far and wide to sample their home-grown cuisine. It’s where you really get to test your inner ‘Mr Creosote’ and it would be wrong to pitch up and not partake of every last mouth-watering morsel on its sensational menu.

As you’ll need to be fork-lifted out of the restaurant, it’s a good thing Hartford House boasts 14 luxury suites – I stayed in one by the lake named Siyabonga (‘give thanks to’ in Zulu). And yes, I promptly gave thanks all over the show for my private pool, under-floor heating, luxurious linens and bathroom with not one but TWO enormous tubs!

There is so much to do in the area. A truly Hartford experience includes a ride or wander around the famous stud farm, a treatment at the wellness centre, trips to Giant’s Castle, drives through the Midlands Meander (a local art-and-craft route)… or curl up with a book in the sunshine on the rambling, wrap-around veranda just like a lazy pussycat.

My view: get there fast… it’s only a matter of time before the racehorses wise up to their inferior stable accommodation and you find one soaking in the bathtub or sneaking into the pantry."

trufflepig link