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: Rust en Vrede

This guy's also high...

Neil Grant / Burrata (p)

Neil Grant / Burrata (p)

Valentine's Day
Thursday, 14 February

Valentine's Day is less than a week away. There's no time for complacency: some of us think we've got the chick that presses our buttons, and we can sit back and take it easy. That, it needs to be said, is the beginning of the end. You have seven days to re-energise things, and if you're still on your lonesome, you're in even more desperate straits. Pull finger!

One guy we know has got it all worked out. In a recent article for Eat Out, the magazine which claims the top spot in opinions on gastronomic matters, owner and sommelier at the celebrated Burrata restaurant, Neil Grant, knows all of the top eateries in the land, and had this to say:

"There are so many amazing restaurants for a romantic dinner. The Tasting Room, La Colombe, Rust en Vrede... They all offer amazing food with intimate surroundings. But honestly, if I really want to sweep my wife off her feet, a trip to Hartford House in the Natal Midlands is at the top of my list. The rooms are incredible and every meal, from breakfast to dinner, feels like a splurge. Gazing out at horses grazing on the stud property is really a special treat".

If you didn't heed Neil's advice and the wheels have come off, there's still time to make amends. The number is 033 263 2713.

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2010 NATIONAL RESTAURANT AWARDS

paula mackenzie and jackie cameron at the 2010 eat out awards

Paula Mackenzie and Jackie Cameron at the Eat Out Awards 2010

THE CRITICS HAVE SPOKEN

Hail Hartford, national Top Ten Restaurant again. Two months ago, this little hostelry was voted the nation's choice by the South African public in the face of competition from two "World Top Fifties". On Sunday evening Eat Out celebrated the critic's "Top Ten" at a gala function in Cape Town. David Higgs'Rust en Vredetook top spot in both the restaurant and best chef categories, while Hartford House was the only KwaZulu Natal-based restaurant counted in the top ten. Notable absentees in what is an increasingly competitive line-up, include last year's winners, Le Colombe and Mosaic as well as the quite exceptional Green House. Considering the remoteness of our location, this is a signal achievement for Jackie Cameron, her sous chef, Elaine Boshoff and their kitchen crew, but it isn't a matter alone of where we are, it's what we are. It is a victory for our social consciences, a message to the world of what's possible in what might have seemed impossible circumstances. Your patronage and encouragement has revealed a new world to a community of people who never knew life beyond Mooi River before, to our service staff, the scullery team and even our gardeners. To Paula Mackenzie who's God given talent picks the wines, and to her fellow managers Scott Morgan and Emma Stephenson.

You see Hartford is different. It is different because it is not just about the cuisine; it's the only member of the Top Ten that combines a world class restaurant with a matching accommodation establishment. It's both a cultural and a philosophical experience, where luxury is part of the journey, but it isn't the destination. A place without pretence, yet comfortable beyond imagination.

WORLD TOP 50 RESTAURANTS : South Africa makes its mark

hartford house desert

Hartford House Restaurant
(Photo : Sally Chance)

We always knew that it was a “big deal” to make the top ten restaurants in South Africa, but its international significance has only just dawned on us. The release recently of the world’s top 50 restaurants included three of South Africa’s Top Ten, Le Quartier Francais, Rust en Vrede and Aubergine. Some accomplishment for a relatively small country at the southernmost tip of what our civilized friends to the north call “the darkest continent”.

For Hartford House and its little “super chef”, Jackie Cameron and her team, this is especially significant, as our restaurant not only counts in South Africa’s Top Ten, but it’s the only one to enjoy that exalted status on this side of the Drakensberg. Somewhere out there, perhaps just beyond the Top 50, Hartford House can justifiably think of itself among the leading restaurants in the world.

Of course, you’ll never know why till you’ve tested it for yourself!