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: Summerhill Estate

"Out to Lunch", Breakfast and Dinner

Dave Bullard / Books Live (p)

Dave Bullard / Books Live (p)

"I can't remember when I've looked forward so much to dinner. Or breakfast."
- Dave Bullard

Former columnist of "Out To Lunch" (Sunday Times) and regular blogger on Politics Web, Dave Bullard and his wife Jacquie, recently visited Hartford House. This is what they had to say:

"The drive back yesterday was spectacular with the late summer sun showing the fields of cosmos at their best. But nothing quite matched the beauty of Hartford House and the Summerhill Estate.

We had the most gorgeously relaxing two days we can remember and Jacquie can't stop talking about it.

I've never really explored the Natal Midlands before so this was quite a revelation. Got some great photos as the sun came up but think I may need to come back for some autumn colours.

Jackie, the food coming out of your kitchen is sublime. I can't remember when I've looked forward so much to dinner. Or breakfast."


Click above to watch the Summerhill Sires Film 2012 / 2013
(An iKind Media Production)

Summerhill Sires Film
2012 / 2013

"Peering through one teakwood door at Hartford House, you face a Colonial world. Opening another, the distant sounds of an ancient people at work lilt across the silent landscape, a country of great space, spectacular mountains and big skies. This place commands a headland between the world of traditional cultures and the splendid style of our settler forebears."

Watch the latest Summerhill Sires Film above as Summerhill CEO Mick Goss shares a taste of the Greater Summerhill Estate... and introduces Summerhill's exceptional lineup of Thoroughbred Stallion talent.

Summerhill Stud, South Africa

For more information, please visit :


"Hartford House"
By Candice Botha
House and Leisure - June 2012

Hartford House in KwaZulu-Natal is one of those rare places which has  it all - a picturesque setting, fabulous restaurant and beautifully  designed rooms. Situated on the Summerhill Stud Estate in Mooi RiverHartford House has won countless awards for both its accommodation and  food.

The restaurant is run by renowned Chef Jackie Cameron and the menu is  varied and interesting, taking advantage of the region's fresh produce.  Be assured that the meals are the kind which people remember for years.  Jackie's food presentation is particularly noteworthy with most dishes  looking far too good to destroy with a knife and fork but utterly  sublime when you do. Meals are served either out on the veranda  overlooking the estate's colourful gardens or inside the dining room of  the original homestead.

The original house is still home to three guest suites which boast  period details such as antique taps and light fixtures which many guests  find fascinating. Every suite in the hotel is unique and each boasts  details which will delight. Some suites look out onto the gardens and  swimming pool and four recently built eco suites are made entirely from  natural materials from the estate and its surrounds. The feel of these  suites is distinctly African and there can be no doubt of your location  in the world as you gaze out over the lake.

The Summerhill Estate is a destination on its own as the leading  racehorse breeder in South Africa. Guests are welcome and regular tours  of the Stud are conducted. Other activities include trout fishing - I  expect my divine trout lunch was freshly caught - and horse riding, bird  watching and spa treatments in the wellness centre. The Battlefields and Midlands Meander are also within easy reach and, so, a stay here  really should be for more than just one night. The restaurant also  welcomes guests who are not resident in the hotel for meals and a Sunday  outing to Hartford House for lunch is a rare treat.

For more information visit www.hartford.co.za or call 033-263-2713.



Out and about on the Summerhill Estate / Summerhill Stud (p)

Out and about on the Summerhill Estate / Summerhill Stud (p)

Extract from About Time - 1time Airlines
by Nicky Furniss

Step aside, Franschhoek and Cape Town, the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands may be on its way to becoming South Africa's next great foodie destination. This is thanks to the exceptional culinary skills of the number of world class chefs who have decided to call this part of the world home. Add to that some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, and a trip to the Mi

dlands is guaranteed to be simply delicious.

There is something comforting about waking up to the sound of whinnying horses and the smell of freshly mown grass. Perhaps because it conjures up childhood memories of days spent playing outside, and the excitement of farm visits.

But Summerhill Estate is anything but a normal farm. In fact, it is one of the country's leading stud farms, and the horses here are world class thoroughbreds more accustomed to the speed of the race track than the amble of a farm road walk. So renowned is Summerhill that the ruling family of Dubai have chosen to stable their priceless race horses here.

This certainly adds an aura of mystique to a stay at Hartford House, mixed with the kind of warm, unpretentious hospitality that the Midlands has become known for. Hartford House itself has played host to friends and acquaintances since it was first built as a family home in 1875. Nowadays guests are still welcomed as part of the family, although the accommodation options have expanded somewhat over the intervening decades.

Visitors now have a choice of colonial style rooms that take their cue from the architecture of the manor house itself, or for something completely different, they can elect to stay in one of the four Ezulweni ("in the heavens") rooms. These were built by local artisans using materials harvested from the estate or acquired nearby. Each has its own distinct flavour, but what is common to all four is their superb workmanship, as well as the breathtaking view of the adjacent trout lake and the rolling paddocks beyond it.

Visitors who can bear to leave the comfort of their rooms have much to keep them busy, from history and stud farm tours to walks and wellness treatments. But without a doubt, one of the main activities at Hartford - and one which deserves a fair amount of time and attention - is simply savouring its superb culinary offerings.

Executive Chef Jackie Cameron has spent the past nine years honing her craft and Hartford's culinary reputation to such an extent that the restaurant here has gone from a virtual unknown to being listed as one of the top ten restaurants in KwaZulu-Natal, and then to being a regular finalist in national restaurant awards. Sitting down to one of Jackie's cleverly conceived and perfectly executed five course set dinners, it is not hard to see why.

During her time at Hartford, Jackie has travelled overseas no less than 16 times, mostly to experience the cooking of other world class chefs, and these international influences are evident in everything that her stellar team produce. A recent trip to Denmark influenced much of the meal we experienced and in particular, our caramelised onion soup was a complete sensory experience - particularly as we had the pleasure of pouring our own portions, so that as well as the textures and flavours of the dish, we could also fully enjoy its amazing aromas.

Breakfast is a slightly more relaxed affair, but no less tantalising, and it serves as a wonderful showcase of some of the best of what the Midlands has to offer, from delicious local cheeses to locally caught trout, and homemade jams and preserves.

Under Jackie's expert eye, Hartford House has become one of the country's top food destinations. But unlike many of its contemporaries, it comes complete with so much more - a wonderful setting, unique accommodation options, a friendly welcome and that ever present sound of the clip-clopping hooves of magnificent horses.