Monday, 10 July 2017

Gooderson Drakensberg Gardens Golf & Spa Resort

In the Southern Drakensberg with a clear view of Rhino Peak lies Gooderson Drakensberg Gardens Golf & Spa - a resort filled with so many activities that you need not leave the premises and you can happily keep yourself busy from sun-up to sun down.

Views from Glengarry Country Club

Whether you are an adventure loving couple or an on the go family, Drakensberg Gardens will have something for you to do. Activities such as : Golf, zip lining, horse riding, mountain biking, hiking and swimming. Take a look on the website for the rest of the many activities and costs involved.

Zip Line and an hour long horse ride

If you are not into any adrenalin pumping activity then why not relax at the onsite Spa, laze around the pool or read a book whilst watching the kids at the new water park.

Swimming pools and kids water park

After all the activities you can retire to your comfortable room and get ready to meet at the bars or restaurants. Drakensberg Gardens has Standard Rooms which consist of either one double or two double beds, bathroom with a bath shower combo, TV and tea/coffee making facilities. Superior Rooms which consist of two double beds, bathroom with a bath and shower, TV, mini fridge, hair dryer and tea/coffee making facilities. There is also a beautifully decorated Honeymoon Suite with a king size bed, comfortable lounge and large bathroom.

Superior Room

Views from the patio of the Superior Room

If you don’t wish to stay in the hotel rooms or eat in the restaurants, Drakensberg Gardens also has four sleeper and six sleeper self catering rooms.

There are five restaurants in the resort : Bergview, Bistro Terrace Cafe, Eagles Roost, The Vine Knot and Glengarry Country Club. Check with Reception as to which of the restaurants are open in the evening. Eagles Roost is a family restaurant situated in the main hotel and this is where breakfast is served daily.

Buck & Trout, Wildcat Sports, Bergview Pool and Glengarry Country Club are the four bars on the resort. The Wildcat Sports Bar is the place to be if you want to watch major sporting events or play a game of pool. The bar also has a large fire pit to sit around and enjoy the crisp cold air in winter. Drakensberg Gardens has a collection of South Africa’s best wines on offer and you can take a look at the list on the website.

Drakensberg Gardens is not just for leisure as they also have seven conference rooms of various sizes and the most beautiful areas for weddings.

Don’t miss out on family fun or relaxation. Make a booking at Drakensberg Gardens while they are running their Winter Special from R899 per person for dinner, bed and breakfast. The special runs until 31 August 2017.

Cold and frosty Winter morning

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

ECR House & Garden Show 2017

Every year when it’s the start of the July school holidays I look forward to attending the ECR House & Garden Show at the Durban Exhibition Centre. This year the show is bigger and better than ever. Other than the usual decor, home improvement, garden and food stalls whole new sections have been added. Sections such as the KZN Travel & Adventure Show, KAPOW Designer Cafe, Foodie Fair and H + G Maker Space.

The show is so big and there is so much to see and do that I had to attend the show twice. On Saturday I spent most of my time at the Chef’s Theatre in the main hall watching Culinary Artist Wayland Green from Granny Mouse Country House & Spa and Chef Sherwyn Weaichy prepare delicious food.

I also took a very slow walk around the KZN Travel & Adventure Show collecting brochures from various holiday places and chatting to a few of the people manning the stalls. I was especially interested in the KZN Battlefields route and enjoyed talking to Pam McFadden who runs the Talana Museum in Dundee. I spent 6 years living in Dundee and it was great to hear what Pam is doing to maintain the history of the area, and I am very keen to attend the Dundee Homecoming event in September.

The Homegrown Design Fair is amazing as always and I love seeing how creative people can be with what they make. A must see is Abide Creative, Elle Kay Fabrics, Hellooow Handmade and Rollin Vintage. You are sure to find gifts for family and friends and especially for yourself inside the Homegrown Design Fair hall.

I took a brief walk around the Foodie Fair and made sure to buy a cup of coffee from the Love Coffee combi. They use beans supplied by Steampunk in the Midlands. That was all I was able to see on the Saturday and that took quite a few hours.

I returned on Monday and went straight to get a cup of coffee from Exploring Coffee inside the Travel Show tent. Finally found the Durban Green Corridor stall that I had missed seeing on the Saturday. On Saturday I had breezed through the Builders Warehouse tent and so had also missed seeing the painting station set up for people to try out chalk paint. You are able to try out the Fired Earth chalk paint on a wooden picture frame for free and to take it home. It was great fun, easy to do and the paint dries so quickly.

My daughter Laura was with me and she had not had breakfast so we had to look at all the food stalls until she made her selection. She settled on pizza from Maddison’s Bakery while I enjoyed a pasteis de nata from Madeleine’s and a cup of coffee from Love Coffee.

Then we took a slow walk around the main hall looking at all the decor, design and home improvement stalls. I loved the decor in the KAPOW Designer Cafe and especially the faux flowered chandeliers done by Jennifer Jones interiors. Don’t forget to buy 1, 2 or many more pieces of delicious Tasha’s Fantastic Fudge.

We weren’t planning on going to the Chef’s Theatre again but in passing saw that Lucy Markewicz of CakeLab would be doing a demonstration at 1pm. She demonstrated icing and drip icing techniques on a buttermilk sponge cake. It was incredible how a few simple techniques and decorations created such an amazing looking cake. It tasted so delicious as well.

The show is on until Sunday so why don’t you go see and experience it for yourself.

Find all the show times and ticket costs on the ECR House & Garden Show website.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Gooderson Monks Cowl Golf Resort

You are keen to have a holiday in the Drakensberg but you have specific ideas for fun, adventure and relaxation. Where is a place that has golf, putt putt, a pool to cool off in, jungle gym and trampolines for the kids and even a Spa?

Gooderson Monks Cowl Golf Resort has all of that and tennis, badminton, volleyball, fishing, darts, board games, pool table and mountain bike trails.

But do they have good food and will I be able to go hiking or for a scenic walk?

Yes, they have good hearty food with generous portions (really generous) and there is great hiking on the Monks Cowl mountain trails. There are so many other activities such as the birds at Falcon Ridge (make sure you have cash available to pay for the show), reptiles, Drakensberg Canopy Tour, chocolate tasting at Chocolate Memories and delicious breads and pastries at Valley Bakery. In fact Monks Cowl Golf Resort is centrally situated in the Champagne Valley with ease of access to all of these activities outside of the resort.

Kids will love the rock pool and slide

Monks Cowl Golf Resort has 35 superior hotel rooms one of which is a disabled room. The rooms have either dam or mountain views, 2 double beds, bathroom with shower and bath, air conditioning, DSTV, tea and coffee making facilities, mini bar fridge and a private patio. There is one executive / honeymoon suite with a king size bed, Jacuzzi bath and a double shower.

Superior rooms and the Friar Tuck restaurant

There are also 8 self-catering units which are fully equipped with a master bedroom en-suite, second bedroom with twin beds and adjacent bathroom and 2 sleeper couches in the lounge. All units have DSTV, fireplace and a private patio with braai facilities.

Reception, putt putt and inside a self catering unit

The Monks Cowl staff are very friendly and helpful but don’t expect much assistance from the resident cat – Tom. He does however love to have his photo taken and you should get a visit from him in the bar at night.

Have a relaxing massage at La Vita Spa and enjoy great food at Friar Tuck

This was my third stay at Gooderson Monks Cowl and it was fabulous to be back, to see familiar faces and the views of the beautiful mountains. It was also great to have a new experience by attending the bird show at Falcon Ridge.

I have written about Monks Cowl before so click through and read here and here about my previous experiences.

To make a booking contact the Monks Cowl resort on or Gooderson central booking on their WebBookings

Don't miss out on the Winter Special. Stay from R975.00 per person per night, dinner, bed and breakfast. The price is valid until 31 August 2017.