Cathedral Peak Hotel - Family Friendly Getaways in the Drakensburg

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A little while ago I was offered a 2 night stay at the beautiful Cathedral Peak Hotel in the Berg. The offer couldn’t have come at a better time, as Farmboy had been hard at work, farming, and we were in desperate need of a family getaway.

We have spent time at Champagne Sports Resort as well as the Drakensburg Sun, but I have only been into the Cathedral Peak Nature Reserve when I was little, and that was to do one of the many beautiful overnight hikes. Although we didn’t get to do much hiking on this trip (having a one year and being 5 months pregnant does tend to slow you down just a bit) the Cathedral Peak Hotel was the perfect place for a family to spend the weekend.

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Not only did we stuff ourselves silly at the buffet (seriously, their food was some of the best hotel food I’ve ever eaten!) but their kiddies play area was so well equipped too. Even I enjoyed a good number of jumps on the trampoline (before I realised that jumping on a trampoline while pregnant is probably not the smartest idea...#scrambledeggs haha).

From the moment we stepped into the reception, we were greeted by such warm and welcoming staff who were so helpful during our stay. Nothing was too much trouble, and by the end of our stay Everly has charmed all the staff and genuinely seemed to be sad to say goodbye. If you’re looking for a good family friendly place to spend the weekend, I would definitely recommend adding Cathedral Peak Hotel to the top of your list!

Although this was a sponsored trip, all thoughts and views are my own, and we will definitely be heading back out of our own pocket….Perhaps after our next little one has arrived and we can all enjoy the gorgeous hiking trails (and rock pools!) on offer.

Cathedral Peak Hotel is about a 3 hour drive from Durban, and only about 4.5 hours from Joburg. It’s definitely an easy enough place to get to from either city for the weekend. It took us about 3 hours from the farm, but granted, we live out in the middle of nowhere and everywhere is far for us. You set your GPS for the small but delightful town of Winterton, and then from there the Hotel’s website has really great step by step directions.

Whenever people post reviews of places they’ve stayed before, I’m always far more interested in the photos than I am in their descriptions, so I’m going to let my images speak for me. But the one thing I have to harp on about was the food! Gosh, everything was freshly prepared every day, and we were still able to keep Everly on her Banting/No Sugar or processed carb eating during our stay. In fact, she loved the food so much, I’ve had to replicate some of the meals at home to keep her happy! Luckily the friendly chef was happy to share his ‘secret’ recipes with me after I explained that Everly was thoroughly enjoying his food!

Here are some snaps of the facilities on offer at Cathedral Pea Hotel…

The Rooms

While I didn’t manage to get a photograph of the bed before Everly and hubby made themselves right at home in anticipation of a long nap, I have to talk about how comfy it was! It was also HUGE and meant all three of us could lie in it without disturbing each other. Although, Everly has never been one to sleep in bed with us (she is just too noisy and wriggles about so much that none of us end up getting any sleep), the bed would be big enough for a family of 4 to sleep in comfortably.

We brought our own camp cot as I wasn’t sure if the Hotel would provide one, but sure enough, they had set up the sweetest wooden cot, complete with its own baby pillow and duvet!

The bathroom was big and spacious, with a the most amazing shower. Our little shower at home has the most pathetic pressure, and we only have about 5 little holes int he shower head to wash with. This shower was a whole new level of comfort and I really struggled to tear myself away from it when it was time to climb out and get dressed.

The Hotel even provides separate pool towels to bath towels, so you really don’t need to pack your own. They also had a lovely selection of toiletries to use.

What I loved the most about the rooms was how big they were. We were in a Standard room, and we had more than enough space for 2 camp cots (we did ask them to remove their one to make more space but it’s nice to know that two fit well so that when we come back with the new baba we will all have enough space!), our big pram, all of our stuff (especially Everly’s baby paraphernalia) and I didn’t ever feel like I was tripping over things. And the curtains make the rooms super dark, which meant we were ALL able to really maximise our morning and afternoon naps while the sun shone all day.

Restaurants & the Infamous Buffet

Kiddies Play Area

Swimming Pool Area

It was a bit windy over the weekend that we were there so while we didn’t actually get into the pools, we were able to enjoy getting our feet wet.

Two of the pools are heated (yay!) and there were lots of older kiddies happily swimming and splashing about. So definitely make sure to pack swimming costumes as the water looked so inviting!

Fishing & walks nearby

Although I wasn’t up to any serious hiking, we did head out on a lovely morning stroll to find the trout fishing dams. Farmboy is an AVID fisherman, and so he made it his mission that weekend to find the dams. While he didn’t actually get a moment to fish (he was catching up on all his missed sleep while being on farm duty the previous 2 weeks) we did find the dam and now we know for next time.

The stroll to the trout farm was beautiful, with fantastic views of the Peaks themselves. It only took us about 15 minutes to get to the little dam, but it did take a whole lot longer to walk back as their is a HUGE hill to the hotel (again, this is especially good for burning off all the waffles you’re going to eat at breakfast).

For the more adventurous, here is a little blurb on the actual hikes on offer from the Hotel:

“There are 19 walks/hikes that leave and return to the Hotel, for all levels of fitness, skill and ability. There is a guided walk/hike that leaves the hotel every morning (see reception for details of which hike on which day). There are also maps that can be purchased at reception for those walkers who would like to venture out on their own” Cathedral Peak Hotel

The only ‘downside’ to the hotel itself, and I’m hesitant to say downside as it was easy enough for us to work around, was all the stairs. It wasn’t that easy to push a pram on all the paths as a lot of the paths suddenly ended with a number of steps and we did have to go onto the grass a few times to be able to get to and from our room. While I didn’t mind the steps (it wasn’t easy going though for a pregnant lady!) they certainly helped me walk off all the food I put away during our stay.

We had such a wonderful stay and left feeling refreshed and relaxed, and with very full tummies. If you’re looking for something different to the usual beach holiday, a stay at Cathedral Peak Hotel has something for every member of the family.

Thanks so much for having us Cathedral Peak Hotel…we will definitely be back!

Blueberry Cafe in the Midlands - Great food in the Midlands

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Blueberry Cafe is a special place. It's nestled just outside Nottingham Road in the Natal Midlands, and from the moment you start up the winding driveway, you just know your in for a treat.

This is our second visit, and even though we have yet to have sunshine on our visits, the weather never takes away from our experience.

Both of our visits have been over breakfast time, and this visit we had their Harvest Table which consisted of a blueberry pancake, muesli, yoghurt, fresh fruit and honey for starters with a 'cocktail' of fresh fruit juices that you mix yourself.

This is then followed by your choice of eggs, a side of bacon....yum! 

Blueberry cafe is most famous for it's bluebweey cheescake, but we were so full from breakfast, we didn't have any room for dessert. We did have a great cappuccino though!

One of the highlights of this cafe is a trip to the bathroom...I won't spoil the suprise entirely, but here's some photos to give you a little hint.

Pull the Wool

The cafe also has an amazing room filed with locally produced gifts and artwork. If it wasn't the middle of summer, I would have bought ALL the woollen items from cape town based Pull The Wool.

Instead, I had to make do with my camera in capturing the gorgeous colours and  textures.

You can find Pull The Wool online here >>> https://pull-the-wool.com/

Leigh Woodgate Paintings

I have long since been a fan of Leigh Woodgate's beautiful artwork, and have seen her paintings for sale all over KZN. My mom in law has a number of gorgeous roses in her home here on the farm, and I know that her work adorns a lot of the local ladies here in my town.

I'm hoping own one of them someday soon!

You can connect with Leigh Woodgate and her artwork on Facebook >>> Leigh Woodgate Art

Moth Home

And now on to my favourite things...these bags from Moth Home! How gorgeous are they?! These duffel bags make me want to jet off to a magical island right now.

Our visit to Blueberry Cafe was during our first family weekend away in the Berg. We spent one night at the gorgeous Forty Winks Guesthouse in Rosetta (blog post to come soon) and then another two nights with family in the Berg.

And finally, here are some shots of my little girl, who had just started smiling and cooing, and only had eyes for Dad...

Have you been to Blueberry Cafe? Did you enjoy it as much as we did? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!

In the mean time, here are some more posts on places to visit in SA:

Joburg to Cape Town roadtrip via Poffadder, Springbok, Kaamieskroon, Bitterfontein & Yzerfontein with our dog to see the Namaqualand flowers!

Joburg to Cape Town roadtrip via Poffadder, Springbok, Kaamieskroon, Bitterfontein & Yzerfontein with our dog to see the Namaqualand flowers!

A few weeks after arriving back in South Africa from living in South Korea (click here to ready more about our 4 years spent teaching English in Korea), Farmboy and I headed off on a 6 week road trip around South Africa. We started our trip in Johannesburg (where my family are) and ended on the farm in Kwazulu Natal (where Farmboy's family are). 

During those 6 weeks we visited about 15 towns and cities, some of which I had never heard of before, and had wonderful adventures seeing more of South Africa than either of us had seen before. This is a very image heavy post, so you might want to go and make yourself a cup of tea while you wait for these images to load :)

Farmboy also vlogged our trip, which you can watch by heading over to his youtube channel (click here). There are lots of fun behind the scenes videos of our trip, which I think you'll really enjoy.  I've linked them below so you can watch them right here in this post.

The aim of this trip was to see the famous Namaquland Daisies, as well as to explore more of Cape Town. When we got home from Korea, we wanted to spend time in the major cities in South Africa to see if we would like to settle and make home in any of them. This trip was the perfect opportunity to explore Cape Town and see if we could imagine ourselves making it our new home. 

Read More

Things to do in Cape Town - visit Babylonstoren for the day

Things to do in Cape Town - visit Babylonstoren for the day

Farmboy and I just got back from a whirlwind road trip around South Africa, starting in Johannesburg and making our way up close to the Botswana border, right down to Cape Town and finally ending up on the farm in Natal. We drove over 7 500 km (that's about 4500 miles for my American friends).  We visited 15 towns/cities and stayed in 10 of them during our 6 week trip.

One of the highlights of this trip was our visit the Babylonstoren, a place I had seen mentioned by my favourite bloggers since it opened its doors in 2012. 

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Creighton Aloe Festival Steam Train

Creighton Aloe Festival Steam Train

We have officially been back in South Africa for 3 weeks! In case you're new around here, my husband (Farmboy) and I were living in South Korea for the past 3 years where we were teaching English. It was a wonderful 3 years, but we are very happy to be back home.  My husbands parents are dairy farmers in a small town called Creighton, about 2 hours inland from Pietermaritzburg and we have been here visiting them for the past week. It's been wonderful seeing family after such a long time of being away, and we plan to spend the rest of the year between the farm and my family in Joburg, until we decide where we want to settle.

Hopefully we will have figured that out by January!

Creighton Aloe Festival

We just missed the Creighton Aloe Festival which takes place once year here in Creighton. The aloes are absolutely beautiful, and this year there were four hot air balloons offering views of the gorgeous countryside.

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Crystal Waters, Drakensberg

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This past weekend was spent with my hubby's family in the Drakensberg at a little piece of heaven called Crystal Waters. Nestled away between lush green trees and open fields of golden grass lies 3 stone cottages and a trout dam. Electricity was limited to a few 110 V light bulbs, while gas provided us with hot water and a place to cook yummy meals.

This was one of our last weekends spent in South Africa, before we jet setted off to Asia on the 20th June 2013. 

I hope you all had a wonderfully relaxing weekend, and are ready for the week ahead! 

Happy Monday everyone!

xxx