F&HE art director Jani Venter enjoys a country getaway
We headed off to the rolling countryside of Magaliesburg for a weekend getaway and a night’s stay at the four-star Magaliesburg Valley Lodge & Spa. Confused and lost at first when we turned down a camouflaged little street in Magalies, we wandered a little bit further and found paradise. The hotel boasts breath-taking suites that combine the luxury of the city with the beauty of the bush. The staff were warm and friendly, and we were met with a delicious bottle of wine and a chocolate platter to enjoy on our balcony overlooking the river.
Excited to take in a bit of archaeology and adventure, we enjoyed playing Tomb Raider in the Sterkfontein Caves, where the famous Mrs Ples was discovered. Descending into the cool, dark depths of the caverns, crawling and climbing, sometimes through metre-wide spaces, we took in the underground lake, the ‘elephant rock’ and the stunning limestone deposits that the caves have to offer. We also headed to the amazing Maropeng Museum where we oohed and aahed on the little boat that took us through icy and fiery tunnels of the Ice Age and the Stone Age, laughed and fell around on the completely disorientating vortex bridge, and interacted with the informative scientific displays on the museum floor.
On the hunt for craft beer, we stumbled on a beautiful Tuscan-style villa called the Black Horse Brewery and Restaurant, complete with a beautiful terrace, cobblestone walkways and horses grazing in the enclosure nearby. Happily munching on delicious buffalo wings and sticky chicken Chinese pizza, we sipped on the light and airy Golden Lager and Red Ale, brewed by the restaurant owner’s very talented 22-year-old daughter.
At dinner, we enjoyed the Zeederburg buffet’s scrumptious food and a great wine selection, completed by candlelight, a fireplace and a pianist playing my favourite classics in the corner. After pasta, lamb, roast chicken and crunchy veggies I ended off with their delicious home-style Malva and then practically rolled back to our gorgeous room. After breakfast – another bountiful buffet – we sadly had to say goodbye and head back home. I didn’t want to leave. If I were a child, you would have had to drag me kicking and screaming from our room.