Some friends and I visited Duncan Yard in the heart of Hatfield earlier today and what an extremely delightful arty place that is filled with surprises around every corner. It is like a little village with hidden pathways and cute and interesting shops and restaurants. There are little gems such as the Deli which sells the most wonderful looking desserts and freshly baked goodies, Moi for a little French finesse in your home and Papa’s for some real good food where we stopped for lunch while listening to a man play the blues on an enhanced electric guitar made out of an old Ouma rusks tin.
We admired the beautiful Jacaranda trees in the Jacaranda city which are in full bloom before setting off to the Union buildings, the seat of government and the offices of the presidency and the department of home affairs. Although Jacaranda trees are native to South America, Pretoria has more than 70 000 of these trees and there is a belief amongst students that if you walk under one of the trees and a blossom falls on your head you are going to pass your exams. The Union buildings are located on the highest point of Pretoria overlooking the city, the University of South Africa and the Voortrekker monument in the distance. We walked around in the beautiful gardens, smelled the roses and watched the tourists.
We ended the day with a visit to Church Square in the centre of town. It has a big bronze statue of former president, Paul Kruger in the middle and is surrounded by historical buildings. It was a wonderful day!
It was my friend’s daughter’s first birthday today and her party was at the Irene Dairy Farm which is an old functioning dairy farm established in 1895. Irene is close to Centurion and Pretoria. It was a warm and wonderful sunny day and family and friends met outside the Barn restaurant. The venue is open and spacious with lots of place for children to run around and play. There is a jungle gym, calves to pet, chickens and ducks roaming about and even a few swans on the dam. The Irene Dairy farm has two restaurants and a Dairy shop that sells fresh milk and cream as well as cheeses, pies, rusks, jams, biscuits and treats. Over the weekend they serve a buffet lunch. You can also bring a blanket for a picnic on the grass under the trees. It was a glorious and fun afternoon.
After the party we stopped at the Irene Village Market to do some grocery shopping for gran. It is a shopping centre with a difference; it has a village feel with open spaces, fountains, trees and pieces of art all over. They also have a fabulous restaurant there called Karoo – Cattle and land which is a must to try.
My friend was telling me about this new craze for people to have dinner in the sky while suspended 50-100m above ground. She took her husband for his birthday at Cedar Square over the weekend. They have these all over the country and you can book it online via Computicket. I love mother earth and I am not fond of heights so I don’t understand why people would want to do such crazy things. You can also do corporate events and meetings but honestly! I would be utterly useless, given you are able to get me up there and probably only after you have given me lots and lots of drugs.
What fun! I was supposed to go with my cousin to Harties yesterday as her husband was going to run around the dam but due to injury this was postponed but then this morning just after nine, my cousin called to say we were going to Harties. First I was, ooh and ah, but it didn’t take much convincing and 40 minutes later I was in the car and on my way. Harties is about an hour’s drive from Joburg/Pretoria. Coming from Joburg, you have to cross the bridge and go through the tunnel to get to the snake park. There is usually a bit of a delay due to the timed one-way bridge. I was however very entertained as I saw a woman on the back of a bike in pink stilettos – a first! We decided to take the children to the Snake and Animal Park which also offers a ferry-boat cruise on the dam.It was a fun day out and a hot 28 degrees Celsius. I got to see baby meerkats which were just adorable.
We went to the Wimpy after the park as the children wanted to play at the playground and we were too late for the famous Sunday buffet lunches at the surrounding restaurants. Harties offers plenty and is ideal for a long weekend away as it is close to the city but tranquil and quiet to allow you to switch off and relax. It was a fabulous day.
What a great day! I went with a friend to go explore Cullinan for the day and we had an absolute blast. Cullinan is a charming little mining town about an hour and a half north-east of Joburg (past Pretoria and the Zambesi off ramp) and is famous for the Cullinan diamond; the biggest ever diamond to be discovered in the world – over 3000 carats!! You can go there by Friends of the rail which is a steam train running from Pretoria but as we haven’t been there before we decided to go by car which was good as we got to see more than we would have had we done this by foot once there and also there were some rain showers in the afternoon.
There are a few tours available if you want to go see the mine, learn how they mine diamonds and see the Big Hole. Some of the tours are up to 4 ½ hours so we decided to skip it and explore the town ourselves. There is a lookout point to see the Big Hole which is four times as big as the Kimberly Big Hole and twice as deep. The view wasn’t great so you probably would have to go on a tour to get the real sense of its size. The town is cute and mostly consists of houses built out of rock or tin with a rich history dating back to the turn of the twentieth century. Most houses and businesses have kept in the style of a traditional mining community and also take pride in their gardens and art work which can be seen throughout the town.
We stopped at Harrie’s pancakes and shared a savoury and sweet pancake which was absolutely divine. Harrie’s pancakes is also in Dullstroom, Graskop and Hout Bay and never disappoints. I love their bobotie pancake! The main street (Oak avenue) offers a tourist centre, lots of beautiful and alluring restaurants, art studios, jewellery shops and museums. The town also has some quaint churches and picturesque guest houses especially those near Hys Rex that overlook the Roodeplaat dam. If you want to go back in time then this town is a must.