Staying at Holden Manz wine estate

Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
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Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
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Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate

Just over an hours drive out of Cape Town tucked away at the foot of the Franschhoek mountains you will find the peaceful and beautiful Holden Manz. A small estate with vineyards that surround you. The estate might be small but you won't run out of activities and you are sure to leave relaxed and longing for more. 

The guest house is eclectic and decorated with an impressive art collection that you could get totally lost in. I have yet to see such an extensive variety in a personal collection. With many local artists, I found myself with wine in hand meandering from one piece to the next. 

The rooms are spacious and have an old charm to them. With king size beds and fluffy duvets getting up in the morning wasn't particularly easy! I could have slept in for days. The bathrooms are spacious with double basins and of course a huge tempting bath that I couldn't enjoy with the drought! 

With a perfect nights sleep in the bag, you could make your way to the spa and get engulfed in the ultimate luxury. The spa offers all treatments and prides themselves on supporting amazing natural local brands. I tried out the full body massage as I always do and it was so much of yes! Be sure to book if you visit!  

Post bliss visit the restaurant where the art takes shape in the gorgeous plates from the kitchen. Each plate has been well thought out and the food is almost too pretty to eat! Almost. If you find yourself there then the duck didn't disappoint and neither did their wines. My favourite? The Chenin Blanc of course! 

After lunch, I made my way down to the river and enjoyed a walk around the estate. With towering trees and surrounding mountains, you can't help but exhale. Which is never a bad thing. Breathing in the fresh country air can only be food for the soul! 

The staff are always on hand with a friendly smile and will attend to any of your needs. If you feel like exploring, the main town of Franschhoek is five minutes away. Strolling through the village is always fun if you want to venture out. Be sure to try the beer and wine tasting as well as any of the amazing restaurants. If not you will always have a home away from home at Holden Manz. 

-Melissa 

 

 

Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park

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Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
IMG_5612.jpgStaying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park

Meet The Outpost Lodge. This magnificent property has 12 luxury spaces cantilevered on a hill giving you a bird's eye view of the Luvuvhu River. The private, freestanding spaces are interconnected to each other and the central lodge area by 500 meters of Zimbabwean teak walkway. The contemporary architecture makes use of concrete and steel and with state-of-the-art retractable, remote-controlled screens offering 180º of uninterrupted views, you will never want to leave! 

The Outpost is situated in the Northern Kruger National Park. It is a six-hour drive from Johannesburg and a beautiful one at that. It is best to drive in the daytime as you pass local communities and pass several roadblocks that consist of goats and wild donkeys. You also don't want to miss the magnificent baobabs that are scattered across the land. 

Tucked away and blending into the environment is the gorgeous Outpost Lodge. As you enter the lodge you see that it is situated on the edge of a cliff overlooking the breathtaking landscape of the Northern Kruger. The lodge accommodates 24 guests so it is intimate and exclusive. The beauty of it is that not only are you engulfed by the bush, but you are elevated with this crows nest position to experience the bush from this incredibly unique vantage point.

The rooms are simply magnificent. I could have moved in full time! The walls are screens that roll up and blur the boundary between yourself and the bush. If you sleep with them down then you still experience all the sounds of nature whilst sleeping under your romantic mosquito net.  With uninterrupted views, you can enjoy a luxurious bubble bath overlooking the Kruger National park or enjoy an outside shower at sunset! The design of the room is clever and spacious and the large king size beds will ensure the perfect night's sleep! 

The food was inspired to say the least. With dinner on the deck under the stars surrounded by lanterns you will be in heaven. The food was delicious and included dishes such as Salmon with lemon jam paired with the perfect crisp white wine and decadent chocolate desserts. 
Before your game drive in the morning, you are invited to enjoy a light breakfast of fruit and baked treats before you head out. Once back at the lodge post-game drive you are treated to platters of gorgeous mouthfuls and I made sure to try both the vegetarian and meat selection! Neither disappointed! 

If going on amazing game drives twice a day to spot the wild animals isn't your thing you can enjoy the day at the glorious pool relaxing or go for a wild walking safari along the Luvuvhu river. I loved being barefoot and feeling the African earth between my toes and the cool water flowing water over my skin. Something I would recommend! The bird life is phenomenal in the area and there are over 350 species. A bird watchers paradise! If you close your eyes and just listen, the whoel bush is singing! 

The staff is friendly and enthusiastic to share stories of their land. Most of the staff are Shangan and like generations, before them, they have grown up in the area. It is wonderful to see an establishment that works together with the people in the area creating work and educating them to become Chefs and Rangers! 

This part of the world is truly spectacular and is something to behold in this lifetime. I can't wait to return and hear the birds sing at sunrise and to walk barefoot on the rich African soil! 

***COMPETITION TIME*** 

Would you like to win 2 nights for 2 people at this magnificent establishment? Then all you need to do is find me on Instagram to enter! You can click here. The instructions will be on the post on The Out Post Lodge. Prize valued at R29 600.00 excluding transfers to the lodge. T's & C's apply. 
*Values are as per above (for 2017 they increase for 2018)
Competition closes Monday 20th November at 9am. 

-Melissa

*This blog post is sponsored by Rare Earth Properties. All opinions are my own. 

A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection

A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
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A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection
A night at The Plettenberg with the McGrath collection

Plettenberg bay is a well known coastal town on the popular garden route of South Africa. This little coastal village has a hub of activities and if whale watching is one of them, then it is the right destination for you. The only thing you need to decide is where to stay.

The Plettenberg is one of the three hotels in the Liz Mcgrath Collection. Know for their luxury and five-star experience, The Plettenberg doesn't disappoint. 

The Hotel is situated on a hilltop overlooking the ocean with uninterrupted views and is roughly a six-hour drive from Cape Town.  With it being the popular garden route there is plenty of opportunities to experience all it has to offer along the way! You also have the option to fly into the local airport should time be limited. 

The hotel is classically decorated with an ocean theme running throughout. Its no wonder with the views that it boasts. With a gourmet restaurant and boutique shop, between shopping and eating what more could you need.

Each room feels like the penthouse of some of the top hotels in the world. With walk-in closets, large bathrooms, a lounge, and the bedroom separate you will have space and comfort for your trip. 

The bedrooms have coffee stations, minibars and of course king size beds. Be sure to request a room with a view when you book! Overlooking the ocean will let a wave of tranquility wash over you! 

Dining at The Plettenberg is an experience not to be missed. The food is served at their contemporary restaurant Seafood and group executive chef Peter Templehoff and his team have delivered in all areas. The menu has the classics such as the famous cheese souffle that is a must along with several seafood dishes that draw on inspiration from the ocean and the bounty it has to offer. The view is magnificent overlooking the ocean and with glass panels, you are sure not to miss it! 

If you find yourself in Plettenberg - it is a hub of activities. You can experience whale watching or Sup boarding. You could wander to local wine farms and have long lunches or you could visit one of the several animal sanctuaries in the area. If you just feel like relaxing then finding your way to the pool whilst overlooking the ocean isn't a bad option either. 

The staff is always available to help should you require anything and have a fantastic knowledge of the area and all it has to offer! I know that next time I visit Plettenberg I would like to linger longer and experience it all. All I can say is that one night is simply not enough to experience not only this amazing hotel but Plettenberg bay! 

-Melissa 

Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve

Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
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IMG_7226.jpgExperiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve
Experiencing Ekuthuleni, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve

Far too often do we get tired of the hustle of our lives. 

Even so, sometimes travel can seem a little overwhelming. The thought of packing, unpacking, repacking, transfers, check-ins, flights etc all to arrive at a destination can be a deal breaker for that holiday you have been dying to go on. Well, what if I told you that a mere 3 hours drive from Johannesburg is a little piece of paradise that is uncomplicated in its beauty and is a thriving oasis for wildlife. 

Ekuthuleni is situated in Welgevonden private game reserve. A magnificent piece of land teeming with life. I flew into OR Tambo International airport (JHB) and took an easy drive to my destination. If you live in Johannesburg then you really don't have much of an excuse not to explore this part of the world! 

I really wish I knew about it when I did! You get to stay in the lap of luxury and experience the African Bush and its Big Five on safari without having to break a sweat behind the wheel.

That’s a drive I can really get behind. 

The Lodge is centrally situated within the reserve and previously was the manor house. It has a cozy and warm ambiance to it with beautiful screeded floors and leather furniture overlooking a grass plain that hosts local impala and warthog. With a watering hole, you might even spot an elephant coming for a drink in the heat of the day, as we did. The pool is inviting and I must admit I spent a fair amount of time getting my vitamin D fix! 

The rooms are luxurious and cozy with large king size beds. The glass doors open up onto a patio overlooking the grass plain where you can enjoy the view from the comfort of your room. The bathrooms were a treat to experience as you can open the doors up and experience nature in all its glory whilst soaking away your city blues in a giant bathtub!

I cannot say this enough; the food was fantastic. One of the perks of being closer to the thriving metropolis of Jozi, this lodge has the benefit of fresh produce and they sure make the most of it. Often remote game farms lack freshness in their approach to food. Not at Ekuthuleni. With local chef Laptop cooking up a storm, I was in food heaven. His food is home cooking with local flair. Ekuthuleni is a family lodge and there is something to eat for everyone. From fresh salad to aubergine bakes and gnocchi we were treated to a feast. The best part? Each evening we dined in a new location. Either under the stars, in the boma or in the manor house around a crackling fire. Each setting and meal perfect in their own right. 

You will be treated to two game drives a day. With a knowledgeable ranger that will teach you all, there is to know about the environment. The game drives last about three hours and includes a halfway stop in nature to enjoy a cup of coffee or sundowners in the evenings. Nothing goes down quite like a cold gin and tonic! Not a bad way to watch the sun go down over the African Bush. 

With attentive staff and friendly service, I felt completely immersed in Luxury and spoilt with the magnificent game sightings! 

We watched a mother Lion chase two cheeky Cheetah siblings encroaching on her turf and were treated to the privilege of watching her walk her cubs around. 

As if that wasn’t enough I also watched a young elephant bull take a rowdy mud bath complete with the sounds of gleeful trumpeting and experienced the sentient presence of a herd of Rhino's grazing just meters from me. I would be hard-pressed to describe a more humbling experience.

It truly was a game packed experience and as a bush lodge, Ekuthuleni delivers. On. Every. Level.

***COMPETITION TIME*** 

Would you like to win 2 nights for 2 people at this magnificent establishment? Then all you need to do is, like The Truffle Journal on Instagram and Facebook and Ekuthuleni on Instagram and Facebook, then comment below on this blog post on who you would take with you and why.  Prize valued at R21 200.00 excluding all transfers. T's & C's apply. 
*Values are as per above (for 2017 they increase for 2018)
Competition closes Friday 10th November at 5pm. 

-Melissa 

Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park

Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
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Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park
Staying at Pel's Post, Kruger National Park

Picture lying in your bed. Listening to the African bush sing. When I say sing, I mean the sounds of the bush right next to you as if you are submerged in it. Every single layer of insect, bird, and animal all in harmony creating a symphony. It is the ultimate white noise sleep app that offers you perfect relaxation, except, its real. Then add in luxury and comfort, not only do you have a five-star experience but you also have Pel's Post Lodge. 

Pel's Post is an exclusive use eco-friendly lodge situated in the northern Kruger National Park. Bordered to the north by the Limpopo River and Zimbabwe and to the east by Crooks Corner and Mozambique.  This vast wilderness is a slice of paradise that seems virtually untouched by man. You can fly into Johannesburg international airport and rent a car. The drive will take about 6 1/2 hours and boasts beautiful landscapes scattered with ancient baobabs. Once at the Parfuri gate it's a short drive to the lodge. 

The lodge is tucked away in the bush on the hills,  overlooking the Luvuvhu River. You will find your way to your room along gorgeous wooden walkways that wind through the environment. The rooms are spacious, modern and based on an open plan design. So much so that several of the walls are screens that you can roll up via remote and sleep with nature on your doorstep. 180 degrees of the uninterrupted African bush. Don't worry - there is a magnificent mosquito net that will make anyone feel that they are on a romantic getaway. All the rooms have large king size beds with a bath, an inside and outside shower and all the amenities you would require. I must admit I jumped right in for the opportunity of a shower whilst overlooking the valley. 

The food is five star and well thought out by a private chef catering to all your needs. A light breakfast of fruits and cereals is provided before your morning game drive along with your much-needed coffee. Once back a light fresh brunch welcomes you while sitting on the deck overlooking the flowing river. If you are lucky an elephant might come by to take a much-needed drink or to have a splash in the midday heat. The lodge caters for all food choices whilst embracing local cuisine served with a fresh twist. You can enjoy lunch next to the shimmering pool if you prefer. In summer months the temperatures soar and a cold gin and tonic will be most welcome. Dinner is a three-course affair with a wonderful selection of wine. 

My favourite part of any bush experience is the game drives. Your wake up call is at 5:30 am (the only time I don't complain about waking up early.) Waking up to the sunrise over the valley and river with open blinds was simply spectacular. Your biological clock just tunes in and waking up with the bush environment is magical. If experiencing the game drives is not on your agenda then you can enjoy a game walk or relax at the pool and bird watch. Visiting the fever tree forest counts as one of my favourite experiences and if you find yourself visiting make sure it is a request! Driving and spotting the animals felt like driving through the garden of Eden. A moving experience on every level. 

With a private chef, exclusive vehicle and personal guide, your experience is tailor-made for luxury. The surroundings and service allow you to slip into ultimate relaxation whilst connecting with your loved ones. 

There are few places I have visited where I left a piece of my heart behind. Pel's Post - I will have to return to make my heart whole again. 

-Melissa 

*This blog post is sponsored by Rare Earth Properties. All opinions are my own.