The first time I set eyes upon Michaelhouse I decided this was the school for my son. Falling in love with the place is easy, the space, the beautiful landscapes, architecture, sports facilities – right in the heart of the Midlands. I have some of my happiest memories there.
The Midlands stretches between Mooi River and Pietermaritzburg in Kwa Zulu Natal. Some routes spider out in other directions, but for me the turn off at Midmar Dam, all the way to Nottingham Road, past Michaelhouse, is a personal favourite. Everyone develops their own haunts and favourites, and this stretch of road, is mine. Again, many other places in the Dargle or Rosetta that I love, it’s just that my son did end up going to the great Michaelhouse, privileged man, and I could not wait to drive this road to meet him.
My love affair began with Country Living, when the children were still small. Any given opportunity and we would trundle up to Country Living and the amazing Hedgerow Children’s collection. Country Living designs and finishing off with Gilly Walters and her nougat. LOVE Wedgwood nougat!
The choices for a Sunday lunch were endless. The Cooking Bear, Rawdon’s, Indigo Fields. Hebron Haven, La Lampara and my son’s favourite, burgers at Caversham Mill. Oh and of course, Blueberry Hill. And, and, and …
A few years ago, a small development called Piggly Wiggly popped up. Now an entire country village where one can amble from shop to shop and have an amazing lunch.
Love Zulu Lulu.
A personal favourite, and you will love their story, is Abingdon Wine Estate. Who would have thought that in the heartland of Kwa Zulu Natal, the Smorthwaites would establish a successful Wine business? Not in the Cape? Wines in the Midlands? Jayne and Ian have created a winner, through hard work and perseverance, undaunted by critics. Her lunches are legendary and the wines are becoming true heavy weights in the world of the nectar. Bow down in awe stuff. Cannot wait to get their wines in London.
The thing is. You pick a route. Stop for lunch, indulge in creative outlets. Find Lavender, a handbag, some embroidery, and African artifact. Visit the place Mandela was arrested. Experience Brooklands Spa. Or Fordoun. Detox, eat and experience the perfect Wedding venue. Tea at Hartford House.
Once I get started on the Midland’s Meander, it’s difficult to tell you the whole story. A success story of how the locals re-invented entrepreneurship in the countryside. Look at the official website and plan your next trip to Kwa Zulu Natal through the part of God’s special acres.