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Coffee Club at The Deck Restaurant

17th July 2018 at 3:54 pm

 


The Coffee Club

All too often us moms are so busy running around that we don’t have time to catch up with each other. Between school drop off and afternoon sports, we mooo ‘’Hello’’ in passing, meaning to ask more in-depth questions about one another’s lives but never getting the chance to do so.

Last week I decided that I’d had enough! Not only was I itching to know how all the calves were getting on in school but I was feeling the need for a good old natter! So my eldest calf helped me set up a Whatsapp group, named ‘The coffee club’ and before I knew it, we had added all the moms nearest and dearest to my heart. The moms I’ve built friendships with through our calves and the ones who are pretty much in the same head space as I am.

I decided that the most ideal spot to meet would be The Deck Restaurant at Irene Farm. Not only could we get an excellent coffee but for those that hadn’t had a chance to grab a bite to eat before rushing out the door (which is usually the case), there are great choices of breakfasts, lighter meals and treats.

Time for coffee

With the date and a 9am meeting time set, I found myself gleefully shipping the calves off to school that day, looking forward to my morning ahead.

As we were seated at The Deck Restaurant, our friendly waitress welcomed us and took our drinks order. The promise of perfectly made cappuccinos, lattes and teas had all of us chatting with excitement. The conversation went from jovial natter about the calves and their latest antics to a more serious tone of school reports and upcoming exams but all in all, we enjoyed a morning of good old catch up.

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At some point we decided that we were a little hungry and so orders of decadence were placed – a cheats breakfast whilst the bulls weren’t around! And if we are going to cheat, then we will do it properly! Yummy waffles dripping with syrup were the ultimate indulgence whilst others chose savoury scones (spinach, cheese and sweetcorn). Some of the moms opted for traditional scones which they thoroughly enjoyed with jam, cheese and Irene Farm’s famous cream and then there were those who happily welcomed a farmhouse breakfast.

Before we knew it half the morning had gone and we all had to get going. A few of us used the opportunity to grab some essentials and luxuries from The Deli before heading off for the afternoon rush.

I’m determined to make this a regular get-together – us mom’s need a good catch up over a fabulous coffee at least once a month.

Suffice to say, The Coffee Club’s next date is already diarised and we are all in agreement that The Deck Restaurant will continue to be our meeting spot. I, for one, am looking forward to becoming a regular there…

Till Next Week,
The Dairy Cow

Destination Irene July Newsletter 2018

29th June 2018 at 2:25 pm

Exciting mooows!


News from Destination Irene this month has never been mooore exciting! The renovations at African Pride Irene Country Lodge, Autograph Collection®, are complete…

The General Manager, Duke, took me on a little sneak-peak tour last week and I was over the mooon with pride. Not only has my favourite Destination Irene place outdone themselves, but now they can cater to even more of my Destination Irene fans wanting to explore their beautiful property.

The 48 (yes, that’s 48!) new Superior Rooms nestled on the edge of the lodge’s forest are true to their initial intention. With relaxing forest views and all the creature comforts I’ve come to expect from African Pride Irene Country Lodge, Autograph Collection®, I dropped a few hints to Bill that our anniversary is coming soon!

(And true to my anniversary expectations, Camdeboo Day Spa have the most beaoootiful Winter Bliss Package – perfect timing! I could certainly do with a SIX Timeless Skin Treatment followed by a Taster Buff & Go. Putting my hooves up whilst enjoying a cup of tea and slice of cake with everything revolving around me – takes me back to the day we wed out in the fields…)

When Duke herded me over to the extended Meadow Green Restaurant I immediately thought it is going to be ideal for our 20th Wedding Anniversary, which we will celebrate next year. It’s like African Pride Irene Country Lodge, Autograph Collection® is catering to my every need! With fantastic buffet options, it’s the perfect location for our herd to celebrate with us.

We were also fortunate to meet the new Head Chef, Chowda, who is a Mooosterchef in his own right! Chef Chowda is just as excited to be at African Pride Irene Country Lodge, Autograph Collection®, where his kitchen rules!

Then Duke saved one of the best for last… with its own deck overlooking the renowned African Pride Irene Country Lodge, Autograph Collection®, lake and seating up to 250 guests, he says they can’t wait to welcome existing and new corporate clients to this state-of-the-art Lakeview Facility.

We took so long exploring all that African Pride Irene Country Lodge, Autograph Collection® has to offer that I almost forgot to order dinner! The calves have been pleading for a home cooked meal from The Deli and I’ve just discovered their new online shop!

 

 

WOW! How amooozing is it that we can now order some of our favourites from anywhere we want! From gift vouchers to platters, home cooked meals and milk products to my very own range of Dairy Cow paraphernalia (and my Dairy Cow Adventure Series for the kids will be arriving soon!) I spent the good part of an evening browsing all the things I could buy…

Dinner sorted, congratumoootions extended to all the staff of African Pride Irene Country Lodge, Autograph Collection®, and some fabulous Anniversary bookings on the horizon… I am so proud to be Destination Irene’s biggest fan!

Go check it out for yourselves…

Till Next Month,
The Dairy Cow

What a wonderfully relaxing date!

19th June 2018 at 8:50 am

As most couples do, Bill and I like to arrange a special evening to ourselves once in a while. One where the hustle and bustle of farm life can be forgotten and we can just focus on each other.

Our date nights range from delicious meals out to ordering room service and spending the night in luxury but every now and then we like to have a real relaxation treat! This month was one such occasion so we decided to book the Date Night at Camdeboo Day Spa – the ultimate spoil.

After a rather hectic day out in the fields, we herded over to African Pride Irene Country Lodge, Autograph Collection® where we were welcomed by the most helpful staff. As we entered the Camdeboo Day Spa gate a feeling of utter peace was evident in the most beautiful of settings.

A beaming receptionist offered us welcome drinks, showed us around the spa and then gave us a few minutes to change into our gowns and slippers. Once back at reception, our therapists took us through to a couple’s treatment room where our Twice as Massage treatment for two was the Date Night ultimate treat.

I had heard word in the fields that the Camdeboo Day Spa therapists are nothing short of spectacular, regularly attending workshops to keep updated on the latest therapy trends. Well, this experience was phenomenal!

Being a stressed out dairy cow is no joke! As I tackle each day trying to balance work, calves and family life my body (especially my back) aches as I climb into bed each night. The therapist took her time to ensure that every single knot in my shoulders was painlessly worked away whilst always ensuring that I was as comfortable as could be. After an hour of this wonderful massage, Bill and I both felt completely rejuvenated – a relaxing date night accomplished!

Once done, our therapists gave us a few minutes to change back into our gowns. Thank goodness as I think both Bill and I had dosed off for a bit and needed the time to wake up again!

To finish off our evening, we enjoyed a delicious snack platter with a bottle of bubbly on the restaurant patio. With the quietness of the evening surrounding us, Bill and I were able to catch up on adult conversation without the calves around to interrupt us.

We returned to the barn feeling udderly lazy! Thank goodness mooother-in-law had the calves for the night so Bill and I were able to enjoy an uninterrupted good night’s rest… just what the Farmer ordered!

I love relaxing date nights and this one was by far my favourite – Camdeboo Day Spa will be seeing us again, very soon.

Till Next Week,
The Dairy Cow

 

 

 

 

Oh what a night at the Meadow Green Restaurant

6th June 2018 at 11:47 am

Bill, my one and only, arranged to have mooother-in-law watch the kids and booked us a fabulous Saturday Night Live evening at African Pride Irene Country Lodge’s Meadow Green Restaurant.

Swaying into The River Bar, hoof in hoof, Bill and I started the evening with a pleasant, quiet drink. Sinking into the comfy sofas, (I nearly fell asleep before dinner!) Bill munched on some snacks and caught up on the latest sporting results. I was so relaxed I forgot to moan at him for watching sport on our night out!

Then we went through to the restaurant for a very special dinner – it was mooovelous to say the least. Why we don’t do this more often is unknown to me as Bill will tell you that just this one romantic night out scored him major brownie points!

Firstly, my choice of corn chowder soup to start was spot on. Not only was it absolutely delicious but the presentation was outstanding. Bill went for the Thai butternut soup which was equally as good and we both devoured the bread served with an eggplant spread (amongst others) to die for!

Starters called for the ceasar salad – parmesan, grilled chicken, lettuce and a classic dressing – just a few of my favourite things! Bill’s beef carpaccio must have been good as I think it only lasted about half a minute on his plate!

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Our very courteous waiter kept topping up our wine glasses and the live background music of the most enjoyable piano playing set the tone for our date… an unforgettable one at that.

Lime and coconut sorbet served in a shooter glass did the trick to cleanse the palate and just a few minutes later I was ogling a seafood dish that was supreme. Seared salmon, prawns and mussels with basmati rice and thermidor sauce – need I say more? Those prawns were mouth-watering and the salmon seared to perfection. Bill succumbed to a deboned oxtail with grilled polenta and braised summer vegetables which, should he have been allowed to, I’m sure he would have tried to take the pot of it back to the barn!

I had to request that our desert be served sometime after our main course as I wasn’t sure I would be able to fit much more in! But my taste buds won the war and boy, am I glad they did! A blue berry compote was the ideal treat to end a fabulous evening and Bill’s choice of a cheese board with local cheeses and preserves was marvellous too.

The ease of our evening was evident thanks to the fact that the service was flawless. It was a true romantic treat, I have to say that the Saturday Night Live made it perfect…

Till Next Week,
The Dairy Cow

Destination Irene June Newsletter 2018

1st June 2018 at 9:54 am

Authentic farm life


Bill and I are living the all South African farm life dream! The mooost beautiful views, a herd that we consider family and a slower pace to life although we live in the middle of a city. So you can imagine our uncontained excitement when African Pride Irene Country Lodge recently joined the elite Autograph Collection Hotels, Marriott International’s distinctive portfolio of thoughtfully designed and passionately independent hotels.

An individual character, unique guest experience and defining sense of place led to this exciting news and we couldn’t be more proud. African Pride Irene Country Lodge, Autograph Collection is Exactly like nothing else! And we are proof of that…

Of course, once the word of this exciting news spread in the fields, it was time for a celebration and so Bill arranged a wonderful get-together at The Pasture (Irene Farm’s pop-up restaurant open whilst The Barn Restaurant is being upgraded). And what a wonderful celebration it was. The whole herd gathered to enjoy a buffet-styled lunch whilst the calves played till late afternoon before we all returned back to our barns with full bellies and happy hearts. I just love a mooorse good reason to celebrate – especially at one of my favourite Destination Irene spots.

I popped back in to The Deli at Irene Farm a few days later as I had spotted some amooozing Irene Farm branded products before attending the celebration and I wanted to stock up. True to their word, Irene Farm have hand-picked some of their most favourite products and given them their stamp of approval. Look out for them when you next visit, you won’t be disappointed!

With all of the moootabulous renovations at African Pride Irene Country Lodge, Autograph Collection nearly in their final stages of completion, Bill has been helping out where he can. Always keen to get stuck in to ensuring Destination Irene remains a firm favourite, Bill has been filling me in on the exciting new Superior Rooms and Lakeview Facility. These upgrades will not only allow for more visitors to relish in African Pride Irene Country Lodge, Autograph Collection’s renowned hospitality but also for larger conference groups – and of course allowing all guests to enjoy an authentic farm experience.

In the midst of all this excitement, I almost forgot Father’s Day! Celebrating Bill’s amooozing ability to be the bull any calf could ask for, I’ve booked our little herd for Father’s Day Lunch at Meadow Green Restaurant. The menu looks scrumptious, as always, and at just R599 per person, Bill will certainly enjoy the treat.

Mooother-in-Law has offered to baby sit the calves for the afternoon once we are done with lunch so Bill and I can herd over to Camdeboo Day Spa where he will enjoy a Well Deserved Cheers to Dad. A 60 minute Indigenous Heated Massage, 60 minute Men’s Energy Release Facial and a shot of Whiskey or Gin – I don’t think Bill will have any complaints. Whilst he’s indulging in the spoils of being the best bull out there (yes, I am a little biased!), I’ll be getting my monthly mani and pedi.

All this fabulous news has left me feeling prouder of Destination Irene than ever before. I look forward to welcoming old and new visitors to our little piece of heaven. A haven of peace and tranquility that we like to refer to as African Pride Irene Country Lodge, Autograph Collection – authentic farm experience. Exactly like nothing else!

Till Next Month

 

 

 

You deserve a break!

23rd May 2018 at 11:06 am

We all live for them and they are often filled with endless activities of sport, braai’s, calf birthday parties and a quick grocery shop before the start of the new week! Weren’t the weekends made for relaxation? Rejuvenation? Getting enough rest to see us through the week ahead?

Well, quite the opposite is true for our little barnyard family and I think most would agree! Sometimes Mondays are a welcome break from the chaos of the weekend before and I’m pretty sure it should be the other way around!

Every now and then we need to slow down, take a break and breathe – otherwise we might go a little insane! Bill, being my better half, has a sixth sense when it comes to my breaking point and he knows just the antidote…

a weekend getaway.

It’s simple. Find the perfect location, with fabulous hospitality, scrumptious dining, ultimate beauty treats (of course) and luxurious accommodation. Bill found this seemingly impossible place a while back and when he sees life is getting a little too much, he books us a weekend getaway at African Pride Irene Country Lodge, obviously!

From the moment we check in to this place of heaven, I feel the worries of the world drifting away. Upon entering our luxury accommodation always boasting little extras that make our stay memorable, Bill and I feel like we are the only ones staying there.

Scrumptious dinner whether seated at the Meadow Green Restaurant or in-room service, our taste buds love it every time! A wonderful evening spent with Bill allows us the time to catch up on life in general and often we come up with new ideas to make our hectic lifestyle work.

The Meadow Green Restaurant’s buffet breakfast fuels us the next day as we then herd over to Camdeboo Day Spa for some relaxing treats. Bill and I always make use of the sensation showers, sauna, steam room, heated Jacuzzi, techno gym, swimming pool and sun lounger area. A day of complete rejuvenation means I return to the barn with a renewed sense of being. And my family are only to grateful to have their not-so-stressed mommy back!

It’s my refuge, my ultimate treat, my saving grace and I deserve it – actually, so do you! Remember that this magical place does exist… African Pride Irene Country Lodge’s weekend getaway is a weekend everyone deserves!

Till Next Week,
The Dairy Cow

 

 

 

Body Booooeautiful at Camdeboo Day Spa

14th May 2018 at 2:10 pm

It’s my biggest organ and it reflects my inner beauty, so my skin health is high up on my list of priorities! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not out to enter the next Miss Fields pageant (our local beauty contest) but I love a glowing, smooth, boooeautiful skin…

A while back I discovered the most amooozing body treat at one of my favourite Destination Irene spots – Camdeboo Day Spa. It’s become my trusted booking to ensure my skin is looking its best all year round – a MILK Body Polish.

The MILK range is Camdeboo Day Spa’s signature product allowing a pure and wholesome experience. It’s a must for relieving skin irritations, calming allergic reactions and soothing skin conditions such as eczema and sunburn. Not to mention the everyday benefits of using it to ensure your skin looks fabulous all the time.

This body bliss treatment begins with your therapist covering your skin in the MILK Body Scrub. Your skin will thank you later as the exfoliation buffs away old skin cells and stimulates microcirculation. Afterwards you are escorted to the shower where you are then able to wash off the scrub with warm water. Once done, you return to your treatment room where your therapist will finish off the treatment with MILK Body Butter. Slightly warmed to make it easier for your skin to absorb, your therapist will gently rub this moisturising cream into your skin leaving you feeling all silky, smooth, hydrated and glowing.

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Now doesn’t that sound like a wonderful treat?

Not only are you able to book your regular MILK Body Polish to ensure boooeautiful skin, but you can also purchase the MILK Body Scrub and MILK Body Butter from Camdeboo Day Spa so you are able to enjoy it at home too.

Although you’ll be missing out on the therapist expertly applying the products, you will be able to treat yourself in the comfort of your own home on a more regular basis ensuring that your skin continues to look its best in between your Camdeboo Day Spa visits.

I love my fabulous MILK body after every treat (and Bill loves it too!). After each treatment I enjoy a drink in the Camdeboo Day Spa garden where I get to relax, soak up the peaceful atmosphere and clear my head before returning to the barn.

If you’re wanting to give your skin the ultimate treat – a MILK Body Polish, enough said!

Till Next Week,
The Dairy Cow

Adulting in style

11th May 2018 at 7:20 am

Picture a place of serenity, beauty, relaxation and… the most amooozing cocktails! A no under 18’s place where the lounge-style décor lends itself to beautiful sunsets and classy vibes. Bill and I treated ourselves to a date night – The River Bar at African Pride Irene Country Lodge – and it didn’t disappoint!

Recently added to the list of many fabulous offerings at African Pride Irene Country Lodge, The River Bar provides sensational sunset views over the lake with an interesting cocktail menu and tapa style food.

Bill and I were fortunate enough to arrive just as the day was ending. We were ushered to small area where we relaxed in comfy chairs and had a world class view of the sun setting. As the local birdlife made their last rounds of finding worms in the manicured lawns before setting off to their nests for the night, we chose some rather interesting drinks to sip on whilst taking in our surroundings.

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A traditional Dry Martini was Bill’s choice and mine was an Irene Dream, Mixologist Creation. I was really intrigued with all the variations being served around us including River Edge Crunch’s, Vanilla Mojito’s and Nellmapius Tea’s. If we had the capacity to drink endless amounts of alcohol I think Bill and I would have tried just about every cocktail on the menu – all the more excuse to return soon to taste some more!

Realising that our lunch wasn’t going to quite see us through the evening (and seeing as though it was a date night) we were pleasantly surprised to find that we could order from the bar menu which meant we could enjoy the atmosphere till well into the night.

From bar bites to modern tapas, seafood and a few sharing options, we ordered the Sundowner Selection – fitting to the evening we were so enjoying. Our platter included Crayfish Irene, Lamb Cutlets, Prawn Kunafa, Chinese Five Spiced Pork Belly and Bone Marrow Brulee – not bad for a bar menu option!

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As resident guests and outsiders flowed in and out of this latest addition, Bill and I were able to savour each other’s company, drinks and food in our own little setting.

Young and old, groups of ladies (a ladies night out, I suppose) and newbie couples (I could tell) all filled The River Bar air with belts of laughter, great conversations and positive vibes. No wonder it’s fast becoming THE place to meet whether it be for a quick drink, a first impression pre-date stop or simply to enjoy the scenery as Bill and I so did.

After much conversation (and a few more cocktails!) it was way past my usual bedtime and so we herded home to the barn. The River Bar is certainly on the list of our date night treats and we will be heading back there very soon… it’s a great excuse to adult in style!

Till Next Week,
The Dairy Cow

A Royal Reception

1st May 2018 at 10:17 am

Warm welcomes at African Pride Irene Country Lodge


News in the fields is that African Pride Irene Country Lodge is boasting a brand newly revamped reception area. Being the local celeb when it comes to everything Destination Irene, I decided it would be best for me to check out the refurb myself… so you could read all about it straight from the Dairy Cow’s mouth!

Well, impressive is an understatement! As I entered the mooovelous lodge doors, I was immediately drawn to the warm welcome, peaceful ambience and of course, the gorgeous décor. Not only has the reception area been converted into a more open plan layout, but it’s more functional and of course, as upmarket as ever!

Greeted by the friendly reception staff (as always), they were all smiles as I commented on this spectacular upgrade. Bursting with pride, they excitedly told me that they too love the revamp and look forward to further changes to other areas of African Pride Irene Country Lodge happening over the next few months. (Make sure you keep following my blogs to avoid FOMO). If this is only the start, then African Pride Irene Country Lodge has set the bar high!

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Royal arrival 

This inviting reception had me intrigued and I soon found myself wondering around, looking at the finer details.

With a central fireplace making sure this room will be cosy no matter the weather, I was particularly drawn to a beautiful drawing of the ’Old Dairy Irene Estate’ by C Brotherton – a gentle reminder of where it all began.

As I sat down in one of the many amazingly comfy sofas adorning the room, the hostess eagerly handed me a welcome glass of cranberry juice. ‘’This juice has been very popular today,’’ she comment and I quickly understood why – it was delicious!

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Whilst I relaxed there for the next half hour or so, I watched and listened as guests happily arrived and left. All were welcomed with the utmost professionalism, making each one feel as important as can be. If they were checking in, the porter was on hand to show them to their room and if they were checking out, one could see that they were leaving feeling relaxed and grateful to have stayed. All commented on how they would be back again – and I’m sure African Pride Irene Country Lodge would be only too happy to oblige.

I returned to the fields to update the herd – with pride I explained that not only is African Pride Irene Country Lodge a haven of peace and tranquility but its fit for royalty too.

A royal reception which is only the beginning of the fabulous experience guests enjoy when arriving at African Pride Irene Country Lodge… making Destination Irene all the more inviting.

Till Next Week,
The Dairy Cow

Destination Irene May Newsletter 2018

26th April 2018 at 1:18 pm

Kudos to MOM!

The ultimate superhero would have to be mom! Not only does she run the whole household, make sure everyone’s fed, clean and presentable, but she never stops for a moment to take a well-deserved break.

Well, that’s what life in our barn feels like anyway! So this year, for Mother’s Day, I’ve taken it upon myself to arrange a whole weekend of spoils for everyone in the family – because if they’re well taken care of, no-one’s going to bother me and I will be able to do absolutely nothing for a few days straight…

With Bill’s credit card in hoof (don’t tell him), I found the most fabulous May offerings at Destination Irene (of course) and I guarantee, after this, there’ll be no mistaking that I’m the BEST MOM EVER!

Firstly, I’ve booked us in to African Pride Irene Country Lodge with the Kids Club package. Bill and I will enjoy some Camdeboo Day Spa treats whilst the calves are looked after by the complimentary 2 hour calf minding service (and we’ve paid for a little extra time!).

I’ve booked the Camdeboo Day Spa’s Mother’s Day Pamper Package (of course) which includes a Six Heavenly Facial, Scalp Massage and a MILK Foot Ritual. Just what every tired mom needs!

For Bill, I’ve booked the Hot Rock for Men – he needs those hard working muscles relaxed.

The following day Bill is going to enjoy a round of golf whilst I enjoy popping over to Irene Farm to catch up with my besties at The Deck restaurant. What a treat – with its new renovation, we will enjoy a wonderful cuppa whilst the calves play happily on the jungle gyms.

Afterwards I plan to pop into The Deli to stock up on delectable treats for the week, extending my Mother’s Day spoils a little longer!

Mooother-in-law has offered to take the calves for the next night, allowing Bill and I to book an additional Ultimate Romance package. Dinner, Bed and Breakfast with another two Camdeboo Day Spa treatments means I’ll have the BEST Mother’s Day ever!

Not forgetting that Mooother-in-law is a mother too, I’ve booked the Mother’s Day Lunch at Meadow Green Restaurant for all of us. How’s this for an awesooome menu – a plated starter of Salted Backed Beetroot, buffet main course including a soup station, salad bar, carvery, hot dishes, vegies and starches, stirfry bar and a live action station. Ending off with a plated dessert of Mom Knows Best Trio, cheese and breads – this is one lunch worth booking for! At just R599 per person, not only does mom get to enjoy the day off but she gets to eat like the queen that she is too!

If only we had more Mother’s Days in a year! There’s loads more offers I’d love to book… African Pride Irene Country Lodge’s Ultimate Shopping package and their Ultimate Spa come to mind! Not forgetting Camdeboo Day Spa’s Ladies Day Off, Just for You and Date Night packages. And what about Meadow Green Restaurant’s Buffet Breakfast, Around the World in 80 Bites and Saturday Night Live. Sigh, too many fabulous offerings and too little time!

Next year I think I’ll announce its Mother’s Month in our barn – that way I’ll have every excuse to enjoy a full month of Destination Irene.

Kudos to all the hard working mom’s out there – I hope you get to relax as much as I’m going to…

Til’ Next Month,
The Dairy Cow

Delectable Dinner at the Meadow Green Restaurant

18th April 2018 at 9:06 am

Sometimes my barnwife duties extend a little beyond just raising our calves and making delicious milk for the farm. As Bill’s better half I’m pleased to say that every now and then he ropes me into ensuring his business associates and their wives experience the best that Destination Irene has to offer – and I’m always happy to oblige.

One such occasion was just last week, when Bill arranged a men’s golf day (which always includes a few hours at the 19th hole) and so he tasked me with ensuring the ladies were spoilt to a fine dining meal.

Of course, the Meadow Green Restaurant at African Pride Irene Country Lodge was the only option and I promptly booked a table for five. Out of town guests are always impressed with the menu choice and gorgeous ambience of the Meadow Green Restaurant. I met the ladies on their arrival and we sat down to a gorgeously laid table ready for a dinner of note…

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True to their word, the chefs and their team offer delectable meals made with locally sourced fresh ingredients which make every plate amazing. From a starter choice of fresh salads including pumpkin, modern Caesar and camembert (cranberry filled with pickled red onion and cranberry vinaigrette), to seafood options and soup of the day, my guests were excited to order their favourites and I knew the evening would only get better from there.

On request, two of the ladies were given a tour of the vinoteque walk-in chilled wine cellar returning to the table with a couple of bottles to get the evening started. Nothing like a good glass or two to break the ice and get the conversations flowing.

Highly recommend by our friendly waiter, most of us opted for the Rib Eye Steak when it came time to ordering mains. With an on-site meat aging fridge, the chefs can offer premium matured meats grilled to perfection. Accompanied with choices of pap and sauce, hand cut chips, basmati rice or crushed rustic potatoes and baby vegetables, we were all eagerly awaiting this delicious choice.

For those who preferred other options, the menu included choices of basil penne, mushroom risotto, lamb neck, chicken supreme and kingklip – all promising to be excellent. When the mains arrived, they lived up to their expectations and I’m pleased to say that only good words of praise were said around the table.

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To finish off our evening, as us ladies never skip a dessert opportunity and when presented with the options, the waistlines were long forgotten! Chocolate flower pots, fruit salads in brandy snap baskets and my personal favourite, Lindor fondant with macadamia nougat ice cream, were soon adorning our table. Needless to say, every last bite was eaten and well enjoyed!

I now know you can never go wrong with the a la carte menu at Meadow Green Restaurant and my choice was affirmed when Bill thanked me the next day. Apparently the guests enjoyed it so much, they were begging their bulls to another meal before heading back to their home towns.

Till Next Week,
The Dairy Cow

And…relax… at Camdeboo Day Spa

10th April 2018 at 11:54 am

From an outsider’s point of view, living on the farm looks like the ultimate way of life. Little does one realise that the ‘behind the scenes’ effort that goes into creating this idyllic setting can get very hectic at times! Farmer van der Byl understands the stress of a dairy cow’s life – making sure our milk is nothing short of mooolicious and nutritious! Lucky for us, we have the Camdeboo Day Spa on our doorstep any time we feel the need to escape the world as we know it…

Last week I decided that Bill and I needed some ‘down time’ from our everyday routine. With the permission from our head of the herd, we took the morning off and strolled across the road to enjoy all that Camdeboo Day Spa has to offer.

Stepping into the beautifully decorated setting, I immediately felt a sense of relaxation. Friendly therapists were there to greet us and show us around the facilities. I was impressed to see the trophies and certificates adorning the walls amongst which were for the 2015, 2016 and 2017 World Luxury Spa Awards – Best Luxury Day Spa Continent Winner, as well as the Spalicious Professionalism award for 2016.

Our booking was for an Indigenous Massage but we were also able to use the Spa facilities for the morning which added all the more to our relaxing experience.

A sauna, steam room, outdoor swimming pool, heated Jacuzzi and my favourite, sensation showers meant that by the time we ventured on back to the farm, we felt like we didn’t have a care in the world! (One or two brave souls were utilising the techno gym area – I take my hat off to those that find exercise relaxing!)

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Time for our Indigenous Massage and we couldn’t have picked a better treatment to have. Soothing coconut oil combined with hot stones and of course, the very talented therapists – I think I might have caught myself snoozing once or twice during the hour! Bill and I both agreed that the therapists must get the best training on the market (not surprising at all), because they both were excellent in ensuring our treatment was moootacular.

Afterwards, my therapist kindly showed me some amooozing products that she thought would work wonders on the knots in my shoulders and she was right! The Camdeboo Day Spa also has its own range of scrub, body wash, body butter as well as a hand and nail cream, aptly named, Milk. With these products in tow, I’m going to feel like I’m visiting the spa every day in my own home.

After a refreshing shower, we sat down at the lovely café for a home-made ice tea and a bite to eat.

Back at the barn, my eldest calf was curious to hear all about our experience. She has just two years to go until she can join us at Camdeboo Day Spa for spoils of her own and she can’t wait…

Till Next Week,
The Dairy Cow

Smunchday Sunday at the Irene Farm

4th April 2018 at 2:29 pm

Fewer things make a Mooommy Cow happier than a good old lie-in on a Sunday morning and a scrumptious breakfast to booot. Alas, my calves are still too young to make me breakfast in bed!

With Bill being away so often lately – important farmyard upgrades to attend to – I have been left with all the cooking duties. Cooking and me are only friends for a limited number of days so when my beauty sleep got rudely interrupted by a nagging 5 year old who was STARVING last Sunday morning, I decided a trip to Irene Farm was desperately needed…

Luckily The Pasture at the Irene Farm wasn’t fully booked, as they usually are, and so my brood and I happily sat down to a table in the shade. Well, the next few hours were the best I’d had all week!


The order of the day

Firstly, the Sunday morning Chef’s Hot Table spread is mooolicious to say the least. If your ultimate weekend breakfast starts with fresh toast, smoked country style bacon, egg (scrambled or fried), local beef boerewors braised in spicy chakalaka sauce, oven baked mushrooms, tomatoes and spicy potato hash or ground millie pap, then no need to dine anywhere else!

Secondly, after enjoying my breakfast in peace whilst the calves were off gallivanting on the farm, I ordered a well-deserved cappuccino. Rich roasted coffee with delicious foam (or a decadent dollop of Irene Farm double thick cream) is the BEST accompaniment to such a fabulous breakfast.

Thirdly, I took a few moments to relish in the fact that whilst I was enjoying my own company, although I would have preferred my better half there, and the calves were as happy as pigs in the pigsty! Jungle gyms, tractors, walks around the farm and the various farm animals to see make for much entertainment.


Sipping on my coffee, I was pleased to see all the happy families around me enjoying it just as much as we were. Parents being able to have a conversation as their calves were busy playing, grandparents catching up and friends discussing travel plans at the table next to ours. The Chef’s Hot Table certainly caters to all their guests.

I finally decided to herd the calves back to the table (the 5 year old had long forgotten just how starving he was when we arrived!) for their turn to eat. A glass of milk and fresh fruit juices were enjoyed by all. My calves thought the best part of their morning was that delicious scones and flapjacks were included in the Chef’s Hot Table spread – which meant that they had more than their fair share of dessert for breakfast!

With full bellies, happy faces and dirty feet, we herded on home just before the lunch time crowd arrived. And our lazy Sunday continued… The best part was, I didn’t have to cook another meal that day! Snacks were more than sufficient as the Chef’s Hot Table had done its job!

I predict a few more Smunchday Sundays in the near future… we’ll have to include Bill next time!

Till Next Week,
The Dairy Cow

Destination Irene: April 2018 Newsletter

3rd April 2018 at 3:07 pm

Our offers bring all the bunnies to the yard!

The calves are just about jumping out of their hooves with excitement for the upcoming Easter weekend – and the sugar rush is still to come!

The Easter Bunny hopped in for a warm cappuccino last week after been caught in the rain whilst making all his preparations and he was just as excited too! After gushing about how impressed he is with the African Pride Irene Country Lodge Meadow Green Restaurant Easter Sunday Lunch spread for just R595 per person, he went on to say that he thinks the Irene Dairy Farm Easter Sunday Lunch will be just as good.

Always excited at the thought of Easter being a time for family and friends to enjoy each other’s company, the Easter Bunny was doing double bunny hops in my barn when I mentioned the latest fabulous offers that African Pride Irene Country Lodge have just released…

In fact, not a day later the Easter Bunny popped in again to let me know that he and his extended family (we all know how quickly a bunny nest can grow!) have booked just about every offer there is! His excuse – he needs plenty of rest and relaxation after his busiest weekend of the year and African Pride Irene Country Lodge guarantees just that!

The Easter Bunny and his fam will be enjoying the Kid’s Club offer. An interleading room for the kids, breakfast on the house, 2 hours of bunny-minding services and in-room movies. They’re sorted!

His recently wed brother, Barry, and his new wife have booked the Ultimate Romance (of course, still in their bunnymoon phase!). Dinner, bed and breakfast with a bottle of bubbly and two selected spa treatments… that bunny nest is sure to be growing soon!

His bunny-in-law is a shop-a-holic and so the Ultimate Shopping package is what the in-laws booked. Bed and Breakfast, a 10% discount voucher, R100 voucher and a retail gift from Irene Farm were too good for her to resist. And the complimentary shuttle service over to Irene Farm will ensure she can carry all her shopping bags back to the lodge with ease.

Of course, his younger sis is a total spa bunny so her and her bae have booked the Ultimate Spa offer. Bed and breakfast with two selected spa treatments – they will be the most relaxed of the bunch!

The choices are too good to be true from Ladies Day Off to Just for You, Winter Bliss, Hot rock for Men (so they don’t feel left out) and Date Night – every bunny has their favourite, favourite!The Easter Bunny’s dad loves a round of golf and the Golf Getaway offer was a no-brainer – bed and breakfast with a round of golf thrown in… thank goodness there are some fabulous Camdeboo Day Spa offers that his mom can enjoy whilst dad’s practicing his swing!

Best we all hop on the bunnywagon if we don’t want to miss out…

The calves can rest assured that we’ve got the Easter Bunny covered – he’ll surely be spoiling them rotten this year! As for Bill and I, we are gearing ourselves up for a sugar rush of epic proportions! Luckily there’s loads of space for our calves to work off their energy on Irene Farm.

Happy Easter everyone – from our barn to yours x

‘Til next month

Holiday fun for the whole family

22nd March 2018 at 7:48 am

Moootastic family fun

Upon returning from a two week business trip to the fairest Cape (where he was in charge of researching some exciting developments that Farmer van der Byl has in stall in the near future), Bill decided that some quality family time was much needed. He thought it the ideal opportunity to book us the Family Fun package at African Pride Irene Country Lodge, not only so that the calves could experience staying in a hotel but also so that we could enjoy experiencing the luxury of all that the Lodge has to offer.

Needless to say, we arrived for check in early Friday afternoon with three super excited calves in tow…

After been ushered to our inter-leading rooms and once the calves had sussed out every corner of their accommodation for the night, we opened up the patio doors to a lush, green, gorgeous view. Within two minutes our youngest was over at the kiddies play area where he made new friends, enjoyed the jumping castle and played soccer for the afternoon. Our other two calves made themselves comfy in bed and read the afternoon away.


Bill and I simply sat on our patio and took in every bit of peace and tranquillity that we could. A snack platter and some refreshing sundowners meant that we finally had some time to catch up whilst the calves were as happy as little pigs in mud!

In the late afternoon a typical Highveld thunderstorm rolled in and although we all had to come back indoors, it was a mooovelous sight to see. The colours of the sky with loud thunder and glorious rain was wonderful to watch from our beautifully decorated rooms.

Delectable dinner 

That evening we headed off for dinner in the Meadow Green Restaurant where our calves were spoilt with delicious milkshakes and the best spaghetti bolognaise ever! Bill and I enjoyed the buffet – variety and melt in your mouth deliciousness was the order of the day.

On the walk back to our rooms that evening the calves commented on how much they loved staying at the Lodge and Bill was pleased that he had made the right choice.

After a restful night’s sleep we awoke to yet another beautiful day. I noticed the calves’ eyes doubling in size when they saw what was on offer at the breakfast buffet and this was one morning that I didn’t put my hoof down insisting that it was a healthy one! Pancakes, pastries, fresh muffins and croissants – need I say more! We all ate to our hearts content and the best part was, I didn’t have to deal with hungry tummies till dinner time that day!

Before departing, we were sure to do a little more exploring and we enjoyed a game of identifying the abundant birdlife on the lake.

Our Family Fun getaway was worth every minute spent with my gorgeous brood in what is most certainly, my most favourite Destination Irene place to stay.

Till Next Week,
The Dairy Cow

The Pasture at the Irene Farm

13th March 2018 at 8:27 am

Herding off to scrumptious pastures…

It’s been a hectic few weeks! Bill has been mooorse busy with all the exciting renovations going on at Irene Farm and the calves have kept me on my hooves with homework, swimming galas and all sorts of other activities in-between.

This past Sunday morning I woke up absolutely exhausted! Counting down the days on my Irene Farm calendar to the upcoming holidays, Bill decided that I needed the day off. Grateful for his concern (and the fact that he actually noticed how tired I was) my excitement at a scrumptious Sunday meal soon turned to disappointment when I realise our favourite family restaurant was temporarily closed! The Barn Restaurant is undergoing some fabulous additions and unfortunately, it means they’re only re-opening mid-year.

The Pop-up Pasture

Little did I realise that the pop-up restaurant, The Pasture, has been set up during the course of the renovations, providing undercover seating with the same delicious meal offerings we all have become accustomed to.

In fact, when Bill suggested we enjoy our Sunday lunch at The Pasture, he mentioned that it’s so well equipped that they had hosted a morning wedding there just last week!

Excited at the prospect of a scrumptious home-cooked styled meal, we were all ready to enjoy the day out. Upon arrival, the calves were very pleased to see that the jumping castle, jungle gyms and big stretch of lawn was still open for them to run around to their hearts content. Bill and I didn’t see them until it was time to graze!

The Sunday Lunch Chef’s Carvery

With limited kitchen facilities available during the renovation, The Pasture serves buffet-style breakfast and lunches on the weekend. The Sunday Chef’s Carvery was just as good as ever. A selection of salads for starters, choices of chicken, sirloin, hake and vegetable pasta to name just a few of the mains options and finishing off with delectable deserts, this meal was just what I needed!


Bill was pleased with himself when he realised his suggestion of The Pasture was well-enjoyed and even agreed to herd back there with Mooother-in-Law and kie in tow for her upcoming Birthday. Still ideal for special occasions and family get-togethers, the fairy lights in the undercover area make it all the more fabulous. A light spray of water from the edges of the area do a good job of cooling it down too making it pleasant even if it’s a scorcher of a day.

I’ve even made arrangements to meet up with our coffee group for lunch this coming week – their Monday to Friday A la carte menu includes some all-time favourites such as scones, toasted sarmies and home-made burgers.

Hooves up to Irene Farm for ensuring that we can still enjoy the same deliciousness whilst they are busy with their exciting renovations. Until then, we will keep visiting The Pasture… proof that sometimes the graze is just as good on the other side!

Till Next Week,
The Dairy Cow

 

 

A Decadent Affair

6th March 2018 at 2:46 pm

An elegant Affair

Bill and I have been mooorse excited about all the upgrades taking place within Destination Irene of late. One of particular enticement is the Silver Rose Lobby Lounge at African Pride Irene Country Lodge. With a royal new reception area, this latest addition promises to be the epitome of elegance and so, I insisted that Bill accompany me to an afternoon of deliciousness coupled by sophisticated ambience and all round adulting in style!

Stepping into the Silver Rose Lobby Lounge can be compared to placing oneself into an upper class formal sitting room with beautiful wooden pieces of furniture complimented by the most appeasing fabrics. Unbelievably comfortable sofas and chairs adorn the room with an inviting fire place to one side and an impressive book shelf to the other.

Old photos scattered around the room of the farm that once was on this property, are a reminder of where it all started. The infusion of old to new makes up the character of this room – all of which epitomises African Pride Irene Country Lodge’s haven of peace and tranquillity.

Bill and I chose to sit in the centre from where we could take in all of its beauty whilst enjoying each other’s company.

A beautiful samovar adorning the serving table is host to a selection of Ronnefeldt teas. Hailing from the finest plantations in Sri Lanka, Darjeeling, Assam, Japan and China, extreme care is used in harvesting, processing, packaging and preparing these teas which is synonymous with Ronnefeldt’s traditional tea production. And the proof is in the taste – a perfect cup of tea in the perfect setting.

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With a wide range of other beverages on offer, Bill and I decided to treat ourselves to something from the eats menu – we were so glad we did! The variety from savoury to sweet with little extras in-between such as designer sandwiches and a signature carrot cake make for a fabulous light meal. We decided to taste test Sélection Salée (luxurious savouries) as well as the Sélection Sucrée (sweet delicacies).  Made to order, both were equally tantalising and it certainly lived up to our expectations.

After browsing some of the books on the bookshelf we decided on one last cup of tea before heading back to the barn.

Our afternoon spent in the Silver Rose Lobby Lounge was one of complete decadence – I’m not convinced that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet!

Till Next Week,
The Dairy Cow

Pretty Pottery at The Clay Café

21st February 2018 at 7:49 am

Summer Fun at The Clay Café

With summer upon us and the promise of a wonderful season ahead, Bill has suddenly decided that he needs to get back into shape! One of his favourite local places to go is The Big Red Barn, an outdoor activity venue that offers something for every member of the family.

Determined to make his spring resolution a family affair, we herded off down Main Road on Sunday morning. On arrival at The Big Red Barn, the first few minutes were spent debating our choices. Bill opted for a trail run to kick start his efforts so the calves and I decided to check out the Clay Café.

Living in an arty community like Destination Irene, we were pleased to find a spot where we could get a little creativity of our own done. Situated between the trees in a barn-like setting, we sat down to enjoy what promised to be a relaxed morning.

After ordering a coffee and then wondering around the already painted creations waiting to be collected for some potential inspiration, we couldn’t wait to get started.

Let the creativity begin…

Our friendly waitress took us over to an array of clay choices in all shapes and sizes for us to pick what we would like to paint. From character creations (my youngest calf chose Batman) to painting your own mug or a tea pot, and everything in-between, we made our selections and began our artwork.

A wide range of paint colours, stencils, stamps and stickers cluttered our table as our creative juices freely flowed. Batman was painted all sorts of colours, made beautiful with many dots and even now sports a heart tattoo on his back! My Africa stencilled plate came out so pretty that I might just send it off to my family in Australia.

After a couple of hours our pottery was looking as gorgeous as we envisaged it to be. I was delighted to see a number of young families and friends arriving eager to put their own creations to work – all of which were fabulous.

Once done, our artworks were taken away to be completed in the kiln. They’ll contact us once it’s ready for collection and then we will proudly display them in the barn.

We finished up just as Bill completed his run. Once he’d had a drink and a hearty breakfast to replenish his energy levels, we herded home happy that we had all gotten to enjoy our morning – although in different ways.

I envisage my barn is going to be adorned with pretty personalised pottery in the near future. (I’ve already booked a ladies paint night for our ‘Girl’s night out’ group!). Now to decide what I’m going to paint next…

Till Next Week,
The Dairy Cow

Love me some V-day spoils from Camdeboo Day Spa

13th February 2018 at 9:03 am

Valentine’s Date Night at Camdeboo Day Spa

Valentines came a little early for me this year! After a rather hectic month of Januworry with back to school and all, Bill decided to surprise me with a visit to my absolute favourite spot – Camdeboo Day Spa

After what felt like the longest week ever, I arrived back at the barn on Friday evening to find my Mooother-in-law settled in on my barrel of hay! Before I could moooan in Bill’s ear, he quickly told me that she was there to babysit for the evening as he and I were going out!

I have to say (and let’s keep this between you and me), I wasn’t really feeling it! The thought of having to dress up, but on my big girl heels and herd off for a night on the town wasn’t really on my list of plans. But when Bill mentioned Camdeboo Day Spa and then… Valentines Date Night… well, I was in!

Mooother-in-law assured us that she had the calves sorted – so my valentine and I took a lovely stroll over to African Pride Irene Country Lodge.

Let the pampering begin!

Upon arrival, the lovely Camdeboo Day Spa ladies offered us a refreshing home-made ice tea and the chance to relax in their reception area whilst they got things ready for our treatment. After changing into our gowns, Bill and I were ushered to our treatment room where the next hour of total relaxation dreams came true!

A full body massage has to be the best treat ever – our therapists used Spalicious oil to rub into all our aching muscles with expert techniques and professionalism. It was so relaxing that I think I might have drifted off at one stage! Bill really enjoyed it too, this was evident in his sporadic bursts of snoring and the therapists were very good not to giggle! I suppose they might consider their clients drifting off to lala land a compliment – it certainly confirms their goal of ultimate relaxation.

And the Valentine’s spoils didn’t end there as we were each given a Gold Filigree Gift Box from MatsiMela to take home…

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And, now, to relax!

Once done (with very heavy eyes and loads of yawning!), we herded to the gardens where we were further treated to a snack platter and a bottle of Pongraz. Bill and I chatted about the calves, life on the farm and all the wonderful things we have to be grateful for. It was a fabulously romantic way to spend some time enjoying each other’s company – something we don’t often get to do.

Sipping on Pongraz and gazing at the beautiful setting, I felt the stress of everyday life drift away. We must have sat staring at the stars, and each other, for a long while as when Bill looked at his watch he was surprised to see how late it was! We herded back to the barn, hoof in hoof feeling the love as only true Valentines should.

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If you haven’t already, then do you and your loved one a favour – book the Valentines Date Night at Camdeboo Day Spa. Love yourselves some V-day spoils of your own!

Till Next Week,
The Dairy Cow

 

 

 

 

 

 

A beautiful round of Golf at Irene Country Club

6th February 2018 at 8:07 am

A Beautiful Round of Golf!

Bill’s ultimate day out is a walk around the golf course (as it is for many men!). His regular rounds of golf often lead to big business ideas and great networking, so when I politely hinted at the possibility of him reducing his number of games in a month, I got a very negative response!

As it happens just last week the calves were out and about with their friends and Bill, much to my surprise, invited me to tag along to Irene Country Club. He felt that if I experienced the game for myself, I might take his view on it a little more seriously. My golfing knowledge is pretty limited, but Bill insisted that we could use it as time well spent together – “A couple who walks together (in this case around an 18-hole golf course!), stays together!” was his reasoning.

Let the swinging begin

Sporting my newest pair of takkies and making sure my pedometer was set, Bill and I headed over to Irene Country Club for an afternoon of golf. I remembered seeing the club advertised in the latest issue of Destination Irene, so quickly brushed up on my knowledge of it on our way over.

Impressive is an understatement! Not only on arrival did I notice the old-world charm that this country club exudes but the hustle and bustle of all the sport taking place was phenomenal! I’ve travelled up and down Nellmapius Drive often enough to know the course holes adjacent to the road are always occupied but never did I imagine just how busy Irene Country Club is! Cricket, bowls, tennis and squash are great additions to this beautiful golf course and driving range. All teaming with players, young and old, enjoying these first-class facilities.



FORE!

As Bill and I joined his four ball I soon realised that I was going to enjoy this far more than expected. Peaceful, serene, gorgeous and green are some of the adjectives that come to mind when describing my walk around this course. Bill’s interpretation is slightly different – challenging, tricky, competitive and sometimes frustrating if you aren’t hitting the ball straight! We agreed on one aspect, this course is in pristine condition and it quite possibly is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the city.

The four-ball chatter mostly consisted of pars, birdies and even an eagle, all of which made the men very excited. I simply enjoyed the surrounds and time spent watching my Bill do what he enjoys most. Although the odd Kiviet guarding its nest kept me on guard and sometimes deviating through the thick to avoid being pecked, my perception of golf has changed somewhat.

Clocking in at just over 12 000 steps for the day (walking around a golf course is no mean feat), we checked into the 19th hole. Our day ended on a happy hour note and by the time Bill and I returned to the barn, our herd was patiently awaiting our return.

Needless to say, I’ve told Bill I’ll be his caddy for his next round of golf at Irene Country Club! And he is very pleased…

Till Next Week,
The Dairy Cow

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