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What a wonderfully relaxing date at Camdeboo Day Spa!

18th August 2017 at 11:42 am

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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 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

Sundays are the BEST at The Barn Restaurant!

11th August 2017 at 9:04 am

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Sundays are THE BEST!

Let’s be fair – it’s everyone’s favourite day of the week. Sundays were made for family, relaxation and mooost importantly… Sunday lunches!

Typically, Sundays are spent with me slaving away in the kitchen amongst bales of hay accompanied by various herbs and spices picked from our farmyard vegie garden, whilst the rest of the herd put their hooves up on the veranda and enjoy the view! Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook up a storm for my loved ones but every now and then I feel the urge to throw my tea towel at them – which more often than not results in me getting a Sunday off (too!). Mooosion accomplished!

Bill knows what THAT means and he expertly arranges my favourite Sunday lunch spot every time. Irene Farm’s – The Barn Restaurant – naturally!

A few weeks ago, I had one of ‘those’ moments and sure enough, the very next day Sunday Lunch was booked.

With three very excited calves (they love a good day out on the farm), we arrived to a bustling restaurant vibe filled with laughter and chatter from all the patrons doing exactly what we were there to do, enjoy our Sunday lunch…

Within minutes the calves were gone, but not before asking our friendly waitress for delicious farm milkshakes to quench their thirst. Bill and I settled down with a crisp bottle of white wine, of course, and so our moootacular Sunday afternoon began.

With the mooouth watering aromas of home cooked food surrounding us, I didn’t wait long to check out the buffet before returning to our table with my first course. Freshly made salads that looked like the ingredients had just been hand-picked from the field, were a great start. Whilst sipping on my wine and watching the calves climbing the jungle gym, Bill and I took a moment to enjoy grazing at the same time! Usually one of us is trying to entice the youngest calf to eat whilst the other finishes up so that they can take over – a practice I believe is common in most households!

Back to the buffet for mains, this time with the calves in tow, and our eyes grew wide with the selection before us. Roast beef and gravy, seafood potjie, a great selection of vegies and loads more, what a treat. With our plates filled to the brim and our eyes probably bigger than our stomachs, we enjoyed our hearty Sunday Lunch meal around the table chattering about the school week ahead and projects that Bill has on the go.

Before we knew it the calves were off again, this time to look at the swans on the lake I believe, which left Bill and I with alone time to chat about more serious matters (such as the current renovation of the Irene Farm Shop and The Deck Restaurant). I’m pleased to say that the upgrade will make Destination Irene even more enticing…

Not ones to skip dessert, and once our tummies had settled, we headed back to the buffet table for the most delicious treats. The calves had already been eyeing out the dessert spread before the mains so they had their minds set. With choices from divine malva pudding to cheesecake and fruit flan, let’s just say that we rolled on back to the barn!

For a family fun Sunday Lunch that can’t be beat, book your spot asap (a little tea towel tantrum might speed things along too!)…

Till Next Week

The Dairy Cow

Woman’s Day: You deserve a Ladies Day Off at Camdeboo Day Spa

8th August 2017 at 4:50 pm

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You deserve a Ladies Day Off!

With the calves back at school and spring just around the corner, Pertunia, Mooria and I decided that a little Women’s Day treat was needed! After dropping our respective herds off for the morning and making sure the bulls were busy in the fields, we snuck off to our favourite relaxation spot – Camdeboo Day Spa.

Pertunia had heard about the Ladies Day Off package from fellow cows in the fields (some of them have booked it for kitchen teas and stork parties) and so we decided it would be appropriate for Women’s Day month. The package caters for each lady’s individual preference with a variety of treatments to choose from so all of us were guaranteed to get the relaxation we were looking forward to.

Camdeboo Day Spa Experience

After a warm welcoming and the offer of refreshments, our therapists whisked us off to our beautiful treatment rooms. Pertunia opted for a Milk Moisture hand ritual which she absolutely loved – so much so that she went home with a tube of Milk Moisture Hand Cream.

Mooria chose the Soothing scalp and face massage – she raved about it afterwards, saying it was her first massage of that kind and she will definitely be booking it again.

I decided to go with my all-time favourite, the Tech Neck massage and as per every visit to Camdeboo Day Spa, it was fabulous! I too went home with a spoil, a bottle of Lilian Terry International Back Formula Massage Oil which my therapist said I only need to apply to my back without massaging it in (but I’m not telling Bill that!).

Destination of Ultimate Relaxation

Feeling totally relaxed (in fact, I’m sure I fell asleep at one point!), the three of us then met on the patio for a light lunch, which was included in our package. Soaking up the winter sun, in the most peaceful setting, we caught up on all the back to school gossip. A range of teas, pastries and fruit were the perfect ending to our scrumptious lunch – we felt thoroughly spoilt.

Before we knew it, our morning was done and it was time to head back to the barn – but not without promising each other that we would be doing this more often…

True to their reputation, the therapists and staff at Camdeboo Day Spa knew just how to ensure we left feeling relaxed and rejuvenation.

Trust me, a Ladies Day Off is just what every woman needs!

Till Next Week

The Dairy Cow

 

A mooolicious menu

7th July 2017 at 12:52 pm

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A mooolicious menu

Bill is about to celebrate a milestone birthday (we won’t reveal exactly how old!) so I’m expecting a barn full of family house guests for the weekend! I awoke yesterday to the usual morning alarm of our resident roosters and suddenly realised that I will need to do some serious planning to ensure my catering for the weekend is nothing short of moootacular!

I decided that my best bet would be to visit The Dairy Shop at Irene Farm – their extensive selection and scrumptious treats will definitely do. As I entered the shop, I must have looked a little flustered and shaky on my hooves because the friendly shop manager rushed over to ask if she could help! Together we wondered through the shop and she helped me put together a most mooolicious menu for the weekend:

Breakfast

I’ve stocked up on a few muesli options with some double thick strained yoghurt (preservative free) from The Gourmet Greek.

Mid-morning snack

A few packets of the most delicious biltong and dry wors are going to keep them happy till lunch time…

I think I’ll also get the Indezi River Creamery Cheese Affair which is a selection of artisanal cheeses from the KZN Midlands. An Almelba almond bread spread with The Cooksister Balsamic Fig and Rosemary Drizzle, then finished off with one of these cheeses is just tantalising. The shop manager suggested as an alternative, to put the Hillcrest Berry Orchards Watermelon Konfyt on top of the cheese and almond bread. Either way, it will make a most mooolicious mid-morning snack.

Lunch

The Dairy Shop has mouth-watering sausage rolls and chicken pies! Freshly baked, they are to die for! I’m going to have to get loads of these as the family are going to love them.

Afternoon tea

Tea with Irene Dairy Milk, of course. And Gudgu Ginger Beer (the best in town) for those that would prefer something refreshing. I’ll also pick up some Deneys Swiss Dairy Full Cream Drinking Yoghurt for the kids. Available in a variety of flavours, it’s one of my personal favourites.

Afternoon tea always deserves to be a decadent affair so I’ll be making sure the following treats are on the table: the most mooolicious Mrs Burger’s Milk Tart (I could eat one all on my own!), a white and dark Chiffon Cake as well as a few packets of Ons Bakhuiz assorted biscuits.

Dinner

I taste tested the whole roasted chicken and it is amooozing (better than the ones bought at other local stores!), so I’ve decided on this for dinner with a fresh salad drizzled with balsamic dressing. Purchasing the chicken already cooked means I’ll have less time in the kitchen and more time to catch up with Aunt Daisy.

For dessert, a DIY Dairy Cow Eton Mess is going to have them moooing for more! For the first layer I’ll be crushing Megan’s Meringue Rosettes, then a layer of Hillcrest Berry Orchards assorted berries and finally topping it off with the Irene Farm’s fabulously famous double thick cream.

It’s great to know that The Dairy Shop has everything I need to make sure our guests are well fed. I’m sure the visiting family members are going to want to visit there before returning home to stock on some of their own favourites!

Till Next Week

The Dairy Cow

Family Fun at African Pride Irene Country Lodge

27th June 2017 at 8:41 am

 

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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.

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 Meadow Green Restaurant

14th June 2017 at 9:46 am

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Around the World in 80 bites!

Our middle calf has ambitious dreams of travelling the world. She mooo’s about grazing the fields in Europe and assures me that she might call home at least once a month! Bill and I had a good chuckle at her last week when we overheard her telling her siblings that she’s sure to still get delicious Irene Dairy Farm milk from the cafés in France…

We decided to take the opportunity to teach our calves a little more about diverse cuisine and so booked a Friday evening dinner for five at the Meadow Green Restaurant at African Pride Irene Country Lodge. Bill had chatted to the chef and he discovered that the Around the World in 80 bites buffet would be on offer.

Armed with very hungry tummies, we herded off across the road for our 7pm booking. (Thank goodness we thought to book ahead as the restaurant was full!).

Our friendly waiter ushered us to a beautifully set table and offered to show us around the buffet.

With delicious salad starters, breads and cold meats we knew that this was going to be a graze worth every bite. On to the mains including a selection of vegetables, a carvery of lamb and chicken, oxtail stew and ‘real time’ cooking of Chinese noodles and seafood – we were glad that this varied selection would introduce our calves to a little more than their usual fields of green.

One of the most impressive parts of our evening was that the Chef’s at The Meadow Green Restaurant were on hand to answer any questions. As we wondered around the buffet they offered information on the various dishes and the calves enjoyed the interactive station where they cook the meals while you wait. This allows for a festive environment where food is the topic of the day.

When it came time for choices to be made, we were all a little conflicted! Everything looked so delicious but we knew that we couldn’t have it all – we would end up rolling back across to the barn!

Bill opted for the meatier meal with what he described as an unbeatable oxtail and slices of the leg of lamb. The calves decided on Chinese noodles with their own extras of chicken, peppers and tomatoes whilst I settled on my some of my favourites – crispy fresh salad and seafood. Needless to say, we all added some extras here and there just for a taste!

After sipping on a bottle of gorgeous wine recommended by our waitron, Bill and I convinced the kids to wait half an hour before heading for the deserts. Best decision ever!

The desert bar was to die for!

Needless to say, we did end up rolling back to the barn that night, but it was worth every last bite…

Till Next Week

THE DAIRY COW

For those of you that missed my amazing newsletters and need familiarity as to who I am or the characters I often refer to in my updates, click here to read more…

Rietvlei Nature Reserve

6th June 2017 at 4:23 pm

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Bundu bashing in our backyard!

Living on a farm in the city, we get to experience nature a little more first-hand than most. Monkeys, rabbits and the occasional squirrel are often exciting sightings as we go about our daily lives. But Bill and I have been wanting to experience true ‘Africa’ with the calves for quite some time now, so when we read up about Rietvlei Nature Reserve in our Destination Irene magazine, we decided it was time…

Loaded with some yummy snacks (from The Farm Shop, of course) and with three very excited calves in the back seat, we made the 5 minute journey just across the R21 Highway. From the moment we drove through the reserve entrance gate, we felt a sense of bushveld bliss that we so often dream of escaping to.

On arrival at reception, we opted for the self-drive option – being the first time our calves were experiencing wild animals up close we thought it best to keep them contained in our vehicle! The reserve, however, offers organised game drives, walks and lion tours – all of which come highly recommended for your African bush experience.

And off we went…

Entering the reserve, we were met with the most beautiful view. A majestic dam and grassland all around. We started seeking all there was to see with a competition in the back seat as to whom could spot something first.

Just a few minutes into the drive and there stood a herd of blesbok. A good start to our day which got even more exciting as our next sighting was a white rhino with her calf. We sat watching them for a while as the calf playfully jumped around beside its mommy – such a treat to see.

Ambling through the dirt roads, we came across numerous other sightings before stopping off at the coffee shop (once a farm house) for a break. Also a large picnic area, the calves enjoyed the jungle gyms whilst Bill and I sipped on cappuccinos.

Then it was back into the car for a late afternoon drive. As we made our way to the main road we were met with the most exciting sighting of all – a cheetah with her cubs (three of them). The calves were jumping around on the back seat with excitement (exactly why we didn’t want them on a game drive!) and they gushed at how adorable the cubs were. We sat on the road and observed them for well over half an hour as they rolled around and played with each other, only paying attention every now and then to what their mother was doing (typical).

We returned to the barn feeling like we had been on a safari and the calves went to bed that evening chatting about their exciting day.

Rietvlei Nature Reserve is well worth the visit and the best part is, it’s right in our backyard!

Till Next Week!

THE DAIRY COW

For those of you that missed my amazing newsletters and need familiarity as to who I am or the characters I often refer to in my updates, click here to read more…

The Deck Restaurant

30th May 2017 at 9:42 am

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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.

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.

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 Farm Shop 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

 

For those of you that missed my amazing newsletters and need familiarity as to who I am or the characters I often refer to in my updates, click here to read more…

The Smuts House Museum

13th April 2017 at 4:00 pm

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Smuts House Museum (the ‘Big House’) was home to General Jan C. Smuts (1870 to 1950), one of South Africa’s greatest sons.

He bought the wood and iron building that had served as the officers’ mess for £300.

It is believed that the building was originally prefabricated in Britain, taken to India by the British Army and later shipped to South Africa. It was then dismantled and brought to Pretoria by rail. It arrived at the Doornkloof farm by ox wagon, where it was re-erected at the substantial cost of £1000 in 1909.

General Smuts was at sea, on his way to England. He was a member of the National Convention delegation, when Mrs Smuts moved her family into the house on 10 July 1909.

The plan was altered on rebuilding and as the years passed, a kitchen and pantry (1918) and other rooms were added. The veranda’s were enclosed (front veranda, 1942). The Big House is, however, substantially as it was a century ago.

A visit to the Museum:

When you visit the museum, the unpretentious building strikingly illustrates Smuts’s indifference to luxury and ease of living, and here he spent the happiest hours of his life.

After his death in 1950, Mrs Smuts continued to live in the only real home she had ever known, until her death in 1954. Both General and Mrs Smuts died in the Big House.

Their ashes were scattered, as were other members of the Smuts family, on the top of Smuts Koppie – the rugged hill behind the house

The Smuts House Museum seeks to represent General Smuts’s lifestyle and multi-facetted career, as well as to promote the holistic vision on which he expounded in his life and writings.

Contact details:

Tel:  Anne Anspach (General Manager) 012 670 9017

E-mail: admin@smutshouse.co.za

Website:  http://www.facebook.com/smutshousemuseum

Opening hours:                08h00 to 15h30 every day except Good Friday, Worker’s Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Facilities include :

  • Ouma Isie’s Tea Garden:  open daily, (except Mondays) for teas and light meals, with special Buffet Lunch on Sundays.
  • The Oubaas Walking Trail, a circular walk of 2,3km up to the Kopjie and Smuts’ Monument.
  • An Arboretum and Place of Quiet.
  • Tranquil Picnic spots in beautiful, shady areas on the grounds.
  • Catering for functions and events in peaceful, secure surroundings.

Till next week!

THE DAIRY COW

For those of you that missed my amazing newsletters and need familiarity as to who I am or the characters I often refer to in my updates, click here to read more…

Easter Spa Getaway

7th April 2017 at 9:38 am

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And… relax…

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 and 2016 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!)

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

For those of you that missed my amazing newsletters and need familiarity as to who I am or the characters I often refer to in my updates, click here to read more…

Irene@Smuts

23rd March 2017 at 4:45 pm

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Moooi!

Craft and market are two of my favourite words, so when I recently spotted the street advertisement for the Irene@Smuts Market I decided it was time to pay it a visit…

With Bill and the calves in tow, we moooseyed on over to the Smuts House Museum last Saturday morning only to be met with the most wonderful vibe. Craft market heaven! Irene@Smuts Market is a deli and handmade goods market that takes place every second and last Saturday of the month. Proudly South African craft at its best.

Bill headed straight for the newly built wooden deck where live music set the tone for an enjoyable morning. Craft beer and great food options meant that he was quite happy to soak up the tunes whilst the calves and I strolled around the stalls.

Proudly South African handmade products resulted in us spending quite some time chatting to the vendors – getting to know their crafts and admiring their makes. From handmade glycerine soap (which smells divine) to perfectly sewn Barbie doll dresses, there is something for everyone at this market.

I was mostly impressed with the creativity and originality of some of the vendors. I purchased a lovely shopper bag, which I plan to use for my weekly Irene Farm Shop visit, made out of recycled washing powder packets – who would have thought! Not only did I enjoy every minute of exploring this market, but I felt like I was helping to save the environment in my own little way!

Another one which caught my eye (and my wallet!) was a vendor making Tree of life décor from old bicycle rims. Mine will be proudly displayed on our barnyard gate entrance. I’ll be sure to post a pic on my Facebook page as the Tree of life photos are all the rage right now!

Beautiful jewellery, clothing, paintings and more – you can see why we were there for the whole morning! Not forgetting the antique stalls. The calves and I had so much fun checking out all the old goodies, much of which I had to explain what they were!

It wasn’t long before my youngest calve was tugging at my hoof for something to eat and drink so we decided to stay for lunch.

Vetkoek, gourmet hot dogs, pizzas, paninis, pull pork sandwiches – you name it, they’ve got it! And the drinks aren’t far behind… We saw many happy market goers with a glass of wine in their hands and the craft beer vendor seemed rather busy too… I stuck to my trusty favourite – coffee – and it was a mooovelous one at that, whilst the claves had their all-time market must – bubble tea!

Together with Bill, we sat on the deck and enjoyed the time spent together. The market buzz in the air made the atmosphere complete.

On the walk home, the calves moooed about how much fun the morning had been and asked when we could go back! I’ve since discovered that they hold a Moonlight Market on the last Friday evening of each month – I’m going to pencil that into the calendar right now…

Till next week!

THE DAIRY COW

For those of you that missed my amazing newsletters and need familiarity as to who I am or the characters I often refer to in my updates, click here to read more…

Romance was the order of the day!

10th March 2017 at 12:22 pm

After our hectic weekend of hosting all the family for Bill’s birthday, he arranged the most romantic spoil for us… all with the help of the amazing staff at African Pride Irene Country Lodge.
I must say, I was most impressed. A) That Bill took the initiative to arrange such a wonderful surprise and B) that he got to take all the credit for it! Don’t get me wrong, I love my Bill dearly for the spoil but I secretly know that all he did was make a phone call to book… African Pride Irene Country Lodge went the extra mile.

We arrived on Friday afternoon to the most romantic welcome with rose petals adorning our room. My most favourite spoil was the romantic bath set up with candles – just like we see in the movies! Once we arrived, we immediately felt relaxed and decided to spend the evening in.
With a beautiful setting on our balcony, Bill and I ordered from the In Room Dining menu. Starter choices from cranberry filled Camembert to Beef Carpaccio, left little doubt our meal would be mooolicious.

Bill opted for the signature Beef – Rib Eye dish (highly recommended by the Guest Relations Manager, Pamela) and I settled for a Beef Gourmet Burger. Seated out on our balcony overlooking the gorgeous view, Bill and I enjoyed the tranquillity coupled with our own private company. It’s not often that we get to enjoy an evening together without one of the calves tugging at my hoof for something!

I was most impressed that the In Room Dining menu offers such variety. Choices of Duck, Kingklip and Chicken Supreme make for a gourmet meal in and it’s perfect for a nesting couple.
Dessert is always my favourite part of any meal and I was, once again, torn as to which option to choose. A New York Baked Cheesecake was the final winner and boy, what a winner it is – the ultimate indulgence.
After dinner I took a long, hot, candle lit bath and I enjoyed every minute. There’s something about an oversized bath tub that makes one want to linger forever and of course, the ambience made it all the more luxurious. A glass of red wine on the side to finish my evening off and we retreated to bed.
Awakening to the birds on the Saturday morning, Bill and I decided to take a walk around the property (to work off some of the meal from the night before!). A handy walking trail guide was in our room and so we set off around the beautiful lake where we were met with all sorts of birdlife. Ending in a forest-like setting, we freshened up before heading off to the Meadow Green Restaurant for breakfast.
After that Romantic Night indulgence, Bill is in the good books for a few weeks to come. Hoooves up to the staff at African Pride Irene Country Lodge for making it such a fantastic stay.

Till next week!

THE DAIRY COW

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Willow Feather – Farmyard Fun

21st February 2017 at 11:20 am

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Bill went away on business over the weekend – a farmer from the Free State wanted to pick his brain on our excellent farming standards. So I was left to tend to our little herd. Every now and then the calves like to venture outside of our pastures and I have to come up with exciting things to do. I relied on Destination Irene (yet again) to ensure we had some fun…
We headed for Willlow Feather Farm.

Just a hop, skip and a jump over the R21 Highway (well the rabbits tell me it’s that easy!), we wondered into a serene setting. Gorgeous gardens with hidden wooden jungle gyms around just about every corner, I was able to relax under the trees whilst the calves entertained themselves.

I ordered a much deserved cappuccino and scones, freshly baked. The calves enjoyed Slowjo smoothies which I secretly taste tested and I have to admit, they were super yummy. Then, whilst they explored the gardens and farmyard animals, I enjoyed reading the history behind this unique spot…

A family farm since 1979, it was the perfect haven for Janet and Steven Geyer to raise their three children. Farm life was good (as Bill and I can attest to) and soon one of the children, Barry, began his own company producing amazing fresh chickens. Then one day, after picking up some seeds from an old tree, planting them and seeing how quickly they grew, Barry changed his business focus and Willow Feather Farm was born.

In just a few short years, indigenous trees have become their forte with over 500 000 trees on the farm all planted from seeds or seedlings. They are so passionate about being environmentally conscious that there is a small conservation fee when entering the tea garden.

Lucky for us, the family thought that recreating their experiences as children of farm life would be great. The public are able to visit, interact with farm animals and enjoy a safe place for the calves to run and play.

Once you’ve visited, it’s not hard to see that this family is all about greening the environment, one tree at a time…

After a blissful hour of reading, enjoying the beautiful weather and sipping on my cappuccino, I think I dosed off for a while!

But it wasn’t long before my calves were tugging at my hooves, wanting to feed the farmyard animals with me. Our friendly waitress supplied us with feed for the chickens, goats, pigs, sheep, rabbits and geese. We then spent the next hour laughing and taking pictures of photo bombing geese and alpacas!

By the time we returned to our own barn I was feeling relaxed and the calves were in bed early, thank goodness. My day out was made a whole lot easier thanks to Willow Feather Farm. They will definitely be seeing us again…

Till next week!

THE DAIRY COW

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Valentine Dinner in Centurion

10th February 2017 at 12:18 pm

Oh what a night!

My subtle hints about a loved up month worked, and boy was I spoilt! On the first weekend of many this February. Bill, my one and only, arranged to have my mooother-in-law watch the kids and booked us a fabulous Saturday Night Live at African Pride Irene Country Lodge’s Meadow Green Restaurant.

Swaying into the Oak 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!

The Dinner!

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 for Valentines!

Picturing it doesn’t do this 5 course meal justice. I’ll try my best to describe how my taste buds were dancing in my mouth:

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 Caesar 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!

The Ambiance!

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 end!

The ease of our evening was evident thanks to the fact that the service was flawless. A true romantic treat and although I give Bill all the credit for starting our month of love in style, I have to say that Saturday Night Live made it perfect…

Till next week!

THE DAIRY COW

 

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Valentine in Irene

16th January 2017 at 1:45 pm

Irene is full of love this Valentine’s Day and for you and your Valentine, African Pride Irene Country Lodge is running the Valentines Weekend Promotion which includes a romantic turndown and a Bottle of Bubbly, bookable on any weekend throughout the month of February………

Also running for Valentine’s month is Camdeboo Day Spa’s amazing Date Night packages.

DATE NIGHT @ R1758 PER COUPLE

Make an evening of it and celebrate the end of your day with our exclusive sunset experience. You and a partner will be treated to a delicious snack platter and a bottle of bubbly while enjoying the beautiful sunset and surroundings of our Camdeboo Day Spa. After sunset make your way to our couples treatment room where you will be treated to a “Twice as Nice” Full Body Massage for two.

Buy Online Now… 

DATE NIGHT DELUXE – R 1 999 PER COUPLE

Breakaway from the madness and treat yourself and someone special to a unique Full Body Massage for two in our couples treatment room. Followed by a romantic dinner and a bottle of our selected house wine in our newly renovated Meadow Green Restaurant.

Buy Online Now… 

DATE NIGHT ULTIMATE REJUVENATION – R 3 799 PER COUPLE

Start your Ultimate Rejuvenation with a check-in at 14:00, change into your bathing suites and head over to the Camdeboo Day Spa to make use of our aqua facilities until ready for your couple’s treatment where you will be treated to a “Twice as Nice” Full Body Massage for two.

Relax and enjoy your view of our beautiful forest, in one of our superior rooms, once ready make your way to our newly renovated Meadow Green Restaurant, for a romantic dinner for two and a bottle of our selected house wine. Spend the night and wake up refreshed and rejuvenated, end your stay with a full English Breakfast in our Meadow Green Restaurant.

So we’ve dozed in luxury, loosened up in spa style and now we need to eat, right? Yes!

And for that, they have created a special Valentine’s Day dinner for R495 per person. If you wish to wine, dine and romance your Valentine, then look no further than African Pride Irene Country Lodge We offer you the choice of two magical settings for an unforgettable evening of romance.

I have already booked my table for two, have you?

 

Hello 2017!

4th January 2017 at 1:54 pm

Christmas on the farm was a mooovalous affair. With loads of families, friends and out-of-town visitors paying us a visit, our days were filled with photo bombs, scrumptious smells from all the delicious food coming out of The Barn Restaurant as well as The Deck Restaurant and the sounds of happy calves as they played all day long.

As most of us are getting use to the New Year with enthusiasm, my neighbour, Mildred Milky popped in for a cup of milk this morning and a chat. She says her family have enjoyed the African Pride Irene Country Lodge Family Fun Package so much that they have extended their stay. Her sister-in-law mooo’d so much about the fantastic kiddies programme that we even sent our calves over for a day of fun – and by the sounds of it, they enjoyed every minute.

Mildred and I are planning to have a few drinks at the Lakeside Bar over the next few days as Mildred’s family will be heading home today – although I don’t think it will be too long before we see them again. Mildred’s in-laws are celebrating 30 years of moooriage mid-January and her moother-in-law is insisting on a Camdeboo Spa Date Night with her father-in-law as part of their celebrations.

Once we all return to normal farm life, it’s still a week or two before the calves return to school. Irene Dairy Farm and African Pride Irene Country Lodge are still the best destinations in Irene. As they have done throughout the Festive Season, The Barn Restaurant and The Deck Restaurant are still the best places in town as the calves get to play whilst us adults can relax. So whether it’s a breakfast, morning tea, lunch or afternoon snack that I need to fit in one last time before the New Year really kicks in, I’m sorted.

Bill mentioned this morning that he needs a break after this break, so I think a treatment at Camdeboo Day Spa coupled with a romantic evening at African Pride Irene Country Lodge, including dinner at the Meadow Green Restaurant should do the trick. Destination Irene will be giving us a great start to our New Year.

One of the visiting photographer – @rumin0 shared these beautiful pictures with us during the holidays, thank you they are just amazing!

 

We look forward to sharing a wonderful year ahead with all of you.

‘Till next month

THE DAIRY COW

Mooovelous Mooovember!

11th November 2016 at 3:10 pm

This month’s focus:

bq-gazeboYear End Functions @ African Pride Irene Country Lodge

Looking for the ideal year end event – well look no further as we have a variety of different private venues, varying in size from small intimate venues to our larger Nomadic which is ideal for big groups. We also offer a variety of Mezze Platters, Cocktail Menu, Plated Menu or Buffet Menus that can be served.

Enquire now…

The recent spate of rain and the arrival of our famous Highveld thunderstorms was a welcome relief to our herd as not only were we able to cool off a bit, but now we are enjoying the wonderful grass just that little bit of natural watering has helped flourish.

The calves weren’t happy with the wet weather as we insisted they stay inside the barn and out of the mud! Hopefully the weather is good on the weekends for the month of Mooovember as our much anticipated Year-End Function is taking place at African Pride Irene Country Lodge. Our invitation didn’t give much away, but by the sounds of it, we will be enjoying the Nomadic Experience, all 200 of us!

Hank came round to visit last week to find out a bit more about Destination Irene and what it has to offer.  It’s his first Festive Season on the Irene Farm and his family have decided that they would like to visit so they can see first-hand why he thinks his new job is so moootastic (apart from the fact that he’s fallen in love with Pertunia!).

I was quick to assure him that the Family Fun Getaway at African Pride Irene Country Lodge would be the mooofect option for his family to book. And while Pertunia and him get to babysit his younger siblings (which will give him some insight into her mooothering skills), he can book a Camdeboo Day Spa Date Night for his folks to enjoy.  Not only will they graze on a snack platter and some bubbly whilst putting their hooves up and watching the sunset, but they will also enjoy a Twice as Nice Full Body Massage in the couple’s room – after this they will completely understand why Hank isn’t keen to return to the Lowveld! Hank was most impressed with my suggestions and I am pleased to say that I have, yet again, convinced another to love Destination Irene as much as I do!

Our admin lady, Lilly, nearly rammed me over this morning in her rush to get to the office on time. I popped in a few hours later to check on her as she seemed a bit frazzled and I was right. She says the phones have not stopped ringing with people wanting to book Year-End Functions, Christmas Eve Dinner, Christmas Day lunch and they’ve even started enquiring about New Year celebrations!

Irene Farm just won Best Restaurant for Lunch in the Country in the Readers Choice Best of Pretoria Awards (which is not surprising) and now everyone wants to experience our restaurants first hand! Small and large companies have been enquiring about our fantastic Year-End Functions and families have already started booking the breakfast and lunch options for Christmas Day. The Barn Restaurant and the The Deck Restaurant are going to be booked out soon!

I made Lilly a cup of tea and tried to calm her down but it’s no wonder the phone doesn’t stop ringing – the Festive Season offerings are fantastic and Destination Irene is clearly the place to be.

On my return to the barn, I decided to get my checklist for the Festive Season in order as I don’t want to be left out:

I hope all your Festive Season planning is coming together nicely…

Till next month

THE DAIRY COW

The Dairy Cow

African Pride Irene Country Lodge hosts the Ramcats Men in Wheelchairs Fishing Tournament

10th September 2016 at 7:15 pm

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Following on the past few year’s success, African Pride Irene Country Lodge is hosting the Ramcats, an organisation launched in 2002, is involved in various events regarding the disabled, focusing on people in wheelchairs again this year. Derived from the Afrikaans word Ramkats,which means an adventurous, brave and sometimes naughty boy, Ramcats assists wheelchair bound men, enjoy the outdoors in a safe wheelchair friendly environment.

“The celebration of fishing is more than just a sport; it is a wonderful playground where people with differences meet with the resultant effect of feeling good and making a difference. Our members want to be included in society and desire an active outdoor lifestyle,” says Ramcats organiser Gerard Smal.

The inland dam at the lodge is teeming with fish and due to their excellent habitat has outgrown their numbers. The dam has various fish species which include Carp, Lowveld Large-scale Yellow fish, Branded Tilapia, Redbreast Tilapia, and Mozambique Tilapia. The lodge, adjacent to the diary working farm, is a natural wonder that boasts a 250 species of bird life that can be discovered.
“This is a great initiative and we are proud to be associated with this tournament which provides these men with an opportunity to share in this wonderful sport while also enjoying the beauty of nature at this magnificent and serene lodge,” says sales and marketing executive for African Pride Hotels Robyn Ward.

Last year the tournament attracted 40 participants. Participants are from across Gauteng, Northwest and Limpopo.

“This activity brings people together and introduces new beginnings as a therapy to recover and rekindle feelings of wellness” concludes Smal.

For more information contact:

Contact Smal on 082 337 9064 or smal@ramcat.co.za.

www.ramcat.co.za

It’s a springtime affair!

31st August 2016 at 2:00 pm

Spring is certainly in the air. Warmer weather, longer days and flowers in the fields are starting to bloom – this is surely everyone’s favourite time of year.

The last few weeks on the Irene Dairy Farm have been proof of it. The calves and I have welcomed so many visitors, young and old, as they’ve enjoyed lunch at The Barn Restaurant and strolled around our hood afterwards. Just yesterday my youngest, Daisy, asked me what the attraction was and I replied, “Us, of course!’’ Apart from the ‘Farm in the City’ feeling of relaxation and tranquility, it’s a fantastic place for the calves to run around and enjoy the warmer weather. And with the delicious deli treats for sale in the Irene Dairy Shop, my calves are tugging at my hooves every time they see a visitor pass by with something delicious to eat.

I’ve told Daisy (and the rest of my calves) to make sure they are on their best behaviour on 24 September 2016 as the Irene Dairy Farm will be celebrating Heritage Day/Braai Day with a Braai Buffet at The Barn Restaurant for just R194.95 per person. The farmyard will be filled with happy families – we all love a good excuse to braai!

Carnival HeaderLooking for somewhere to take the little ones this coming weekend, click for more information.

After spending most of our time indoors these past few months, Bill and I have arranged for Mooother-in-law to babysit next Friday evening so we can enjoy a long overdue date night. I think we will take a leisurely stroll across the road to African Pride Irene Country Lodge where we can enjoy the Lakeside area at Meadow Green Restaurant without any distractions (being the calves!). The warmer weather means we will be able to saviour the breathtaking sunset whilst sipping on our sundowners – it doesn’t get more romantic than that…

Speaking of romance, Spring time seems to be filled with new budding relationships. Bill was telling me just last night about a new bull in the field, Hank, who has the cows mooing with delight. Hank has his eye on Pertunia and apparently he’s booked the Spring into Summer promotion at African Pride Irene Country Lodge in an effort to mooo Pertunia’s love. He’s gone all out with this one as the package includes accommodation, breakfast and dinner in the Meadow Green Restaurant as well as a spa treatment to the value of R250 per person to use in the award winning Camdeboo Day Spa. It’s sure to help Hank win Pertunia’s heart and perhaps we will be hearing the sound of wedding bells in the fields before summer rolls around.

I love spring time on the farm – new romance, growing families and a renewed sense of being. I popped into Camdeboo Day Spa after overhearing some of the ladies enjoying tea at The Deck Restaurant on the weekend moooing about their Summer Glow promotion. It’s a SIX Timeless Skin Treatment followed by a taster ‘buff and go’ after which you can put your hooves up and enjoy a cup of tea as the whole treatment revolves around you – I’ve booked it. Summer is just around the corner and all the visitors to the Irene Dairy Farm are going to appreciate me looking my best when they whip out their cameras for a photograph. (It’s tough being the most photographed dairy cow on the farm!)

I don’t know about you, but I’m having a spring fling with Destination Irene (don’t tell Bill!).

Spring greetings

THE DAIRY COW

The Dairy Cow

THIS MONTH’S FOCUS:IreneCountryLodge-2286

DATE NIGHT @ Camdeboo Day Spa

SPOIL YOUR LOVED ONE WITH AN EXCLUSIVE EVENING OUT

Spend some quality time together indulging with one of our Date Night Offers. The treatments are ideal for couples, friends or family who would like to take some time out and enjoy a few precious moments together.

Click here for more information..

Hooves up for the ladies!…

29th July 2016 at 7:32 pm

It’s my favourite month of the year – although Women’s Day is only celebrated as one day (9 August), us ladies have somehow managed to turn it into Women’s Month and I for one, am not complaining! I am also not complaining about African Pride Irene Country Lodge’s Awesome August Promotion as we are going to have everyone staying a little longer.

Destination Irene2

My Moo Club (moms with calves) and I have been anxiously awaiting August to roll around so we can take full advantage. At our latest get-together in the field opposite the barn, when we were supposed to be mooing over parenting tips and skills, instead all we could chat about was what Destination Irene has to offer us gals this month…

We’ve diarised the 3rd of August 2016 as our next Moo Club meeting but have secretly booked a Ladies Day Off Package at Camdeboo Day Spa (don’t tell the bulls!). I was so relieved to hear that the spa is open on both public holidays this month – 3 and 9 August – as only after making the booking did I realise it was voting day! I’ll be sure to cast my hoof vote early on the 3rd so I can make it back in time for my Ladies Day Off Ultimate Rejuvenation: a Milk Moisture Hand Ritual, Milk Moisture Foot Ritual, Tech Neck Massage as well as a Soothing Scalp and Face Massage. Some of the other moms in our group have opted for different packages available this month (Ladies Day Off Relaxation or Ladies Day Off Luxury) but we’ve all agreed that we will meet in the garden for the light meal with refreshments included in all the packages, so we can enjoy each other’s company.

The Bulls Club (apparently the dads need a club too!) were a little mooortified at the thought of looking after all the calves whilst we sneak off for the day but, as always, us moms have planned a fun morning so they don’t have to get their horns in a knot!

An outing to Irene Dairy Farm is always a winner – whilst the bulls enjoy a craft beer at The Barn Restaurant, the calves will be climbing the jungle gyms and exploring the rest of the farm. Again, I confirmed that the farm is open on both public holidays this month (what would the bulls do without us?).

We didn’t want our bulls to feel too left out (the men get a little jealous that we have a whole month dedicated to the ladies), so the Moo Club gals and I decided to treat them to a couples evening out at the Meadow Green Restaurant. Word in the fields is that they’ve just launched a new A La Carte Menu which I know Bill is going to be mooorse excited to try first hand. Our Local is Lekker evening is booked and we will certainly enjoy the experience of a little hearty fine dining in Destination Irene (Moother-in-law has agreed to babysit in exchange for a Ladies Day Off Package!).

Bill doesn’t know it, but I’ve also booked us a Romantic Rondezvous package at African Pride Irene Country Lodge for later in the month. After these cold, dry winter months of working hard in the fields, and because I love him so much, this romantic package is just what we need. Luxury accommodation with breakfast and a five course dinner in the Meadow Green Restaurant are all the standards we enjoy at African Pride Irene Country Lodge but what makes this one a little more romantic is the picnic lunch under the oak tree and the selected spa treatments at the Camdeboo Day Spa – I’m going to have one very happy bull!

We’ve been spreading the news of Women’s Month Destination Irene offerings through to neighbouring farms as, like all ladies, we love a good excuse to get spoilt.

Cheers to all the mooovelous ladies out there…

For our full newsletter with competitions and more, please click here…

THE DAIRY COW

The Dairy Cow

For those of you that missed my amazing newsletters and need familiarity as to who I am or the characters I often refer to in my updates, click here to read more…

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