Westlife in South Africa, making African Pride Irene Country Lodge their home for a week.

20th Oct 2011 at 9:38 pm

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Famed Irish boy band Westlife returned to South Africa earlier this year, joining Watershed and Lianie May at the Deuriemikkie Carnival on September 17.

Westlife has been extremely successful in both their homeland and in the UK, but their support base in South Africa is clear as can be seen by their repeated visits.

The foursome has been together through 11 albums, and has seen more than 44 million sales to date. They have even beaten UK band Coldplay in terms of album sales – the latter has only sold 11 million.

During their visit to South Africa they decided to use African Pride Irene Country Lodge as their home base. Daily they would go out and shoot their latest music video near Hartebeespoort dam and at night would enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of Camdeboo Day Spa.

The band booked out a whole wing of the hotel, around the Presidential Suite and had a Chef and Butler on standby 24 hours a day to look after their every need.

To celebrate their last night at the hotel, the band kept the staff of African Pride Irene Country Lodge up till 3am ensuring they get to know the local spirits in our main bar.

The staff of African Pride Irene Country Lodge really enjoyed hosting these well-known music icons.

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Ladies Day @ Camdeboo Day Spa

19th Oct 2011 at 7:41 pm

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Pure Beauty @ Irene Country Lodge in Centurion

13th Oct 2011 at 10:21 pm
Weddings at Irene Country Ldoge

Have your wedding at African Pride Irene Country Lodge or Irene Dairy Farm

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Full-width Gallery

11th Oct 2011 at 10:01 am

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Chinese City Wall

Winter sun Family outing at Irene Village Market and Dairy Farm – Babynews Blogs

8th Oct 2011 at 1:27 pm

Winter sun Family outing at Irene Village Market and Dairy Farm – Babynews Blogs.

Irene Dairy Farm, Gauteng – Cook sister!

8th Oct 2011 at 1:26 pm

I always find long-distance air travel to be a totally surreal experience. For a start, you spend 12 hours in a metal tube kept aloft by sheer force of good engineering, at a cosy temperature of 22C while the air on the other side of the wondow is about -34C. And then there is the experience of boarding the plane in the middle of a snowy European winter, and emerging 12 hours later blinking into the harsh Johannesburg summer sun. And for me, this surreal feeling is enhanced further if my dear friends then whisk me off to a completely improbable place for my first meal home – which is exactly the experience I had on my first visit to Irene Dairy Farm near Johannesburg. “I’m taking you somewhere you’ve never heard of and that will totalyl surprise you”, said Catherine – and she was correct.

The little township of Irene is today part of the Pretoria metropolitan area, but driving into it there is nothing metropolitan about it. The peaceful rural surroundings make it easy to picture the early days of this little settlement when it started out as Doornkloof Farm, home to Daniel Elardus Erasmus and his family from the 1830s. The name remained the same until the farm was bought in 1896 by Johannes Albertus van der Byl (“Bertie”) and renamed Irene after his daugher. The settlement that had grown up around the farm also adopted the new name and in 1902, Irene was declared a township. Bertie was the first of five generations of van der Byls born in Irene, and the farm is still in the family today. Over the years the family has been responsible for building up the herd of dairy cows on the farm, and locals still flock to the farm shop (sometimes with traditional one gallon milk pails) to buy the fresh farm milk.

Apart from the dairy operation itself, there is a farm shop which stocks an impressive range of artisanal food products, mostly sourced from the Gauteng area such as cured meats, cheeses and olive products. There are also freshly baked breads, fresh fruit juices and milk, and a wonderful selection of herbs and condiments such as the Cape Herb & Spice Company’s outstanding range. The first time I visited Irene Dairy Farm, we walked through the farm shop before we went to lunch and Catherine practically had to drag me out by my feet – I was like a kid in a candy store!

But onwards and upwards. There are two dining options at Irene: for more casual, light meals, there is the wooden deck that runs the length of the farm shop building; or there is the Barn Restaurant, situated in and around one of the original 1890 barns, which is where we ate most recently. We chose to sit outside (although there is also seating inside) under the ancient and impressive oak trees. One of my favourite things about both the Barn and the Deck is the innovative air conditioning system. If you look closely at the picture above, you will see what look like puffs of smoke in the tree branches and at intervals along the barn roof. This is in fact water mist sprayed from a system of thin suspended tubes above the dining area. There’s enough spray to cool you down, but not enough to get you wet. I was enchanted!

On to the food. As it was hot and summery I wanted a salad, and as halloumi cheese is a rarity on London menus, I could not resist the grilled halloumi salad. Nick (as I recall) had a pannini or a burger, and Catherine had a smoked chicken, Emmenthaler cheese and couscous salad. All the portions were generous and the ingredients were fresh. And unlike some places, they do not stint on the expensive ingredients – there was a load of smoked chicken and a load of halloumi – as you can see above!

Before (or after) you eat, you should also make time to visit the nearby Irene craft market and the unexpected historical treasure at its centre. General Jan Christian Smuts, one of South Africa’s most prominent international statesmen and a signatory of the original United Nations charter, bought a third of the original Doornkloof farm in 1908. As he needed a home for his growing family he bought, for the princely sum of £300, the wood and iron building which had served as the Officers Mess of the British Forces in Middelburg during the Anglo-Boer War. The building was dismantled, brought to Pretoria by rail, and then taken to the farm Doornkloof by ox wagon, where it was re-erected at the substantial cost of £1000. Gen. Smuts and his wife lived at Smuts House from 1909 until his death in 1950 and the British Royal Family visited him there on their South African visit in 1947. The building has been lovingly restored and today looks very much like it did when the Smuts family lived there. It is a restful space and it’s easy to imagine how Gen. Smuts might have retreated here after the rigours of public life to pursue his interest in botany and philosophy. It’s well worth a visit.

With a craft market, a working dairy, a wonderful farm shop, a historical building AND a good restaurant, Irene makes for a lovely day out in the country – even though you are less than an hour from the suburbs of Johannesburg (and literally IN the suburbs of Pretoria!).

via Irene Dairy Farm, Gauteng – Cook sister!.

Irene Dairy– Photo mosaic − Gauteng daily snapshot – Blog – Gauteng Tourism Authority

8th Oct 2011 at 1:20 pm

Irene Dairy– Photo mosaic − Gauteng daily snapshot – Blog – Gauteng Tourism Authority.

Have a little Faith – Hotel in Centurion adopts a pair of swans

7th Oct 2011 at 6:50 pm

Hope on the WaterAfrican Pride Irene Country Lodge is renowned for the fact that it is a haven for birds and recently this proved to be exactly the case for two orphan swans that wobbled their way into Irene and have become star attractions of the property.

Hope and Faith, as they were optly named are two orphan swans that were rescued and brought to Irene for safekeeping. The two have settled into their new home and are thriving under the supervision of staff at the Hotel and the admiration of their visitors. We are very proud of our large variety of bird species on the property and they contribute significantly to the country atmosphere we are famous for. It seemed only natural to welcome these two beautiful additions to the family when we were asked by a member of the public if we could offer a safe home. The hotel ran a competition with the staff to name the birds and that’s how Hope and Faith came about.

The swans are very popular amongst guests at the hotel and the restaurant. At the same time they are very curious and cheeky and often venture out of the water to grab a snack from the children that love feeding them. These birds are highly intelligent and it is quite an enjoyable experience to keep an eye on them during breakfast or lunch at the restaurant, as it is on the banks of the Hennops River.

One can restore body and mind by exploring the Hennops River hiking trail or variety of wildlife in the Rietvlei Nature Reserve. There are over 60 species of birds in the sanctuary of the lake area on the property and is any nature lover’s dream.

There searches for what to do in the area is definitely on…

Feel free to let me know of any happenings in the area so that I can post it for you. Also see our pricelist at the beautiful Camdeboo Day Spa has been uploaded go have a look…

Camdeboo Day Spa Price List

7th Oct 2011 at 12:42 am

Click here to see our price list!!!

Slideshow – Irene situated in Centurion, Pretoria

4th Oct 2011 at 6:01 pm

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One of my best wins: a day at Irene Country Lodge « Dear Max

3rd Oct 2011 at 12:21 pm

One of my best wins: a day at Irene Country Lodge « Dear Max.

African Pride Irene Country Lodge (Centurion, South Africa) | Expedia

2nd Oct 2011 at 1:06 pm

African Pride Irene Country Lodge (Centurion, South Africa) | Expedia.

African Pride Irene Country Lodge Pretoria South Africa – Best discount hotel rates

2nd Oct 2011 at 1:06 pm

African Pride Irene Country Lodge Pretoria South Africa – Best discount hotel rates.

Booking.com: hotel African Pride Irene Country Lodge, Centurion, South Africa. Book your hotel now!

2nd Oct 2011 at 1:06 pm

Booking.com: hotel African Pride Irene Country Lodge, Centurion, South Africa. Book your hotel now!.

African Pride Irene Country Lodge Hotel – Centurion – South Africa – With &ReviewNumber1 guest reviews#description

2nd Oct 2011 at 1:05 pm

African Pride Irene Country Lodge Hotel – Centurion – South Africa – With &ReviewNumber1 guest reviews#description.

Irene Dairy Farm | Caitlyn & Mikes engagement session » Simply Me Photography

2nd Oct 2011 at 1:03 pm

Irene Dairy Farm | Caitlyn & Mikes engagement session » Simply Me Photography.

Wedding Photography Blog by Custo: Mari-Susan & Marnix, Irene Dairy Farm

2nd Oct 2011 at 1:03 pm

Wedding Photography Blog by Custo: Mari-Susan & Marnix, Irene Dairy Farm.

Cameron . . .at Irene Dairy Farm « VN Photo’s Blog

2nd Oct 2011 at 1:03 pm

Cameron . . .at Irene Dairy Farm « VN Photo’s Blog.

Winter sun Family outing at Irene Village Market and Dairy Farm – Babynews Blogs

2nd Oct 2011 at 1:02 pm

Winter sun Family outing at Irene Village Market and Dairy Farm – Babynews Blogs.

Irene Dairy Farm Photographs | Quintin Mills Photography

2nd Oct 2011 at 1:01 pm

Irene Dairy Farm Photographs | Quintin Mills Photography.

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