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!


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23rd March 2017 at 4:45 pm

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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!


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!


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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!



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…

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.


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… 


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… 


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


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


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