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For my birthday, my husband took me on a surprise weekend away to the beautiful Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse situated in the heart of the Central Drakensberg. Here are my highlights of a wonderful few days.
Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse is described as ‘Farmhouse Luxury’, and I couldn’t agree more. Each room was individually styled and we were staying in the Naturalist Room. It had the charm of nature but with a luxurious feel too. It had a cosy fireplace and a heated blanket, which was much appreciated, given that we were there in Winter.
There were also outside sun loungers, which would have been nice if we had been there in warmer months. I also enjoyed the small touches of the home-made sherry and cakes that were left for us. Each night we enjoyed an excellent sleep thanks to the comfortable bed and peaceful room.
Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse is well known for its gourmet food, and it didn’t disappoint. Every evening when we arrived at the drinks lounge, we studied a menu board that described the seven delicious courses on offer. One of the staff members also talked us through the menu, and every night it sounded incredible.
Before sitting down in the restaurant, we also had the important job of visiting the wine cellar to pick out our chosen wine to accompany our dinner. I really enjoyed this part of the evening, and it was so much more of an experience picking it from a cellar rather than just a menu.
After a pre-dinner gin and tonic by the fire, dinner was served. Every night all seven courses were delicious and varied. The portions were also of a size that allowed me to enjoy all of them, but I do advise to arrive with an empty stomach! It was nice to know that a lot of food was locally sourced, some of which came from the gardens of the Farmhouse. After dinner, we retired to the cosy lounge and enjoyed a night-cap by the fire.
Breakfast was also quite a spread and a three-course affair. I particularly loved the freshly baked selection of bread and muffins. A light lunch was also provided to allow enough hunger for the main event in the evening.
A stay at Cleopatra can involve as much or as little activity as you prefer. We wanted to do some hiking so we could work up an appetite for all the delicious food and also enabled us to explore the local area. As we had not visited the Drakensberg Mountains before, we were not sure where to go hiking, so we booked two guided trips through the Farmhouse. On the first day, we were taken to Giants Castle, which was fantastic. The views were incredible, and we also got to see some Bushman rock art too.
The following day we hiked at the beautiful Highmoor Nature Reserve, which again boasted stunning views. Our guide was very knowledgeable, and we learnt a lot about the local area and wildlife.
When we returned to the Farmhouse after hiking, we also got to enjoy some relaxation time. There was a beautiful lake on site, which housed a motorised boat and one afternoon we took it out and enjoyed a glass of wine watching the sunset, it was fabulous.
Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse also has the Copper Pot Spa, which I decided to indulge in. After all the hiking I chose a leg massage, which was magnificent. I only wish I’d had time for more treatments!
Overall, we had a wonderful stay at Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse. We came home relaxed and pleased to have explored a new beautiful area of South Africa, but definitely with larger waistbands! If you are looking for a trip that includes exceptional food and a luxury stay with access to stunning hikes, then this is the place for you.