Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the idea of a getaway that we tend to overlook the little gems that are right in front us. I believe that Brahman Hills is an example of this. I had never been to the Midlands before this trip and wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I can honestly describe it as the most serene, scenic and completely naturalistic place that I’ve been to.
It’s about a five-hour drive to Brahman Hills (depending on how often you stop and how long each stopover takes) but the scenery on the way is as stunning as the place itself. My friends and I arrived on a Friday and prepared for a weekend of pure bliss. The venue, formerly known as The Windmills, has undergone a revamp and boasts newly-refurbished hotel rooms and self-catering cottages. Did I mention that each cottage has its own jacuzzi?
It also offers a restaurant as well as a separate Halaal kitchen, a coffee bar, cellar and underground bar, and a variety of event venues. You may or may not know that Brahman Hills is a well-loved wedding spot with a beautiful chapel on a lake and a glass reception venue. Surrounding these great facilities is miles and miles of open, green landscape – simply exquisite!
We stayed in one of the three-bedroom self-catering cottages (each room even has its own en-suite bathroom!). The lounge and kitchen area is super-spacious, and leads out onto a large patio – just picture sipping on a glass of wine in the jacuzzi, with nothing but green hills and the occasional Brahman or zebra roaming around as the backdrop.
Now, before you assume that there’s nothing to do but relax and unwind at Brahman Hills (which you can still do, with a good book or two), there are also nature walks and drives within in the venue, as well as horse-riding and quad biking trails. If those don't fit your idea of a perfect weekend, there are also art studios and game reserves in the surrounding area. Oh, and of course there’s the famous Nottingham Road where you can explore market and food boutiques and shop to your heart’s content.
I made sure to experience not only Nottingham Road but also the nature walk for myself. Following a tasty continental breakfast on the Saturday morning, we put our takkies on and prepared to see the beauty of the countryside around Brahman Hills. The walk can really get your heart pumping, depending on which route you take. We even got to see a few Brahman along the way!
Another major plus about this place was the cuisine! Now, I wouldn’t really call myself a foodie, but I know a scrumptious meal when I have one. Along with the revamp, the venue has brought in two incredibly-talented chefs (including a dedicated Halaal chef) from some of Cape Town’s top establishments – and it sure shows! Every meal that I ate was well-presented and delicious.
This was especially true on the Saturday night when we enjoyed dinner at 89 on Copper – a private dining room, which offers an elegant dinner and wine pairing and is perfect for special occasions. From a starter of grilled artichoke, mushroom and plum risotto, to a main of grilled chicken supreme, I was in heaven. The highlight for me had to be the Chocolate Three Ways dessert that I doubt I will ever forget!
While there is so much to enjoy at Brahman Hills (including the service – the staff were amazing!), there’s also so much to look forward to. The owners, as well as hospitality specialist, Gill Bowmaker, are constantly working to ‘green’ the property and take recycling very seriously. In addition to that, they will be opening up a spa at the end of April, which will offer a range of relaxing treatments including a full bridal hair and make-up service.
With so much to see and do in this gorgeous establishment, you have absolutely no reason not to pay them a visit on your next trip to KZN!
By Nicole Naidoo