Durban - For me one of the most enchanting entrances to a property is at Bellwood Cottages just outside Nottingham Road in the Midlands.
Its tree-lined road is sometimes wreathed in mist, drawing her veil alluringly. It is Nature at her provocative best.
At the end of the drive, and a warm welcome, visitors face a difficult decision – to stay in a cottage in the estate’s spreading gardens, or to head to the dam.
We chose to stay at a cottage on the edge of the dam.
At night mist blanketed everything, but the days were sparkling. We sat and admired the tranquil waters; strolled around the dam on an extended walk which cut across the fields and brought us back to that beautiful entrance; tried different walks across farm fields; took a rowboat out on to the water and admired the reflections.
All the cottages are equipped with fireplaces for chilly nights, electric blankets, fridge, stove, microwave oven and TV, but we were so indolent after all our activities, we didn’t even bother to cook, just ate salads and fruit.
There is a large 6.5-hectare dam, stocked with rainbow trout, and a smaller one, stocked with both rainbow and brown trout.
Fish range from 0.5kg to 4kg, with an R80 rod fee per day, which includes two fish caught, irrespective of size, but only trout rods and tackle are allowed. Visitors can pick up fly-fishing tackle in Nottingham Road.
The cottages are on a 236ha stud farm, and the 150-year-old milking shed has been converted into a wedding chapel and reception venue.
Over weekends, minimum rates apply, but from Monday to Thursday out of season the prices drop. Someone travelling alone could pay as little as R350 a night during the week, and less if you are a pensioner – R250. - Sunday Tribune
Call 033 266 6218 or 082 495 5033; www.bellwood.co.za