Johannesburg - It’s never easy to select a venue which is an ideal place to celebrate a special occasion. So it was with a great sense of relief that my husband and I chose a lovely tranquil estate with a unusual name to mark our 40th wedding anniversary.
Situated just outside Pretoria, Kievits Kroon Country Estate has everything you could wish for: beautiful Cape Dutch buildings in wide open spaces among well-manicured gardens and large impressive trees.
The gardens are home to crowned plovers or kievits kroon that communicate with a loud kie-weeet call, day or night, and are distinguished by a white circle surrounding a black cap.
After a rather hectic hour-long drive from Joburg we were welcomed by enthusiastic reception staff who directed us to one of the spacious VIP suites. The accommodation was amazing, to say the least, with a huge lounge, bedroom and bathroom.
The elegant suite had 5-star furnishings, including two flatscreen TV sets with DStv situated in the bedroom and lounge, perfect when your partner wants to watch something else! With a sports crazy partner, this is not an rare occasion.
Kievits Kroon has 142 rooms and artworks of children from a local primary school adorn the executive rooms.
On both evenings we were treated to fine dining at its best, highlighted by wine pairing which enhances the flavours of the 8- course autumn gourmet dinner which would give any master chef a run for their money.
We kicked off with salmon and cream cheese macaroon, followed by a starter of smoked duck breast with cranberry sauce (wine: haute cabriere pinot noir). Next up came soup and calamari stuffed with Moroccan couscous, white wine tarragon sauce (wine: Kievits Kroon savignon blanc). Then we were treated to a orange and basil granita and a main course of lamb rack, poached fillet mignon oak-smoked egg yolk, butternut confit, broccoli and pea puree (wine: Diemersfontein pinotage).
After that we were presented with a dessert of double-chocolate brownie, milk chocolate and caramel mousse (wine: Niepoort ruby) followed by coffee and friandises.
Two well-satisfied – and wobbly – patrons left the restaurant late that night for a slow stroll back to our stylish suite! What a surprise to find it beautifully decorated with rose petals, chocolates, wine and even a celebratory cake.
On Saturday, to detoxify after the excesses, we ventured into the thatched Spa Thermae facilities, which includes an indoor pool, saunas, steam rooms, plunge pools, Jacuzzis and Swiss showers. A perfect setting for a romantic weekend. A full body wrap and massage completed an incredible four-hour session which left us weak at the knees but revitalised.
A picnic on the lawn of Kievits Kroon beneath big shady trees helped to make the weekend a resounding success.
As we devoured the feast provided, we enjoyed the antics of the busy plovers joining us to sample our leftovers.
We were happy to relax and bask in the peacefulness of Kievits Kroon, but the village of Cullinan, 25 minutes away could be a pleasant attraction. This also applies to the many game reserves within the Dinokeng area.
After a delicious Sunday morning champagne breakfast in the Kingsley’s restaurant, it was sadly time to make leave.
Once back home, the tiny Kievit Kroons prints on our car stood as a gentle reminder for us not leave it too long before we make a return visit.
l Penny Kearns was a guest of Kievoots Kroon.