Ballooning at dawn. The quiet of ballooning allows for reflection and meditation. Ballooning Pictures: Arja Salafranca
Ballooning at dawn. The quiet of ballooning allows for reflection and meditation. Ballooning Pictures: Arja Salafranca
The genteel aspect of the hotel permeates the main building.
The genteel aspect of the hotel permeates the main building.
Lamb chops with sweet potato mash.
Lamb chops with sweet potato mash.
The stone reception house at De Hoek.
The stone reception house at De Hoek.
Bill Harrop piloting the balloon.
Bill Harrop piloting the balloon.
Cover: Our balloon is reflected in the bright colours of another balloon floating close by
Cover: Our balloon is reflected in the bright colours of another balloon floating close by
Golden light: Up, up and away
Golden light: Up, up and away
Fine dining at De Hoek in the airy dining room.
Fine dining at De Hoek in the airy dining room.
A view from a patio at De Hoek showing one of the many stone benches where you can dream, share secrets and while away the relaxing hours.
A view from a patio at De Hoek showing one of the many stone benches where you can dream, share secrets and while away the relaxing hours.

There’s a discreet charm to De Hoek Country Hotel. Something quietens as you sip a late afternoon cup of tea on a balcony overlooking a lawn, a stone bench, massive sweeping trees, catching up on the week’s news, reconnecting.