African Pride Irene Country Lodge.
African Pride Irene Country Lodge.
Some of the food on offer. Picture: Khanyisile Ngcobo
Some of the food on offer. Picture: Khanyisile Ngcobo
Some of the food on offer at the Meadow Green restaurant. Picture: Khanyisile Ngcobo
Some of the food on offer at the Meadow Green restaurant. Picture: Khanyisile Ngcobo
Some of the food on offer at the Meadow Green restaurant. Picture: Khanyisile Ngcobo
Some of the food on offer at the Meadow Green restaurant. Picture: Khanyisile Ngcobo
The Big Red Barn. Picture: Khanyisile Ngcobo
The Big Red Barn. Picture: Khanyisile Ngcobo

Pretoria - Fatigued residents in need of an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life will be pleased to hear of the cosy, yet luxurious offering nestled in the heart of Tshwane. 

African Pride Irene Country Lodge is a luxury hotel offering patrons top-class accommodation, fine dining and a chance to relax and unwind.  

The hotel is situated in Irene and has 75 rooms ranging from presidential to deluxe king rooms.

It's almost hard to believe that a serene and tranquil place could exist just a few kilometres away from the Johannesburg city centre. Driving to the lodge after a long week of hard toil and after a frustrating drive through the Joburg and Pretoria traffic, it was thanks to my trusted GPS that I was able to find this hidden gem.  

When I arrived at the lodge, I was met by friendly and helpful staff who welcomed us and guided us to our rooms. 

While going to the rooms from the reception area was a bit of a distance, this was no cause for worry as there were friendly porters on hand to escort us. Alternatively, we were also able to make the short drive and park in close proximity to our rooms.

When we arrived at our room, I immediately got a sense of tranquility and peace and quite quickly managed to get settled in and begin enjoying my stay. 

The room was spacious and had many additions, including comfortable chairs to settle into and read a book, an en-suite bathroom and a patio that offered a spectacular view of a field. 

After a quick bath, we then had to go out for a welcoming event by the manager ahead of the night's dinner. 

This was very relaxed and informal and gave us a chance to meet our fellow guests, the hotel's manager as well the Meadow Green restaurant's chef, Leon van Deventer.

Van Deventer then introduced the evening meal, 80 Bites around the World, which was a selection of dishes from around the world with a touch of local flavours. 

Following an evening of fine dining, good wine and much laughter, we kick-started the weekend activities.  

This included a visit to the popular Camdeboo Spa, which offers a variety of massages. 

Unfortunately, the spa was fully booked for the day but this gave us a chance to explore other areas of interest located near the lodge. 

We headed out to the Big Red Barn as well the Irene market, where we could shop for reasonably priced goodies and have a bite to eat. 

This summed up the places of interest and activities we could take part in, making African Pride a turn off for those looking for an adventure filled weekend. 

While the lodge is limited in this sense, it's still the perfect getaway spot for couples and families looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.